I purchased Garritan CFX about a year ago and one of the reasons I wanted to try it was due to its Binaural recording. I wasn't impressed.
Two weeks ago I was searching around trying to understand why its Binaural recording seemed off when I got to this thread.
So, I decided to run a test:
The two attached files show two simple recordings using the Player mic perspective in Garritan CFX.
In both files key A6 was played a few times.
During the first half of each recording, Garritan was set to the "Performer" stereo image, i.e., high keys should be heard mostly on the right audio channel. Then, half way through the recording Garritan was changed to the "Audience" stereo image, i.e., high keys should be heard mostly on the left channel.
The audio recordings are available here
, but you can also see screenshots from each recording below.
The screenshots are from WavePad, in them, the left channel is shown on the upper half of the image, while the right channel is on the lower half.
The first file shows the KU84 "close" mics, you can see the A6 key sound is skewed towards the right channel in the first half of the recording and then it's skewed towards the left channel during the second half of the recording, matching the selected stereo image for the recording (Performer then Audience).
The second file shows the KU100 "binaural" mic, you can see the A6 key sound is skewed towards the left channel first and then it's skewed towards the right channel, which is the opposite of what one expects for the selected stereo image (Performer then Audience).
So, I decided to send the files and point this out to Garritan's technical support. Here's their response:
"The Audience and Performer stereo images were designed to use the KM 84 and KU 100 in tandem. The KU 100 is the ambient(room)microphone in this particular perspective so we wouldn't expect it to have the same stereo width as the other microphones. I know that your expectations can be different from our intentions but we intended the KU 100 to be a more intimate perspective of the studio itself."
This did not make much sense to me, so I pointed out the following information from their website
The Player perspective offers the experience of playing the CFX, from the piano bench, in Studio One, particularly when reproduced over high quality headphones.
Close – 2 x Neumann KM84 Microphones: This is a straight forward stereo pair placed closely and directly over the hammers. It provides an immediate sound of the piano with little coloration from the room.
Player – Neumann KU100 Dummy Head: The Binaural KU100 Dummy Head was placed directly behind the musicians head. This provides an intimacy to the instrument mixed with the unmistakable sense of playing the instrument in the acoustics of Studio One
I think it very unlikely they placed the KU100 dummy head behind the musicians head facing backwards
This looks like a programmatic error that could be easily fixed. Or maybe a simple option could be given to the user to change the stereo image independently between mics.
Their updated response:
The KU100 was designed to be used as an ambient microphone in combination with the KU84 as the close microphone. It has been mixed with that idea in mind
So, I gave up. It looks like their tech support guy is simply repeating a script. Or that project has been abandoned with no further budget allocated for development or support.