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#3161143 10/01/21 02:43 PM
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peterws Offline OP
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So many seem to be advertising these as "binaural"; we all understand they're stereo, and even with those you can thrill to the dramatic effects embodied in the films, amazing. You can hear stuff behind you, it's almost 3D.
So is there any difference in binaural phones?
Seems like I got a pair in error . . .nor do I like 'em!


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The binaural adjective doesn’t apply to headphones, but to an audio stream optimized for headphones.

When you hear a sound, the signal is altered by the ear form, and the brain is smart enough to deduce from the alterations where the sound come from.

With a binaural record, the sound is altered (with a head model with a copy of the ear form and microphones in the ears), then, the headphones send to your ears a signal which is altered and this fool the brain/ear which deduce the origin of the sound when it was recorded.

Last edited by Frédéric L; 10/01/21 02:57 PM.

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Yamaha CLP150, Bechstein Digital Grand, Garritan CFX, Ivory II pianos, Galaxy pianos, EWQL Pianos, Native-Instrument The Definitive Piano Collection, Soniccouture Hammersmith, Truekeys, Pianoteq
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Basically, binaural recordings, when listened to on headphones, can be used to experience surround sound.

Try this video with headphones:



Also, I'm working on binaural rendered pianos (using ambisonics, which is a way to record surround sound). Skip to the end of my video for a demo of a prototype:



1928 Mason & Hamlin Model A
Play it as a VI HERE and binaurally HERE
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I know two VST with binaural rendering : Garritan CFX full (player perspective, KU100 microphone), and the Hammersmith from Soniccouture (also a KU100 microphone).


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PianoTeq also has a nice binaural rendering with adjustments for headsize etc.

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I think Dore's Mason and Hamlin is binaural and free smile

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peterws Offline OP
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Originally Posted by newer player
PianoTeq also has a nice binaural rendering with adjustments for headsize etc.

Interesting to see what sizes the heads go up to . . . smile

I've tried PTq with binaural setting, on my new cans which say they too, are binaural.
Bloo*dy awful!


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Originally Posted by peterws
...on my new cans which say they too, are binaural.

Well, maybe that's the problem -- the "binaural cans".

Either they do nothing or they do something completely fake.

So, if you listen to a fake piano, with a fake binaural setting with fake binaural cans, it's not going to sound good.

(Exactly how "fake" is Pianoteq's binaural sound could lead to complex philosophical discussions about epistemology and such, so let's not go there... But it's not a recording made with binaural microphones, so it's a "simulation".)

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Originally Posted by peterws
on my new cans which say they too, are binaural

Which can are claimed to be binaural ? Normally, a binaural recording works on any headphones. I don’t think their would be an headphones pair more binaural than an other.


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I think open headphones do just that - they create a sound stage so it sounds like the sound comes from somewhere else. It works better on movies and may be some good pianos than entry-mid point slabs.


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peterws Offline OP
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Originally Posted by clothearednincompo
Originally Posted by peterws
...on my new cans which say they too, are binaural.

Well, maybe that's the problem -- the "binaural cans".

Either they do nothing or they do something completely fake.

So, if you listen to a fake piano, with a fake binaural setting with fake binaural cans, it's not going to sound good.

(Exactly how "fake" is Pianoteq's binaural sound could lead to complex philosophical discussions about epistemology and such, so let's not go there... But it's not a recording made with binaural microphones, so it's a "simulation".)

Now, hang on! One o' those "fakes" as you succinctly put it, is fake. That leaves two. Two "fakes" equals four "reals" in mathematical terms. Am I right or am I right? smile


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I don’t know about « fakes » in mathematics… only about « imaginary ». Two « imaginary » is stil « imaginary ». Only a squared « imaginary » is « real ».

Back to audio effects. The « binaural » effect should be made to emulate the ear form alteration. If you tried to apply this effect twice or more, I can’t imagine how the result would be natural.

I also can’t interpret what means « binaural » about headphones. I have googled « binaural headphones « , and found some articles… but I am puzzled : what are they have more than 60 years old headphones which are not claimed to be binaural.


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I saw "binaural" headphones meaning two cups, one for each ear as opposed to a mono headset with just one cup.

And then there were Sennheiser earbuds with binaural microphones.

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FWIW, I have played the Yamaha CLP-785 and I expected to be blown away by the famed "Binaural" effect as others had reported on this forum.

It ended up a being a nothingburger, at least for me. OK, I played the headphones available in the shop; but then again, one assumes a shop would have headphones that are good enough to make the binaural effect noticeable by the prospective client. And yes, the idea of the binaural sound is that it works with every (decent) headphones, without need for a dedicated "binaural headphone".

I have read around that it works for some and not for others. I think I belong to the "others" category.

I have now stopped considering the Binaural feature as an element in my decision about a future digital piano. In the end, the sound of the CA99 from the very same headphones was quite satisfactory.

I think when the CA100 comes out (and hoping it does not have all the software issues of the CA99) a lot of people will not really mind the absence of a "binaural" feature. They will mind how it sounds with the headphones on.


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The binaural effect can be quite obvious when the sound comes from a fancy position relative to the listener. With a piano where the sound comes from the front of you, the difference with a stereo record is slighter.


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Just very recently I got binaural headphones ... well, as has been pointed out already (I think), all headphones are binaural, but these have binaural microphones built in. It's the Roland CS-10EM. It's early days for me with these yet, but the effects are quite convincing so far. The best example was a recording I made while standing underneath a plastic roof, on which raindrops were falling, individually. When listening to the recording later, it is actually exactly as if the raindrops are impacting above my head. Quite revelatory!


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Headphones are binaural only when put on/in/around ears.
They become stereo otherwise!
Sorry, could not resist laugh


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