Shooting 360 video is only half of the story. I know that 360 is a pain right now and getting it to work may be a hassle with all the camera’s, stiching and just about everything can go wrong during the shoot. Because of that most people who are capturing in 360 forget just how important the audio is and don’t focus on it. Read on with you are shooting of thinking about 360 video, we gathered some research and will be soon publishing actual recordings once this rig is complete!
Binarual sound is nothing new, they have been around for ages. Wikipedia defines Binaural recording is a method of recording sound that uses two microphones, arranged with the intent to create a 3-D stereo sound sensation for the listener of actually being in the room with the performers or instruments.
What makes this interesting with 360 cameras is using a head model to rig the camera’s on it. The user experience is greatly enchanced by audio that we can tell exactly where its coming from.
How does this recording technique work?
Two microphones are placed 18 cm (7″) apart facing away from each other. However this method will not create a real binaural recording. The distance and placement roughly approximates the position of an average human’s ear canals, but that is not all that is needed. More elaborate techniques exist in pre-packaged forms. A typical binaural recording unit has two high-fidelity microphones mounted in a dummy head, inset in ear-shaped molds to fully capture all of theaudio frequency adjustments (known as head-related transfer functions (HRTFs) in the psychoacoustic research community) that happen naturally as sound wraps around the human head and is “shaped” by the form of the outer and inner ear.
Who uses it now and why even bother with it?
Currently, binaural recordings are getting adopted by so called ASMR’ists. Some people find that ambient noise such as scratching, crinkling, tapping, blowing, writing (usually with a pen), and moving paper stimulate ASMR. Many videos are found on YouTube that focus on these triggers, and many use binaural recording to simulate a 3D environment. When shooting 360 video content its important to note that this kind of audio can help the user experience the video with a level up in Immersion for virtual reality!
Be sure to have your headphones on and watch this clip by talented YouTube creator SoftAnnaPL.
This samples the capabilities of binaural recordings. Don’t worry if you did not feel any magical ‘Tingles’ . Apparently this works in different ways for each person but generaly people who enjoy the recordings claim to relax while hearing this kind of audio. It does after all make it feel like that person is right there next to your ear. Once 360 cameras become more user friendly and hit the consumer market this could become the default way to handle audio in 360 shooting enviroments.
Who has already used Binaural for VR?
Beck did in 2013! Google 360 Beck and you should find the video. You can listen to this binaural recording here: