Around the beginning of July I made my way out to Dún a Rí Forest Park with my Sony camera and my newly acquired Roland CS-10EM binaural microphones. These microphones fit into your ears, like normal earphones, and this is how they achieve the binaural effect. For those that are not sure what the term binaural means, bi = two and aural = relating to ears. Binaural recording techniques take advantage of how sounds interact with our head and ears. In order for a recording to be deemed ‘binaural’ one must use two microphones, usually small condenser capsule microphones, in a configuration that mimics how we perceive sounds (our head and ears). To do this you must use either a dummy head, basically a model of a human head constructed from some type of material, these dummy heads also have microphones inserted into their ear canals. Dummy heads have carefully constructed pinnae (outer ears) in order to reproduce how sound interacts with the outer ear in the real world (amplification and filtering). There are other types of configurations such as the 3Dio Free Space Binaural Microphone which abandons the head and uses a spaced metal bar with two highly detailed pinnae. The other option is to use your own head (literally) and ears as is the case with the audio heard in the video above. The Roland CS-10EM microphones allow you to do this. They are very handy as they fit just like a pair of mobile phone earphones; this allows you to not draw attention yourself as opposed to using a massive floating dummy head (I have been called worse).

The most important thing to remember is that binaural recordings must be played back on headphones, otherwise the 3D illusion is lost.