The Binaural Audio ID

Binaural recording – use headphonesWe are very happy to introduce and share a new development for binaural audio recording. We hear from a lot of listeners who sometimes find the differences between binaural audio recordings, near-binaural “spatial” recordings, and standard stereo recordings confusing.

We’ve had many great discussions and brainstorming sessions with some other binaural audio producers, which have pointed out a need for a standard binaural identifier, or icon.

Now of course, there are some different ideas about what exactly constitutes a binaural recording. However, we at Kall Binaural Audio, and the majority of our colleagues agree that there are just two key elements:

  1. Binaural audio requires a left and right channel, one for each ear, and they must be kept discrete both during recording and playback.
  2. During the recording, these channels must be captured by microphones placed inside the pinnae (outer ears) of either a person, or a mannequin (dummy) head, so as to make use of a Head Related Transfer Function.

Uses

We will be including the Binaural Audio ID on all of our new recordings, and we welcome you to use it too. Feel free to use the Binaural Audio ID on any recording you make that is captured according to the criteria listed above. Possible uses could include:

  • Album covers or CD labels that include binaural recordings
  • Advertisements for binaural audio recordings
  • Digital image meta data for MP3s etc

Restrictions

  • For the purposes of this ID, recordings made with a Jecklin disc, glasses-mounted microphones, or lapel microphones are not true binaural, but near-binaural, headphone-enhanced spatial audio. While this ID is therefore not intended to be used with them, check out our sister Spatial Audio ID if you record in a near-binaural spatial audio format,
  • The Binaural Audio ID is also not intended for use in association with binaural brainwaves or binaural beats.

(PS. More on spatial audio another time, but please read our previous article about Binaural Recording vs Binaural Beats for more information…)

Dummy head microphone – Binaural Audio ID: YES

Jecklin disc

Jecklin disc – Binaural Audio ID: NO

Binaural beats or brainwaves

Binaural beats – Binaural Audio ID: NO

License

The Kall Binaural Audio “Binaural Audio ID” is shared under the Creative Commons License. You are free to use it for its intended purpose at no charge, and are restricted only from modifying or taking credit for it. Click on the link below for more details.

Creative Commons License
Binaural Audio ID by Kall Binaural Audio is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Download Links

Click on the links below to download either version of the ID as either a .PNG or .EPS file.

Credits

The Binaural ID was designed by Alex Kall for Kall Binaural Audio, with input from Mark Jay at Immersifi Recording Services and James Hall at Jawbone.

 

About the Author

Alex KallI'm the owner and head engineer here at Kall Binaural Audio. Aside from my career/love affair with binaural audio recording, I've worked as Symphony Nova Scotia’s stage manager and marketing coordinator, and am also a freelance bass player and designer.View all posts by Alex Kall →

  1. Brian KatzBrian Katz06-02-2013

    Your specification for use of the binaural logo currently appears restricted to direct recordings, not synthesized binaural audio, which employ for example convolutions with HRTFs. Could you please clarifiy if the term “recording” can be extrapolated to a more generalized binaural “audio”?

    • Alex KallAlex Kall08-14-2013

      Hi Brian and thanks for your comment. It’s tricky to accurately draw the line between what qualifies as binaural audio and what does not. I would include synthesized binaural recordings in my own definition, provided that they take into account the size and shape of both a human head and its pinnae in whatever methods they use to recreate the three dimensional sound space. I hope that’s helpful.