The Spatial Audio ID

Spatial Audio ID with text by Kall Binaural AudioFollowing up on the publishing of the Binaural Audio ID, we are happy to now release its sister icon, the Spatial Audio ID.

As we mentioned, 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 also established that for a recording to be considered true binaural, it must be made with the following two guidelines:

  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.

Of course, this leaves a large grey area of recordings that are made with some binaural audio considerations in mind, but not all. While we at KBA of course prefer true binaural audio, we happily acknowledge the merits of near-binaural, spatial recording as well.

Like binaural recording, there are many opinions about what exactly constitutes a spatial recording. For the purposes of this ID, they can be summed up very simply:

  1. Spatial recordings require a left and right channel, one for each ear. These channels should be discrete during recording and are recommended to be played back discretely as well (most easily through headphones).
  2. During the recording, these channels must be captured by microphones separated by a physical barrier or baffle, similar in size to a human head. However, unlike binaural recording, the microphones are not embedded in either artificial or real human pinnae (outer ears).

Spatial recording techniques and equipment include (but are not limited to): the Jecklin disc or Schneider disc, Schoeps Sphere Microphone, homemade acoustic baffles, and headworn microphones that do not go inside the ears (such as glasses microphones, headband microphones, hat microphones, or earbud microphones where the capsules sit outside the ears).

Uses

We welcome anyone recording spatial audio (as defined above) to use the Spatial Audio ID to identify their word and encourage listeners enjoy it at its fullest potential. Possible uses could include:

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

Restrictions

  • The Spatial Audio ID is not intended for use in association with binaural brainwaves or binaural beats.
  • The Spatial Audio ID is also not intended for use or association with any system of traditional loudspeaker surround sound.

(PS. Please read our previous article about Binaural Recording vs Binaural Beats for more information.)

Jecklin disc

Jecklin disc – Spatial Audio ID: YES

Binaural beats or brainwaves

Binaural beats – Spatial Audio ID: NO

Surround sound – Spatial Audio ID: NO

Surround sound – Spatial Audio ID: NO

License

The Kall Binaural Audio “Spatial 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
Spatial 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.

 

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 →