That sounds perfectly normal!

When you hear a binaural audio recording with a dummy head microphone, many people will probably say to themselves: It’s nothing special, it sounds completely normal!
That’s true, but that’s the beauty of it. It seems so normal because it is absolutely real and so close to human perception. With your eyes closed, you could imagine being there, in the church of Bars in the Dordogne, directly at the concert…
But how is that possible?
This technique is called „binaural stereophonic representation“. This is a recording with a special microphone configuration, which is usually only reproduced correctly with headphones, hence the term „headphone stereophony“.

More precisely, the purpose of reproducing a binaural signal is to reproduce it at the listener’s eardrum, which corresponds exactly to the signal he would hear under natural listening conditions. One way to do this is to record the sound and replay it in exactly the same place. Therefore, a signal received at the ear canal input would produce an equivalent signal that would reach the eardrum as produced by the actual source. The result is a listening experience similar to real listening conditions.
Headphone reproduction replaces natural signals. It is therefore the best technical solution to reproduce a spatial representation as realistic as possible of what is heard.

This recording method is particularly suitable for acoustically difficult environments, such as here in the side part of a small church.

Sicht von oben - das Kunstkopf- Mikrofon in der Mitte der ersten Reihe
Vue du dessus – le microphone à tête artificielle au milieu de la première rangée

I placed the microphone discreetly in the middle of the first row of chairs. The acoustic representation is therefore very accurate. We hear all the details like the breathing and body noises of the musicians, but also of the audience. The sounds of doors, chairs, coughs and even the whispering of the audience were recorded faithfully to the original. This may sound disturbing, but as in a real concert hall, we put the noises in the background because we can hear them far away or behind us.

You can get an impression of some binaural recordings of this festival on my Bandcamp page.

The dummy head microphone has been combined with a conventional ORTF arrangement to ensure that the sound image also achieves excellent spatial reproduction when playing back on loudspeakers.
You can listen to the entire festival on our Bandcamp page.

The chief sound-engineer at work.

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