Category: Binaural


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Every year, I get the privilege of spending Christmas in New York City, a place where Christmas is spent well! I wanted to share a little bit of my experience with all of you this year, so I went around and recorded a few New York City Winter scenes in binaural so you can experience it with me!

Every year, Saks Fifth Avenue puts on a huge show on the front of their building. In case you don’t know, Saks is directly across from Rockafeller Center. So if you stand at the front door of saks and look straight out, you see this:


Rockafeller Center


Now, if you stand in Rockafeller Center and look at Saks, normally you just see the front of Saks. Pretty boring. Except for this time of year. During the month of December, Saks transforms the front of their building into a wonderful winter show. They have a massive light show, all choreographed to a specially made recording of “Carol of the Bells”. In years past, they have a ton of LED snowflakes and other lights that play on a midi sequence, however, this year, they changed it up a bit. They did the whole “3D Projection” gig. Pretty neat. I have a (poor quality) video that I shot on my iPhone that I’ll paste a little later. What I do have for you is a binaural recording of the show (plus the people and traffic…).


**These are Binaural Recordings, so you MUST WEAR HEADPHONES to hear them properly!!!** That’s my little disclaimer. K, thx bye.


BTW, the rig is similar to my previous binaural rigs (lavaliere / foam ear plug setup) using two Countryman B6 lavs hardwired into a 702T.




Neat huh? The track is available to download from Sound Cloud if you’d like it (actually, all 3 are!)

Another cool winter activity in NYC is ice skating. The most iconic place to ice skate is Rockafeller Center, but most of what you hear there is loud music and huge crowds of people! Not all that much fun. However, one of the most fun places to go is Wollman Rink in Central Park. It’s located in the center of the park (laterally), close to the south entrance. Easy to get to and MUCH bigger thank Rockafeller Rink. Most of the time there is music playing, but I got lucky and have a good stretch of skating time with no music. So in this recording, you get to hear the sounds of the skates and the people talking while they skate, all with the distant sound of the city in the background. Very cool.






Last one I have is again at the rink. I was lucky enough to be there when they closed, so I have this binaural recording of the Zamboni cleaning the ice (with no one around). The whole thing is like 10 minutes long! Here’s a minute and a half long snippet of it:




Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed my little “Christmas Card” to all of you. I know I enjoyed recording it. The holidays just feel so right in NYC.

Merry Christmas!

~Colin

Wow! Tons of stuff going on this week! Big news from Avid, great stuff from many microphone companies, Izotope, and tons more!

The AES trade show floor was considerably smaller than usual, but there was a lot of cool stuff there. If you spent some time digging and talking to reps, inventors, presidents, etc… there was a lot of cool info to be gathered. I did my best at grabbing pics and info about topics and products pertaining to audio post and field recording / production audio. I’ll cover a lot of it here, but if there’s something I don’t cover that you’re wondering about, feel free to ask me if I happened to come across what you’re curious about!

129th AES in SF

I’m going to categorize my posts by topic, so there will be quite a few between here and Sonic Terrain.

Stay tuned – many posts to come this week!

Yesterday I announced my first sound library release, “Workshop”, under “HartFX.net”. I am currently still working on building the library, and it has been a blast! I’m sitting at 9gb of sounds right now, and I’m expecting to be at 20gb once I’m finished recording.

Gear List:

2x Sennheiser MKH800s (M/S)
2x Sanken Cub (Usually spaced pair, sometimes spot mono)
2x Sennheiser MKH60 (mono, one close up, one room)
Sanken CSS-5 (Usually in wide mode)
Schoeps CMXY 4V
Countryman B6 Binaural Setup

Everything recorded into a Deva V and a Sound Devices 744T at 24b 192k.

Here are some of the tools included:

Mitar Saw (Articulating Saw)
Table Saw
Panel Saw
Table Sander
Router
Drill Press
Grinder
Band Saw
Hydraulic Tools
Hydraulic Compressor
Hand Saws
Drills
Shop Vac
and more!

The tentative release date for the library is September 15. Stay tuned and I’ll keep you posted!

FYI: HartFX.net is still under construction and won’t be up and running for a few more weeks. I’ll announce once it’s up!


Workshop Library from Colin Hart on Vimeo.

I decided to record this train with my homemade binaural head. I’m still in the testing stages with the microphone, so I don’t have all the bugs worked out yet.


The signal distorts right as the train passes, which is unfortunate. The signal distorted at the microphone level, which surprises me because the mics are rated at 125db. Possibly still louder than that at the distanced I mic’d it from. Next time I’ll back up the mic about 10 feet to see how it does there.


P.S. Please disregard the color “correction”, as it is terrible….

So this is the first post that I’m putting up that I recorded with the binaural head that I built. My previous binaural recordings were made with a head-worn system (found here). I based this one from Jeff Anderson’s design (which can be found here. I tried it the exact way he did it, but I wasn’t getting the sound I wanted, so I improvised a bit and combined my old design with his design to come up with this:

Fjörg

I used the same head and silicon ears that Jeff Anderson used, then I attached Countryman B6 lavs into the ears with foam (in the same way I wore them in my post referenced above). They went through Lectrosonics LMa transmitters to the Lectrosonics Venue Reciever. Oh yeah, and I named him Fjörg.

I finally got to use it today. I was sitting in my living room watching some TV and working on my laptop when I heard some thunder in the background. Within 30 seconds it was pouring. Unfortunately the Nagra was trapped inside my car, but I had the 744T on the table in front of me, along with the wireless receiver. I hooked it up really quickly and put Fjörg out on the porch.

If you frequent my blog, you may remember that my porch has a tin roof on it. Awesome for rain recordings. This is the first binaural I’ve done with this roof though. So the first run I ran the Venue unit straight into the 744T. The storm was fairly intense, so I got some cool stuff, although I wish I had the Nagra on the intense stuff…

Here’s a sample of what I got: (about 2 minutes out of the 12 minutes I recorded)

FYI: This is a binaural recording, so you must use headphones to listen properly!

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So, while that was recording, I grabbed an umbrella and ran out to the car to grab the Nagra. After I had a decent amount of material recorded on the 744, I switched over to the Nagra in hopes that I would capture something awesome. Here’s an excerpt from the beginning of the recording:

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Unfortunately most of the big storm was over, however, it had one more surprise in store for me:

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Awesome stuff! So there you have it! If you’d like more info about Fjörg or my technique, just let me know!

P.S.
I did a bit more SFX recording this weekend, but you have to go check out Chuck Russom’s blog to hear them. He’s doing a post this week made up of a compilation of recordings from a whole network of SFX Recordists. It’s going to be awesome! Go check it out here: Chuck Russom Blog.

So last week I posted a cool post about rain recordings. I got a lot of great feedback from it, especially from the binaural recording. So I dug up this binaural recording I made about a year and a half ago from the inside of a car wash. I’m obsessed with binaural recording and mixing. I’m actually working on a few projects right now that feature binaural audio. I hope to be able to get one of them up on my blog later this month. More about those projects later.

Anyways, this is the same setup as the last recording I posted (Countryman B6 mics installed into earplugs, Lectrosonics LM-400 wireless (I don’t have the XLR adapters for the B6s), and a 744T. Pics of the setup can be found in my previous post.

Here’s the audio: (This is a binaural recording – you must wear headphones to listen to it!)

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In case you’re interested, I recorded video of the whole ordeal as well (on my tiny point and shoot camera). It’s most definitely not the best quality video, but it’s kind of cool to see while listening to the recording. (Same recording as the audio only one)

Here it is:

Binaural Car Wash from Colin Hart on Vimeo.

So I was just about thinking of going to bed tonight, when I suddenly heard thunder outside. I got excited. I love thunderstorms! A few minutes later it started raining. The place I’m staying in right now has a tin roof over the back porch, so I thought I could make some awesome recordings. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the 744T or Sanken CSS-5 with me, so I had to work with what I had. I had my laptop, Mbox 2, and a few random cheap mics, plus some expensive LDCs that I would never put out in the rain.

So I grabbed my laptop and mbox, a homemade contact mic, an Audio Technica 815b shotgun mic, and my Røde NT4, and headed to the porch. I taped the contact mic to the underside of the tin roof. I thought I i might be able to get some sweet sounds that way. I put the shotgun on the porch, aimed out at the yard. Couldn’t use the NT4 right now since I only had 2 inputs with me :-(

Here’s the contact mic:

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Here’s the AT815b:

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I recorded that for about 10 minutes, then switched over to the NT4, because I didn’t want the storm to pass without a stereo recording of it. I was able to get about 15 minutes on the NT4. Unfortunately, only about 8 – 10 minutes of it is clean. The storm was bad enough at the beginning that the nearby executive airport didn’t allow any incoming air traffic. After it calmed down a bit, you can hear some traffic starting in. Oh well, at least I got some clean stuff…

Here’s the Røde:

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So, fortunately for me, I live in Florida, and we’re just about to start into the wet season. I’m planning on getting a bunch of storm recordings this year (maybe even do a little storm chasing for some clean thunder :-) ).

Oh yeah. Last year I was able to get a pretty cool binaural recording of a pretty serious rain storm. Below is the recording from that. Because it’s binaural, let me set it up for you so you have a visual to go with it: I started out from my second story apt, walked down the stairs and stopped at the bottom. There was a waterfall from the roof right in front of me hitting the cement sidewalk. I put my hand in it a few times, playing with it. There was a metal drainage system to my right (you can hear the metallic ringing on the metal). I then walked through the “waterfall” and down the sidewalk about 20 feet to the tin roof carports. During this walk you can hear water sloshing because the sidewalk was flooded. You can also hear the rain hitting my head! haha. I stayed under the carport for a while, then walked back.

This recording was done with a Lectrosonics Venue system. I used Countryman B6 transmitters (flat cap installed) into Lectro LM400 transmitters, which shot back up to the Lectro Venue system in my apt, then into the 744T.

My apologies for a few of the flukes – the left transmitter took a few hits during the recording (as they tend to do in fowl weather…), and I didn’t want to do it again because I was already soaked head to toe. It is most likely repairable with RX or simple copy/paste/c-fade, but I wanted to keep it as original as possible. Below the recording is a picture of the setup (B6 pushed through a foam plug) and a picture of the sidewalk and carport from my old apartment (where the recording was done).

Binaural Recording: (Must have headphones to listen correctly!!!)

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My Setup:
B6 Earplug

The Carport:
Harbor Carport

Hopefully I’ll get some more cool rain recordings soon. It’s all about being where the rain is, having the time to record it, and having the gear with you. When those stars align again, I’ll post my results.

Thanks for listening! :-D

UPDATE!!!!!!

Here’s a picture of the positioning of the mic capsule in my ear. Apologies for the poor quality. It’s difficult taking a picture of your own ear! Next time I’ll have someone else take it…

Binaural Ear Plug

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