The development of the icons has been fueled by a general public confusion regarding the differences between binaural audio, near-binaural "spatial" audio, traditional stereo recording, and the techniques used to create them. Unlike traditional stereo audio, binaural audio and spatial audio are best listened to through headphones, but there has been no standard way of graphically indicating that until now.
Though there is still debate among recording engineers regarding the production requirements for true binaural and near-binaural spatial audio, for the purposes of these identifiers, only the following simple conditions apply:
FOR BINAURAL AUDIO
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.
FOR SPATIAL AUDIO
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).
Artists, recording engineers and record labels are encouraged to use these free icons on their products, so long as they follow the guidelines above. Possible applications include album covers, CD labels, advertisements or digital music metadata images for binaural or spatial recordings.
"It is our hope that through the use of these new icons, we can raise public awareness about the differences between the binaural, spatial and traditional stereo formats," explains Alex Kall, head engineer for Kall Binaural Audio. "Not to promote one format over another, but to encourage listeners to enjoy headphone-tailored audio at its fullest."
To download or learn more about the Binaural Audio ID, visit:
To download or learn more about the Spatial Audio ID, visit:
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Kall Binaural Audio records sound and music exactly the way you hear it live – in all three dimensions. Binaural audio is the purest, most natural way to record and listen to music, and our fully mobile studio captures it wherever you go. To learn more, visit us online at http://www.kallbinauralaudio.com