binaural recording is a stereo audio recording that is made
using a special type of microphone. A binaural microphone
has two small microphone cartridges that are positioned in the ear
canals of a dummy head. I don't have a dummy head so I made a
microphone with a pair of condenser mic cartridges in my own ears.
The binaural microphone records the sounds as you would hear them
with your own ears if you were at the location. It captures both
frequency AND phase of sounds as they arrive at your ears and that
allows your brain to reconstruct the locations of the sound sources in
three dimensions. It is a real "you are there" experience!
order to properly experience these recordings you must listen to them
with headphones. Listening with speakers will not give the same
I used a minidisc recorder to make
the original recordings. I recently transferred them to my
computer using the analog input on my sound card at 24 bits, 96 ksps
using Audacity. I saved them as 16 bit, 44 ksps .wav files then
encoded to VBR .mp3 format using Lame.
I reserve the copyright
on these files- you are free to download and use them for any
noncommercial purpose but if you want to do something commercial with
any of them we'll have to work out a licensing agreement.
are the files and brief descriptions of what they are and where
and when I recorded them. Some files get off to a slow start but
if you stick with them for a while you'll hear some interesting stuff.
Many were recorded in Japan, in a town called Kozouji, near
Nagoya when I was working for Fujitsu Microelectronics.
the files by right clicking on a link, below, and then select "save
as". The file will transfer to your computer and you can play it
using any media player.
Remember- listen with headphones!
Street noise in Kozouji, Japan, July 1996 (30 MB)
Street noise and cicadas in Kozouji, Japan, July 1996 file A (14 MB)
Street noise and cicadas in Kozouji, Japan, July 1996 file B (7 MB)
Street noise and cicadas in Kozouji, Japan, July 1996 file C (11 MB)
Cicadas singing in Nagoya, Japan, August 1996 file 1 (15 MB)
Cicadas singing in Nagoya, Japan, August 1996 file 2 (10 MB)
Obon festival in Hamura, near Tokyo (not binaural), August 1996 (39 MB)
Obon festival in Hamura, near Tokyo, continued, binaural, August 1996 - lots of fireworks! (50 MB)
Train ride from Musashi Nakahara to Fussa, near Tokyo, November 1996 (89 MB)
Night noises in my back yard in Kirksville, Mo., September, 2003 (17 MB)
Night noises in Thousand Hills Park, near Kirksville, Mo., October 2003 (34 MB)
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