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Re: [ARSCLIST] Thirties Stereo

Steven C. Barr(x) wrote:
----- Original Message ----- From: "Mike Richter" <mrichter@xxxxxxx>
Of course, the Cook (at least) were not stereo but binaural.

What is the difference between "stereo" and "Binaural?" I always
thought these were two ways of saying the same thing...

A very great difference indeed!

Binaural recording is made to be reproduced through headphones. It is best made with microphones implanted into a model head positioned as it might be in the venue for the work. As the listener's head turns, the image moves with it, but otherwise binaural can provide a truly effective sound stage.

Stereo recording is done with two (or more) microphones positioned across the sound source. Played back on loudspeakers, relative position is preserved and some semblance of the sound stage may be retained, but that is neither accurate nor persuasive. However, the image remains stationary as the listener moves, providing a different aspect of reality.

Once upon a time, I began an analysis of the amplitude and phase sensed at the ear from 'perfect' stereo reproduction. That is, assume two perfect microphones positioned on the stage for recording which are replaced by two perfect speakers for reproduction. Then for a sound source between the two mikes or speakers, what are the amplitude and phase of the signals perceived at two ears located somewhere in the 'hall'? The result was a remarkably complex set of functions with strange dependencies on frequency and position of the source - and that was before I added a third dimension of distance of the source perpendicular to the line joining the mikes/speakers. It was clear that there is no simple transform between stereo and binaural and that the computation was far beyond my patience (if not my competence).


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