Monday, December 26, 2011

Binaural 3D Audio

Headphones Required! This video demonstrates binaural audio (3D Audio) along with video. The recording was done using a dummy head with silicone binaural ears, thus creating a completely 3D audio experience. See

Recording 3D audio is easy to do, and amazingly effective at capturing the natural environment. Binaural 3D audio can allow you to relive any situation, with even more realism than with video. All you need to listen back are headphones.

Cobranet. The future of digital audio ?

CobraNet allows realtime transport of uncompressed 24 bit/48/96khz audio over ethernet cable.

Singer/songwriters and small bands might not require such a setup; larger touring groups with a large number of signals going to processors, mixing board, and out to the house speakers require more complicated setups to get the results they need.

CobraNet is aimed squarely at those who need engineers and sound reinforcement
professionals to make their shows work properly.

Slices Tech Talk: Loudness / Compression

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011

Dolby Presents Surrounded: 7.1 Cinema & Beyond

Dolby gathered a group of cinema industry leaders and innovators from around the world for an exclusive Filmmakers’ Forum held on Monday, July 11, 2011 in San Francisco, CA.

Our focus will be on how 7.1 surround sound delivers a richer, more immersing moviegoing experience to audiences—and YOU can join the live discussion.

Discussion Topic: The Impact of 7.1 Surround Sound on 2D and 3D Movies.

The content creation community is embracing this new audio format, and more than 25 feature films have been announced or already mixed in 7.1—and a majority of them are in 3D. Discover how 7.1 brings a more exciting sensory experience to 2D and gives content creators even more control over audio placement for 3D movies. Also learn from experts in the cinema industry how they envision the future of surround sound.

Get in the cinema frame of mind by checking out a movie in Dolby Surround 7.1 and/or Dolby 3D at a theater near you.

Panel Moderator:

Stuart Bowling, Dolby Laboratories, Worldwide Technical Marketing Manager, Cinema

Kinson Tsang, supervising sound designer, Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen and The Lost Bladesman

Rohan Sippy, Director, Dum Maaro Dum

Erik Aadahl, supervising sound editor, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Kung Fu Panda 2, and Megamind

Michael Semanick, Re-recording mixer, Cars 2 and Toy Story 3

Eric Brevig, Director, Yogi Bear and Journey to the Center of the Earth

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Red Hot Chile Peppers – ‘I’m With You” vinyl sounds better than CD

Last week Harman Aaron Loučka posted a heads-up that an example of the vinyl release of the new Red Hot Chile Peppers album, “I’m With You”, had been posted on YouTube.

Since vinyl releases often show as having better dynamics (“crest factor”, to be strictly correct) than their CD equivalents in the Dynamic Range Database.

The results were pretty clear, and this is a short YouTube clip to demonstrate the difference. Take a listen, and see if you can hear a difference, and which one you prefer.

This is not a vinyl versus CD thing

Whatever you decide, it’s important to know – what you’re hearing is NOT some inherent limitation of the quality of the CD format.

CD and vinyl do sound different, but with identical masters, they should sound very close to each other. Much closer than this.

These are not identical masters – on the CD, the crest factor is about 6 dB less than on the vinyl, and there are some EQ differences too. (And, the vinyl is playing at a slightly higher pitch)

It’s the loudness war again.

The loudness war is insane

This means that the quality of the CD version, which is theoretically a far superior format technically, is lower (in my opinion) than the vinyl.

This is insane.

At the very least, they should sound similar, so that people who prefer vinyl can choose it for it’s particular characteristics.

As it is, since I prefer the mastering of the vinyl release, the only way for me to hear this version is to buy a record deck or download an illegal rip of the vinyl. Madness !

Why does the vinyl sound different ?

Of course, it’s sadly no surprise that a RHCP CD sounds like this – “Californication” helped kick-start the loudness war in the first place, and producer Rick Rubin is a serial offender, mistakenly believing that people always prefer a more heavily compressed version – they don’t, as research shows.

What’s interesting is to notice that the vinyl was released a couple of months after the CD. Since they were all mastered by Vlado Meller at Masterdisc, the question is, why does the vinyl sound different ?

Was this simply following the ironically perverse trend of “audiophile” vinyl releases ? Or might it be in response to the generally harsh reception of the album’s sound all over the web ?

We can only hope it’s the later…

As an interesting side-note, notice how YouTube’s lossy data-compressed audio sounds worse for the CD version – more artefacts.

This is further proof that higher-quality, more dynamic music actually survives better when mp3-ed, and makes it even more sadly ironic that the CD master was the basis for the so-called “mastered for iTunes” version.

And, a sadly missed opportunity – since there were separate masters for CD and iTunes, the iTunes version could actually have sounded better…

Korg Monotribe schematics

Korg has released schematics for the Korg Monotribe – officially making the new analog synth a platform for synth DIY hacking.

The Korg Monotribe schematics can be downloaded from the Korg site. Note that, to download the schematics, you have to agree that any DIY mods that you do void your warranty.