Posts Tagged ‘Binaural Array’


In recent years, I have been on the evening shift on December 23 (Þorláksmessa). So I haven’t been able to go downtown Reykjavík to record the ‘mood for Christmas’. But this December I was on a day shift which gave me the opportunity to record.
The last time was 5 years ago when I recorded this beautiful song on December 23, 2017.
It was a different atmosphere in the city center this year. I didn’t understand what it was, at least now there were more foreign tourists and the streets were covered in salt-slush and ice. This year there were no beautiful singing voices in the crowd as so often before. However, music comes from some street stalls and bars. On the ice skating rink at Hallærisplan (Ingólfstorg square), music was played loud during the skating dance.
After total 1Km long walk the recording ends rather quietly in a bar where I bought a beer.
In this recording I am using the same ultralight stereo microphone as I did in 2017. Baffled double capsule EM172/272 with a LOM Phantom power amp,
But today I have filled the empty space inside the wind shield between the microphones with a sponge of different density which has improved the separation between the right and left channels. It reduced the audible phase error between the channels which was clearly audible in the 2017 recording.
In addition, in the space between the microphone, outside the Rycote WS2 windshield and under the HWC2 Hi-wind fleece cover, is also a sponge. That sponge stops most of the vibration in the windshield due to wind, without affecting the sound quality.
This stereo microphone is very light, can withstand incredibly high winds, as well it has almost no „handling noise“. It is therefore good for booming where strong winds can be expected.
In this recording I did not use HPF. Between the houses and out in the open spaces where I walked, there was a considerable amount of wind that probably few, if any, microphones would have been able to withstand without wearing a good fur windshield plus additional HPF.
The more I use this DIY mic, which is mostly made from scrap materials, the happier I am with it.
Earlier that same night, I also recorded with simple EM172 binaural microphones. In many ways, that recording was very funny because no one around me noticed that I was recording, unlike the recording below. But that recording will have to wait to be published until later.
I also recorded for over an hour at the bar a nice mood recording, but I will never be able to publish it because the bar was playing copyrighted music.
Quality open headphones are recommended while listening at mid to mid+ volume.
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(mp3 256kbps / 48Mb)

Recorder: Sound Devices MixPre6
Mics: Primo EM172 / EM272 capsules v. LOM phantom power amps  (Baffled AB)
Pix: Samsung S22

Weather: -10°C, calm to 5m/sec, clear sky.
Location: Downtown Reykjavík

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One of my friends for many years is Gísli Sigurgeirsson. He is a genius in many fields. In recent years, he has had strong opinions on climate change, and I therefore have great respect for him as a climate activist. I myself have given up on fighting for cycling infrastructure and a sustainable life for everyone, although I try my best to live as sustainably as possible in a western society. I am also always ready and waiting for radical movement if the governments like to change society into a sustainable lifestyle.
On August 20, 2022, a Climate festival was held in Reykjavík downtown in connection with a Reykjavik Culture Night. That day I was recording several things, including Gísla Sigurgeirsson’s speech.
Before and after the speech there were musical performances. The first was Maria Viktoria who sang and played. Then came Gísla’s speech and after that Vala Yates and Maria Viktoria sang and played a song together. Both these ladies are very talented, so everyone should remember these names.
Everyone involved in this recording gave me permission to put this content on the web.
It was very windy that day so I didn’t have much choice of microphone. My best stereo microphone for that is actually a homemade „baffled – binaural“ array with double EM172 and LOM mic amps in a Rycote WS2 windshield.
I have to admit that it always surprises me how good this DIY microphone is with unbelievable low „handling noise“ and low wind noise, even without HPF.
Although there were strong gusts of wind, you can hardly hear it in this recording, other than the sound waves from the sound system from the stage is distorted because of the wind.

  (mp3 26,7Mb / 265kbps)

Recorder: Sound devices MixPre6
Mics: Promo EM172 Baffled – Binaural.
Pix: Samsung S6

Location:  64.147287, -21.940348
Weather: Strong gust, partly cloudy, around 14°C

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It was very nice weather this evening. The downtown was almost overcrowded with people which was shopping or just walking around to feel and smell the atmosphere of Christmas.
It was calm so the town smelled strongly of cloves, toasted knead, spirit, red vine, beer, all kinds of perfume, tobacco and even weed…and what is never missing in Reykjavik, a smell of exhaust from traffic.This was perfect weather to catch the sound of the Christmas rush hour.
Just 30 second after I start the recording, I heard beautiful singing voices. There were six singers of female song group „Jólabjöllurnar“.
I placed my self around 4 meters from the singers. Behind me was the audience on their walk who stopped for a moment to listen. The heavy background noise is mostly from car traffic, as usual.
This recording is captured with DIY binaural microphone rig which I just finished to prepare several hours before the recording. It contains two matched pair of parallel Primo EM172 capsules, connected to LOM phantom power adapter (see pictures).
I spent two hours walking around recording this evening. I noticed some audible time error between left and right channel in 30-40° around the rig which means the rig needs some changes in the future. But the funny thing is this time error sounds like a perfect „sound effect“ in combination with this well trained singers.
This was recorded on Lækjatorg square in Reykjavik town center between 9 – 10 pm.
Quality open headphones are recommended while listening at mid level.

Lækjartorg á Þorláksmessu 2017

Það var ótrúlega gott veður þessa Þorláksmessu. Miðbærinn var líka troðfullur af fólki, sem liklega skiptist jafn milli Íslendinga og útlendinga sem voru að versla, sýna sig og sjá aðra.
Þar sem ég gekk austur Austurstræti og var var nýbúinn að ræsa upptökutækið þá mátti heyra fagran söng frá Lækjartorgi. Ég gekk á hljóðið og þar var þá sextett fagurra kvenna að syngja jölalög.
Ég mátti til með að ná þessum söng á upptökutækið og gerði það þar til yfir lauk.

(mp3 256kbps / 44Mb)

Recorder: Sound devices MixPre6
Mics: Primo EM172
Pix: Samsung Galaxy6

Location: 64.147388, -21.936692
Weather: Calm. Cloudy, 1°C

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When I use boom in recording I have used Audio Technica BP4025 stereo mic in Rycote windshield. It is not too heavy and it gives me stereo recordings. But very often I have been disappointed with the „musical“ sound quality, so I don´t often get quality ambiance recordings with this setup. Saying that, it does not mean BP4025 is a bad mic. BP4025 has a very low noise floor. It is the perfect mic for special circumstances like where size does matter and for very quiet environment/nature recordings.
DPA4060 is a pretty sounding miniature mic, sold in pairs and much lighter than any original stereo mic on the market. That means it is perfect to use for boom recordings. But because DPA4060 is an omni mic it is necessary to separate the capsules to get stereo. It is done in two ways. Separate the capsules with space (around 40cm) to get time difference, or place them in two sides of some sonic baffle materials.
The BP4025 was in a short Rycote WS2 windshield which has overall length (wide) 34cm. So it was important to place the capsules each side of some baffle material to get acceptable wide stereo.
I end up with a simple „binaural“ project I made out of wooden leftover (see pictures).
I decided not to use silicon artificial human ears because the ears will change the frequency curve at 2,5Khz and 5,5Khz, which means I needed to fix the EQ afterwards on all recordings made with this rig.
The result was stunning. The rig I made was lighter and better wight balanced than previous BP4025 setup. The overall wight is only 750gr (mics+wood baffle+WS2 basked+fur). It also gives me wider „stereo image“. But best of all, it withstands wind- and handling noise much better than previous BP4025 setup.
Following recordings are 4 and were made in three locations. The two first one are waves on seashore, then one from a cliff, 300 m above sea level with seabirds and the last one is from a football game in Reykjavik. All where recorded on Sound devices 744.
All recordings are straight from the recorder. Just cut and paste, fade in and out and then down grade from WAV to mp3.

(256kbps / 29Mb)

The two first recordings are big and then small waves. The mic have fur, HPF is off and gain at 45db. The mics are faced from the beach to the fjords. You will hear car pass by „behind“ the mic. Notice, you will hear a short „drop out“ when it pass. It is because it passes my car which was located on the road side. See location.
In the cliff recording the mic is without fur. It is possible to hear how strong gust sounds on the Rycote basket, but that is anyway much better (or different) than the my previous BP4025 setup. HPF at 40Hz and gain at 45dB. The boom with the mic reaches the cliff edge about one meter. See location.
The last recording is from a football game celebration in downtown Reykjavik. No fur, HPF at 40Hz and gain at 40dB. The mic stood on a boom about 1 meter above the crowds head. See location.

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At Culture nights in Reykjavik the 23rd of august 2014 I was walking downtown with my recording gear. Reykjavik downtown was packed with people walking between events everywhere, in the streets, in galleries, restaurants, pubs and shops. I spent most of the day with AudioTechnica BP4025 on boom until I noticed that the sound was probably not as good as expected for music events. So I cycled home and changed to recently made „MKH20 binaural array„, hoping that it would give a better result.
What interested me most was the six hour event in Hallgrímskirkja church. It was a music event with choirs, organ, sing along and many other kind of music. I spent almost two hours there recording to the end of the event. The last one was the choir Schola cantorum. This choir have beautiful voices and that evening they mostly sang hymn songs and prayers, some very old.
Even though I am completely nonreligious, their prayers and songs touched me deeply . It somehow reminded my all in one, of my childhood, the beautiful nature and the wonders of life .
As in a field recording this recording has its own character with average quality. But honestly, it is the most beautiful music I have ever recorded.
I was probably 15 meters from the choir. People walked trough the church siting down and listening for a while, then walking away all the time so you will hear lot of cloth rustling. Outside there was a huge downtown street party which can be heard during the last minutes of the last song when the side doors of the church was opened.
Quality headphones are recommended while listening.

Einlægur bænasöngur

Hér er á ferðinni upptaka sem tekin var upp á Menningarnótt 23. ágúst 2014 í Hallgrimskirkju. Þennan dag stóð þar yfir 6 tíma dagskrá sem kölluð var Sálmafoss, þar sem ýmsir flytendur komu fram. Í lokin kom fram kórinn Schola cantorum undir stjórn Harðar Áskelssonar með sálmalög og bænir.
Upptakan er lítilega samansett þar sem skarkali og drukknir menn trufluðu upptökuna nokkrum sinnum og tóku stemninguna alveg úr sambandi í þessum frábæra söng. Eftir stóðu þó fjórir sálmar sem eru þessir:

1. „Heyr himna smiður„. Sálmur eftir Kolbein Tumason (1173-1208) . Lag eftir Þorkel Sigurbjörnsson (1938-2013).

2. „Til þín, Drottinn hnatta og heima“. Sálmur eftir Pál V. G. Kolka (1895-1971). Lag eftir Þorkel Sigurbjörnsson (1938-2013).

3. „Vertu guð faðir faðir minn„. Sálmur eftir Hallgrím Pétursson (1614-1674). Lag eftir Jakob Tryggvason (1907-1999).

4. „Nú hverfur sól í haf„. Sálmur eftir Sigurbjörn Einarsson (1911-2008). Lag eftir Þorkel Sigurbjörsson (1938-2013).

„Nú hverfur sól í haf“ er svo endurtekið eftir að Sr. Jón Dalbú Hróbjartsson sóknarprestur fer með bænina „Faðir vor“, en þá gengur kórinn einn hring um kirkjuna og endar sönginn frammi í andyri. Á meðan á því stendur eru dyr kikjuskipsins opnaðar, en þá má heyra í því villta partýi sem fyrir utan var.
Upptakan er birt með leyfi kórsins.
Mælt er með því að hlusta á þessa upptöku í góðum heyrnartólum.

Download mp3 file (265kbps/35,5Mb)

Recorder: Sound devices 744
Mics: Sennheiser MKH20 (Binaural)
Pics. Canon EOS-M
Rec. Location. 64.141801, -21.926812

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IMG_0467 (1400x933)

„Oh boy another fireworks recording“. This came up in my mind when I decided to put this recording on the web.
But this recording was made in the end of the Reykjavik Culture Nights at 23rd of August 2014 when one third of the Icelandic population was in down town Reykjavik in a wonderful weather. As usual after the rock concert finished, the program ends with a great Fireworks show. This show is normally a big hit…even for recordists.
This recording was a „Binaural array test“. It is a microphone setup I hope I can develop for my needs for nature recordings. It is a pair of MKH20 microphones in a single Rycote stereo windshield which I hope will give a better result than AB40 array with BBG Rycote windshield. I also hope it will give more natural and relaxing „sound space“ while listening, similar as binaural recordings with Dummy head. Fireworks are probably not the best sound source for such test, but anyway MKH20 is a grate sounding mic and in this case it was important to detect sound from all directions to pick up the echo from buildings all around. The rumble bass and the calm music in the background is coming from the concert stage. The fireworks start slowly but end in total madness.
I recommend quality headphones while listening.
I will not inform about my opinion about this test- recording , but you are welcome to leave a comment below.

Flugeldar á menninganótt 2014

Það getur verið álika spennandi að hljóðriat flugelda eins og að mynda þá. Er það ekki í fyrsta sinn sem ég set upptökur af slíku efni á þennan vef.
Á menningarnótt notaði ég tækifærið og prófaði nýja uppsetningu á hljóðnemum sem ég bind miklar vonir með að ég geti nýtt mér í framtíðinnni við náttúruupptökur. Er þar stuðst við svokallaða Binaural uppsetningu þar sem staðsetning hljóðnema á að líkja sem mest eftir mannseyranu.
Upptakan af sýningunni fer hægt af stað en verður tryllingsleg undir lokin. Bassinn og tónlistin í bakgrunni kemur frá hljómsveitarsviðinu framan við Arnarhól. Ég mæli með góðum heyrnartólum til að hlusta á upptökuna
Varðandi upptökuna af flugeldasýningunni þá má segja að hún sé þolanleg, en stóðst samt ekki væntingar. Ég fer ekki nánar út í þá sálma hér, en leyfi hlustendum að dæma og segja frá sinni skoðun í „leave a comment“ hér fyrir neðan.

Download mp3 file (256kbps / 24,5Mb)

Recorder: Sound devices 744
Mics: Sennheiser MKH20 (binaual array)
Pics: Canon EOS-M

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