Binaural Recording- An interview with Nicholas Prout of Chesky Records

Binaural Recording- An interview with Nicholas Prout of Chesky Records

Nicholas Prout is the recording engineer for Chesky Records. Over the years Nicholas has developed the skills of capturing musical performances using binaural recording techniques. Binaural recording is a method of recording sound that uses two microphones, arranged with the intent to create a life-like sound sensation for the listener when played back over headphones. As featured throughout the Chesky Records Binaural+ series, this recording technique provides the listener with an intimate playback of the musical performance.  Subtle head movements of the singers, improved instrument separation, realistic dynamics and room characteristics all contribute to placing the listener in the middle of the performance. I was lucky enough to talk with Nicholas about his equipment and techniques for capturing great binaural recordings. His dedication to the technique and craftsmanship shine through in his incredible recordings; please make sure to check them out. When asked what you do for a living, how do you reply? I say that I’m a recording engineer.  If pressed I say that I work for Chesky Records and my job is to make the records.  I record the performances, edit together the best version of the piece of music from all available takes, then master it and prepare it for whatever format is needed.  Usually a CD master, a 96kHz 24 bit master, and a 192kHz 24 bit master. When did you become interested in binaural recording, and what bought it about? I read an article about recording with a dummy head in the late 70s.  I was intrigued so I recorded a folk singer using two Neumann U67s with a roll of paper towels between them.  I don’t know if...
Nigel Stanford Interview

Nigel Stanford Interview

Nigel Stanford is a film composer, musician, and entrepreneur hailing from Wellington, New Zealand. While achieving some rather impressive business feats over the last decade, it’s Nigel’s true love of music that showcases his talents as both a musician and composer. I first became aware of Nigel’s work while watching the eye-popping “TimeScapes” film in super high resolution. Nigel’s ambient music is a perfect match for the incredible time-lapse photography of award-winning cinematographer and director Tom Lowe. TimeScapes was the first movie to be sold to the public in 4k resolution, and if you haven’t yet seen it, please take the time to check it out, it truly is next-level awesome. Nigel’s latest album ‘Solar Echoes’ is his third full length album, providing a slightly rockier feel to his previous work. The first single off the album entitled “Cymatics” demonstrates Nigel’s love for science, boding an impressive video that has gone viral since its release a month ago. Cymatics is the study of visible sound vibration, where typically a plate or membrane coated in particles is vibrated, producing different geometric patterns depending on the materials and driving frequency used. The video clip showcases a handful of cymatic experiments, with each experiment representing a sound element from the song playing in time with the music. See below to check out the amazing video. (Click here for a behind the scenes look at the Cymatics video) I recently spoke with Nigel about his latest project, his space ship like studio, and what’s in store for the future. Interestingly you created the music for ‘Cymatics’ after the video was shot. Did you...
Interview – Wilfried Van Baelen and Auro Technologies (Part 2)

Interview – Wilfried Van Baelen and Auro Technologies (Part 2)

In Part 1 of our interview with Wilfried Van Baelen, we covered many aspects of his ground breaking company Auro Technologies. In Part 2 we continue the theme, discussing the challenges of bringing true 3D-sound to the Home Theatre and Automobile industries, and we learn about the incredible studio complex, Galaxy Studios. More speakers   New 3D audio technologies appear to be focused around adding additional speakers into the listening experience, such as multiple height layers, and overheads. Are there any technologies that you know of that attempt simulating these type set-ups without the need for additional speakers? Many effort and research has already been carried out to try and recreate 5.1 Surround sound with speakers only positioned in the front, but the results are very poor. This is because it can only be achieved by using psycho-acoustic effects, which badly influences the sound quality, and creates an extremely small sweet spot. This challenge will be even bigger in 3D audio, since source sounds from above are much harder to reproduce by not having speakers located there. Everybody is convinced that adding the height layer all around the listener is the way to create a completely new immersive audio experience, and of course people try to do it with the minimum amount of effort and investment, and that’s exactly what the Auro-3D® format is about. But we will not compromise this great experience with less efficient solutions, which will never come close to a similar sound, as this would be a lie. Music in 3D   I can only imagine what a musical album would sound like in your Auro-3D® format. Have...
Interview – Wilfried Van Baelen and Auro Technologies (Part 1)

Interview – Wilfried Van Baelen and Auro Technologies (Part 1)

Recently I had the privilege of talking to the enthusiastic founder and CEO of Galaxy Studios, and Auro Technologies Wilfried Van Baelen. Auro Technologies are at the forefront of new sound technologies that are changing the way we experience, and ultimately ‘hear’ sound. More immersive, more lifelike, and for the first time, true 3-dimensional sound that more accurately replicates the way humans hear, providing a far more natural and enjoyable listening experience. Wilfried has been recognized since the mid-1990’s as a pioneer in the production of high-end Surround Sound for both music and film. He built his first studio (Studio Galaxy) at the age of 18, before becoming a celebrated artist with gold records to his credit, and performed over 160 concerts on synthesizers and pop-organs. Wilfried then decided to focus his energies on his career as a producer-engineer, using his studio as a laboratory. In 1991 he developed the first interactive modular studio complex, Galaxy Studios, known as probably the most advanced music recording facilities in the world. Wilfried went on to produce and engineer over 20 platinum albums for a host of international artists, well also delving into his passion for film, mixing more than 20 films as dubbing engineer receiving international acclaim for his work. Wilfried is now busily working with his ground-breaking company, Auro Technologies. The company is growing daily in adoption and regard as more and more people discover (and listen to) its powerful technologies. So without further a due, I introduce to you Wilfried and the company Auro Technologies. Auro Technologies and “Immersive Sound” For those unaware of your company, can you please...