Visit our Binaural FAQ if you looking for information on Binaural microphone and Binaural recording.
(a.k.a. Miniature Omnidirectional microphones)
General Binaural microphone Information
Visit our MP3 Samples to hear sample recordings made with our microphones.
Note: In certain recording situations, you may need a separate power source for your microphones. Visit our Battery Module FAQ for more info on why you would want to use a battery module. If you are planning on recording loud sounds (like an amplified rock concert, for example), please read the Battery Module FAQ for details on making recordings of loud sounds.
Binaural recordings are two channel recordings created by placing two Omnidirectional microphones in or as close to the ears as is practical. Using this technique, the location information contained in the frequency, amplitude and phase responses of the left and right channels closely match the cues required by the human auditory system to localize sound sources. Positioned in this way, these Binaural microphones accurately capture sonic information coming from all directions and will produce extremely realistic recordings when listened to through headphones.
These microphones can also be used in a standard stereo configuration by placing them approximately 12" to 24" apart, away from your head. This configuration provides excellent stereo imaging for listening through loudspeakers or headphones.
Battery modules (power supplies)
The Hyper-cardioid and Mini-shotgun elements allows the recordist to
make excellent recordings from greater distances than even the Cardioids
will allow. When compared to an Omni directional element, a recording
made with hyper Cardioid microphones will sound as is if the microphones
were much closer to the sound source. This can be a great advantage when
making recordings from a distance. They will also do a great job of reducing
unwanted audience noise from the sides and rear. The Sub-cardioid elements
are great to use when the acoustics of the venue you are recording in
are good, but you want to get rid of some of the crowd noise. They are
basically a compromise between an Omni and Cardioid element.
(a.k.a. Omnidirectional vs Unidirectional)
This FAQ will answer many frequently asked questions when considering
whether you need to use Binaural, Cardioid or Hyper/Super Cardioid mics......
Cardioid microphones are Uni-directional microphones and pick up sound mostly in the direction you point them. They cannot be used to make binaural recordings, but can, of course, be used to make stereo recordings. Because of this directionality, they have certain advantages over Omni-directional mics in some situations.
2- How can a Binaural mic be used to make a stereo recording?
In addition, when you need a good sounding mic and have a limited budget, Omni mics would be a better choice as cardioid mics of the same quality cost 2 to 3 times as much as omnis.
5- When is it advantageous to use Cardioid mics?
Since Cardiods are directional mics, they will greatly reduce excess reflected sound coming at the mics from all over the venue. They do a good job of reducing unwanted audience noise from the sides are rear. While they can be used up close with excellent results, they excel over Omni mics when recording from a distance. In fact, there are different levels of directionality available, including Sub-cardioid, (regular) Cardioid, Hyper-cardioid and Super-Cardioid (sometimes called shotgun) mics. In general, the further you are from the sound source, the more directional the mic should be.
Cardioids are also the preferred mic to use on stage for sound reinforcement
applications, since they are less likely to feedback through a PA system.
On the downside, cardioids are more susceptable to handling and wind noise,
so if you can't secure your mics firmly or have to record in windy situations
and don't want to use large windscreens, omni's would be a better choice.
Both Omnidirectional and Cardioid mics are capable of recording very loud music. There are other considerations, outside of the scope of this FAQ. See our battery module FAQ for more information on this subject.
If you are going to be very close to the sound source, omni's or Cardioids would work well. However, if you are going to be a little further back (about 20 to 75 feet from the sound source), Cardioids would be a better choice. If you will be even further back, Hypercardioids or Shotguns would be the mic of choice. Some mics, like the Sound Professionals Premium and Slimline Cardioids have interchangeable elements that offer these choices without having two different sets of mics for different purposes.
No, but all of this can be quite confusing. The reason mini omni mics are sometimes called binaurals is that over the years, in the industry, these little omni mics have simply become known as "Binaurals".
Really, what they would be more accurately called is "dual channel miniature omnidirectional microphones that are capable of making binaural or stereo recordings", but we might grow old having to say that each time, so we just shorten it to "binaurals".