Binaural Microphone

by jonny, published

Binaural Microphone by jonny Oct 13, 2014
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6512Views 1895Downloads Found in Audio


This project was made so that you could make binaural recordings which are recordings that are very realistic sounding. These recordings are only realistic sounding because they are recorded in a similar way that people hear sound. Also these recordings are only realistic sounding when listening with good headphones.

An example of a binaural recording done with this thanks to Shepshepard (http://www.thingiverse.com/Shepshepard/about) is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SBl5bnDX8Q&feature=youtu.be


First: Print the parts
Settings: for the ear and side parts make then 25% hollow or more
(1) main_body.stl
(1) top.stl
(2) side_parts.stl
(1) nut_holder.stl
(1) thumb_screw_top.stl
(1) ear_left.stl
(1) ear_right.stl
Second: Buy Parts
(2) 1/4" nuts
(1) 1/4" hex bolt
(1) stereo microphone
http://www.azden.com/products/microphones/lapel-microphones/ex-503/ (similar ones were used, two of them wired together to stereo)
Optional: cotton balls
Third: Assemble (should be easy)
Glue a 1/4" nut in the bottom of the main_body
Glue a 1/4" nut in the nut_holder
Glue the nut_holder in the main_body at the top
Glue the thumb_screw_top to a 1/4" hex bolt
Glue the ears onto the side_parts (the angle of the ears should be close and the holes should line up fairly close too)
Feed microphones into the main_body
Insert microphones into the side_parts left mic with left ear ect.
Insert side_parts into main_body
Optional: fill main_body with cotton balls
Put the top on the main_body
Insert the screw through the top and tighten (not too tight)

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Jun 5, 2017 - Modified Jun 5, 2017

hmm, experts say, that is suboptimal.
Like this "3dio free space" microphone.
There are people, they say they can hear a dummy head with and without shoulder...
Look: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=de&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=de&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tonthemen.de%2Fviewtopic.php%3Ft%3D2237&edit-text=&act=url

My whish (next project :-) ) a realistic human head.
With a massive skull, fillable (wax, plasticine etc.) skin/flesh with cavity structure, hollow for the "brain"...
Perhaps also 9lbs, weight of a human/male head...
And optional: Shoulders

Hi! Thanks for this it's Awesome! I've ordered two Lav mic from Amazon can't wait to test it out.

I'd like to know if, once wiring is all done, if Windows will see the Stereo sound right away in any recording software or I gotta use a special recording devide with Stereo mic capability?

If I printed with flex filament but at 35%, do you think that will have a negative effect?

No, ears and the sides should be flexible if using a very flexible filament 35% or more is good, I've used TPU before and if at a low infill can be really soft.

Hi jonny, do you have any recordings?

I actually don't it was for my dad, so I haven't used it. Sorry. They should turn out fairly good if used with decent microphones and if a styrofoam head surrounded it even better.

'Sorry, there was a slight ommision:

In 1. I meant to refer to cutting apart a styrofoam head, such as you can find at "Hobby Lobby".

'My appologies.

Honestly, I think your creation is rather intriguing, and nowhere near as bad as "frogbutter" wants to allude. Whereas ALL the so-called issues CAN be addressed.

  1. The "head-shadow" can be addressed by cutting open, (and a slight amount of hollowing to adjust nearly exactly for your unit), your unit installed and the head glued back together with a compatable adhesive.
  2. This assumption is actually wrong all together! Both ear canals in fact do join together, and combine with the sinuses. If anything, it could be argued that your design is faulty for not including the sinuses, NOT because the ear canals are connected. BUT, I feel that that's REALLY getting carried away with things.
  3. Actually, the tympanic membrane would be located approximately 1 inch in from the opening of the ear structure. Therefore, that's where the microphone placement should be optimal.
  4. Shock mounts are NOT needed, remember the actual ear canal is a boney structure, with a VERY thin layer of flesh lining it, (this flesh is just barely as thin as a dime). So really, that thin flesh does little, to nothing to affect the sound quallity. Well, maybe. But, you would need to be a highly skilled audio technician to hear the difference. If you were truely fanatic about it, the artificial ear canal could be given a thin silicone lining, but in my honest opinion it isn't needed.
  5. Finally, yes, the external ear structures [COULD] be cast in silicone. He would simply need to separate the external ear section from the rest of the model, and print that. Once the outer ears are printed, he would need to make a flexible mold of the outer ears, (personally, I would recommend a suitable urethane, but be carefull, not all urethanes are friendly to silicone). Then, he could cast the ears with a minimum of molding and casting. Once the outer ears are finished being cast, they can be glued onto the model with the appropriate type glue. But, with this all said and done, flexible silicone ears are NOT going to add anything to the audio resonance in any noticable way. If anything, it [MIGHT] make the overall unit somewhat structurally more ruggid. Whereas, the outer ear will not be able to chip, or break off, they will simply flex.

Now, IF you truely felt you NEEDED to make these modifications, they can be done. And, done relatively easily. But, I really don't think anybody needs to go to those extremes. So, "jonny" I personally think you did a damn fine job, and should be commended for your efforts. So, GREAT JOB!!!

Wow, thank you, both you and froggbutter took this way farther than i though anyone would. For anyone who makes this the styrofoam head idea is great because I think it should work well and is very cheap at hobby lobby there is 3 different kinds ranging from $5-$8.

Hi Jonathan,
Thanks for this awesome model, I have made a derivation ( https://github.com/carlosgs/OpenBinaural ) that incorporates the ear canal & some "head isolation".
Normally I don't use Thingiverse given Makerbot's policies (Takerbot), but felt the need to let you know.
Thanks again, I hope you are keeping up the good work!

You're welcome, I'm glad you like it and nice job on the model.

Please don't take this as negative feedback because this is an awesome start, but for true binaural recording I would make the following recommendations:

  1. There should be a head because part of binaural recording is accounting for the "head shadow", otherwise this is just regular stereo.
  2. There should be complete separation between the two sides, otherwise the audio from one side will transfer through to the other.
  3. The microphones should be set just barely inside the ear canal.
  4. The design should have shock mounts to reduce transmission through the structure.
  5. The ears should be either molded in silicone or printed with something like Filaflex. PLA or ABS will transmit/reflect sound more like bone than skin and cartilage.

Well when making this I didn't it expect it too be as good as professional ones so I'm not surprised that there is several errors. Unfortunately some things people won't be able to fix like a head would be too big for most people's printers and not everyone can print in a flexible material. It would be cool if you could make some fixes and see how well it does.

I finally did a test with mine. even without a head it worked pretty well.


Sounds good, if you don't mind could I put your link in the description?

Go for it! Just credit me if possible

How far into the side_parts should the microphones be inserted? Should they be all the way up so they're almost sticking out of the ear, or should they be way down near the main_body ?

To be honest I don't know I think father down because your ear drum is far down but if I were you I would experiment.

Actually they should be set just barely inside the ear otherwise the sound will not be an accurate recording because it will essentially be passing through two sets of ear canals, one for the microphones and another for your own ears during playback.

Cool idea! Guess the sound would be even more faithful if I scanned my own ears and printed them out!

That should be true I think the material would have a bigger impact on performance than custom ears though. Which you could print these in a flexible material so it is more like flesh.