Binaural Location by Ngo Minh Ngoc

https://apps.apple.com/app/id1467869713

Binaural Location goes beyond the simple pan control; it allows you to place your audio at a specific location anywhere in a virtual space around the listener. The location of the L and R control points on the screen controls the location of two virtual speakers. Based on the angle and distance from the speakers to the listener's ears, the app creates a realistic impression that the sound is actually coming from the specific location of the L and R points.

Is it just a fancy pan control?

No. This plugin models three different aspects of the sound location at the same time, and none of them is a pan control:
1. The delay due to the distance between the sound source and the listener's left and right ears.
2. When the left ear hears sound coming from the right side, it gets less high-frequency clarity because the sound waves are coming around from the other side of the head.
3. The volume of the sound changes depending on the distance between the listener and the speakers.

Does this plugin work for listeners who use speakers instead of headphones?

It is designed to work with headphones. If you listen with speakers, it will sound fine, but you won't get the immersive effect of binaural audio.

How is this useful for making music?

This is a creative effect. One interesting thing you can do is enable the orbit mode, which modulates the location of the left and right sound sources in real time, moving them around the room in an orbit around the listener. You'll hear the Doppler effect gently shifting the pitch up and down and the sounds move closer and farther from your ears, and the volume sways up and down in accordance with the changes in distance. This is a nice effect, similar to a Leslie speaker and a little bit like a stereo chorus but with more emphasis on the modulated filtering than on pitch shifting. It works especially well with reverb, and makes a sound like a modulated reverb effect.

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Comments

  • edited June 14

    Great stuff !!!
    Finally someone thinking outside of standard stereo :)
    What a killer mixing weapon!

  • I found this video:

  • @White said:
    I found this video:

    Cool!

    Can we control the start phase and speed of the orbits individually and can their speed be synced to host bpm with divisions? (They are after all LFO’s right?).

    Say hello to motionsickness :D

  • I wonder how it compares to Virtual Room?

  • @gusgranite said:
    I wonder how it compares to Virtual Room?

    +1. Is it better?

  • edited June 14

    @cuscolima @gusgranite

    The method we use in this app comes straight out of this research paper by Brown and Duda: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/3333585_A_structural_model_for_binaural_sound_synthesis

    It is highly likely that any other app that advertises similar functionality is also using the same method. The only things we are doing that are different from what's written in that paper are:

    1. We made sure it can modulate the delays and filters smoothly
    2. We added an additional filter so that sounds on the back side of the head are more clearly differentiable from sounds on the front side, because in the original paper they didn't model the pinnae of the ears (they modeled only the ear holes), and because of that there isn't a clear front / back difference.

    It looks like Virtual Room is a complete reverb effect. Binaural Location is not a reverberator; it makes you feel like sounds are coming from a specific location, but doesn't model the sound waves echoing around in the room.

  • Interesting! Good soundscaping opportunities, if it works. Would be nice to hear a demo of something else than a talking human, which is normally not spinning around your head :) For instance a rythm loop (drone/helicopter sound), an ambient pad, an arp pattern of various frequencies etc.

  • @bleep said:
    Interesting! Good soundscaping opportunities, if it works. Would be nice to hear a demo of something else than a talking human, which is normally not spinning around your head :) For instance a rythm loop (drone/helicopter sound), an ambient pad, an arp pattern of various frequencies etc.

    Doug Woods will probably do a better demo than I did. @thesoundtestroom

  • @Blue_Mangoo yr on a roll!! :)
    yr demo was enough for me..
    one question though.. is the R/L positions au automatable? either locked or seperately.. have you or yr betas tested this aspect in Cubasis?

  • Very interesting, are all the parameters exposed as AU parameters for modulation? :)

    @Blue_Mangoo

  • @Carnbot said:
    Very interesting, are all the parameters exposed as AU parameters for modulation? :)

    @Blue_Mangoo

    snap! :)

  • Added to my wishlist

  • @RockySmalls @Carnbot

    All the parameters in the UI are exposed to the audio unit host for automation

  • As usual, we will offer a promo code to anyone who will post a video on YouTube demonstrating the plugin.

  • @Blue_Mangoo said:
    @RockySmalls @Carnbot

    All the parameters in the UI are exposed to the audio unit host for automation

    thanks for yr reply... will press the button on this one as a nice binaural ‘snack’ after completing this afternoons domestic tasks!

  • @Blue_Mangoo said:
    As usual, we will offer a promo code to anyone who will post a video on YouTube demonstrating the plugin.

    slight ‘catch22’ in that? unless you mean a code for any other of yr plug ins :)

  • edited June 14

    @RockySmalls said:

    @Blue_Mangoo said:
    As usual, we will offer a promo code to anyone who will post a video on YouTube demonstrating the plugin.

    slight ‘catch22’ in that? unless you mean a code for any other of yr plug ins :)

    We will give the code before you make the video. You could cheat us by asking for a code and then not making a video, but we hope that you will play honestly.

  • edited June 14

    @Blue_Mangoo - Any idea how to get this showing in AUM?
    It is invisible !!

  • @Blue_Mangoo I can't get it to show up in Nanostudio 2's plugin list either.

  • edited June 14

    @Mayo said:
    @Blue_Mangoo - Any idea how to get this showing in AUM?
    It is invisible !!

    Just opening as an AU effect in AUM?

  • It’s a clever app to get drums to sit well inside the spectrum window mix. Tried it in Cubasis 2 W/R automation works on the L/R listening positions.

  • @jwmmakerofmusic said:
    @Blue_Mangoo I can't get it to show up in Nanostudio 2's plugin list either.

    @jwmmakerofmusic First time for me.

  • Very clever! And I like the visual UI for designing the sounds.

  • @jwmmakerofmusic

    @Mayo said:
    @Blue_Mangoo - Any idea how to get this showing in AUM?
    It is invisible !!

    This happens sometimes with new plugins. Please try powering down your iPad and rebooting. If that doesn’t fix it, please reply back here.

  • edited June 14

    @Blue_Mangoo Using Binaural Location inside AUM. Tried using Rozeta LFO cc 13 to change distance left parameter getting instant crashing of Binaural location.

  • @Jumpercollins said:
    @Blue_Mangoo Using Binaural Location inside AUM. Tried using Rozeta LFO cc 13 to change distance left parameter getting instant crashing of Binaural location.

    Thank you for reporting this. We will work on it.

  • @Blue_Mangoo Is there any way to control the 'start phase' of the orbits?
    (I will get this and your compressor app once I get hold of some gift-cards).

  • This is uncanny how well-implemented the binaural audio field is represented in this app. Quick test on Sony MDR-7506 headphones and it sounds just great. I’ll be playing around some with this and posting a video. :-)

  • @Samu said:
    @Blue_Mangoo Is there any way to control the 'start phase' of the orbits?
    (I will get this and your compressor app once I get hold of some gift-cards).

    No. There is no control for the start phase of those LFOs. I feel the way they are now is not perfect. In the next update, We intend to modify the start phases based on the angle to the L and R control points so that the pitch shifts that result from Doppler effect are always in quadrature.

    What do you have in mind regarding the start phases?

  • @Blue_Mangoo said:

    What do you have in mind regarding the start phases?

    Being able to sync and/or offset the orbits between L & R.
    One could as an example start at 0 and the other at 90 or even 180 degrees.

    And maybe to sync the orbit speeds to BPM since in practice it's two LFOs.
    So for example full trip around the orbit could be 1-4 bars based on the host tempo or spin even faster.

    Have not checked if it's possible to change shapes of the orbits yet but from the video it looks like that can be done.
    So in some cases instead of only a circle it could move just back and front?

    A circle can be made from two sine-waves what about different 'speeds' for X & Y axis to create more 'shapes'?

    (Just an example doesn't have to be that complicated).

    Those are just some initial thoughts.

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