Spatial Audio--SCENES Lifelike 3D audio recording headphone INTRODUCTION!

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George Jackson

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Hello Everyone,

        I believe those who have interest in spatial audio know that there are spatial audio speakers and headphones on the market, as well as some unlisted.  But all those are concerned about devices to listening to spatial audio. However, there are seldom to collect and capture spatial audio equipment. You might hear about the prestigious SENNHEISER is under way to push the Sennheiser Ambeo Smart headset.
        However, there have been a VR audio company SCENES SOUND that has released a familiar in-ear headphone "SCENES Lifelike "  to capture 3D audio sound which can tell spatial info of sound source in the environment.

   

    It is world's first in-ear headphone that incorporates binaural microphone for iPhone users to capture mobile 3D audio. Because it has an Apple MFi-certified Lightning connector, the headset integrates seamlessly with all compatible Apple iOS devices equipped with lightning connector. It is really easy and convenient to use.  Owner of iOS devices can produce high quality 3D binaural audio by just wearing this headphone. Without downloading any extra app, just using iPhone built-in video/audio software to record. Also, it uses iPhone directly for power and storage. You don't need to worry about charging issues. Besides, it works as a high end earphone, you can immediately experience the immersive audio after recording, and sharing. Any pair of headphones can be used to playback the audio.
   Below are some 3D audio recorded by iPhone 6 and SCENES Lifelike.
   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dP7XChShXMQ
   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6-Ee4gWaco&t=18s

  In addition, the PC version has come out and planned to be for sale. The Android version is under way to negotiate with mobile devices manufacturers because of its compatiblity issues.
   
  Scenes Lifelike 3D Headset now is officially launching on INDIEGOGO crowdfunding, and some perks have limited units. If you guys wanna purchase it, grab one now: https://igg.me/at/sceneslifelike
 
« Last Edit: 2 Sep 2017, 03:58 pm by George Jackson »

Letitroll98

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How many of us record our own music?  I would say very few, therefore the device is a novelty for recording family gatherings and sporting events so one person at a time can listen to it.  And what about Android?  Could be a fun toy for iPhone users, not much use for high end audio unless someone plans to release music on yet another format.

George Jackson

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How many of us record our own music?  I would say very few, therefore the device is a novelty for recording family gatherings and sporting events so one person at a time can listen to it.  And what about Android?  Could be a fun toy for iPhone users, not much use for high end audio unless someone plans to release music on yet another format.


   Yeah, your words are objective. It is pretty suitable for recording some surrounding environment in our daily lives, like friends gathering, music concert, travelling etc. But it also will change the way you record and listen to the world. Because you will experience more immersive listening just like you were there listening if you put on headphones to hear 3D audio recorded by it.
  So far, the devices is just for iPhone and iPad, but the Android version is under way to solve the compatibility issues with Android phones manufacturers.

George Jackson

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This was interesting to me, because I tried a few recordings in the past, and just last night I watched a cellphone video of a lightning strike that someone recorded.  The lightning strike illustrated some troubling aspects of personal recording that have been around since forever: One is the lack of the ultra-deep bass that comprises thunder, and two is the transient nature of the sound.  Timing, i.e. deciding when and where to record, and then the editing chores involved in sifting through a lot of raw audio to weed out the junk is going to be tedious and time-consuming.  And then there's the ugly problem of extraneous noises that are screened out of professional (but not personal) recordings.  Even the professional live concert recordings get some fancy microphone treatments during recording, followed by a lot of hard work in the lab removing the worst of the extraneous sounds that the mics couldn't exclude.

I agree with you, natural sound is very very difficult to record.But I'll  concern more about the truly immersive feeling of reality, just like I was really there at that moment. So it will not just how to record it cleanly, without noise. I'll think about how the sound moves, where it comes, and how the surrounding environment changes the sound which includes reflection,refraction,diffraction and so on. It cannot be just relied on mic to capture all the variations. I used some products from Scenes, one of them is a very professional panoramic sound recorder, not this one. It completes all I mentioned above, even head tracking. They're not a microphone company,more than creating lifelike audio.I think it's an interesting way to look sound. Sound,like video, has image. If video can be recorded in 3D, so does sound. We also can take sound image. I don't think of this LIFELIKE product as a perfect microphone, but connecting with phone, easy to record 3D sound, and very compatible, will be easier to create 3D sound for consumers. It's a promising trend which maybe change the way we entertain in future, just like many years ago iPhone seems a phone has some application, likes other PDA. Maybe it's not a proper metaphor. But we can't tell.

Armaegis

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I don't see this revolutionizing the audio industry by any means, and it'll never replace actual proper recording mics, but it is a step up for the amateur iphone videographer who doesn't have any real equipment. Convenience and portability are the name of the game.

For those worried about the weird effect of "binaural" recordings (at least this version of it) on regular stereo playback, at least when you start this way you can always mix it down in post-production into something that will sound more normal on a typical 2-channel system. You can't go the other way from a normal recording to create binaural tracks.

I'm curious how well they deal with the cable microphonics though. The sample videos are all relatively calm with very little movement.

George Jackson

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If the system does some special tricks (which might not be compatible with other systems or recordings), it might indeed sound like you're there.  Unfortunately for me, the binaural recordings I've purchased sound no better than conventional recordings, and usually worse.  Perhaps the system you mention has some tuning features to customize for users who aren't getting the full realism with the default configuration.

 What binaural recording devices did you use for recording? You know, it is general to create binaural recording based on dummy head structure with pair of silicone ears and even lineament, but what recorded by dumy head structure could not be all suited by everyone, because each individual has different size and shape of external ears which has different effect on sound reflection,diffraction. Therefore, using each person's own ears to record will at maximum reproduce what each really hear in the real world. I am not talking the sound quality which depends on the quality of the microphone, but this way of recording surely has more chance to reproduce the realistic sound field.

George Jackson

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I don't see this revolutionizing the audio industry by any means, and it'll never replace actual proper recording mics, but it is a step up for the amateur iphone videographer who doesn't have any real equipment. Convenience and portability are the name of the game.

For those worried about the weird effect of "binaural" recordings (at least this version of it) on regular stereo playback, at least when you start this way you can always mix it down in post-production into something that will sound more normal on a typical 2-channel system. You can't go the other way from a normal recording to create binaural tracks.

I'm curious how well they deal with the cable microphonics though. The sample videos are all relatively calm with very little movement.

 Yes, I partially agree with what you said. This portable headphone might not be revolutionary product, but definitely a trendy product to popularize the concept of "3D audio" or binaural recording. Since audio is always 2Dplain, but as the virtual reality industry develops and 360° video is becoming more popular though still in development stage. The need of fully immersive experience in virtual reality can not miss immersive audio this part.
   Binaural recordings can be mixed down in post-production into normal 2-channel stereo, but I believe you would not do that. I wonder why people will choose to stick to traditional 2D audio rather than new recording ways which give your more immersion. Perhaps it is like Nokia at that time  that was still the domain phone on the market, but the emerging of Apple iPhones completely changes the balance.
   The reason why it designed as common earphone shape is not try to change the users' habit, but still using a very portable and convenient way for consumers to record something different. That is why it has an Apple MFi-certified lightning connector to integrate seamlessly with all compatible iOS devices to capture mobile 3D audio. Perhaps you could listen to this sample video which can tell a clear difference between normal stereo and 3D AUDIO. link : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Y-c5zXWfZg&t=64s

George Jackson

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What you hear in the real world with your two ears, without devices, is natural.  It seems to me that you may be talking about using a device to experience an enhanced virtual "reality" that's not what you hear naturally.  Or you may be pointing to a time when large numbers of people (if not the majority) are going around with a device most or all of the time, so they are "separated" from normal experience most of the time.  Or maybe you're suggesting the device for music listening only, where users won't be able to do anything else at the same time as they mostly do now, because it's so involving.  Do you have an idea where this is going?

  The device Scenes Lifelike headphone  is just an portable in-ear headphone for iPhone users to capture 3D audio content. I  think it will enhance your aural experience not virtual reality. I just want to say this binaural recording may have a potential to be applied to virtual reality, but of course it involved more complicated audio technology, like binaural rendering, head tracking and audio resolutions etc. But for now, it may help to spread the concept that 3D audio can bring immersive auditory experience which is a necessary part of truly immersive VR experience.

George Jackson

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    Listen to this sweet couple of hamsters daily life in 3D sound. It tells a lot about 3D sound which differs from what we used to listen.
 
   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqiOAYaqLBM

Letitroll98

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I'm sorry George, but using a video of hamsters to illustrate 3d sound kinda proves my point.  No Rolling Stones or Beethoven, not too interested no matter how cute the little rodents may be.  However I do appreciate the new technology and recognize this application may be in its infancy.  I'm a soundstage nut and would love to hear some music examples as the tech matures.

George Jackson

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I'm sorry George, but using a video of hamsters to illustrate 3d sound kinda proves my point.  No Rolling Stones or Beethoven, not too interested no matter how cute the little rodents may be.  However I do appreciate the new technology and recognize this application may be in its infancy.  I'm a soundstage nut and would love to hear some music examples as the tech matures.

   What about this 3D symphony orchestra! I bet you would tell the difference if you put headphones to hear.
   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpNtNCqP94g&t=5s

George Jackson

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This is no good.  Sure, it's lifelike, if lifelike means being amidst the players so you can hear every foot-scuff and chair bump and other extraneous noise that's excluded from high-quality music recordings.  I prefer the high-quality recordings where highly-paid engineers preclude or remove such distractions, and charge me anywhere from $10 to $20 for the professional version.

  I don't think that the audio has extraneous noise can't count as high-quality music. What concerns more of reality by presenting the soundscape at that time. What you want to hear is absolutely the audio that has no  "distractions" (I don't think it is distraction in the audio.) We are talking about two different things, and there is no good or bad.

Armaegis

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George, I think the problem here is one of demographics. You are trying to introduce novelty to a hardcore audiophile community. Yes the concept is interesting and some of those binaural effects are neat, but you haven't produced anything that will appeal to this audience that really only cares about high quality recordings. They don't audience murmurs, sounds of footsteps, etc. They want something that makes the music better... and you haven't quite done that. We're not asking for G.R.A.S. level of performance, but until the technology has improved to the point where a wearable device can produce a good recording comparable to a pair of decent studio microphones, you may be barking up the wrong tree here.

Some more objective questions:
1) are the mics omnidirectional?
2) what is the FR curve of the mics?
3) is it a dynamic mic capsule?

4) have you considered applications like noise cancellation or perhaps selective filters to reduce ambient sound while improving vocal intelligibility?

Letitroll98

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Here's one from a link listed with the concert rehearsal posted by George.  The panning is a little distracting, but the recording doesn't have the extraneous noises of the first one, and it's a great song as well.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dP7XChShXMQ

George Jackson

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Here's one from a link listed with the concert rehearsal posted by George.  The panning is a little distracting, but the recording doesn't have the extraneous noises of the first one, and it's a great song as well.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dP7XChShXMQ

 Thanks for your explaination, the extraneous noise has nothing to do with the earphone, but related to the environment sound field at that time when you're recording with it. It aims to reproduce the 3D surround soundscape at that period, and as long as you use headphones to play back what you recorded with it, or others listen to what you shared to them, they can hear the 3D sound as well.

 Now, Scenes Lifelike 3D Headset  is officially launching on INDIEGOGO crowdfunding, and some perks have limited units. If you guys wanna purchase it, grab one now: https://igg.me/at/sceneslifelike

George Jackson

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George, I think the problem here is one of demographics. You are trying to introduce novelty to a hardcore audiophile community. Yes the concept is interesting and some of those binaural effects are neat, but you haven't produced anything that will appeal to this audience that really only cares about high quality recordings. They don't audience murmurs, sounds of footsteps, etc. They want something that makes the music better... and you haven't quite done that. We're not asking for G.R.A.S. level of performance, but until the technology has improved to the point where a wearable device can produce a good recording comparable to a pair of decent studio microphones, you may be barking up the wrong tree here.

Some more objective questions:
1) are the mics omnidirectional?
2) what is the FR curve of the mics?
3) is it a dynamic mic capsule?

4) have you considered applications like noise cancellation or perhaps selective filters to reduce ambient sound while improving vocal intelligibility?

 Yeah, perhaps the targeted group of it may not cover those who only cares the audio qaulity, but I think there would be a misunderstanding here. Using this metod to record music won't feel less high quality of what recorded by it. I know when there is something new with novelty concept is temporarily hard to be accepted , but here is the trend of audio industry coming. For years, audio has been stuck in 2D stereo, but in fact sound in the real world are three-dimensional, and you could easily tell the sound directions, distance and movement even closinfyour eyes to hear.
  If you really wanna know more about it, it happens we're officially launching it on INDIEGOGO, and you could learn more about it : https://igg.me/at/sceneslifelike. I believe it will solve your puzzles after you get to know it.

George Jackson

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Still pretty far from a good music recording.  The guitar sounds like it's inches away, with excellent detail but no ambiance, and the voice sounds like it's all on my left side, like an ancient stereo recording that goes for extreme separation as a sound effect.

 All can say is that different people have different tastes, and Lifelike 3D audio focuses the moment of that time it captures the whole surrounding soundscape as heard by ears. It aims to present the nature of sound, and it just show you the most real and immersive sound as you were standing there hearing it. Maybe it was not that kind of music that presented in this recording way, but it indeed reproduce the music in a new recording technology.

George Jackson

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You're making a diversion.  I didn't say anything about different tastes for different folks.  What I said was that *all* commercial music has workers who take the time to clean up the irritations and distractions in the raw recordings, to make the music as enjoyable as a live concert where the audience is required to sit still and be quiet.

In this technology you present, there are no paid workers to clean up the junk in the sound, so what you have may be useful for special events and so on, but not for serious music recording and listening.

  Yeah, your words are kind of pertinent. Lifelike 3D Audio recording headset mainly focus on reproducing the soundscape as it was at that time. So if you want record "serious" recording, it enables to make it too as if the recording environment is clean enough. Its recorded file can be output to be post editing and clean up the junk if you want. But it mainly makes it easier for most of normal people have access to produce their own 3D audio, to record their memory at that time.

Letitroll98

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Still pretty far from a good music recording.  The guitar sounds like it's inches away, with excellent detail but no ambiance, and the voice sounds like it's all on my left side, like an ancient stereo recording that goes for extreme separation as a sound effect.

Ha ha, caught you Dale.  The singing voice pans to a central image and the guitar backs up if you listen to the recording all the way through.  But I almost stopped listening after the first few bars as well, that fully left panned voice is very disconcerting and only gets better further into the recording.  I think the idea with these types of recordings is very similar to old stereo demonstration discs, the microphone is walked around the stage to show you how neat the technology is rather than make a musically satisfying recording, where by definition you wouldn't notice the effect over the music.  They have a race car binaural recording on one of the Stereophile test cd's, it's virtually unlistenable.

fredgarvin

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Thanks George, for the introduction of your interesting product. The comments are weird considering many of us will sit and listen for hours trying to determine which audio toy produces their favorite 'S' sound reproduction and whether another one placed that note in space 2 inches to far or too near.  :D
« Last Edit: 15 Sep 2017, 08:19 pm by fredgarvin »