Introduction: How to Record Binaural Audio Tracks With a Homemade Mic
This Instructable will show you how to very simply create a stereo microphone set for
Binaural recording is a technique of recording sound with two microphones approximately
as far apart as your ears (facing outward obviously) on a rig, mannequin head or maybe just worn like earphones for when your listening to something you want to remember.when listened to in stereo headphones this type of recording can help you accurately gauge the direction of the sounds you are listening to by ratio of volume in each ear, creating the kind of realism you don't get anywhere else, which makes this project great for recording things like meetings you want to remember with any clarity as it will remind you of where everyone around was sitting giving your memory the jolt it sometimes needs, it is also great for music technicians and blog/vloggers as you can record and know where the drummers, guitarists and of course singers are in comparison to the microphones when listening over and let your viewers know where you are in comparison to your camera/ mic when blog/vlogging.
Step 1: The Parts
You will need for this Instructable:
*1 set of broken or no longer used stereo earbuds with an ordinary audio jack
*2 small basic Radioshack mic's (mine were salvaged from some walkie talkies.
*Some solder (a soldering iron and some basic skill might also come in handy)
*Some hot glue (and maybe a glue gun (both optional)
*And some wire strippers (or just use your nails as I sometimes do)
*And that's it
Step 2: Audacity
While I personally use audacity and recommend it.
(You can download it here http://audacity.sourceforge.net/)
you can use any. The reason I recommend audacity is because of it's freeness
Anyway when your'e using it it will display any noise received by the mic's when theyr'e plugged in, making it a very useful way of testing you have got the polarity right on the mic's by holding the wires against the pins before soldering thus avoiding the need to unsolder it and resolder it correctly this time (please learn from my mistakes so you don't have to make them).
***If you disagree with this statement of opinion feel free to have long conversations with each other about it in the comments section below and feel assured that I will ignore any petty crap you care to come up with on the topic but will of course also listen to anything constructive.
Step 3: Snip, Strip and Solder (the Main Bit)
now taking your earbuds/earphones carefully snip the heads off before going on to
strip the wires, underneath you will find two wires which need to be soldered to the mic's pins (remembering to test first though), you have now replaced the tiny speakers with tiny
microphones which when plugged in should come up as left and right in audacity. once you've soldered the pins you can add some hot glue to cover any exposed wires and stop short circuits.
Step 4: Mic Placement
While this project can be simply held up with some wire this causes more sound to travel to the microphone on the other side of the rig than would normally if there was a head in the way, (remember the objective here is realism). one of the best ways is to attach it to a mannequin head (a foam hairdressers one for wigs is best as you can easily cut grooves or holes within which you shall place the mic's. ask your local hairdresser where you can obtain one from (you might have to ask them to get one for you as a lot of hairdressers buy supplies from outlets only members can buy from).
The other good method is to attach them to either side of your head with medical tape (dont use duct tape as it isn't made for skin) which you can find in your local supermarket (walmart probably if your'e American) it will be a good idea to attach them in front of or behind your ears so as not to obstruct the passage of sound to your own ears preventing you from hearing what you are recording.
Step 5: Audacity Again
To record on audacity:
*First Make sure you've got the left and right mic's the correct way around by speaking
into them in turn and seeing which comes up with sound on the screen (to avoid doing this twice mark them in some way)
*Go into project
*Click "new stereo track"
*Press the big button with the red dot (record)
*If all went well you should be recording in two channels (left and right obviously)
and have binaural sound. (If you are using the rig or the mannequin head you can plug in some headphones and listen to this effect while recording)
*Now go and ENJOY