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Re: "El Cheapo" dummy heads?

Henrik and others,

> The second step is to use a real head. In fact you get the best dummy head
> recordings FOR YOU, when you record in your own ears. In order to get the
> perfect sound, make sure to equalize the headphone and the whole system;
> it should have a flat frequency response when measured on your head and
> with the microphone you record with, still in the same position. I can
> especially recommend that you insert the microphones in earplugs. (Then
> you won't hear the sound during recording, but you can enjoy it many
> times afterwards). You can read about details in our paper:
> - Henrik Muller, Michael Friis Sorensen, Clemen Boje Jensen, Dorte
> Hammershoi: "Binaural technique: Do we need individual recordings ?",
> Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, Vol. 44, No. 6, June 1996,
> pp. 451-469.

This reminds me of the time when I, in a very amaturish way, decided to
use my head (!) for a recording of a small group in a relatively small
auditorium (Krannert's Studio Theatre at UIUC). Since dynamic mics can
be used as microphones, I simply wore some Walkman headphones and
plugged them into my Walkman's mic input jack. I was hoping that the
musical group in front of me would externalize when I played the tape
back through the same headphones, with extraneous noises being separated
out and more-or-less ignored. No such luck. The experiment failed
miserably with the extraneous noises sounding like they were about 20 dB
greater than real life and the performance (which was fairly delicate)
sounding way off in the distance. If someone would market a set of
ear-mics that would perform as Henrik described, I would be in line to
buy a pair -- assuming the price was reasonable, of course. I would
think a lot of people would like to make unobtrusive high-quality
recordings of concerts they attend.

Jim Beauchamp