Defining frontiers: a history of binaural technology

Farrar, R (2012) Defining frontiers: a history of binaural technology. In: Humanities Graduate Conference, 1 May 2012, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK.


Binaural sound technology marks a new frontier for cinema: 3D-like sound. It provides an audience with an audible sense of immediacy and tantalizingly real 3D sound experience, which mimics our authentic natural listening apparatus: two ears. Understanding binaural sound technology is preoccupied with producing 3D sound, it is appropriate to define this audio frontier from three different angles: historical, scientific and industry case studies. In the presentation, key moments in the development of binaural sound technology will be highlighted starting with inventor Clement Ader’s Theatrophone experiment at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1881. He utilised binaural technology to broadcast sound from an opera performance to a live audience in a different location. After laying down a historical foundation, interesting industry case studies will be illuminated such as BBC’s pioneering binaural recording of the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King's College, Cambridge in 1953 and later revisited in 2011. The science behind binaural technology will also be clearly defined. An audience member hears 3D sound because binaural sound technology utilises a multi-disciplinary approach: physical acoustics, psychoacoustics, and auditory neurophysiology. Ultimately, this presentation aims to define binaural sound technology, which moves beyond the realm of standard stereo sound, to offer listeners an opportunity to hear a new audio frontier: 3D cinematic sound. Key words: 3D sound cinema

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: A General Works > AZ History of Scholarship The Humanities
Divisions: Bath School of Art, Film and Media
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2017 10:36
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 19:39
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