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Brief Published: 20 Mar 2013

Binaural Audio & Panoramic Imagery


Recent innovations in video technology and binaural audio – a recording innovation that creates three-dimensional sound – are helping to create more interactive and lifelike online video.

American musician Beck recently partnered with Hello, Again (a project backed by US automaker Lincoln that recreates classic works of art and film) to record a performance using panoramic cameras and a new Binaural Head audio device. Essentially a model of a head covered with microphones that absorb sound from all directions, this apparatus replicates the in-person listening experience. As viewers watch the video on their computers, a motion-sensitive webcam tracks their head movements and adjusts the visual perspective accordingly, making them feel as though they’re at the live event.

British broadcaster the BBC has also tested out binaural audio on Radio 1, airing its first full programme featuring binaural recordings earlier this year. The European Broadcasting Union will host an Immersive Audio Workshop this May that will discuss future audio technologies that “enhance the sense of immersion,” as detailed on its website.  

On the visual front, English band The Maccabees tested out motion-capture technology when they recorded a music video last year using 10 Microsoft Kinect cameras. The resulting media coupled musically driven graphics with the three-dimensional images of band members captured by the cameras, creating an enthralling, lifelike video performance.

Stylus investigates more technological innovations in video production in our Most Innovative Music Videos of 2012 report.

European Broadcasting Union