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I’m in the process of designing a binauaral head with the aim of using it to capture sounds for some of the projects I work on, both commercial and personal. This might include ambience (winds, traffic hum, water, etc.) or even location dialogue. I know what you’re thinking – surely that’s just for playback on headphones? Well true, it’s at it’s best in that application. However I’m also experimenting with settings that will translate the location binaural recordings into effective audio sources for playing on normal loudspeaker systems. Binaural is already mono compatible though.

The head

So what happens first? Well I bought a polystyrene head off Ebay. I chose a man’s head because I couldn’t find a woman’s one that I liked and this example was suitably macho and ‘hi-tech’ – I think!

'Straight Outta Ebay'

Microphone mounts

I then fixed some large wood screws in each ‘ear’ of the head. These will be used to hold the microphones in position. I found the 5 x 70mm Screwfix ‘Goldscrews’ to be best for this purpose, with a sure-footed thread into the poly and enough diameter to spread the load in the relatively soft head material.

'Screwed'

The paint

I painted the head with some household paint that I had left over from decorating the cinema room. The Dulux ‘Potters Wheel’ matt emulsion gave a hi-tech [that word again!] look to the head.

'Paint Your Head'

The next time

That’s it for now. In Part 2 I’ll be painting it again (and maybe again), and I’ll be making the all-important ‘shock mount’. We will also look at the mics and various accessories that go with the head.

Stay tuned for Part 2…

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