Dr. Chesky’s Sensational Fantastic and Simply Amazing Binaural Sound Show! [TrackList follows] – Chesky/HDTracks FLAC stereo download (192K-24-bit) (True binaural EQ’d for speaker playback) [8/28/12] *****:
Sorry it’s taken me a while to get to the Chesky binaural series, but there were some website problems. As the founder The Binaural Source and an authority on binaural I was naturally very interested. I had all along thought this was merely a new version of Chesky’s earlier sample which which was on multichannel SACD and titled Dr. Chesky’s Magnificent, Fabulous, Absurd & Insane 5.1 Surround Show (SACD 273), but it turned out to be entirely new material recorded only with Chesky’s own B & K dummy binaural head, with two omnidirectional mics in its ears. Therefore I couldn’t do any comparison between the two discs as I expected. The 5.1 effort made every conceivable use of surround in its reproduction and is great, but the binaural demo is a different thing altogether.
The new Chesky binaural series has a few things going for it, which were not available when I launched The Binaural Source. First, they have equalized the original binaural recordings so that they sound normal on loudspeakers. Usually binaural recordings, which are designed specifically for listening back on stereo headphones, lack a proper bass end when played thru loudspeakers. But the processing Chesky has done seems to work well without affecting the tonal quality of the sound. David Chesky collaborated with Princeton professor Edgar Y. Choueiri to get their binaural program underway. The 360-degree sonic effect of binaural is lost on speakers, but if you get the new BACCH 3D Sound speakers which Chesky has helped developed, they will supposedly reclaim the spatial realism of binaural even tho reproduced via loudspeakers. Otherwise the effect is just similar to good stereo, except that it sounds a bit distant, as do the Nimbus Ambisonics CDs when just heard in normal stereo, without decoding. Secondly, the binaural tracks are available as hi-res downloads, and I selected the 192K/24-bit ones to burn on a DVD-R. While the technical level of the original recordings really doesn’t compromise the binaural effect greatly, it can aid it in many ways, and these super hi-res tracks certainly do shine sonically.
The 18 music binaural samples are mostly complete selections, with the longest about six minutes. There is rock, folk, Arabic music, Bach’s famous Toccata and Fugue on pipe organ, a drum solo, two Mozart selections (the second one had a low bass distortion on my AKG headphones), some flute and drum selections, and The West New York Spiritual Choir in “This Little Light of Mine.” Then there follow eight tracks of audio tests, including lower-end scales played on the electric bass and pipe organ. The last two tracks have someone giving the dummy binaural head both a haircut and a shave — a standard binaural demonstration because it’s so realistic.
The pipe organ track struck me as the best demonstration. I have found that the several pipe organ binaural CDs released by Motette sound better than any SACD multichannel pipe organ recording I have heard. There is a circle of voices track, which was also done on the SACD sampler, but a different selection. The effect of the voices all around you is quite a good demonstration of the abilities of binaural.
Be advised that as about 5% of viewers cannot see 3D movies; a small percentage have a combination of ears and brain that prevents them from hearing the effect of binaural recordings. There is a fairly simple way to compensate for that and to match the HRTFs of a particular listener even more closely to that of all binaural recordings, but even the best surround sound processing headphones (the Smyth Brothers) have not seen fit to include that in their otherwise most successful surround headphones. When that occurs, it will open up binaural listening to 100% of the now vast audience using computers as well as elsewhere. And the beauty of it is that it only requires two channels, and they don’t even need to absolutely be hi-res.
TrackList:1 Storms Are On the Ocean A.P. Carter feat: Amber Rubarth 3:34 2 Back Home Again In Indiana James F. Hanley / Ballard MacDonald feat: Wycliffe Gordon 4:53 3 Phrases Jamey Haddad / Mark Sherman / Lenny White feat: Haddad 2:38 4 Pamafunk David Chesky feat: The Brooklyn Funk Band 4:03 5 Sami Bayyati Ibrahim Al-Aryan feat: Sukoon 6:02 6 Bach Toccata and Fugue feat: Gregory D’Agostino 3:29 7 Westside Blues David Chesky feat: Westside Jazz Quartet 3:49 8 Bach Suite No. 2 For Unaccompanied Cello: Sarabande/Suite No. 1 For Unaccompanied Cello: Prelude feat: Dave Eggar 2:59 9 Drum Solo Todd Turkisher feat: Todd Turkisher 1:06 10 Binocerous David Chesky feat: The Widgets 3:26 11 Mozart Divertemento In D Mov 1 feat: The Manhattan Chamber Ensemble 4:34 12 Raqs El-Hawanim feat: Sukoon 4:04 13 Crazy Kids David Chesky feat: Armand Hirsch Trio 3:31 14 Bach Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring feat: Choir of the Church of the Blessed Sacrament 2:59 15 Mozart Ave Verum feat: Choir of the Church of the Blessed Sacrament 3:11 16 Dancing Flute & Drum David Chesky feat: Anne Drummond 3:54 17 This Little Light of Mine Harry Dixon Lowes feat: The West New York Spiritual Choir 2:43 18 Tranquility Jamey Haddad / Mark Sherman / Lenny White feat: Haddad 4:31 19 One Meter Microphone Test 0:26 20 Right Channel Id Test 0:33 21 Left Channel Id Test 0:35 22 Electric Bass Guitar Scale 1:12 23 Acoustic Bass Scale 0:27 24 Organ Pedal Scale 4:39 25 Edgar the Barber 0:34 26 Dr. Chesky’s Shave