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Binaural Sound For The Whole System or Internet Browsers
Wyld Stallyn
post Mar 29 2013, 15:50
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Hello, recently I found myself wondering if there is a way to apply a binaural DSP to the whole system, i.e. have the soundcard driver directly communicate with it to alter the stream from the get-go.

The reason I wonder about this is because I have very diverse music interests and tend to browse the web on YT etc. looking for more interesting music because that's where the choice of complete titles is greatest, and I find the idea of having to download everything where I find the stereo image lacking a bit cumbersome.

For more technical details, I use Opera on a Win 7 64-bit OS and currently own an ASUS soundcard with ASUS drivers, which I may or may not replace with an ODAC in the long run. Of course this would complicate this whole "let soundcard driver interact with plugin" thing a bit.

Perhaps there is also a dedicated program for this that can run indepentend of the soundcard driver? And no, the Dolby Headphone settings are not an option as they are incredibly annoying.

This post has been edited by Wyld Stallyn: Mar 29 2013, 15:56
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slks
post Mar 30 2013, 09:40
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"Binaural" refers more to a recording process than anything else. Typically it involves recording the sound using a replica of a human head with microphones placed in the same position and orientation as human ears. Unless the recording was actually made that way, you're stuck with trying to get the same effect with a DSP, and the results are going to be similar to what you'd get with the Dolby processing. It's kind of like upmixing stereo to surround sound in that you're basically trying to re-create spatial separation which is missing from the actual audio data. Once you start doing that, you're into the world of guessing and compromises, and the results are never going to be perfect or even particularly good. (By my opinion anyway - some people seem to prefer the processed sound.)

Since you mentioned YouTube and stereo separation specifically, I've noticed a lot of tracks on YouTube are downmixed to mono. I'm not sure if YouTube was using a mono audio setting at one time, or if it's being done by the users. I've downloaded a few very rare songs from YouTube, simply because there's no where else to get them. But I know to expect, even before I rip it, that the sound quality won't be great.

Now for some history - in the 60s when stereo recordings were first becoming widespread, some lazy producers would turn a mono mix into a stereo mix by cutting the bass to the left channel and the treble to the right. The effect sounds like the fader knob in your car radio being misaligned, and the term used for these mixes was "fake stereo"... it was no substitute for a real stereo mix.

This post has been edited by slks: Mar 30 2013, 09:42


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