Pascal Rueff is a director, poet and 3D sound engineer.
There are many ways to approach binaural sound recording: from attaching a pair of electret microphone capsules to your ears for two euros each to using a high-quality artificial head for 25,000 euros. In this sense, we were lucky that Neumann believed in the binaural format early on: With the KU 100, the company created a tool that is ideally suited for professional sound recording.
Today, the KU 100 serves as the reference system because it easily handles changes in timbre, a problem inherent in the HRTF in an audio stream (i.e. the filter effect caused by the acoustic characteristics of the ear). The output of the KU 100 provides natural sound, which makes it possible for the producer to concentrate on composing the three-dimensional soundscape. The transparency of this medium opens up entirely new possibilities. It is encouraging to see sound experts with decades of experience discovering how easy it is to reproduce presence, movement (no matter how small) or complex soundscapes –
„in short: comprehensive, subtle sound experiences – with the simple stereophonic format of a KU 100. “
Ever since the headset has become a standard way of listening, the native binaural format has made it possible to get back to the essence of the listening experience. Any listener can easily experience it and rediscover that we have been listening in binaural since we were born. And since our birth, we also have the ability to interpret sonic complexity.
For those who work with sound, the sense of hearing is a remarkable gateway to intimacy. Agence du Verbe uses the native binaural format to produce audio experiences intended for headphones, such as walks, shows or museum tours. We create experiences that are very personal and at the same time communal (“together alone”) – like a shared dream in which the feelings are intense enough to change the listeners. They may well feel like they are in the same place at the same time as the dummy head in the recording. This egocentric perspective is also in keeping with our times. Hearing is often the sense of the outside, the environment, connected with the primordial brain and the roots of emotions. It is fascinating to “audio-transport” the listeners into another world with nothing but headphones. And it is also very effective.
Through this amazing format, the public can explore history, immaterial heritage or worlds otherwise inaccessible to us, whether they are real or fictional. The approach is both documentary (through realism) and poetic (through sensation).
Pascal Rueff is a director, poet and 3D sound engineer. For the past 15 years, he has been dealing with all aspects of binaural production. He has produced several series on World War II, the Illuminations by Rimbaud, and Chernobyl in collaboration with scientists, artists and technicians. He is a binaural sound expert for the vocational training at Institut National de l’Audiovisuel (INA) in Paris and works with Feichter Audio. He leads the Agence du Verbe, an institution dedicated to binaural production. In 2016, he received the Canac award from the Société Française d’Acoustique for his exceptional 3D productions. Discover them here: www.binaural.fr.