How Do You Make a 3D Binaural Audio Drama?

It’s hard not to get excited by the thought of listening to Audio Drama in 3D. Though binaural audio isn’t a new thing, it’s still relatively rare to encounter unless you are actively searching for it online. Many people’s first (and often only) experience with this form of sound design comes from sitting in the chair of the binaural barber shop – stick your headphones on and have a listen if you’ve never heard this one before.

Scottish-based Canadian producer Michel Lafrance (The Owl Field) has learned and mastered the techniques of building soundscapes in this manner, and he’s using them to create first person 3D Audio Dramas which drop you right into the middle of them as the main character.

Michel is also developing a business model around his productions, and has ambitious plans to grow the company in the future. Aside from delving into how you actually make binaural audio, we also chat about his reasons behind charging for the shows (all expect Overnight, which is free).

The Owl Field have also been nominated for a FutureBook Award, and we discuss what that could mean for both Michel, and the medium as a whole.

Elsewhere in Audio Drama, there’s a superb album of creepy scores released by composer Kevin Hartnell to help support future Campfire Radio Theater productions, it’s aptly titled The Sounds of Nightmares. An outstanding collaboration took place between many familiar names in the medium as 11th Hour Audio Productions released Vultures Over Low Doves. And there’s new Audio Drama in the form of Cthulhu’s Rim, and The Fall.

This episode was introduced by It’s About Time – The Time Travel Audio Drama

1 thought on “How Do You Make a 3D Binaural Audio Drama?”

  1. My first introduction to Binaural 3D sound was listening to ZBS producer Tom Lopez’s use of “Fritz” the Neuman Kuntskopf head. What makes it work so well is the fact that the individual microphones are set in an acoustic approximation of the human head, and that they, like human ears, are not actually like wheels at opposite ends of a diameter axle through a sphere, but set off at angles slightly, giving our brains the ability to place sounds in 3 dimensional space.
    I am totally fascinated by the thought of software doing the 3D placement for you, so you don’t have to purchase a $6,500.00 set up and convince your actors and Foley artists to dance and speak around it for a production. HOWEVER, where the dummy head microphone setup really excels is in capturing ambiance. take the head through a crowded street market or fair, or an insect-busy jungle, or an underground train in a big city. Take it to a fireworks show or a major thunderstorm, and you will have had nature or urban humanity do all your pre-production work for you, as far as getting a beautifully detailed, spacious, rich environment to later put your studio recorded dialog into.

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