Keith Everette Smith

Producer, Songwriter, Multi-Instrumentalist

Imogen Heap!! Binaural Microphones

I am continually impressed with Imogen Heap and her music. I mean, “Hide and Seek” is perhaps one of the most unbelievable recordings I’ve ever heard. It’s just so unique but SOOO listen-able. I know plenty of people who can record unique music that no one wants to hear. That’s easy. I can even do that… but to make something that people want to hear and have it be “original.” That to me is very cool!

Imogen Heap recently released a new song called “Not Now But Soon.” The song was written, produced, performed, recorded and mixed by Emogen! Seriously????!!!!??? That’s just amazing. I’m really not trying be sexist, but don’t know many women who are doing this kind of stuff.

Another reason to download the song is that it includes a short video on the making of the song. While I was marveling at Emogen’s use of walls, radiators and bricks to make her recording I noticed that she was wearing in-ear monitors AND what looked like a second set of headphones. “wierd,” I thought. Then I heard her say something like, “I was recording my house using binaural microphones.” Basically, there are headphones that have the polarity reversed, thus turning the headphones into microphones! There are a few companies who make legit binaural mics. I’m sure she’s probably using one of these.

Binaural mics are basically trying to closely simulate human ears and the way our head picks up stereo images. I’ve even seen binaural mics that use an artificial head between the mics. The space between the mics recreates more accurately the way we hear directional sound.

I’ve been thinking about buying a small digital recorder. Edirol makes one that I’ve seen many people use. I hear that the stereo mics right on the device sound pretty good. I could even plug some binaural mics into it and walk around town recording people and nature in hopes of finding unique sounds to place in my recordings. Like all of you, budgets are tight so maybe I’ll wait. I must admit, my wish list is quite long.

WARNING: HEAVY TECH TALK (in case you normal people wanna check out ;)

On that note, I just updated my digital converters from Digidesign 192 I/O’s to Apogee Rosetta 800’s. For real, everything is a good bit smoother and punchy. While at it I’ve been learning Logic. I must admit, Logic has a lot of really cool instruments. Programming goes down a lot smoother. Everything is pretty much geared towards electronic music. Drawback… the editing sucks compared to Pro Tools. You CAN edit in Logic but with much less precision.

Hopefully I’ll be able to utilize both programs to my advantage. My arsenal… Pro Tools HD 7.4, Logic 8 Pro, Ableton Live 6, Finale Music.

Till next time…