Max Cooper 3D Reworks 001 – headphone surround sound – free EP on Bandcamp for one week

It’s a technique called binaural sound, which was developed in the 50’s when people realised they could put microphones inside lifelike dummy heads, and capture how the sound interacts with the head and ears, and is momentarily delayed reaching each eardrum. We experience these signals as a perceived space around us, and using a simulated version of this technique developed in the 90’s (the head related transfer function), we can imbue digital sounds with the signals needed to create the experience of sounds coming from any direction (like that so called 8D thing which did the rounds recently), not to mention information about the type of room and surfaces in our surroundings.

“For this first 3D Reworks experiment I’ve only played with the basics of directionality, aiming for an extreme otherworldly binaural experience, rather than any beautifully subtle real world space. I did include some real world binaural recordings from inside my own ear canals, which maybe you can spot in there, but mainly I’m using HRTF based simulated panning, and trying to match up a spatial form in a musical manner with the style of each piece of music. The chaotic detailing of Penrose Tiling reflected in a a hyper chaotic surround sound space, and Veil of Time more of an abstracted smooth surfaces space etc.” – Max Cooper

This sort of binaural work is already in almost all of my other releases, but it’s the first time I’ve tried to put every element into that format, because for now, I’m not thinking about making music for live venue spaces. Extreme binaural like this doesn’t sound good in live spaces, it only works with headphones where we can get an isolated left and right signal, and with some specialist sound systems designed to cancel out the sound reaching the ears from the wrong speaker.

Anyway, all that said, it’s hopefully a bit of a fun listening experience, it’s not supposed to replace stereo recordings, but there is a lot more potential in there with more in-depth simulated spaces so I’m going to go on exploring possibilities along with other Mesh artists in the coming weeks while we’re stuck at home.

Listen on Bandcamp (must wear headphones)


Damion Pell
About the Author

Loves long walks along the beach, holding hands and romantic 80's power ballads, partial to electronic music and likes to make the odd mix or two.