BROTD: Binaural Recording of the Day! Installment One!

Binaural recording is a 100 year old, mostly underused method, for providing immersive 3D sound recording AND playback with no need for consumer post processing or decoding, ala Dolby Surround.

I discovered Binaural recordings probably 10 years ago, and have been a fan ever since. The early Stephen King MIST CD (love the story and audio book, hate the movie, mostly due to Frank Darabont’s changes and excesses in group dynamics, creating caricatures rather than characters) and Clive Barker’s INHUMAN CONDITION sold under the moniker 3D Audio, being my first introduction to the wonders of Binaural.

 

“Suspended in a haze of terror, humanity makes its last stand against unholy destruction!

Stephen King’s sinister imagination and the miracle of 3-D sound transport you to a hot, lazy day in a sleepy all-American town — where a sudden, violent storm leaves behind a mysterious mist that traps you in the supermarket with dozens of others, cut off from your families and the world.

The Mist is alive, seething with unearthly sounds and movements. The Mist has you in its grip, and this masterpiece of 3-D sound engineering surrounds you with horror so real that you’ll be grabbing your own arm for reassurance. To one side — and whipping around your chair, a slither of tentacles. Swooping down upon you, a rush of grotesque, prehistoric wings. In the impenetrable mist, hearing is seeing — and believing. And what you’re about to hear, you’ll never forget.”

—THE MIST in 3D Sound

I immediately became hooked, but aside from those two audio books, and a handful of special effects and music CDs, Binaural never became embraced by the music or audio book market.

I always related that locking out of binaural with Dolby having defined the defacto surround standard for the theatrical and home markets; and receiver and CD and DVD and speaker manufacturers, having a vested interest in selling dolby post processing hardware and equipment.

Whereas with Binaural, you can cut all of that out, replace all of it on the consumers end, with nothing more than a pair of regular headphones.

Thankfully through the internet and other binaural lovers recording and sharing their city soundscapes, binaural has stayed alive. Allowing any person with the desire to download and a pair of headphones, the ability to experience, relive, a moment in someones’s walk through the streets of Paris, or Sweden, or New York; to experience what Alan Moore called “dream cities of the mind”.

And showing  everything old is new again, Binaural is finally being embraced (for its cost benefits and 3D soundstage) by virtual headset manufacturers and game designers, who are seeking an effective way to add surround sound  to their headsets without licensing or reguiring expensive post production decoding.

Add to that a new wave of affordable binaural microphones (the one part of Binaural that is not cheap, is cost of the recording heads. You can see some pricing here. So these new cost effective mics, come as a real boon.) and binaural recording is well on its way to being far more accessible.

VERGE coverage on Binaural for 2016!

So BROTD will be a reoccuring feature of this blog, shouting out impressive Binaural recordings or sites I’ve come across. And without further ado, this installments winner is (drumroll please)….

SOUNDLANDSCAPES BLOG – This website features various recording of Paris street life, and these are excellent recordings. You close your eyes and you are there, virtual reality of a sort, without the million dollar price tag. Just a stereo recording of microphones placed where the human ears woud be, and the motion through, or within a crowd, and listened to via headphones… and you have something not quite unlike magic.

 

Listen to this site’s great recording in your podcast player of choice using this RSS feed: https://soundlandscapes.wordpress.com/feed/

And a great recording to start with is the latest episode in their feed, described below by the Blog owner and recorder… Des:

Every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday an indoor market, housed in the 19th century Grande Halle, opens for business and an outdoor market appears on Place Jean-Jaures and in the surrounding streets.

Marché de Saint-Denis

The outdoor market is rather like an African souk selling everything from clothes and fabrics to a range of footwear, cosmetics, bags, clay cooking pots and other assorted household goods, tools and plants, as well as some high-end, branded goods at suspiciously low prices.

But for me, the indoor market inside the Grande Halle is the main attraction. With its sights, sounds and exotic smells, visiting the Grande Halle is a multi-sensory experience not to be missed.

The sound recording is fantastic, and i higly recommend you subscribing to Des’ site via the above feed. Oh and if unsure what podcatcher to use, on the tablet side PODCAST ADDICT is a good one, on the laptop/desktop side GPODDER is a very good one.

If you liked this post and want to see more Binaural coverage toss me some likes, and use the links below to get some great binaural recordings (every purchase helps support this blog and is greatly appreciated. You get introduced to great items, and we get a couple pennies 🙂 ).

 

The Mist Movie Tie-In: In 3 D Sound

From the Caves of the Iron Mountain

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What’s Hot on the Web: THE FERGUSON THEATER


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Lot’s of places on the web are catching my attention this weekend, among them…

FERGUSON THEATER- By Pulp Writer Derrick Ferguson features reviews of the films that are catching his attention these days, and helps introduce me to things to try. I like that he covers films that I may have missed or not put on my radar; and further he gives these eloquent dissertations on why the covered material works or fails to.

Some recent highlights for me his thumbs down on Tarsem Singh’s SELF/LESS (I think Tarsem Singh is a visually stunning and experimental director, but is unable to add to those visuals a coherent or compelling story).

I also quite like Ferguson Theater’s take on why Josh Trank’s FANTASTIC FOUR failed. I haven’t seen the movie, and have no real rush to see it; the trailers and posters alone just did not add up to good. I do find funny, for all the hoopla about casting, that Michael B. Jordan as the HUMAN TORCH, across the board it seems, is the only bit of casting that did work.

Also, it is so interesting to hear Josh Trank and Kevin Smith on Smith’s podcast FATMAN ON BATMAN for three weeks pontificate, and really have a little love fest, on the upcoming FANTASTIC FOUR movie, then when the movie comes out Josh Trank does not return to do the fourth planned episode. Go listen to those episodes, it is an interesting insight into how someone can feel themselves on the right track, and ultimately end up so far off the mark.

And FT also puts on my “must see” radar, the films SOMETIMES SALVATION and MACKED, HAMMERED, SLAUGHTERED AND SHAFTED. As a huge fan of David Walker’s defunct magazine BADASS MOFO (and congrats on David Walker’s recent success in the comic book scene) I’ll be buying the DVD of MHSS as soon as it is available.

But yeah, Derrick Ferguson’s FERGUSON’S THEATER is filled with such captivating observations on films old, new, and overlooked. Check it out for yourself at the link below.

FERGUSON THEATER

And I also direct you to Kevin Smith’s fun podcast FATMAN ON BATMAN.

SONG OF THE DAY: HEY GIRL by Sonny Knight and The Lakers

The spirit of Motown is alive and well in the groovings of Sonny Knight and the Lakers. Listen here to the title track ‘HEY GIRL’.

Courtesy of Minnesota Public Radio’s excellent web presence THE CURRENT and their song of the day project.

And for more on Sonny Knight and great music in general go to today’s Site of the Day: FLEA MARKET FUNK!

THE FREEDOM FIGHTERS – Exonerated Former Convicts Start a Detective Agency?!

I have about a 100 blogs in my blog and webcomic folder. Far more than I can check in on, anywhere near as often as I would like to. But today is the day I check in on some of them.

You lucky devils!

One of them for this post is the site SHADOW AND ACT. the stories they cover can be hit and miss with me, however one that grabbed me as a hit was the story of the Freedom Fighters.

This real life tale, reads in part:

“There’s a new detective agency in Dallas, Texas, started by a group of exonerated Black men who have all spent decades in prison… for crimes they did not commit.”

Not only is that a documentary in the making, I can see that premise making for a Fantastic television show. Probably HBO. 🙂

Read the story here.

More blog updates to come!

Blog News Update

Quick update on some of the stuff this blog has percolating:

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I was quite pleasantly surprised to receive Oracom Editions GRAPHISTES WORLD ARTBOOK 01, beautiful French language art-book in the mail today. Just in time for tomorrow’s WEDNESDAYS WORDS. Mentioned in a previous WEDNESDAY WORDS, I’ll be bringing you a full review of this art-book of the fantastic.

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I’m rounding the bend on finishing Norvell Page’s pulse pounding SPIDER novel, THE CITY DESTROYER. So far Page’s prose lives up to its hype. It’s intense and ambitious and writ large and moves at a breakneck pace. However, I’ve read warnings that that intensity comes at the price of the endings tending toward the train-wreck nonsensical variety. I’ll see if THE CITY DESTROYER avoids that pitfall, and then toss up my review.

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I haven’t forgotten the MONARCHS OF MAYHEM posts, I’m trying to elicit funding to keep these posts coming. To that end you can do your part by utilizing the purchase links and patronizing the sponsor links. And definitely purchase the Epub articles when you see them listed ( such as the Sherlock Holmes one to your left)

In addition to the MONARCHS OF MAYHEM installments, funding would also allow this blog to pursue short story audio recordings of specific under-appreciated writers.

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The comic book cover postings have been very popular, so I’m working up another one that should go up tonight.

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And I’m working up a favorite podcast post that should go up this week.

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And I’m working on a comic strip for the blog, a bit unlike any other strip you’ve seen.

So lot’s of fun stuff on the agenda! Keep checking in and supporting! Thanks!

FOLLOWING THE FOLLOWERS Episode #2


Well the first episode of FOLLOWING THE FOLLOWERS was well received, so I thought it was worthwhile to kick out episode #… TWO!!!!

This new segment basically will select four or five followers of this blog (thanks to all of you who are now following this blog) and/or blogs I follow and just promote particularly interesting things I find on their pages:

Okay onto the promoting :):

Derrick Ferguson who is a fantastic pulp writer, a podcasting guru (I gave praise to his podcast BETTER IN THE DARK last time, you can subscribe to it here), as well as a great supporter of this blog, runs his own fun blog that covers flicks old and new. And even when I don’t share his enjoyment for certain movies (Ang Lee’s HULK,CLASH OF THE TITANS remake :)) his reviews are informed and fun reads. Great reviews on current flicks such as JOHN CARTER and classic flicks such as BUCK AND THE PREACHER. Take a gander here.

Jill of All Trades who writes the blog EXPERT OF NONE, has a really great blog post, that I think is applicable to a growing number of people in this economy. Namely, adults returning to school to advance their career or change their career path.

In my Dad’s day you got hired onto a job, and you stayed in it, till you retired with a pension and the thanks of a grateful company, or you dropped dead… whichever came first. But times have changed, corporate America has for the most part done away with the concept of pensions and indeed long term employees.

It’s a far more mercenary market today, where employers feel adversarial to employees and often to their customer base. So in this market, an employee has to expect to spend more time in job transition scenarios.

So Jill of All Trades really sums it up in one incredibly informative post. Her post was just what I needed to come across. Excellent job Jill of All Trades! And to those of you out there, like me, thinking of getting in some more education, whether for credit or just for life experience… swing by and check out her post here.

MesAyah- – Norwegian rapper does a writing a day, and also lists some of his favorite music. Swing by the blog and take a look here. Good stuff.

Brad runs the popular blog JIVIN ME TURKEY and on his site he picks out a movie and a quote from it, to highlight. Always fun stuff, the Mark Twain quote being a personal favorite. Swing by here and give a gander.

Jackie runs the site GET READING NOW. She has a fun review of several books. take a look here.

And last but certainly not least for this installment, Lesley and her husband run the hugely popular travel and adventure website BUCKET LIST PUBLICATIONS. One look at her site will either make you want to run out and jump out of perfectly good planes or seek medical attention. I’m leaning toward the latter. 🙂 But in all seriousness it’s a great site for the travel and adventure minded!!

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Thanks for looking and come back next time for more… FOLLOWING THE FOLLOWERS! 🙂 . Oh and here’s the link to episode #1.

TOP TEN PODCASTS OF 2010!!… finally! :)

monstuo
A picture of how the Academy Award losers really feel! 🙂

Following up on my previous post, and after yet another disappointing Academy Award season, I’m going to give you an award that IS worth your time.

THE HEROIC TIMES 2nd (kinda) Annual Welles Awards!

Nifty title huh. I wanted to create an award show for this new generation of audio shows, podcasts and streaming radio. And while I toyed with a few people to name it after who had extraordinary voices, the great Paul Robeson, Paul Frees… I settled on naming it Welles after Orson Welles. Listening to Welles’ SHADOW episodes pretty much single-handedly got me hooked on audio dramas and Old Time Radio, and thereby New Time Audio Dramas and Podcasts.

So without further ado, let’s give out…. THE WELLES AWARDS!

1st Category is Top Ten Podcasts of 2010, I won’t bore you with the hundreds of nominees I went through to compile this list (and this section is strictly for podcasts that are hosted, and or referential/review based in nature, be that movies, music, books, whatever. If you have a podcast, but it’s basically just an audio drama, it will be in the audio drama category. There’s some bleed over but that’s basically the division). So let’s get to the ones who made the Podcast list, these are in no particular order, but suffice to say if you see them below the shows were the best most entertaining podcasts I came across in 2010 (notice that “I” if you don’t see your podcast, it doesn’t mean I don’t love you, maybe I just didn’t come across you in 2010— how’s that for being a politician 🙂 ). The best of the best ( And keep an eye out for next installment Top Ten Audio Dramas of 2010, and yes, you’ll find THE RED PANDA there):

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1. COMICBOOK GEEK SPEAK- This US, Pennsylvania based show cracked a 1000 episodes this year, a staggering achievement, and speaks for itself of the dedication and crazy work ethic, that makes them a shoe-in for everyones favorites list. That and just the camaraderie they have, and the community they have created makes for an always compelling listen.

They are one of the oldest, one of the longest lasting, and one of the most popular podcast shows and for good reason. For current fans of comics, lapsed fans, and curious newcomers this show is like hanging out with good acquaintances and is just a great way to stay in the loop on a hobby that needs all the inroads it can get. And again this show admirably illustrates the ability of the passionate amateur to be more in touch with the medium then the so-called professionals. In an age when the major comic companies are losing readers in droves due to bad will and poor public relations skills (particularly at a time when they should be taking advantage of the current Hollywood spotlight), this podcast has without doubt done more to introduce new and lapsed readers back to comics than all the corporate ‘suits’ and gimmicks and stunts combined.

Due to these guys I purchased sight unseen the BLACKSAD HC (excellent, as advertised) put out by Darkhorse. And I think they had a lot to do with that book’s 1st printing selling out, since after they covered it the issue became quite scare and expensive for a bit there, until the new printing came out.

I also tried (thanks to my local library and their recommendations) books from Matt Kindt including SUPER SPY, REVOLVER (ehh) and THREE STORY (very good). Jeff Lemire’s ESSEX COUNTY (okay), got caught up on Incredible Hercules (most of the run is forgettable, exceptions being the very good LOVE AND WAR storyline and the 3 part THOR/HERCULES storyline), As well as SHIELD 1-5 (1st issue good, other four, not so much) and got introduced to the great web-comic WORLD OF HURT.

Highlights of the year were the introduction of Drunk Cap, Batroc The Leaper, Strip Club Bachelor Night, Wedding, Super-Show, and more. You can try the podcast here.

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2. MONDO MOVIE- This British podcast on all things cult film, is probably the first Movie Podcast that hooked me. I heard one episode and became a committed listener. The two hosts do a fantastic job of covering genre films from the obscure to the well known. From the blistering to the bloody. As of this writing they are on episode #111, but really all the shows are great and recommended. Real life intruded a bit in 2010, with them only putting out a few shows, but great shows that I always put on my radar… films I would otherwise miss. Even when I don’t agree with their reviews, I find their take on film, interesting. Based on their mention, in 2010 I rented/purchased the following: TRIANGLE(looks beautiful, it stops being good after the first 15 minutes), MOTHER (from director of MEMORIES OF MURDER), KING OF THE HILL (Spain-looks great, loses steam through the middle/end), RED CLIFF(John Woo, Great). Go listen now, but don’t blame me if you become addicted. Highlights of the year: Best films of the Decade. – You can try them here.

3. GEEK SYNDICATE- I became aware of these guys at the end of 2007, and have been a fan ever since. A two-man British podcast covering all things pop-culture, David and the Nuge are very much, in terms of listenership if not construction, the CGS of the island England, having created quite a community around them, and spurred the creation of quite a few podcasts, two of which have also made this list. These two have a fantastic chemistry, and their show is excellently structured to bring you a fantastic array of news, reviews, feedback, nonsense, interviews and just plain fun. And this extends to their website, which was for most of the year my goto site for entertainment news, from movies, to comics, to TV shows.

This year these guys and their crazy PLANETARY love, reminded me to purchase the 2nd and final ABSOLUTE PLANETARY volume, as well as Bryan Talbot’s GRANDVILLE and ALICE IN SUNDERLAND, and to put on my buy list JUDGE DREDD CASE FILES, And they’ve put quite a few TV shows on my radar to pick up in box sets, such as: HARPER’S ISLAND, DR. WHO, FIXER, SPOOKS (full British/PAL versions not the truncated BBC America versions), BEING HUMAN, PRIMEVIL, MERLIN, as well as keeping me informed on less than stellar TV shows (cough— Smallville). including: and were the first to discuss such topics as the Guy Ritchie ‘Lobo’ movie and the insane sounding plot to Rambo 5. Great show. Check it out here.

4. 11 O’Clock Comics- Is a new introduction to my podcast list, that I started listening to in 2010. With ISRs downtime I began looking around for another podcast, and this one with their 2 hour shows and eclectic range of topics filled the bill. It’s an odd show that brings a lot of good, informative talk/reviews, with a bit of belligerent, crazy talk. (Kyle Baker, comes to mind. As this show seems to take pains to (repeatedly) tell him what style he should, or should not be working in. A CG program or a pencil, it’s all a tool I figure. 🙂 )

But luckily the informative talk outweights the crazy. 🙂 . Since I’ve been listening to them they’ve put on my radar much, quite a few of which I’ve bought. Among them: MCSWEENEY’S #33 (the huge honking newspaper edition), ART OF MCSWEENEY’S HC, JOE THE BARBARIAN, DUNCAN THE WONDERDOG, XFORCE, SIXTH GUN. So the show, definitely is one of the most diverse, they do a PHENOMENAL job, introducing people to a lot in terms of comics, books, films, tv shows, and even drinks. It’s definitely a labor of love, and that currently rises above everything else, to make it a podcast I think is definitely worth your time. And I think another strength of this show is its familial nature, these are all men in their 30s and 40s who bring a perspective of wife and children and responsibilities, and when you toss that into the mix of comics and popculture talk… it makes for, the most part, an intriguing take.

5. FREQUENCY OF FEAR- Great Arizona, US based variety horror/anthology/comic/music show. It is really tailored to fans of old time radio and those old horror records, but if that’s you, you’ll love this show.- Visit them here.

6. HORROR ETC- http://www.horroretc.com/index.html- The Canadians toss their hat in the ring, with this always entertaining two man podcast, covering horror films from classics to current hits. They can be found here.

7. COMIC BOOK OUTSIDERS- A brother podcast to GEEK SYNDICATE, this 2-man Brit show (do you see a trend here) is right up there with GS, but concentrates on under the radar, and Independent comics. Definitely Recommended- Try them here.

8. B-MOVIE CAST- True to its title, this podcast covers classic B-movies, with a leaning toward horror, scifi, cult flicks. Well produced, it includes news, DVD releases, and the main course which is usually a pretty thorough interview of one or two B movies. Recommended! – Try them here

9. ISR- Indie Spinner Rack was awol most of the year as real life intruded, but the episodes they did release were always entertaining. Try them here.

10. THE LOST PICTURE SHOW- This Two-Man Brit Podcast (Nooooooo! Not another one! 🙂 ) each episode explores a, if not lost, definitely under the radar film. But unlike other podcasts the films selected belong to no specific genre. They go from comedy to classics to cult. Visit them here.

Well that’s it folks, the HEROIC TIMES WELLES AWARD Podcast winners for 2010!! Jolly Good Show (that’s my brit speak. Yeah I’ll keep working on it)! And here’s wishing all those podcasts a great 2011! And if you haven’t already received your really hokey award just keep bugging me till you get it. 🙂

Honorable mentions:

CRANKCAST

WATCHING THE DIRECTORS- A wife and husband duo each show tackle a different legendary director. A great show, that unfortunately came to an end in 2008, however you can for now still sample their old shows online here… http://watchingthedirectors.com/

BATTLESHIP PRETENSION- Well produced show, with two friends giving their views on films and filmmakers. The reviews are hit and miss with me, but the shows are well produced. http://www.battleshippretension.com/homepage.php

RADIO FREETOWN- A streaming audio show, that covers classic African music of the 70s. It’s a must listen. Unfortunately went on hiatus in February, but old shows for now are still up. http://www.wfmu.org/playlists/RF

Other shows I tried in 2010: Image Addiction, Chemical Box, Geek Brunch, Chronic Insomnia, Deconstructing Comics, Wednesday Warriors, Next Issue

Best Individual Podcast Episodes of 2010:

DOLLAR BIN EPISODE- Christopher Priest is one of my favorite creators, and in 2010 with Marvel spending a lot of energy to invalidate all the great work he did on characters such as BLACK PANTHER (who has been stripped of his nation, status, and kicked out of his own book for a dame) and POWER MAN (who has been stripped of his title), it was just nice to have him discuss the medium, his time in it, and the personalities he dealt with. I didn’t care for some of the questions asked, but Priest’s answers were always gold. Just to hear this fount of history, discuss the books I grew up on, including such still pivotal books as SPIDERMAN VS WOLVERINE (my favorite one-shot), as well as talk of his time as Editor of the Spider-man Books, Jim Shooter, Quantum and Woody, Batman and much more.

Horroretc Episode 154 Give Lance A Chance.mp3- This interview conducted by the guys of Horror Etc, with movie and tv stalwart and legend Lance Henriksen is fantastic. One of the best episodes of 2010

Thanks for looking! And feel free to let me know your favorite podcasts, or recommend any you think I might have missed. Thanks!