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Binaural Location by Blue Mangoo

Blue Mangoo released Binaural Location, an AUv3 effect that lets you carefully craft where you want your sounds to appear in the stereo stage. It accomplishes this with a clever combination of considerations!

The app factors your virtual distance from the sound and how that distance offset would by delayed and filtered by your ears differently. If you want to get weird, Binaural Location can get very weird, with an optional Orbit Mode that modulates the location of your sound source.

Binaural Location iTunes Description:

Binaural Location goes beyond the simple pan control; it allows you to place your audio at a specific location anywhere in a virtual space around the listener. The location of the L and R control points on the screen controls the location of two virtual speakers. Based on the angle and distance from the speakers to the listener's ears, the app creates a realistic impression that the sound is actually coming from the specific location of the L and R points.

Is it just a fancy pan control?

No. This plugin models three different aspects of the sound location at the same time, and none of them is a pan control:
1. The delay due to the distance between the sound source and the listener's left and right ears.
2. When the left ear hears sound coming from the right side, it gets less high-frequency clarity because the sound waves are coming around from the other side of the head.
3. The volume of the sound changes depending on the distance between the listener and the speakers.

Does this plugin work for listeners who use speakers instead of headphones?

It is designed to work with headphones. If you listen with speakers, it will sound fine, but you won't get the immersive effect of binaural audio.

How is this useful for making music?

This is a creative effect. One interesting thing you can do is enable the orbit mode, which modulates the location of the left and right sound sources in real time, moving them around the room in an orbit around the listener. You'll hear the Doppler effect gently shifting the pitch up and down and the sounds move closer and farther from your ears, and the volume sways up and down in accordance with the changes in distance. This is a nice effect, similar to a Leslie speaker and a little bit like a stereo chorus but with more emphasis on the modulated filtering than on pitch shifting. It works especially well with reverb, and makes a sound like a modulated reverb effect.

Reader Comments 3

Weird this could theoretically have mental effects as there is a whole field of binaural beats that make you sorta hypnotized and other supposed effects. Hmm cool.
This tech has existed for a long time, but not as an inexpensive plug like this.

Blue Mangoo (um, how did they cum up with that name?!)

After seeing that compressor comparison, I'm definitely taking their plugins seriously now.
Probably my headphones. I noticed all the changes used with binaural except spatial. Not recollecting the name Roland used for pan settings in the U-20 day's. The pan feature was developed with moderate values and moved the spatial areas with precision plus spatial depth. I've looked for this technology tho may have upset the search by no having fine phones to hear. Most likely the limit stated at the beginning of this demo....that the mic is monophonic. Would like to hear in stereo field. Nice app.
June 16, 2019  | person Em

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