Binaural In-Ear Monitoring of Acoustic Instruments in Live Music Performance

Elías Zea
DAFx-2012 - York
A method for Binaural In-Ear Monitoring (Binaural IEM) of acoustic instruments in live music is presented. Spatial rendering is based on four considerations: the directional radiation patterns of musical instruments, room acoustics, binaural synthesis with Head-Related Transfer Functions (HRTF), and the movements of both the musician’s head and instrument. The concepts of static and dynamic sound mixes are presented and discussed according to the emotional involvement and musical instruments of the performers, as well as the use of motion capture technology. Pilot experiments of BIEM with dynamic mixing were done with amateur musicians performing with wireless headphones and a motion capture system in a small room. Listening tests with professional musicians evaluating recordings under conditions of dynamic sound mixing were carried out, attempting to find an initial reaction to BIEM. Ideas for further research in static sound mixing, individualized HRTFs, tracking techniques, as well as wedge-monitoring schemes are suggested.