Binaural recording is a method of recording sound that uses two microphones, arranged with the intent to create a 3-D stereo soundsensation for the listener of actually being in the room with the performers or instruments. This effect is often created using a technique known as “Dummy head recording“, wherein a mannequin head is outfitted with a microphone in each ear. Binaural recording is intended for replay using headphones and will not translate properly over stereo speakers.
Dummy head being used for binaural recording; the second microphone is obscured.
I first came across a Binaural soundfile when a friend plonked some headphones over my ears and said “Listen to this ! It’s amazing !”
Imagine a barbershop: you’re the customer sitting in the chair as the piece plays out, literally around your head as if you were there.
Admittedly, it’s a bit gimmicky in the same way early 3D movies always seemed to have a couple of scenes where an object – often something dangerous, like a knife – are hurled at the viewer just to show off the technology.
Having said that, I LOVE technology so I thought it was pretty cool.
Fast forward a couple of years and that same tech is being used for direct marketing a new range of drugs in South Africa. The problem is CPPS, or Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome to you and me.
In women, it can manifest itself as a constant urge to urinate and can lead to embarrassment in social situations, while for men there can be prostate problem, erectile dysfunction and a burning sensation when passing water.
So it’s pretty nasty !
The campaign initially consisted of a couple of sound-files issued on CD-ROMs and sent directly to doctors and pharmacists. They were entertaining clips, outlining the problems above, one for women and the other for men, by using an imaginary voice in the head as heard by a sufferer.
My brief was to come up with scripts for a few more scenarios, equally as painful, to really hammer the point home and make Crysta-Q (for women) and Q-Urol (for men) the drugs of choice for both ailments …