As it is almost Halloween, I thought it would be fun to put out a scary video clip. We created a binaural recording so that you have the impression the seance is actually happening around you. This only works if you have HEADPHONES on, so please go and get some and give it a try….



  1. I haven’t got “headphones” (whatever they are). Why would I need them? What’s wrong with doing the sound normally so I can hear it?

    1. The recording was done with a special set of microphones that closely imitate the way we hear. With headphones on you get a ‘3d’ audio recording. You can hear the position of sounds in space instead of just a general left/right, you can hear up, down, front and back as well.

      I’m not sure why you don’t know what headphones are. The only other word I know for them is ‘cans’, which is sort of an audio engineer knick-name for them.

  2. Apart from the fact that it is quieter than normal, and I had to increase the volume to hear it easily, what difference would the use of headphones make? What is the point of this clip? Am I supposed to be scared?

  3. I guess head phones are recommended so the stereo effects can lay out. If your computer’s sound is routed through a stereo system anyway, no headphones required..

    But I agree, I’m absolutely not scared πŸ˜‰

    Maybe I missed something..?

  4. The stereo effects were pretty cool. Reminded me of a Culture Beat intro/outro song that included the sound of a pair of scissors slicing some hair and it sounded just like it was slicing your hair off if you had headphones on due to the way it was recorded.

  5. A binaural recording is NOT the same as a simple stereo recording, and you need the headphones to get the full effect.

    Think of a stereo recording as a sound stage where the sound lies along a line from left to right in front of you. A binaural recording is like being in the middle of a sphere of sound, where sound can come at you from all directions.

    Here’s another example of a binaural recording: the virtual Barber Shop:

  6. You need headphones to get the full effect. It’s an audio illusion. Pretty cool.
    There’s a couple of audio illusion apps available on the iTunes app store worth listening to.

  7. It was very cool that I could actually hear a sound BEHIND me and the “whisper” was a little creepy. Scared though I was not, the force is strong with me πŸ˜›

  8. Some people don’t seem to get how binaural works. It’s recorded with a “virtual head” with two microphones where a human’s ear would be. Then, when you play it back, you need to listen on headphones so you can get complete isolation between each ear to recreate the experience of being the “virtual head”. If you just listen with speakers then you’ll get a stereo effect, but it won’t sound completely immersive because you’ll still be hearing both channels with both ears.

    As for the “seance”, it was okay, but a bit of a run-of-the-mill use of the binaural technique. I’d say the script needed work to create a more engaging story with better surprises.

  9. Brilliantly creepy effect. Love the way the whisper seems to come from right behind you like he’s leaning over your shoulder. πŸ˜€

  10. Funny, but not scary. If I lived 100 years back and wasn’t aware of recording techniques it would be, but now, it’s just actors in a studio creating a binaural recording.

  11. Cool stuff.

    There are many albums recorded using this technique, most famously Pearl Jam’s Binaural and Pink Floyd’s The Final Cut.

  12. Not scary at all. Listened with headphones both with 7 w/o eeyes open-pointless abrupt end. For real scares try movie “dead of night” or your favorite.

  13. As a sound recordist for television I have encountered this type of recording before. Other posters are correct it is definitely binaural also called the ‘Kunstkopf” (sp?) technique.

    That’s German for “Dummy head” which pretty much summarizes the technique. Two microphones are placed in the ears of a dummy head and the assembly is placed in a sound environment to record. The concept is that, in real life, sound waves are reflected and refracted around the contours of the head and the brain interprets them. Kunstkopf seeks to duplicate the reflections and refractions so that the brain will more accurately interpret the recordings. I’ve heard demonstrations of Kuntskopf, normal X-Y stereo, M-S stereo and Holophone 5.1 recordings of the same piece of music and the difference is actually quite stunning.

    By the way, I used my professional headphones and experienced quite a bit of distortion and artifacting from 1:12-1:20 or so. The main audio was in the left ear but I experienced a (sort of) digital breakup in my right and vice versa. Odd, perhaps a function of the sound coming through the web??

  14. Well, I must admit, that was pretty creepy! The voice sent a bit of a shiver down my spine, despite knowing that it isn’t real etc etc. Love how many people are too proud to admit that and probably never even tried it.

    1. I did try it, and I didn’t find it scary because all I could picture was a recording studio with the ‘medium’ and ‘ghost’ actors in it. Had it scared me, I’d have said so. I’m not trying to come across as brave, but an actor’s voice isn’t in itself scary to me, and the clip was too short to really get into the suspension of disbelief state.

  15. Well, I found this very spooky and I LOVED it! This binaural recording was SO fun and creepy. Please do more! If you close your eyes and imagine yourself really at the seance, then it becomes more real. This was wonderful!! Thanks!

  16. Not scary. Heard this kind of thing (recording) since DOS though. I can’t remember which game uses the digital barbershop as the test for sound card installation left/right test.

  17. Entertaining. Reminds me of back in the day when we listened to Pink Floyd’s “on the run” or Led Zeppelin’s “whole lotta love” with headphones to get the full stereo experience.

  18. I thought that was very scary! My temperature rose, my skin feels more sensitive from having just listened to it. I think it’s amazing how sound can appear to be playing in different parts of your head, and have the effect of someone coming up behind you, or to the side of you. It does help to have headphones on, and to completely give yourself up to the experience by following the verbal commands.

    I liked it.


  19. For the people who want to sit and complain about it, you’re not getting the point. I listened to it with headphones and I get what it’s supposed to do. It was creepy when you closed your eyes, and let your imagination go to work. I enjoyed it. If you want to just sit and complain, then go find something that you think is a better use of your time, and leave those of us here who do enjoy it, to discuss it.

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