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I've heard incredible videos of "3D binaural sound" on Youtube, where the sound appears to have a position in space around the listener, and even move. Although these are often generated from simply sticking two microphones on either side of a head bust, there are ways to generate them in software based on HRTF (Head Related Transfer Functions) and from what I've heard these sound pretty good too.

I'm trying to do this myself, but I'm running into issues.

What I want is a way to 1) Take a track of my choice 2) Place it in a circular orbit around my head at a speed I choose And ideally 3) At a distance I choose as well.

I've found perhaps one or two programs that can spatialize sound with HRTF, but none of them allow me to automate it - I'd either have to have ugly "steps" where it switches from one angle to another, or would have to carefully and manually tweak GUI dials every few fractions of a second of audio. While most programs have ways to fade audio, or panning, this seems to be lacking from what I've found. I know it's possible - see this video - but I can't figure out how.

Is there any solution that allows me to do this simple task in software that is under $50 and can be automated (much like volume fading or regular stereo panning can in most programs)? It seems like such a simple task.

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  • You must be aware that the effect that one hears while listening your binaural mix on headphones depends on two factors (in the case of artificially generated binaural signals) : the set of HRTF's used for producing your mix, and the listener's own HRTF. The nice circular orbit that you hear might not be heard identically by another listener. – audionuma Dec 18 '14 at 20:16
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If you have experience with programming, there are some specialized libraries, such as OpenAL, which are designed to provide spatial audio for use in applications such as video games. This will allow you to automate movement, distance and even materials in the room you are trying to simulate, effectively giving you the ability to create the exact virtual space you need.

But of course, this requires some level of programming experience.

  • Alas, I do not; however, this is probably the best option. Everything I've found so far either doesn't do what I want, is terrifyingly expensive, or relies on an environment which is terrifyingly expensive (Why does everything that's not Audacity seem to cost more than a hundred dollars, anyway?) and so "roll my own" is ultimately my only option. Of course, I can't program in C, and every attempt to has ended in inexplicable failure, but with the many resources available on the Internet and enough copy-pasting code, I may be able to manage. Thank you! – Eldritch Dec 22 '14 at 4:05
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Soundhack Binaural+ might be the easiest way at $75. I've not used the plugin, but have used the Max version which is free (but you need Max, of course).

Most binaural plugins don't actually simulate distance because of the way the HRTF measurements are taken. You could use reverb and EQ automation for that, but this may affect how convincing the spatialisation is.

Edit: There are binaural options in PD, which are free. I've not tried them myself but:http://puredata.info/downloads/earplug seems to be the ticket.

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Don't know if this will do exactly what you want but it's pretty great, and free:

http://valhalladsp.wordpress.com/2010/05/28/valhallafreqecho-binaural-beats-and-the-strange-mechanism/

Ultimately you want this, but it definitely aint free:

http://www.fluxhome.com/products/plug_ins/ircam_spat-v3

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    Could you go into a bit of detail as to what the differences between those two are? The links sound useful but we try to encourage somewhat more complete answers. Thanks! – Warrior Bob Dec 18 '14 at 19:17

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