Note: This post has absolutely nothing to do with web entrepreneurship, blogging, or web publishing. It’s purely off-topic entertainment for your ears.
A week or two ago I was surfing the web when I came across an audio recording which absolutely blew me away.
Now, chances are some or maybe even many of you have already heard this before (based on the 6.7 million views on the YouTube version), but I hadn’t, so I felt it was worth posting here even if only a few of you get to experience it for the first time.
The Virtual Barbershop
IMPORTANT: YOU MUST LISTEN TO THIS WEARING HEADPHONES OR IT WILL NOT WORK!
Before you start:
- Make sure you’re wearing headphones. It will not work at all if you are not wearing headphones. If you have the option, use the best headphones you have (Ex. real over-the-ear headphones as opposed to little iPod earphones).
- Adjust your volume. Adjust your volume so that you can hear clearly and at an appropriate level. Don’t make it too loud though as you may get scared 🙂 Also, please close any programs or websites that make noise so they don’t interfere with the experience.
- Get into it. Your experience will be much richer if you relax, play along, and really get into it. Really pretend that you’re sitting in a barbershop in Italy and are getting a haircut.
- Close your eyes after hitting play. This will greatly improve the experience.
What do you think? Was that not insanely awesome? Show it to your friends or family and watch their expression while they listen to it!
My favourite parts were the “bag” and the “surprise” at the end. I freaked out the first time I heard the ending, lol.
If you’re anything like me, then you’ll want to hear more recordings like these. Unfortunately, there are surprisingly very few out there, but here’s another one I found.
However, it’s only about 20 seconds. Even so, it will probably still make you blush…
I was so raptured by these that I just had to look for more. I did manage to find close to 700 more here, but they’re not nearly as good quality as the two above.
So What the Heck Are These?
These special audio files are called binaural recordings. Wikipedia defines them as:
“…a method of recording sound that uses a special microphone arrangement and is intended for replay using headphones.”
Now, “surround sound” technology isn’t anything new, and they’ve been commonplace in most PC games for years now, but there’s something magical about a really good binaural recording that makes it seem like a completely different experience.
Binaural recordings are apparently so powerful that some companies claim they can alter brainwave patterns and induce a drug-like effect. Binaural tones is therefore a growing industry which some business people are trying to pounce on as it’s currently legal.
Products include a special iPod-like player in which “users” purchase and download special binaural tones to get a buzz off. Many users claim it really works, but many also claim it doesn’t. I personally feel it’s probably a combination of a Zen-like meditation and the placebo effect at work.
Why Isn’t the Industry Pouncing on This?
From what I can gather, the technology is very simple to create a binaural recording… basically only requiring two microphones placed at a fixed distance apart (ex. the distance of 2 human ears).
Maybe there are already many products out for this, but if I were blind, I would LOVE to listen to a really good feature-length binaural recording. It’d be like a movie for the ears. Imagine being in the protagonists body as he is wrongly accused of terrorism and is tortured, or perhaps being the detective in an an Agatha Christie “whodunit”.
Hell, you don’t have to be blind to enjoy that. That’d be PERFECT for the plane or a long bus ride, or even listening to in bed while trying to sleep.
Maybe I’m going overboard here but I really, really, enjoyed the barbershop experience, and I hope you did too!