Sennheiser has introduced AMBEO VR, a compact handheld mic designed for professional virtual reality and augmented reality production.
Sennheiser also aims to educate the market in the emerging field of VR/AR audio capture through its AMBEO Music Blueprints platform. This dedicated website helps users explore how to record, mix and deliver live music as a truly 3D audio experience.
Up until now, VR productions had to record immersive audio with quite complicated microphone set-ups. “3D audio is an integral part of an immersive experience but up until now, the complexities associated with this have been daunting. In creating AMBEO VR, we conducted extensive field testing with VR content producers. This helped us identify and address key pain points and thus make the mic as intuitive and user friendly as possible,” said Mig Cardamone, director of sales and marketing at Sennheiser Middle East.
“With this new product, we hope to engage with VR production agencies, VR content creators, the Ambisonics community as well as studio engineers and owners.”
The AMBEO VR Mic is an Ambisonics microphone that uses four carefully selected, matched capsules in a tetrahedral arrangement. It is fully balanced and powered by 4x 48 volts phantom powering.
The handheld microphone comes complete with a split cable with four colour-coded and labelled XLR connectors according to the capsule position, a Rycote suspension mount and a foam windshield.
Also included is the necessary encoding software that translates the A format file generated from the recording of the four microphone channels into a B format file W, X, Y and Z. This format is recognised in the Ambisonics world, the W component being the omni and the X, Y, Z components being figure-of-eight capsules along three spatial axes. The A to B format encoder will be available in VST, AAX and AU plug-ins for the customer’s preferred digital audio workstation, and as a stand-alone version for Mac or Windows.
AMBEO Music Blueprints
The website offers three blueprints- AMBEO for Loudspeakers which details recording for 9.1 loudspeaker reproduction; AMBEO for binaural which covers 3D playback on standard headphones; and AMBEO for Virtual Reality which focuses on 3D Ambisonics audio for VR applications. Each of these has been created by a team of experts to provide straightforward information on recording set-ups and microphone positioning, on mixing with additional spot microphones and on delivery and playback for a 3D listening experience. Furthermore, each blueprint is complete with expert voices, equipment rental options, sound examples, video material and free plug-in downloads, giving seasoned engineers, aspiring recordists and streaming specialists guidance on how to record and mix immersive 3D sound.