Audio Augmented Reality and Field Recording
For my field recordings in protected areas of Southeast Asia, I used the AMBEO VR Mic not because I wanted to create 3D videos. My intention was rather to use the material for a geolocated audio application on smartphones.
I initiated this comprehensive project in cooperation with the NGO Opération Canopée in the context of a residence with the Institut Français of Paris with the intention of acoustically documenting primary forests and interpreting musical patterns in the sounds of nature.
The research for this (which will probably extend to future expeditions) would not have been possible without the valuable support of the The National University of Arts and Culture in Yangon and the organisations Fauna & Flora International in Myanmar, The Gibbon Experience in Laos and Kalaweit in Indonesia.
I am familiar with the MKH series, characterised by a high microphone sensitivity, a great signal-to-noise ratio and excellent moisture resistance (which is perfect for nature recordings), so I had some concerns about using the AMBEO VR Mic alongside an IRT cross and a classic stereo microphone. Above all, I wondered how well the microphone would work in the tropical zone, where temperatures and humidity are very high.
„But from humid grottos to dusty-hot dunes, from swamps during the monsoon to the high canopy – the AMBEO VR Mic has never disappointed me.“
Adjustments are quick and easy, and it proves to be very robust. Even the delicate cables are much more durable than it seems. For field use, I also appreciate that the microphone is so compact and easy to set up despite it being a bit heavy.
I already knew that I could expect good results for nearby events – like performances of small traditional music ensembles. However, I was a little sceptical about using the microphone in the open field for more distant sound sources, for which one would rather use a non-coincident stereo system, with a difference based on time rather than intensity.
But the AMBEO VR Mic convinced me with its low intrinsic noise and exceptional sound quality for a microphone of its price range.
The B format’s possibilities for downmixing are unbeatable: It is flexible and provides the option to change the hearing angles in post-production.
In addition to traditional broadcast productions, I am starting to use the B-format for multi-channel installations and audio solutions in the development of mobile apps.
About Rodolphe Alexis
As a sound designer and sound engineer, his practice takes on various forms that are in dialogue with other fields of art (installation, sculpture, performance, radio).
As a teacher, he works in art and music schools and coordinates the creation of the SoundWays.eu AR audio platform for museum and artist projects.
And as an associate curator of the Mu collective, he participates in various electro-acoustic projects and is developing a personal method for field recording.
His current sound project in Southeast Asia has been supported by the Scam and the Hors les Murs program of the Institut Français.
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