High-quality 3D audio that eliminates the boundaries between playback and reality – this is the promise of the AMBEO VR MIC showcased by Sennheiser at the IBC. Up until now, VR productions had to record immersive audio with quite complicated microphone set-ups. The AMBEO VR Mic, which is on display at Sennheiser’s IBC stand (8D50) and in IBC’s Future Zone, puts everything into a compact and easy-to-use handheld – making it an ideal tool for any professional VR production. The microphone will become commercially available in November 2016.
“The demand for compact microphones that capture spatial audio to match visual 3D experiences has increased enormously in the recent past. For the user to gain a truly immersive experience, however, it is imperative that the sound within VR is also 3D,” said Kai Lange, product manager, Broadcast and Media. “The AMBEO VR microphone has been designed specifically for VR/AR purposes and enables VR content producers to capture the natural, immersive environment, providing a realistic and immersive experience for the user.”
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.
“To ensure that the AMBEO VR Mic is ‘right on target’ with what the AR/VR community needs, the entire development process was accompanied by intensive field testing with VR content producers,” explained Kai Lange. “In fact, we have just concluded an extensive creators’ program with participants from across the international VR audio/video industry, who put the microphone through its paces.”
The AMBEO VR Mic targets VR production agencies, VR content creators, the Ambisonics community as well as studio engineers and owners, and will become available in November 2016.
About AMBEO 3D Audio
AMBEO is Sennheiser’s program and trademark for truly immersive 3D audio, designed to create sound experiences with an incredibly high emotional impact. The program will cover products and technologies for the entire audio signal chain, from capture to mixing and processing to reproduction. AMBEO operates with a height elevation that gives audio back its natural three-dimensional character, creating a totally new experience that is set to change music and sound forever. AMBEO products are consistently developed with an early involvement of users, producers, content providers and technology partners across the globe, creating tools that not only match their demands but also shape the future of audio.
Shaping the future of audio and creating unique sound experiences for customers – this aim unites Sennheiser employees and partners worldwide. Founded in 1945, Sennheiser is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of headphones, microphones and wireless transmission systems. With 21 sales subsidiaries and long-established trading partners, the company is active in more than 50 countries and operates its own production facilities in Germany, Ireland, Romania and the USA. Since 2013, Sennheiser has been managed by Daniel Sennheiser and Dr. Andreas Sennheiser, the third generation of the family to run the company. In 2017, the Sennheiser Group generated turnover totaling €667.7 million.