Sennheiser and Pink Floyd create an immersive sound experience Live 8 –Mix


This is where the future of audio is being shaped right now - places that are full of music and great sound. It’s where people who love to innovate and experiment are drawn. Where they treat themselves and others to phenomenal audio experiences. “Places” invites you to take a look behind the scenes at these “places to be” in audio, from remarkable music clubs, to legendary recording studios and even art and audio conventions.

The music of Pink Floyd is receiving a makeover in the form of AMBEO 3D Audio Technology from Sennheiser. In the exhibition "Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains" at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, visitors can enjoy an immersive sound experience. Goose bumps are guaranteed.

  • Author: Hanna Grieffers
  • Photos: Credit: getty images, DENMARK - NOVEMBER 12: Photo of Pink Floyd 7; Roger Waters Pink Floyd Copenhagen October 1970Hanna Grieffers ,Fotograf: Jan Persson/Redferns

If the rooms inside the legendary Abbey Road Studios could hear, they would have been witness to an unprecedented sound experience. In the 1970s, the instruments of Pink Floyd echoed through the halls, the group having recorded their album "The Dark Side of the Moon," along with their biggest hit, "Wish You Were Here," at Abbey Road. But what took place there this spring is unparalleled. A live recording of the song "Comfortably Numb" was remixed using Sennheiser's AMBEO 3D Audio Technology. This technique enables crystal clear sound and provides the sensation that the studio has been transformed into a stage where the musicians are playing live. "Immersive audio" can be experienced in all its glory.

The magicians behind this transformation are sound engineers Andy Jackson and Simon Rhodes and producer Simon Frangeln. AMBEO 3D Audio Technology from Sennheiser is their magic wand and the almost 10-meter-high (33-foot) control room is their stage. There, they released the Pink Floyd classic "Comfortably Numb" from its stereo corset and used the 360-degree surround mix to inject it with unprecedented scope.

The recording is the musical high point of the "Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains" show in London's Victoria and Albert Museum, which begins in May. Sennheiser is the official audio partner of the exhibition, which was meant to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the band's first album. Thanks to AMBEO 3D Audio Technology, museumgoers will feel as though they are in the middle of the audience at a live show. "Immersive audio" will give you goose bumps. Over 350 exhibits, including posters, hand-written song lyrics and instruments also provide unique insight into the band's history, music and singular sound.

„Sennheiser has shaped audio technology for decades. The company will doubtlessly turn 'Their Mortal Remains' into something extremely special.“
Nick Mason

"3D Audio is the new standard for audio excellence and will completely revolutionize the listener's experience," says Dr. Andreas Sennheiser, who heads the company with his brother Daniel Sennheiser. "We are extremely excited to make this extraordinary experience possible for visitors to the Pink Floyd exhibition." For Daniel Sennheiser, the next challenge is already clear: "The next step will be to visually support this excellent audio quality."

Pink Floyd always broke ground with their use of surround sound in their live shows. Now, thanks to Sennheiser, they are taking the next step -with "immersive audio." The group's drummer, Nick Mason, came to Abbey Roads Studio personally to see it happen. "From our very beginnings as a live band, we used Sennheiser equipment, back when we took the stage with MD 409 microphones, and we are excited that Sennheiser is now designing the audio experience for our exhibition," Mason says. He is excited about the possibilities presented by the new AMBEO 3D Audio Technology. "Sennheiser has shaped audio technology for decades. The company will doubtlessly turn 'Their Mortal Remains' into something extremely special."

Sennheiser technology will help breathe new life into the last joint appearance of David Gilmour, Nick Mason, Richard Wright and former band member Roger Waters, at the 2005 "Live 8" concert in Hyde Park. To meet that challenge, Sennheiser joined forces with some of the best sound engineers and producers in the world. Andy Jackson had worked on several Pink Floyd albums, including "The Division Bell." As a long-serving sound engineer at Abbey Roads Studios, Simon Rhodes knows the space like the back of his hand. He has been producing music for over 18 years, including for the films "Avatar" and "Spectre." The composer and producer Simon Frangeln has also worked on some of the biggest films in history, including "Titanic" and "Avatar." He has even received a Grammy Award and been nominated for a Golden Globe.

„Once you take the step to full immersion, coming back is impossible.“
Simon Rhodes

Sound engineer Simon Rhodes believes that live music is particularly well suited for AMBEO 3D Audio Technology. "This new technology makes possible the unbelievable feeling that you are there." He himself has worked for many years with stereo and 5.1 technology, but he has never heard anything like AMBEO 3D Audio Technology. "Once you take the step to full immersion, coming back is impossible," he says. His colleague, producer Simon Frangeln, is particularly excited about the freedom granted by AMBEO 3D Audio Technology, especially when it comes to percussion. "Suddenly you have the ability to take the cymbals much higher than the actual drum kit," he says. "That allows the instrument to breathe."

„No other band is a better match for AMBEO 3D Audio Technology from Sennheiser than Pink Floyd.“
Simon Frangeln

This breadth is made possible by 25 speakers from Sennheiser and Neumann, distributed at different heights throughout the studio. Subwoofers hang from a rack and some speakers are mounted on their cases. There are also speakers mounted six meters (20 feet) off the floor, known as "the voice of God." This distribution creates the feeling that you're completely surrounded by the music.

With Sennheiser having already remade the music of other artists and their songs with AMBEO 3D Audio Technology, it is now the turn of the British rockers from Pink Floyd. Simon Frangeln believes it is an excellent choice. "No other band is a better match for AMBEO 3D Audio Technology from Sennheiser than Pink Floyd," he says. "AMBEO 3D Audio Technology enables visitors to hear every last detail in the music. I am very excited to hear what Pink Floyd fans think of the 3D version in the exhibition."

Learn more about Sennheiser’s AMBEO® 3D technology here: "When Music Changed The World"