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Header image for article NAB 2017: Sennheiser AMBEO VR Mic

NAB 2017: Sennheiser AMBEO VR Mic

I’ve stepped over to the Sennheiser booth to speak with Brian Glasscock about their solution for virtual reality audio, the AMBEO VR. The AMBEO VR microphone was designed for use with 360-degree video content. The AMBEO actually works, functionally, very similarly to the way multi-lens spherical video cameras operate, except instead of multiple lenses facing various directions, you're given four matched KE14 cardioid microphone capsules.

Using ambisonic playback technology, the viewer’s head movements will be tracked to change the perspective of the audio source. Much like how the camera’s placement in VR determines the viewer’s perspective, ambisonic microphones, like the AMBEO VR, define the perspective of the listener. What that means is the camera and microphone should be mounted in as close of proximity to one another as possible. To simplify post-production and prevent guess work, the AMBEO VR features a witness indicator as to which way should be facing forward during recording.

The AMBEO VR outputs the four microphones signals through a DIN-12 pin connector to four individual balanced XLR terminals, which can then be recorded using any four-channel audio recorder. Brian recommends using recorders with digitally controllable gain settings to ensure each mic is properly placed in post.

Ian McCausland
Camera Technology Specialist, AbelCine LA

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