Out of the box: Sennheiser Ambeo VR microphone


Jon Pratchett TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
Download PDF
Download PDF

The use of 360 video, especially on platforms like Facebook and YouTube is really starting to take off. Gone are the days when you needed to buy multiple GoPros and rigs in order to get something decent looking. Now players like Insta360 and even GoPro with their fusion 360 camera are providing single camera, high quality solutions, enabling the masses to put out reasonable quality, certainly watchable, 360 video.

However, we all know that image quality is not the only thing to consider in video production. Sound is equally important. Up until recently when watching a 360 video you tended to get a static stereo sound image that pretty much stayed the same as you moved around the 360 sphere. Wouldn’t it be nice if, like in the real world, as you moved around, the sound moved too?

Well the technology is out there. In fact it has been for many years. It’s called Ambisonic sound. Up until now though there wasn’t really much use for it, but now with the advent of VR video, we have the perfect platform on which to layer this technology.
Now we need to record this strange format. What do we need? I’m not going into detail on this article on how Ambisonic works, Google is your friend here, but I am going to look at a new microphone from Sennheiser, solely designed for capturing high quality Ambisonic sound.

The Mic in question is the Sennheiser Ambeo VR Microphone. Here I am going to give you an introduction to the mic and what comes with it. Also what else you will need to get recording Ambisonic sound. In another article we will look a bit more in depth at the process in recording and mixing Ambisonic with your VR footage.

The mic itself looks much like a typical Sennheiser mic, all be it a bit bigger. It’s not until you remove the larger head basket on the top that you realise this is no ordinary microphone. In fact it’s really 4 microphones in one. Under the basket is an array of 4 cardioid condenser mic capsules all in a 45 degree off axis pattern. At the bottom of the mic, instead of your typical 3 pin xlr connector is a 12 pin Din connector, allowing you to plug in the short break cable that provides you with 4 three pin xlr connectors. Also provided is a small Rycote suspension mount and foam windscreen.

The Ambeo VR mic, is very sensitive to wind noise. Inside this is not a problem, the foam is adequate, however outside, which is where I suspect this mic would be used a lot you need extra protection. Sennheiser recommends the Rycote 25mm Baby ball basket and wind jammer. This fits perfectly, and on the testing I have done so far works amazingly well at taming the wind noise.

A 5ft 12 pin Din extension cable is provided to allow some distance between the mic and your recorder, however I still find that a bit short. Pinknoise can supply either a 5m or 10m Extension cable, which I highly recommend.

Now to recording. You are provided with 4 outputs all requiring 48v phantom power, from this Mic. Each output is numbered which is important as when recording with this mic, you must get the channels in the right order. It’s also important that each mic output is recorded with equal gain across the 4, otherwise the imaging will be off.

In the field I am using the Zoom f8 recorder, which has the ability to record to the correct Ambeo format and allow 1 single gain knob to control the gain on all four inputs. This makes life much easier. I also understand that Tascam DR-701D now also records Ambisonic sound.

Once recorded you can use the excellent free Sennheiser Software to tweek the audio, adjust the sound field to line up with the video and convert to the correct Ambisonic format for use with your VR video.

Sound quality from this mic is excellent. With a low noise floor, excellent sensitivity and perfectly matched capsules. Build quality too is great, although I would be careful with the xlr breakout cable as the four cables are quite thin, and it’s not something you can pop to a store and replace easily.

In my next article I will go into more detail on how we use this mic. The use of the Sennheiser ambio software and linking the audio with a VR video file ready to upload.


Tags: iss130 | vr | virtual reality | audio | ambiosonic | Jon Pratchett
Contributing Author Jon Pratchett

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Download PDF
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Sennheiser VR at IBC 2016

    Sennheiser VR at IBC 2016

  • Elemental Technologies VR at NAB 2016

    Elemental Technologies VR at NAB 2016

  • Virtual and Augmented Reality support with the Arrow Fx7 from Miller at NAB 2017

    Virtual and Augmented Reality support with the Arrow Fx7 from Miller at NAB 2017

  • Ross Video at BVE 2017

    Ross Video at BVE 2017

  • Bella 22 MK11 Network Audio Monitor from Glensound at IBC 2019

    Bella 22 MK11 Network Audio Monitor from Glensound at IBC 2019

  • VisLM Loudness Meter update from Nugen Audio at IBC 2019

    VisLM Loudness Meter update from Nugen Audio at IBC 2019

  • Hitomi Matchbox Glass lipsync, audio and video alignment. Now Wireless on a free app. IBC 2019

    Hitomi Matchbox Glass lipsync, audio and video alignment. Now Wireless on a free app. IBC 2019

  • TSL Products acquire DNF Controls plus TSL SAM-Q SDI Audio Monitor NAB 2019

    TSL Products acquire DNF Controls plus TSL SAM-Q SDI Audio Monitor NAB 2019

  • Glensound show Beatrice the AES67 Network audio intercom beltpack at IBC 2018

    Glensound show Beatrice the AES67 Network audio intercom beltpack at IBC 2018

  • Latest audio product updates from TSL Products at IBC 2018

    Latest audio product updates from TSL Products at IBC 2018

  • Nugen Audio Loudness Meter, Halo Upmix and Halo Downmix at NAB 2018

    Nugen Audio Loudness Meter, Halo Upmix and Halo Downmix at NAB 2018

  • 7.1.2 Dolby Atmos support by Halo from Nugen Audio at NAB 2017

    7.1.2 Dolby Atmos support by Halo from Nugen Audio at NAB 2017

  • Nugen Audio at IBC 2016

    Nugen Audio at IBC 2016

  • AudioVideo BrandBuilder Corp at NAB 2016

    AudioVideo BrandBuilder Corp at NAB 2016

  • Nugen Audio at NAB 2016

    Nugen Audio at NAB 2016

  • Minnetonka Audio at NAB 2016

    Minnetonka Audio at NAB 2016

  • Nugen Audio Loudness Toolkit at BVE 2016

    Nugen Audio Loudness Toolkit at BVE 2016

  • Nugen Audio Halo Upmix at BVE 2016

    Nugen Audio Halo Upmix at BVE 2016

  • NUGEN Audio at IBC 2015

    NUGEN Audio at IBC 2015

  • NOA Audio Solutions at IBC 2015

    NOA Audio Solutions at IBC 2015

  • NUGEN Audio at BVE 2015

    NUGEN Audio at BVE 2015

  • Nugen Audio at NAB 2014

    Nugen Audio at NAB 2014

  • Audio Network on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Audio Network on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • NOA Audio Solutions at IBC 2013

    NOA Audio Solutions at IBC 2013

  • NuGen Audio at IBC 2013

    NuGen Audio at IBC 2013

  • NUGEN Audio: Loudness Toolkit at NAB 2013

    NUGEN Audio: Loudness Toolkit at NAB 2013

  • Nugen Audio at IBC 2012

    Nugen Audio at IBC 2012

  • Audio Developments at ProVideo2011

    Audio Developments at ProVideo2011

  • Audio Developments at BVE North 2011

    Audio Developments at BVE North 2011

  • Junger Audio at IBC2011

    Junger Audio at IBC2011

  • K-tek Stingray range shown at NAB 2019

    K-tek Stingray range shown at NAB 2019

  • Calrec Apollo IP Console at NAB 2019

    Calrec Apollo IP Console at NAB 2019

  • Nugen Halo Upmix and AMB Updates at IBC 2017

    Nugen Halo Upmix and AMB Updates at IBC 2017

  • Canford at BVE 2017

    Canford at BVE 2017

  • Telos Alliance at BVE 2017

    Telos Alliance at BVE 2017

  • The Telos Alliance at IBC 2016

    The Telos Alliance at IBC 2016

  • Glensound at IBC 2016

    Glensound at IBC 2016

  • Studer Glacier at IBC 2016

    Studer Glacier at IBC 2016

  • Wohler at IBC 2016

    Wohler at IBC 2016

  • Video Devices PIX-E at IBC 2016

    Video Devices PIX-E at IBC 2016

  • Sound Devices Wingman app at IBC 2016

    Sound Devices Wingman app at IBC 2016

  • Sound Devices 688 at IBC 2015

    Sound Devices 688 at IBC 2015

  • Video Devices PIX-E Series at IBC 2015

    Video Devices PIX-E Series at IBC 2015

  • RTS at BVE 2015

    RTS at BVE 2015

  • Glensound Dante at IBC 2014

    Glensound Dante at IBC 2014

  • NOA Archive Solutions at IBC 2014

    NOA Archive Solutions at IBC 2014

  • RTW at IBC 2014

    RTW at IBC 2014

  • RTW at NAB 2014

    RTW at NAB 2014

  • Sound Devices at NAB 2014

    Sound Devices at NAB 2014

  • Studio Technologies at NAB 2014

    Studio Technologies at NAB 2014

  • Clear-Com ProGrid at NAB 2014

    Clear-Com ProGrid at NAB 2014

  • Clear-Com HelixNet Partyline at NAB 2014

    Clear-Com HelixNet Partyline at NAB 2014

  • Glensound Atomic Copper at NAB 2014

    Glensound Atomic Copper at NAB 2014

  • TSL Products SAM1 MADI at BVE 2014

    TSL Products SAM1 MADI at BVE 2014

  • Glensound Cub at BVE 2014

    Glensound Cub at BVE 2014

  • Calrec on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Calrec on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Wohler Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Wohler Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Nexidia QC on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Nexidia QC on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • TSL Products PAM1, SAM1 and PAM PiCo at IBC 2013

    TSL Products PAM1, SAM1 and PAM PiCo at IBC 2013

  • Glensound with the USB Commentary Mixer at IBC 2013

    Glensound with the USB Commentary Mixer at IBC 2013

  • TSL Products at IBC 2013

    TSL Products at IBC 2013

  • Calrec at NAB 2013

    Calrec at NAB 2013

  • Sound Devices at NAB 2013

    Sound Devices at NAB 2013

  • TSL Products at NAB 2013

    TSL Products at NAB 2013

  • Thear Technology at BVE 2013

    Thear Technology at BVE 2013

  • TSL Systems at BVE 2013

    TSL Systems at BVE 2013

  • TSL Products at BVE 2013

    TSL Products at BVE 2013

  • AC Entertainment Technologies at BVE 2013

    AC Entertainment Technologies at BVE 2013

  • Pinknoise at BVE North 2012

    Pinknoise at BVE North 2012

  • Shure Distribution at BVE North 2012 LIVE Show

    Shure Distribution at BVE North 2012 LIVE Show

  • RTW at NAB 2012

    RTW at NAB 2012

  • Sonifex at NAB 2012

    Sonifex at NAB 2012

  • Sound Devices at NAB 2012

    Sound Devices at NAB 2012

  • Emotion Systems at NAB 2012

    Emotion Systems at NAB 2012

  • Clear-Com Eclipse MADI Card at NAB 2012

    Clear-Com Eclipse MADI Card at NAB 2012

  • Glensound at NAB 2012

    Glensound at NAB 2012

  • TSL at NAB 2012

    TSL at NAB 2012

  • Triveni Digital at NAB 2012

    Triveni Digital at NAB 2012

  • Petrol at NAB 2012

    Petrol at NAB 2012

  • Qualis at NAB 2012

    Qualis at NAB 2012

  • Calrec at NAB 2012

    Calrec at NAB 2012

  • DK-Technologies at NAB 2012

    DK-Technologies at NAB 2012

  • Glensound at BVE 2012

    Glensound at BVE 2012

  • Calrec at BVE 2012

    Calrec at BVE 2012

  • Sonifex at BVE 2012

    Sonifex at BVE 2012

  • DiGiCo at BVE 2012

    DiGiCo at BVE 2012

  • 4HM at BVE 2012

    4HM at BVE 2012

  • Thear Technology Limited at ProVideo2011

    Thear Technology Limited at ProVideo2011

  • 4HM at BVE North 2011

    4HM at BVE North 2011

  • TNP and DSMB at BVE North 2011

    TNP and DSMB at BVE North 2011

  • The Mic Store at BVE North 2011

    The Mic Store at BVE North 2011

  • Sennheiser at BVE North 2011

    Sennheiser at BVE North 2011

  • Source Distribution and Genelec at BVE North 2011

    Source Distribution and Genelec at BVE North 2011

  • HHB and Soundfield at BVE North 2011

    HHB and Soundfield at BVE North 2011

  • Riedel at BVE North 2011

    Riedel at BVE North 2011

  • Solid State Logic at IBC2011

    Solid State Logic at IBC2011

  • Dolby at IBC2011

    Dolby at IBC2011

  • Murraypro at IBC2011

    Murraypro at IBC2011

  • Calrec at IBC2011

    Calrec at IBC2011

  • TC Electronic at IBC2011

    TC Electronic at IBC2011

  • SADiE at IBC2011

    SADiE at IBC2011

  • RTW at IBC2011

    RTW at IBC2011

  • Prodys at IBC2011

    Prodys at IBC2011

  • DK Technology at IBC2011

    DK Technology at IBC2011

  • Linear Acoustic at IBC2011

    Linear Acoustic at IBC2011

  • Sound Devices at IBC2011

    Sound Devices at IBC2011


Related Shows
  • The future of audio with BBC R&D at BVE

    The future of audio with BBC R&D at BVE


Articles
The Making of Zero
Keith and David Lynch

The Brothers Lynch explain how they created the sinister atmospheric world for their new sci-fi short

In a post-apocalyptic world where humankind has emerged victorious in a war against artificial intelligent machines, a young girl dares to venture into the unknown. This is Zero, the new sci-fi short film from acclaimed British writer-director duo The Brothers Lynch which has premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Tags: iss139 | blackmagic design | davinci resolve | editing | grading | grade | mk2 zeiss | superspeeds | cinema 4d | molinaire | Keith and David Lynch
Contributing Author Keith and David Lynch Click to read or download PDF
Why MADI is Still Relevant
Stephen Brownsill While the original idea for MADI was to cater to a very narrow recording studio application, the standard remains a viable go-to multichannel audio technology. Beginning as a standard in 1991, MADI was first introduced to the world as digital production was beginning to come of age. MADI was put together in 1988 by Solid State Logic, AMS-Neve, Sony (DASH) and Mitsubishi (ProDigi) as a way to transport up to 56 channels of digital audio between large-format audio consoles of the day and digital multi-channel tape machines via 75-Ohm coaxial cables. Both tape-based machines have long since disappeared from the equipment landscape.
Tags: iss139 | madi | tsl products | aes10 | aes | dolby atmos | st-2110 | sam-q | Stephen Brownsill
Contributing Author Stephen Brownsill Click to read or download PDF
Original KVM or KVM over IP
Jochen Bauer Will the technology used in broadcasting solely consist of IP devices? For years, IP has been entering all areas of life. Especially control room applications as they are typically deployed in broadcasting benefit from the IP revolution in many ways. But an “IP-only broadcast world” is not yet here. Nevertheless, the trend clearly moves towards IP transmission, even though a large part of content production still uses traditional transmission paths. And therefore we continue to live in a hybrid world, using both original and IP-based technology. KVM experts Guntermann und Drunck still rely on both original KVM and KVM-over-IP™ to be able to offer their customers the best of both worlds.
Tags: iss139 | kvm | gdsys | guntermann and drunck | kvm-over-ip | Jochen Bauer
Contributing Author Jochen Bauer Click to read or download PDF
REVIEW Canon UJ111x8_3B UHD Lens
Andy McKenzie Shooting in ultra high definition and high dynamic range has become the preferred option for all television productions with a potentially long commercial life. The hir-ing charge and indeed the outright purchase cost of cameras of this standard are not significantly greater than those of high definition standard dynamic range models. With half the world's news reporters now able to capture UHD video on their mobile phones, why give the production crews anything less?
Tags: iss139 | canon review | uj111x8 review | lens | zoom | digisuper | uj90x9b | hdtv | ccu | Andy McKenzie
Contributing Author Andy McKenzie Click to read or download PDF
Undercover Remote Production
David Bradley

It’s only taken 20 years and it seems that Remote Production is finally coming of age, but it now requires far more cameras than anyone envisaged back in the last century!

The move to remote production is one of the unstoppable trends of 2019 and moving into 2020. Our CamBall cameras pioneered remote working as early as 2003 with sport and wildlife programming using remote production for many years with incredible results.

Tags: iss139 | ptz | br remote | 5g | remote camera | atlantic productions | camball | camball4 | David Bradley
Contributing Author David Bradley Click to read or download PDF