The AMBEO tools are great for getting people into spatial audio. It was for me a great demonstrator of the difference between static and dynamic binaural sound, and I enjoyed using AMBEO plug-ins in post-production with great results during class.
I’ve been mentoring workshops for VR/AR/MR media production and creative storytelling. I am fascinated by how participants have been motivated to practically try out new things. In those workshops I included hands-on sessions on Sennheiser’s ambisonics microphone. The AMBEO VR Mic is very versatile for all sorts of tests and we managed to shoot at POV (point of view) experiment, a high-res recording with a RED camera, and quick gun-and-run scene in a library, to name a few examples.
„The AMBEO VR Mic complements and fits well within my existing equipment.“
I used it with the Zoom F8, some additional clamps and a stand, and was impressed by how easy it is to mount underneath the camera. Sometimes, even a handheld recording will do the trick and with its shock mount, we always managed to get good results.
Understanding and mastering the ambisonics audio workflow takes some time for beginners. A theoretical introduction is often the best way to familiarize with the technology before getting hands on. I was able to explain the different approaches of 3D sound recording and post-production with the different AMBEO setups. After this introduction, participants to my workshop were able to come up with own ideas, and knew which microphone to use and how for each specific application.
In post-production, I use the AMBEO Orbit plugin to place sounds in the 3D space according to azimuth and elevation parameters. It very well demonstrates how binaural rendering works and why room acoustics are so important. When we then add the AMBEO A-B Converter in combination with voice-recordings or additional sound effects, it becomes very natural to understand the concept behind an immersive audio production and apply it.
I remember the first time when I presented an ambisonics recording of a protagonist speaking directly into the camera. I had a binaural decoder running in my DAW which sounded nice, but as soon as I adjusted the azimuth rotation, you could clearly hear the voice panning from left to right and as I looked up from my laptop to the students, I could see lots of surprised looking faces who just got the idea of the AMBEO VR Mic.
Furthermore, it is interesting to compare the AMBEO VR Mic with the Neumann KU100 and for what occasions it makes sense to use the AMBEO Smart Headset instead, for example.
About Martin Rieger
Martin Rieger labels his profession as 360° sound production, which sees him taking a holistic approach to virtual reality productions, taking more elements into account in the recording and mixing process than traditionally, and crafting the storytelling throughout the entire process.
With his studies in media technology and production, he has a good overview of technologies in exceed of audio.
Since then, as VRTONUNG, he has undertaken a great variety of productions, such as a 360° documentary on motorbikes in Vietnam; skiing in knee-high snow for a freeride experience in Austria; and to following the EU at the world’s largest refugee camp in Bangladesh.
After taking care of over two dozen of 360° productions, he figured that there is so much more to explore in the VR world, that there should be more professionals exploring and pushing the boundaries of 3D audio. Therefore, he is giving workshops and talks, to pay the topic the attention it deserves.
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