5.1 the easy way: Sennheiser’s Esfera microphone system creates perfect broadcast surround sound from just two channels
At IBC, audio specialist Sennheiser will unveil its brand-new Esfera surround microphone system. Esfera provides 5.1 surround sound from just two channels, making complicated surround mic installations a thing of the past. The system consists of a high-quality stereo microphone, designed with Sennheiser’s renowned RF condenser technology, and a 19“ rack-mount processing unit that converts the stereo signal into a complete 5.1 signal – anywhere in the production workflow, whether in real time or during post production. The compact size of the microphone unit and the versatile connectivity of the processing unit ensure that Esfera can easily be integrated into existing workflows. The system will be available from March 2014.
Workflow example of a fixed installation: In fixed installations, the Esfera microphone is positioned alongside the field or underneath the stadium roof. Its audio signal is fed into the stadium’s network via two standard microphone cables, then converted into an AES3 signal and routed to the OB van. The two audio channels can either be converted into a 5.1 signal onsite – with the settings defined by the A1 of the host broadcaster – and transmitted to the local broadcasters; or, alternatively, the stereo audio signal is directly transmitted to the local broadcasters who do the conversion into 5.1 with their own preferred settings.
Workflow with cameras: Esfera will only occupy two of the four audio inputs on broadcast cameras, allowing the crew to also work with other microphones – for example, a clip-on microphone and a boom microphone. During the entire production process from the recording to editing and post production, the audio signal is in sync with the video signal and will only be decoded into 5.1 during the last step of production. Esfera is also the first system that allows the recording of 5.1 surround sound from a wireless camera.
The SPM 8000 stereo microphone: With its two radio-frequency condenser microphones Esfera’s SPM 8000 stereo microphone offers all the advantages that Sennheiser RF condenser microphones are renowned for: natural, detailed sound, transparency, high resistance to adverse climatic conditions and ruggedness. The microphones feature an extremely low inherent self-noise, have very low distortion figures and are inherently fully floating and balanced.
The SBP 8000 processing unit: The Esfera processing unit uses a special algorithm to generate a full 5.1 surround signal with sampling rates of up to 96 kHz from the microphones‘ stereo signal. An integrated compressor ensures a broadcast-friendly signal. The processing unit has four directly selectable presets, which can be modified via an Ethernet interface. The processor software enables the user to adjust the gain of the individual channels, modify the front and surround focus, determine the surround delay, adjust several filters with their cut-off frequencies and set the compression, the limiter and the treble boost.
Connectivity of the processing unit: Inputs: two analogue XLR-3 sockets with P48 phantom powering and two digital inputs for an AES3 signal; outputs: six digital outputs (left, right, centre, LFE, surround left, surround right) for three AES3 signals.
The Esfera system will be presented to the public for the first time at IBC and made available from March 2014.
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Sobre a Sennheiser Moldando o futuro do áudio e criando experiências sonoras únicas para os clientes - esse objetivo une os funcionários e parceiros da Sennheiser em todo o mundo. Fundada em 1945, a Sennheiser é um dos principais fabricantes mundiais de fones de ouvido, microfones e sistemas de transmissão sem fio. Com 21 subsidiárias de vendas e parceiros comerciais de longa data, a empresa atua em mais de 50 países e opera suas próprias instalações de produção na Alemanha, Irlanda, Romênia e EUA. Desde 2013, a Sennheiser é gerenciada por Daniel Sennheiser e pelo Dr. Andreas Sennheiser, a terceira geração da família a administrar a empresa. Em 2017, o Grupo Sennheiser gerou faturamento de 667,7 milhões de euros. www.sennheiser.com.