At IBC 2017, Sennheiser announced its “AMBEO for VR” Partnership Program, which has been created to ensure seamless production workflows for VR and AR productions. The program encompasses collaborations with acclaimed manufacturers of field recorders, VR live cameras and live streaming software, mixing plug-ins and VR platforms. The first participants in the program were revealed at the show.
“The future of audio is in immersive sound experience, and perhaps this is nowhere more apparent than in the field of VR,” says Véronique Larcher, co-director AMBEO at Sennheiser. “With the launch of the AMBEO VR Mic last year we have provided an easy-to-use tool for 3D audio productions, while our AMBEO Blueprints website provides ample information on recording and mixing 3D audio. Now our new partnership program helps content creators to design the full VR experience with ease.”
Acclaimed Industry Partners
Innovative audio for video manufacturer Zoom is including the AMBEO A-B conversion software in its F8 and – by the end of the year – F4 field recorders, best-sellers in the VR community. “At Zoom, we always take into high consideration new technology for audio recording,” comments Masa Iijima, Zoom Corporation CEO. “VR audio has just started and we are happy to partner with Sennheiser AMBEO to provide such an innovative VR recording solution to professionals and creators with our F8 and F4 field recorders.”
Motion picture equipment specialist Aaton Digital will also ensure “AMBEO for VR” compatibility for its Cantar X3 and CantarMini audio recorders. By embedding the A-to-B converter, Zoom and Aaton Digital will save their users the inconvenience of having to externally convert the microphone’s A-format output to the processing-compatible B-format. The field recorder will directly output the B-format, ready for the further processing of the 3D audio signals.
In the area of VR cameras and live streaming, Sennheiser is cooperating with Orah and Sphericam. Formerly known as VideoStitch, Orah is a major provider of high-quality live and postproduction 360° video creation software and the first company to have offered an all-in-one 4K camera for VR live streaming. Its Vahana VR 360° video live stitching and live streaming software now seamlessly integrates with Sennheiser’s AMBEO VR Mic. By adding 360° sound to 360° video in real-time, users are now able to create even more immersive live VR experiences.
Sennheiser’s first partner among professional VR camera makers is Sphericam, who paired its state-of-the-art Sphericam Beast cinematic 360º camera with the AMBEO VR Mic to deliver an unparalleled experience for demanding film productions. This tight collaboration resulted in an unrivaled purpose-built, high-end VR video and audio capture system, combining 4 x 4K60 10-bit Raw / Prores capture with the unique quality of the AMBEO VR Microphone, ensuring the highest fidelity immersion.
Noise Makers is a longstanding AMBEO partner for VR mixing plug-ins. Its Ambi Head binaural renderer allows monitoring Ambisonics audio in 3D and crafting the balance of the immersive audio mix over headphones. The Ambi Head plug-in offers an AMBEO option for the mixing engineer to monitor their VR mix binaurally with the spatial and timber qualities inspired from another AMBEO recording tool, the Neumann KU 100 dummy head.
In addition to the AMBEO VR Mic’s proprietary A-B format converter, some acclaimed plug-in specialists have joined the AMBEO for VR partnership, among them Harpex. Its Harpex-X signal processing algorithm aims at extracting the maximum amount of spatial information from sound field recordings, with a Harpex plug-in converting the AMBEO VR Mic’s A-format signal into the standard surround and 3D surround formats used in film and television, binaural stereo, and VR and AR applications (higher-order AmbiX).