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Capturing audio for VR/AR

Recording immersive audio for VR productions typically has involved complicated microphone set-ups. The AMBEO VR Mic, which was on display at Sennheiser’s IBC stand and also in IBC’s Future Zone, puts everything into a compact and easy-to-use handheld unit.

“For the user to gain a truly immersive experience, it is imperative that the sound within VR is also 3D,” said Kai Lange, product manager, Broadcast and Media for Sennheiser.

The AMBEO VR Mic is an Ambisonics microphone that uses four carefully selected, matched capsules in a tetrahedral arrangement. Also included is the necessary encoding software that translates the A format file generated from the recording of the four microphone channels into a B format file W, X, Y and Z. This format is recognised in the Ambisonics world, the W component being the omni and the X, Y, Z components being figure-of-eight capsules along three spatial axes.

The AMBEO VR Mic development process was accompanied by intensive field testing with VR content producers, and the unit will target VR production agencies, VR content creators, the Ambisonics community and others when it becomes available in November.