The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 All  This Thread  Reviews  Gear Database  Gear for sale     Latest  Trending
Ambisonic recording as an alternative to mid-side?
Old 26th January 2019
  #1
Gear Head
 

Ambisonic recording as an alternative to mid-side?

Hi,

since I'm currently in the process of putting together my first mid-side rig for stereo fx recording, I'm wondering if an ambisonic mic such as the relatively new Røde NT-SF 1 might be a good/ better alternative to an actual mid-side setup.

Could the final/ processed results of both recording techniques be comparable or am I mistaken (assuming that it's not about recording ambiences but rather more "direct" sound effects)?

From what I understand, the recorded tracks of an ambisonic mic can also be used in mono or stereo, depending on the processing done in post with certain plugins.
The problem might be that with an ambisonic mic it's not possible to choose a specific mid microphone, which could be a shotgun microphone in MS in order to get a really direct mid signal.

But other than that, could an ambisonic mic do the job of a mid-side setup?
Old 26th January 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruonitb View Post
Hi,

since I'm currently in the process of putting together my first mid-side rig for stereo fx recording, I'm wondering if an ambisonic mic such as the relatively new Røde NT-SF 1 might be a good/ better alternative to an actual mid-side setup.

Could the final/ processed results of both recording techniques be comparable or am I mistaken (assuming that it's not about recording ambiences but rather more "direct" sound effects)?

From what I understand, the recorded tracks of an ambisonic mic can also be used in mono or stereo, depending on the processing done in post with certain plugins.
The problem might be that with an ambisonic mic it's not possible to choose a specific mid microphone, which could be a shotgun microphone in MS in order to get a really direct mid signal.

But other than that, could an ambisonic mic do the job of a mid-side setup?
you can derive various patterns from the b-format signals of ambisonic mics; check out the plugins/decoders from several manufacturers to get an idea...
Old 27th January 2019
  #3
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
you can derive various patterns from the b-format signals of ambisonic mics; check out the plugins/decoders from several manufacturers to get an idea...
Yeah, the Rode SoundField NT-SF1 Plugin also allows directional shotgun simulation and figure 8 patterns; the Harpex plugin can do that as well as ORTF or AB for instance.

So, in theory this sounds good and I'm wondering if this makes a mid-side setup obsolete.

One of the downsides I can think of is the microphone selection...with ambisonics we are limited to one specific microphone, where as in mid-side we have the option to combine different microphones. Also, neither the NT SF1 nor the Ambeo mics are particularly quiet at 15-16 dB(A) - in mid-side quieter mics can be used if necessary (Soundfield SPS200 is quieter but also much more expensive).

Given that the NT SF1 costs about as much as a used MKH 30, is mid-side still the right way to go? I guess I'm missing something, as I'm not sure about pros and cons of both setups.
Old 27th January 2019
  #4
Lives for gear
 

i do have the sps200 (and access to other soundfield mics) so i'm mostly fine using any of these for m/s - however, monitoring (and noise) remains an issue so no, they do not entirely replace other m/s and much less other setups - they're great though for easy (and quite convincing) for recording of 5.1 of static setups such as orchestras
Old 27th January 2019
  #5
Lives for gear
 
johnsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruonitb View Post
Hi
But other than that, could an ambisonic mic do the job of a mid-side setup?
Up to a point, this might be true, especially with with the latest software decoders, but in terms of performance, it does depend on the microphone and I suspect you might find that both the Sennheiser Ambeo and the Rode NT-SF1 are a little disappointing in the low end.

There's a reason for this, and it can be corrected by having the microphone individually calibrated and then using a plug-in to apply the correction filters. Len Moskowitz's Core-Sound A-Format microphones are all individually calibrated (and the TetraMic is smaller and lighter than the Ambeo & the Rode) and Len will calibrate the other A-Format mics and provide the correction filters for you for a small-ish fee.

Go here for contact details: Core Sound — Services
Old 27th January 2019
  #6
Lives for gear
 
emrr's Avatar
I get the idea from limited experiments I've done and comments from others that localization with ambisonics can leave something to be desired compared to other methods. It seems to be a trade-off between control and quality for many. Initial comments about higher order ambisonics like the Octomic (sp?) with 8 capsules suggests better localization, I'm curious, haven't heard it. I'm sure someone will contradict me!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #7
Here for the gear
I have a Soundfield SPS200 and a ST450 and for me replaces all kinds of MS setups at any price. Superb sound, very portable (The SPS200 Rycote kit is light and small) (Rycote WS3), and very good localization with the Harpex plugin.

Best
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Gear Addict
 

You can do a lot with an ambisonic mic these days, especially with free plug-ins from Blue Ripple, IEM, Sparta, & more, but I don't know if I'd consider it a superior replacement for MS - it will definitely sound different than a normal MS setup, not necessarily better or worse, but different for sure. Obviously this depends on which mics you'd be using for each application, and you'll be happier with something like the ST450 compared to the Rode or Sennheiser options, but I've been using a Josephson c700s for several years now, and 99% of the time, I like the overall tonality / texture of the mic in normal MS decoding compared to any of the virtual mic patterns I can derive with ambisonics. It's hard to explain, but to my ears the sound is more pure in regular MS...
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump