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Ambisonic Sound (1 Viewer)

Jon.Bryant

Well-known member
In my case more thinking than doing!

I have ambisonic equipment, which I use less often than I should to make wildlife recordings.

It is not the easiest recording method to master.

Any particular questions? Are you also trying ambisonics?
 

3dpan

Member
In my case more thinking than doing!

I have ambisonic equipment, which I use less often than I should to make wildlife recordings.

It is not the easiest recording method to master.

Any particular questions? Are you also trying ambisonics?
Thanks for your reply Jon.

At first, "ambisonics" was just a new word to me. But the more I read about it, the more fascinating it became.

My particular interest is in recording bird song and/or nature sound, in full (immersive (?)) 3D. Not just a left/right sound image but up and down, and distance, too. Just for personal enjoyment and for the challenge. Maybe a later commercial application.

The idea of binaural sound recording seemed to be the next step up from just stereo recording, given the possibility of detecting distance.
And then reading more, it seemed that since an ambisonic recording could also be converted to binaural and/or stereo sound,
then why not record everything in ambisonics to start with ?

My personal progress so far is minimal.
I have just bought a Zoom H8 a few days ago. Would have preferred the Zoom F6 but there is no firm delivery date, or price.
I see Zoom have an ambisonic mic module for the H8, but again no delivery date, but an attractive price.
I have started collecting components to build a DIY SASS head, using EM272 capsules.
And I have bought a pair of budget (Chinese) parabolic mics to play with the idea of hyper-stereo mic separation.
And my patch of land includes native forest with a small selection of birds and their dawn chorus. Plus frogs and their night-time chorus.
And also blessed with very low ambient noise levels, especially at night. (no cars, no traffic).

So, basically lots of ideas so far, but not much progress.
 

Jon.Bryant

Well-known member
I see Zoom have an ambisonic mic module for the H8, but again no delivery date, but an attractive price.
The VRH-8 does indeed look to be good value. I presume that you are looking to go with this option for ambisonic recording, as ambisonic recordigs are 4 track - the SASS and hyper stereo options are other ideas?

Whereas, I said I have made tentative steps in making ambisonic recordings, I am not really looking of using the true power of ambisonic - i.e. I am not looking to create recordings for use in VR - I am not going to don a VR headset and be able to look up at the lark singing overhead or turn to my head to the left to listen to a bird.

For me, I really see ambisonics as a half-way house to creating binaural or stereo. If you have a suitable editing suite, you can 'turn' and ambisonic sound and then render to stereo or binaural. This means that say you left the rig and a bird passed by vocalising from front to back, you could change this to left to right to create a more pleasing stereo (or binaural) recording.

A slight hiccup with the above is that ambisonics (well at least my plug-in) only supports 24-bit recording. If you are going to leave a mic and capture what comes close, then 32bit-float would be nice to avoid the potential for clipping.

I currently find binaural output less satisfactory than I think it should be. I think the problem here is selection of the correct 'dummy head' when rendering from ambisonic to binaural. From what I understand, the dimensions of a person's head and position of their ears, is of relevance (hence the vast number of dummy heads availably in the Reaper plug-in). This could be of relevance to other binaural rig set ups, where presumably the rig would need to be adjusted to create the best 3D sound for the individual. At least with ambisonics you can always render to different dummy heads - perhaps generic for publication and a tailored setup for your own listening.

Your location sounds perfect for experimentation. How I wish I had very low ambient noise where I live! For me this is the main reason I do not try ambisonics more often - I am often using directional mics to reduce unwanted ambient noise, and then also editing the files to reduce unwanted noise further. I must admit that the thought of trying to edit out sounds in a phase shifted four track recording boggles my mind and scares me! I suppose teh answer would be to render to stereo or binaural and then edit the noise out of the render file.

Regards

Jon
 

3dpan

Member
Thanks Jon.
I'm a bit like you regarding ambisonics, thinking them as a way towards binaural or stereo. The application to Virtual Reality is a long way down the list.
Just for interest I found a DIY project for making an ambisonic mic,
32 bit float recording appeals to me, I don't know how I'm supposed to set levels for drop recording when the birds are silent. Hence my leaning towards the Zoom F6. But maybe next year when Zoom get to shipping again.
 

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