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8 hours ago, jon_tatooles said:

 

Yeah, I imagine few producers know the nuances of multi-channel audio recording. No doubt you are going to bring your expertise to the project to approach the production. In the shoot you mention were you brought in for surround/immersive/3D audio recording specifically? What are the production deliverables in these projects? Raw A-format, B-format, 5.1? Other?


The honestly didn't even know what they want wanted delivered from me. No clue at all. 


They didn't even have 110% locked in who'd be doing sound post, but they did put me in connect with the person who'd probably be doing post sound (but even then, I think I only talked to him once we'd started the second day of shooting? So a bit late by then, although it was a multiday shoot). And yeah, even he didn't know what exactly he wanted. 

Sooooo.... I made the choice to record it in both A and B format simultaneously, and they could figure out which they preferred in post. 

 

6 hours ago, Jose Frias said:

If it's a VR/360 video production company, they will specifically ask for "spatial audio" which seems to have become the default nomenclature for this kind of work. They may specify that they want Ambisonics, which is obviously not the only spatial audio format, but it seems to be the most widely adopted one for VR and 360. A professional VR production company would definitely understand the entire pipeline.

 

Now if it's a regular production company that is doing a VR / 360 video project, then it may be a different situation where they know very little to nothing of the workflow and pipeline, but they have some basic understanding of the language. In those cases most of the 

clients I have worked with will hire a VR sup or tech who guides them through the process and who communicates all the technical requirements for the project.


This production company was kinda half way between those two scenarios. 

As in they'd done a few 360VR projects already (using rented cameras I think? Or maybe the cheap consumer grade Samsung 360VR camera), but this was their first ever project with their fancy new and super expensive 360VR camera they'd just got. 

So basically they are Type #2 company (that Jose mentioned), but were taking the first steps down the path to becoming in the near future the Type #1 company.

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9 hours ago, The Immoral Mr Teas said:

Excellent, interesting and nicely concise write-up Jose, thank you.

 

Interesting that you are mixing (and presumably delivering?) in 3OA and recording in 1OA. I don't have close to the same experience as yourself in actually working (and delivering a product) in ambisonics, yet I've known it, used it and experimented with it since a long while back. I believe Jon was perhaps referring to the end delivery format or situation in his question (which was well answered but I'm still curious). I will add my own experience that as a single point mic, if the ambisonic mic cannot be well-positioned it may well be compromised (or be not terribly good) as the source of a good or perfect 'localisation sound-scape'. This will be understood by everyone who at some time couldn't get the boom mic just outside the frame pointing at the dialogue, and is stated pretty succinctly by Soundfield who pretty much said 'position it as a mono mic to get a good result'. So even for these 'vector-soundscape' situations perhaps even ambisonics can't deliver (against the tyranny of camera position for instance). So, I'm sort of second-guessing Jon's question here in what the requirements are and how much are met by a single ambisonic mic and what else goes into a third order ambisonic mix?

 

Are you using Harpex for the final mix? And is there a strong reason for delivering in 3OA rather than 1OA? Is it just that 'one can' or do other input elements and/or delivery requirements (being what - speaker or output-wise) necessitate or benefit from the higher order?

 

Hope these questions make sense to anyone but myself! I'm actually interested in how we might be experiencing a repeat of the "locked camera" restriction of both sight and sound that disabled film in the 1930s, a previous era of great change, and my own fetish interest ...

 

Jez

 

In post we work (mix and deliver in) 3OA because we get better spatial resolution (aka a more immersive audio experience) out of HOA than 1OA. While some of the recordings I do is in 1OA, most of the audio I'm recording is isolated sound sources, whether in sync to video as part of a multi-track file, or wild as mono files.

 

The mixing tools we use, whether it be Pro Tools HD/Ultimate for linear projects or wwise for interactive projects, both support up to 3OA, and will pan and mix all those individual tracks into 3OA natively. Most popular authoring tools are now starting to support 3OA, including the free Facebook 360 Spatial Audio Workstation. That said a lot of playback platforms still only support 1OA, like YouTube which is still the most popular platform for 360 content, but we think it's worth future proofing our mixes as technology keeps evolving.

 

We are using the Harpex algorithm for upconversion from 1OA to 3OA. We find it to have the best results, but we also like the Blue Ripple Upconverter too. You could also just mix 1OA into a 3OA mix since the first four tracks of any B-format HOA does make up the first order. Based on our experience you just get slightly better results with upconverting first.

 

Hope that clarifies any questions you had.

 

Cheers,

J.

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Just now, Jose Frias said:

 

Hope that clarifies any questions you had.

 

 

Yeah pretty much, thanks Jose. Was curious really how much HOA had developed industry-wise - as in clients, rather than just ourselves.

 

Cheers, Jez

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1 hour ago, The Immoral Mr Teas said:

Was curious really how much HOA had developed industry-wise - as in clients, rather than just ourselves.

 

Definitely still developing. Most of my VR/360 clients only ask for "spatial audio", and about half of those would specify ambisonics, but nothing more specific than that usually. We would work with the on staff VR tech sup to coordinate the best format and deliverables based on what they are trying to deliver and where (which platforms). We may mix in 3OA, but a lot of times we still have to deliver in 1OA (in the case of YouTube) or 2OA (in the case of Facebook 360, though now 3OA support is in beta).

HOA support is definitely growing though. And we're definitely seeing some entries for HOA in the recording side as well: Core Sound's 2OA Octomic; Brahma was also developing a hybrid 2OA mic similar to the Octomic; and there's of course the Zylia ZM1 which claims to do 3OA recordings. Oh and let's not forget the Eigenmike, which can be matriced to 5OA. It's happening.

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16 hours ago, Jose Frias said:

 

If it's a VR/360 video production company, they will specifically ask for "spatial audio" which seems to have become the default nomenclature for this kind of work......

 

Great information here. Things certainly are evolving quickly. The changing capabilities of post and delivery are driving many of the techniques in production, whether for spatial projects or narrative/drama.

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Cheers again, Jose, a little late back to the table! I hadn't actually realised the 'upconversion' existed ... or indeedy how it might work so I'm going to have a good look at that too! Thanks,  Jez

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fyi, a nice new Soundfield website + on Rode's FB page this morning:

"...The SPS200 is going to continue on as a SoundField product, where as the NT-SF1 is going to be a cheaper, more affordable ambisonic mic officially as a RODE Microphones product. The SoundField products will continue to be largely hand made and featuring the best components available, where as the NT-SF1 will benefit from RODE's more automated, advanced manufacturing techniques that will reduce the cost. I'm sure a lot of people will be comparing both when they are available.

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You can see my question about the SPS200 on their FB page - under the announcement for the new Soundfield web site with recording samples. I was answered in a personal message, assumed it would also appear on web site. I despise FB and wander into its messy warren only rarely...

fb rode pull.jpeg

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The Cinema Audio Society (CAS) is partnering contributing three panel discussions/workshops to the MIX Magazine "Sound for Film" event at Sony Studio in Culver City this October 13 (www.mixsoundforfilm.com). One of the panels will be about the Ambiosonic / Soundfield recording processes. It will be a great way to learn a lot about what I believe will become a common practice.

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