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middling ambisonic

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 9:00 pm
by plodsmeade
Anyone tried the Rode NT-SF1 or Sennheiser Ambio and got any opinions on the matter?

Wondering about price vs. performance compared to the lower end software-only Soundfield.

cheers
p

Re: middling ambisonic

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 9:07 pm
by Hugh Robjohns
I believe a review of the Rode will appear in the next edition of SOS. Rode bought the Soundfield company and so the NT-SF1 builds directly on Soundfield's knowledge and experience while using Rode's own capsules. I umderstand that the A-format decoding software is also notably improved over the previous SurroundZone software as it takes a different approach to the matrixing.

H

Re: middling ambisonic

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 10:53 pm
by plodsmeade
Great, sneaky hint on the verdict? We'll all still buy the issue, promise.

Re: middling ambisonic

PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 12:14 am
by Hugh Robjohns
I didn't review it, so I can't comment I'm afraid.

H

Re: middling ambisonic

PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 9:50 am
by Sam Inglis
It's really good, as long as you don't mind being tied to software-only decoding. I don't have an Ambeo VR or an SPS422 to compare but I do have an ST450 MkII, and the NT-SF1 gets pretty close.

Re: middling ambisonic

PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 11:56 am
by Hugh Robjohns

Re: middling ambisonic

PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 2:46 pm
by plodsmeade
Thanks, £1 well spent.

Does seem to be the business.

Sam, interesting that you tested the ST450 through the Rode decoder plugin as I was wondering whether there would be physical differences in the mic that would prevent use with anything other than the bespoke decoder it comes with. So for example could the Rode NT-SF1 be used with a Sound Devices Mix Pre 6 which has the recent update allowing decoding of the Sennheiser Ambeo?

Re: middling ambisonic

PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:32 pm
by plodsmeade
Do ambisonic decoding plugins, available free (e.g. from Rode, Soundfield etc.), or as an addition to a recorder (e.g. sound devices), work with any ambisonic mic? Do the mic specs (capsule positioning and response) not make a difference or is the mic used included as a parameter?

Re: middling ambisonic

PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:41 pm
by Hugh Robjohns
Although, it would seem sensible to use the same brand of decoder as mic head where possible, assuming the ambisonic mic is a 'standard' A-format head or B-format output then, in general, any decoder will work with any mic array brand as the capsule dimensions and spacings tend to be very similar.

Not all decoders sound the same though. The new Rode decoder is a lot more sophisticated than Soundfield's old SurroundZone and seems to work very well with the Soundfield mics as well as the Rode one! The Harpex decoder also receives a lot of praise.

H

Re: middling ambisonic

PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:54 pm
by plodsmeade
Ok thanks. The sound devices update for example is advertised as pairing with Sennheiser Ambeo, but just seen the small print "Other microphones and microphone arrays are also supported."