The ubiquity of headphones is undeniable, they are peoples’ constant companion – always and everywhere like never before. AMBEO for Headphones is a fantastic way of creating easy-to-produce immersive audio content for headphone playback. It is based on recording with a dummy head microphone, an old technique re-imagined by using new processing technologies that enable completely new binaural mixing workflows and offer the ability to enhance the audio with spatially processed spot microphones.
Lucie Hardoin is a musician and sound engineer. She specializes in capturing soundscape and sound walks with binaural technology. With years of experience as a sound engineer of fictions and documentaries, she has developed a link between image, sound, music, and cinema, creating her own visual content with live video mixing tools.
Pascal Rueff is a director, poet and 3D sound engineer. For the past 15 years, he has been dealing with all aspects of binaural production. He has produced several series on World War II, the Illuminations by Rimbaud, and Chernobyl in collaboration with scientists, artists and technicians.
Neumann KU 100
Using the Neumann KU 100 dummy head microphone, you can easily record sound as if you were listening with your own ears. Thanks to its special technique, it creates the perfect immersive audio landscape by mimicking the shape of the human head and ears. These recordings can be enhanced by adding audio from spot microphones allowing for even greater flexibility in the final mix.
Sennheiser AMBEO VR Mic
The Sennheiser AMBEO VR Mic easy-to-use Ambisonics microphone is fitted with four matched KE 14 capsules in a tetrahedral arrangement. This special design allows you to capture the surrounding sound from one single point for fully spherical Ambisonics sound. The signal can be decoded to binaural easily, allowing you to approximate the effect of a full dummy head, like the KU 100, in a much smaller footprint and lower cost.
Spot microphones are a great extension when it comes to enriching live recordings with direct signals or just achieving a direct and pure sound aesthetic. With the advanced binaural, Ambisonics, and multi-channel spatializer dearVR PRO, or the free binaural panner dearVR MICRO, engineers can easily process the recorded signals in the DAW, enabling maximum flexibility and creativity.
The advantage of the KU 100 dummy head is its natural tonal balance. The use of additional spot microphones will add the creative flexibility required for many modern productions. With Dear Reality’s state-of-the-art spatializer plugin dearVR PRO or the free binaural panner dearVR MICRO, engineers can enhance their mixes with a true perception of direction, distance, reflections, and reverb.
Sennheiser AMBEO VR Mic
In scenarios where a KU 100 is too obtrusive or not affordable, you can switch to AMBEO VR Mic AMBEO VR Mic to use it as a binaural microphone. Using dearVR AMBI MICRO, you can directly convert the AMBEO VR Mic output to a binaural signal that sounds and behaves similar to an original KU 100 recording.
As it is only stereo data (as used for streams, downloads and on CDs), AMBEO for Headphones is the easiest format to deliver and requires no special hardware. Make sure that your audience understands that this content should preferably be consumed over headphones.