Stereo & Surround

Ambience Recording

Ambience Recording is a special case of stereo recording. Most stereophonic techniques apply for ambience recording, as well. However, a stereo ambience often requires some more thinking,as it can have quite different properties, and thus requires different recording techniques. For example, a diffuse ambience in a hall without any discrete sources requires a different recording technique compared with an ambience consisting of a group of discrete sources in distinct directions. We have compiled some practical and theoretical hints for that topic here:

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Coincident Microphones comparison (Diffuse Field)

The spatial and timbral effect of stereo setups with different DFC (Diffuse Field Correlation)

We recorded 5 different coincident stereo microphone setups simultaneously in a diffuse, noisy university hall (Hochschule der Medien, Interaktive Medien, with Prof. Curdt)

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Berlin Ambience techniques, 2012

Berlin Ambience techniques, July 2012

At the occasion of the VDT seminar "Ambience recording" in Berlin (July 2012) a collection of 5 simultaneous recordings with 6 different surround ambience microphone setups was produced. These test samples enable a direct comparison between the different setups (and recording principles) and therefore a very precise assessment of the properties of the recording techniques in different recording locations.

Furthermore, the test samples enable a blindfolded listening test, as any loudness differences between the setups were equalized. For a repetition of the listening test, the detailed test and recording description, the listening test questionnaire and the audio samples are available for download:

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3D-Audio Ambience Recording Techniques, 2016

Artikel von Felix Andriessens

Ambience recordings are a crucial tool for designing acoustical environments and scenographies and thereby transporting emotions, for example in applications as film sound, game sound, VR applications, theatre and radio plays, to name a few.

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ORF Surround sound techniques, 2002

This early 5.1 microphone technioque shoot-out gained a lot of knowledge and until now, these audio samples (nicely made up as a DVD-Audio) are useful to compare diffferent approaches.

During a Surround Sound Microphone Seminar at ORF (Austrian Broadcast, Vienna) in the year 2002, a comparison of seven main microphone setups (see below) for 5.1 Surround Sound was performed by a simultaneous recording with consecutive blindfolded listening tests. The Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna played two different music samples.

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ORTF-3D on VR glasses - Download the app

ORTF-3D is an ideal microphone setup for VR and 360 video, as it is capable of recording a spacious ambience. It can be rendered quite easily with the help of the suitable tools.

That's how we did it:

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