Sennheiser Joins GoPro’s Virtual Reality Quest With New VR Microphone
A VR video primarily has two significant elements, that is, picture (visual) and sound (audio). When creating a VR video it is important to deliver the best quality audio and visual elements, because the audio is just as important (if not more important) than the picture quality.
Many filmmakers make the mistake of neglecting the audio part, and focuses too much on the picture quality. Studies show that if the audio quality of a video is subpar, no matter how good the picture actually is, the audiences are more likely to displease the entire video content as a whole.
GoPro has long been a go-to standard for hobbyists to professional in 360 video productions. However, most GoPro VR filmmakers would probably agree that although the GoPros images are great, the audio quality can definitely use a little upgrade.
Sennheiser, a leading global audio specialist, announced that the company will be joining GoPro’s new developer program, which enables developers with toolkits to connect their productions with GoPro cameras and develop an integrated solution.
The new Sennheiser VR mic, AMBEO, will enable a user optimal performance even under the toughest filming conditions, designed to be used for the new GoPro 360 VR camera rig. The VR mic has a special windshield that is waterproof and nearly immune against snow, ice, and wind. This is a perfect tool GoPro to film extreme sport athletes such as pro surfers, mountain climbers, base jumpers, and mountain bikers.
What you get from the microphone is what’s called ambisonic A format. Sennheiser provides the software so you can convert the A format files into B format. Once the file is in B format, it can be used in a variety of popular players, such as YouTube and Oculus cinema.
Apparently the production of VR audio content centrals around B format. These new workflows also allow you to take point sources, let’s say, a Sennheiser radio mic and spatialize that in a sound field, so you can mix various forms of sound sources to customize a spatial sound design.
“We are delighted to welcome Sennheiser into the GoPro developer programme…….Sennheiser has created exciting new functionality to our collective customers, delivering high-quality audio capabilities to make video experiences look, sound and feel even more vividly compelling.”
“It is truly thrilling to be among the first to join the GoPro developer programme to create audio visual experiences that will transform our ability to share and experience our world,” said Dr. Andreas Sennheiser, CEO, Sennheiser.
“By working with GoPro’s toolkits we will be able to develop solutions that will enhance the unique footage that GoPro cameras can capture through our expertise in audio. I am looking forward with genuine excitement to see the incredible and creative work that will result when we give some of the world’s most creative and daring people new capabilities to see, hear and explore.”
AMBEO VR microphone is a perfect companion for GoPro producers to develop 360 VR videos, which is set to release in Q4 of 2016. The retail price has yet been confirmed, but according to Slash Gear that the unit will be priced around $2000 USD.