FilmOur Head of Audio Products, Mirek Stiles, was invited to try out the new Spatial Microphone Array suggested by Sennheiser, The Ambeo Cube. Read his thoughts on the setup and how well it tackled Spatial Audio after his session in Studio One: "A few weeks back I was lucky enough to try out the new Spatial Microphone Array suggested by Sennheiser. It's called the Ambeo Cube and consists of 9 x Sennheiser MKH800 microphones. The array is laid out as Bottom: Left, Centre, Right, left Surround, Right Surround and Top: Left, Right, Left Surround and Right Surround. Due to working within the space available, it wasn't an exact cube Left to Right 3.2m, Front to Back 2.6m and Bottom to Top 1.6 (with the Bottom layer at a height of 2m.) The MKH800 microphone has a duel capsule controlled via software that allows the image to change from Cardioid Front, Cardioid Back, Fig 8 or Omin directional. In other words, you have complete control in Post Production on the direction of sound. So most importantly, how did it sound? I tried both the Blue Ripple and Sennheiser Orbit panners, using -45, 45 degrees (left right) -135, 135 degrees (Left Right Surround) and the same for the top layer, but at an elevation of up 45 degrees.
To my ears the Blue Ripple setup had more focus to the overall sound as where the Orbit sounded wider and more diffused so guess it would depend on the effect you're after (as with all spatial panning/decoding software, none sound the same). Overall, I was massively impressed with the Ambeo Cube. It captured a sense of space I will find very hard to surpass in any other way, even the mighty Hamasaki Cube sounded a little flat in comparison. We hired the rig from Studio Care in Liverpool (who seem to be way ahead of the game regarding Spatial Audio hire). I highly recommend you give it a try! Find out more about Spatial Audio.