Watch out Ambeo, there’s a new ambisonic microphone in town!
Today at NAB 2018, RØDE Microphones has announced its new SoundField NT-SF1 ambisonic microphone.
According to RØDE, the NT-SF1 is the first true condensor ambisonic microphone available for less than $1000.
Back when Freedman Electronics Group, the parent company of RØDE Microphones, purchased SoundField in November of 2016, it was only a matter of time until RØDE would come out with a spatial microphone that’d be a bit more affordable than the high-end solutions SoundField was known for.
The SoundField NT-SF1 is the first spatial audio solution RØDE’s released since the acquisition.
The NT-SF1 features four of RØDE’s ½-inch TF45C capsules in a tetrahedral array, which capture four channel A-format recordings that can then be transformed and manipulated in B-Format with a soon-to-be-released SoundField by RØDE plugin.
Although RØDE has said SoundField’s technology ensures “the most accurate spatialisation possible” for 3D audio positioning, the plugin will also allow users to re-shape audio in post to ensure proper placement.
However–in addition to a lower price tag–the NT-SF1 also comes with a blimp-style windshield. A windshield that doesn’t touch the tetrahedral array is a must-have accessory for mics of this kind. When capturing audio with the Ambeo, we used the the Rycote Baby Ball Gag Windshield, which cost an additional $120.
“Delivering this kind of professional-use technology at a sub-USD$1000 price point is a world first in the ambisonic world,” said RØDE’s Head of New Product Development Pieter Schillebeeckx (formerly the director of new product at SoundField for 16 years). “It gives budding VR creators, immersive filmmakers and videogame world builders an accessible and high-quality way to dive into 360-degree-with-height audio capture.”
Although a specific price has yet to be set, we do know that the NT-SF1 will cost less than $1000.
We also know it is expected to release sometime in 2018–and soon.