First previewed earlier this year, RØDE is now ready to start shipping the new SoundField ambisonic microphone. 3D audio production is a new product category altogether, and after acquiring SoundField, RØDE is now positioning itself to be a leader in this space.
The RØDE SoundField NT-SF1 records sound spherically around itself, from all direction. For 360 degree soundscapes and VR video, audio is an important part of the immersive experience, and now 360 capture is much easier than ever before.
For example, pairing the NT-SF1 with The GoPro Fusion 360 Camera, you can now get a complete 360 degree audio visual package, with auto stitching, for under $2k. That’s amazing, considering just a few years ago you would need an array of cameras and mics, along with a team of operators and an intense post-production workflow.
Now we just need immersive headphones to go mainstream, and then regular stereo audio will feel like watching black and white films.
Rode SoundField NT-SF1 Plugin
Along with the new microphone, RØDE has also created a new software interface to fine tune the ambisonic recording. It has all sorts of technical achievements that are beyond our capacities to understand – but the point is, it’s a whole new world for spatial audio capture.
For example, in post-production you’ll be able to control which direction of the NT-SF1 you want to focus on, which means you can choose the polar pattern that you want the mic to simulate. The RØDE SoundField plugin also enables directional shotgun simulation.
Imagine placing one one of these mics at the center of a live musical performance. As you’re editing the video, you can choose to focus the audio on a specific instrument or singer. In a way, that’s similar to the way you can shoot 360 video nowadays and then later choose your POV or FOV.
The SoundField plugin is a free download and works with ProTools, Cubase, Logic Pro, and other programs. It also works with FCPX 10.4, which means video shooters and editors can begin to experiment with the Rode NT-SF1 without a big learning curve.
In addition to the microphone and case, the kit comes with a furry wind cover, a blimp-style windshield, a shockmount, and an XLR breakout cable.
For more info on specs and pricing, check out the Rode NT-SF1 at B&H Photo.