Frequently Asked Questions

What is Ambisonics?

Ambisonics is an audio format used to encode a 3D sound field using a series of spherical harmonics. Learn more about ambisonics and how it is used in the Voyage Audio Journal article Ambisonics Demystified.

What is the difference between a 1st order and a 2nd order Ambisonic microphone?

The order is based on the number of spherical harmonics used to reproduce the sound field. The higher the order, the more spherical harmonics and better the spatial resolution of the sound field. Spatial Mic is capable of 2nd Order ambisonics and uses eight capsules to capture the sound field as opposed to four capsules used on 1st order ambisonic microphones.

Learn more about ambisonics and how it is used in the Voyage Audio Journal article Ambisonics Demystified.

Which external windshield fits Spatial Mic?

Spatial Mic includes a foam windscreen but for additional protection from wind and the elements we recommend the Rycote 45/100 Windjammer.

Is Spatial Mic compatible with iOS and Android devices?

Yes, you can record Spatial Mic with both iOS and Android devices. When recording with an iPhone you may need the Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter + battery. You will also need a recording app capable of recording 8 tracks of audio such as Auria, Audio Evolution Mobile, or multiTrack DAW.

Android devices with a USB-C jack can connect directly to Spatial Mic with a single USB-C to C cable. You will also need a recording app capable of recording 8 tracks of audio such as Audio Evolution Mobile, USB Audio Pro Recorder, or N-Track.

Does Spatial Mic require special drivers?

The built-in audio drivers for Mac OSX, iOS, and Android work great and support multi-channel audio from Spatial Mic. We do not provide a custom driver for Windows and we recommend using the free driver from Asio4all.

Does Spatial Mic and the Spatial Mic Converter plugin work with Pro Tools?

Spatial Mic and the Spatial Mic Converter (AAX) plugin work with Pro Tools Ultimate. Pro Tools Ultimate is required to enable the ambisonic tracks for the plugin.

Which clock source do I use when recording with ADAT?

Spatial Mic must be selected as the master clock source when recording with the ADAT lightpipe outputs. The maximum sample rate and bit depth when using ADAT is 48 kHz / 24 bit.

What is the maximum cable length (USB and ADAT) that can be used with Spatial Mic?

Spatial Mic includes a 10ft USB cable but the maximum recommended USB cable length is 15ft. There are many active USB repeaters which can increase this distance to 50ft or greater.

Lightpipe cables can very greatly in quality but we have successfully tested up to 50ft.

What are the four Virtual Microphone output types on the Spatial Microphone Converter plugin?

Figure 8: Traditional Omni → Cardioid → Figure 8 microphone patterns

Basic: Virtual mic patterns capable of second order cardioid (pattern = 2)

Max rE: Maximizes energy concentration vector (rE) by focusing energy signals in the direction of interest

In-Phase: Full side-lobe suppression with no out-of-phase components

 

Max rE and In-Phase terminology is from ambisonic literature on physical decoding. We decided to keep it consistent with what’s been out there for decades. More information about the plugin can be found in this journal article.