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  #1  
Old 03-16-2018, 11:28 AM
michaelfbates michaelfbates is offline
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Default Sennheiser Ambeo self noise

Hi all,

I'm pretty happy with how even quiet room tones come out using Soundfield mic recordings for ambiences and decoding to 5.0 using the SurroundZone2 plugin.

I haven't got any experience of the Sennheiser Ambeo, so I was wondering if anybody had used recordings from it in the context of a backgrounds tracklay for film.

Mainly, I'm concerned with how they stand up to recording quiet ambiences like room tones. Are they in the same league of quiet mics as the Sennheiser MKH series?

Thanks for any help you can give me!
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  #2  
Old 03-17-2018, 07:06 AM
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antonis antonis is offline
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Default Re: Sennheiser Ambeo self noise

I am 99.99% certain that the Ambeo is using 4x of the much inferior capsule found on the ME66 (i.e. catankerous sound).

Obviously, all the filtering is what raises the shelf-noise. But somebody told me that the mic can be send off to Sennheiser and custom tailor all the filtering for all of the capsules - or something along these lines.

In other words, the Ambeo seems to be just about OK for what it does. The more expensive Soundfields are definitely the "Pro" range.

I am in the market myself. If Sennheiser could come up with a tetrahedral using the MKH40 capsules, I would have jumped on the chance.

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  #3  
Old 03-18-2018, 10:46 AM
Cheesehead Cheesehead is offline
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Default Re: Sennheiser Ambeo self noise

Hi Michael,

I haven't used the Ambeo but I have a Soundfield SPS200 and I find the self noise from that is quite high for critical ambience recording at low levels.

I think the clue is in the price. If it used excellent low noise capsules like the Schoeps CCM series or Sennheiser MKH it would be in the £5000.00 -ish bracket.

I ended up with a Schoeps CCM DMS rig for surround capture, and that is really low noise. Personally I find Ambisonic recordings can be a bit underwhelming and 'unfocused', or maybe its just me.
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  #4  
Old 03-19-2018, 06:38 AM
michaelfbates michaelfbates is offline
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Default Re: Sennheiser Ambeo self noise

Quote:
Originally Posted by antonis View Post
I am 99.99% certain that the Ambeo is using 4x of the much inferior capsule found on the ME66 (i.e. catankerous sound).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheesehead View Post
I think the clue is in the price. If it used excellent low noise capsules like the Schoeps CCM series or Sennheiser MKH it would be in the £5000.00 -ish bracket.
Yeah, that's what I was afraid of based on the price! It's a shame, I'm really just looking for a smaller surround recording rig than the one I currently use to record ambiences for film work, looks like the Ambeo won't be it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheesehead View Post
I ended up with a Schoeps CCM DMS rig for surround capture, and that is really low noise.
Can I ask Martin, do you just use this for quad then or do you derive a centre channel from this as well?

Last film I did I used a surround rig of basically all my microphones! MKH60 for centre, MKH30/40 MS for left and right, pair of DPA4060s for surrounds.

It worked well, even for really quiet interior ambiences, but it's so bulky and takes a while to setup so I was thinking of renting something like the soundfield or the DPA surround mic to use on the next film. But a double MS setup might work well, then I'd only have to buy a second MKH40.
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  #5  
Old 03-19-2018, 07:13 AM
Cheesehead Cheesehead is offline
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Default Re: Sennheiser Ambeo self noise

Hi Michael,

You can decode 5.1 from DMS using the software that Schoeps provides free. The caveat is the software is not AAX, but you can run it in the Blue Cat wrapper in Pro Tools and it works perfectly.

I find the 5.1 you get is really convincing and lifelike and the bonus is it has a very strong centre image because one of the mics is pointing straight forward unlike Ambisonics.

My rig is a customised one I built myself with a Schoeps CCM41 and CCM8 and a CCM 4 pointing backwards. It all fits in a Rycote small stereo windshield so its very compact. I recently got the Sound Devices mix pre 6 to go with it which is also really dinky.

On the Schoeps site they show a picture of a side address version of a CCM DMS rig which is even smaller but more expensive.

I probably would have gone with Sennheiser but as they don't make an MKH8030 any small format DMS setup is not happening.

You could do double MS with what you have using the MKH60 and 30 pointing forwards and the the MKH 40 backwards, just make sure the capsules are coincident. It would make a pretty bulky rig but it would work.
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  #6  
Old 03-20-2018, 01:03 AM
michaelfbates michaelfbates is offline
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Default Re: Sennheiser Ambeo self noise

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheesehead View Post
You can decode 5.1 from DMS using the software that Schoeps provides free. The caveat is the software is not AAX, but you can run it in the Blue Cat wrapper in Pro Tools and it works perfectly.

I find the 5.1 you get is really convincing and lifelike and the bonus is it has a very strong centre image because one of the mics is pointing straight forward unlike Ambisonics.
That's perfect, exactly what I was hoping you'd say about centre image! Didn't realise double MS could decode to 5.1, that's great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheesehead View Post
You could do double MS with what you have using the MKH60 and 30 pointing forwards and the the MKH 40 backwards, just make sure the capsules are coincident. It would make a pretty bulky rig but it would work.
Ah, that's such a good idea. I'd never thought of going double MS with what I have, it would certainly be less bulky than what I'm doing right now!

Thanks so much Martin, I've ordered some extra back to back clips so we'll see if I can fit it all in my Rycote.

If anyone reading this has done a double MS with Sennheiser MKH 60 / 30 / 40, I'd really appreciate it if you could let me know if there are any pitfalls I should avoid or good tips you have to make it work.
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  #7  
Old 09-13-2018, 10:28 AM
michaelfbates michaelfbates is offline
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Default Re: Sennheiser Ambeo self noise

Thought I'd update on how this went in case anyone else is considering the Ambeo for this specific application.

I was given an Ambeo to test shortly before starting work on my last feature and I wanted to see if it would handle recording quiet room tones. I have to say I wasn't impressed, the self noise was really noticeable and decoded to 5.0 it was all a bit hissy and indistinct. Pleasingly compact setup though, if you happened to be recording something with enough level I think it might be worth testing out, just not for me.

The MKH double mid side setup on the other hand was brilliant (thank you Cheesehead for the suggestion), really lifelike 5.0, strong centre image and obviously very low noise.
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  #8  
Old 09-13-2018, 03:14 PM
Reckless Erik Reckless Erik is offline
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Default Re: Sennheiser Ambeo self noise

Thanks Mike. Good to know. I was also disappointed with the Ambeo for soft room tones. It was good on high level stuff though. Mainly doors and hard attack stuff.
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  #9  
Old 09-13-2018, 04:34 PM
Cheesehead Cheesehead is offline
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Default Re: Sennheiser Ambeo self noise

No problem Mike, I'm glad the DMS setup worked out for you.
I'm still loving using mine too.


I see Rode are bringing out an Ambisonic mic as part of their new partnership with Soundfield.


I wonder what capsules they will use in that?
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  #10  
Old 09-15-2018, 09:35 AM
tom_lowe tom_lowe is offline
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Default Re: Sennheiser Ambeo self noise

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheesehead View Post
No problem Mike, I'm glad the DMS setup worked out for you.
I'm still loving using mine too.


I see Rode are bringing out an Ambisonic mic as part of their new partnership with Soundfield.


I wonder what capsules they will use in that?
It's not a partnership with Soundfield, they own Soundfield! As for the capsules, they're a brand new design, but beyond that not much info I don't think.
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