We have developed this multichannel surround microphone that captures sound in all directions exclusively for spherical video shooting. The audio player developed for the microphone perfectly matches the recorded sounds with the view on the screen. It offers a feeling as if you are present in the scene.
Sound of 360-degree videos recorded by existing devices including RICOH TEHTA is just normal stereo sound direction. Even though we can freely change the viewpoint, the sound is still unchangeable.
For instance, when you heard something from your right and moved the viewpoint to the right direction, the sound still comes from the same direction, i.e. right.
The 3D audio effect employed in 3D videogames has now become commonplace. So, we thought we might be able to create a microphone and a player that match the recorded sounds with the viewpoint in all directions.
Ambisonics360 Microphone consists of four microphones each of which has directionality along the direction of each peak of a regular tetrahedron from its center. Along with the video shooting, the portable recorder separately records sounds captured by four independent channels. When playing, the recorded sounds are mixed into two channels that are fed to a headphone, by calculating from the direction of the view on the screen. This scheme is based on the concept of Ambisonics, the surround sound technology introduced in the 1970s.
I believe everyone has an experience that old memories are evoked by nostalgic sounds such as sound heard in the town streets where you grew up: sound of school bell, sound of temple bell, etc.
Here we are focusing on something we cannot see, but it is as important as what we can see. We proudly suggest this surround microphone can offer the sounds perfectly synchronized with the spherical video of RICOH THETA.
With the appearances of cutting-edge devices such as Oculus Rift, VR technology has attracted a great deal of attention; however, most of the attention is about visual representation. Our attempt here is also a challenge to gather attention on audio reproduction.
"A picture is worth a thousand words" and "seeing is believing" are both true, but, on the other hand we assert, hearing is also believing.