This is some huge news.
I have known about it for a while now and promised to hold my tongue. And if you were in some of the 360 Audio FB groups a 10 months ago, you may have spotted my post asking about what features you the users want to see in the F8 when it comes to dealing with Ambisonic microphones. Some of you immediately took note and realized that Zoom was developing VR Firmware with the research.
Well that research was submitted and as luck would have it at the exact same time Sennheiser reached out to ZOOM to inquire into helping develope firmware for the F8 using the AMBEO Ambisonic algorithm for decoding. Today both companies went public with that partnership and in the near future the F8 will get even more powerful and useful.
If you use a Zoom F8 and the Sennheiser AMBEO then Zoom wants to tell your story.
If you want to see our review of the AMBEO and how it fits well with the Zoom F8 check out our post from a few months ago.
Here is the official press release from Zoom Japan.
September 15, 2017 — Zoom Corporation, Japan, is proud to announce a new collaboration with Sennheiser. Both pioneers in audio, Zoom and Sennheiser are pairing up to offer the complete VR production experience within the framework of Sennheiser’s AMBEO for VR partnership program. With Zoom’s F8 and F4 MultiTrack Field Recorders and Sennheiser’s AMBEO VR Mic, virtual reality professionals and enthusiasts can record high-quality 360-degree audio for video.
The Zoom F8 and F4 offer gain linking capability, allowing creators to adjust the gain on all four capsules of the Sennheiser AMBEO VR Mic evenly and simultaneously with one knob. This makes monitoring and adjusting audio levels more accessible when recording in the field.
“We are delighted that Zoom has joined the AMBEO for VR partnership program,” said Véronique Larcher, co-director AMBEO at Sennheiser. “By embedding the AMBEO VR Mic’s A-B converter in the Zoom F8, VR content creators are able to rely on a convenient and easy-to-use combo for VR productions.“
To further streamline workflow with the F8 and F4, Zoom is developing new AMBEO-ready firmware with A-B decoding for properly monitoring signal from the AMBEO mic.
“At Zoom, we always take into high consideration new technology for audio recording,” commented Masa Iijima, Zoom Corporation CEO. “VR audio has just started and we are happy to partner with Sennheiser AMBEO to provide such an innovative VR recording solution to professionals and creators with our F8 and F4 field recorders.”
The firmware updates will be available in late September for F8 and in December 2017 for F4.
Zoom and Sennheiser will be showcasing the F8/F4 and AMBEO VR Mic combination at this year’s IBC in Amsterdam. For more information including specs and images, visit zoom.co.jp or contact Zoom Corporation at firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew Jones is a location sound mixer based in Los Angeles. He started in the TV and Film industry in 2004. You can email him at Andrew@HoldForSound.com