Surprising as it may seem, there is more going on in Ambisonics today than
ever before. The fact that you can build decoders and processors in software
rather than needing to design, build and sell physical devices, has meant
that there is today a wide range of Ambisonic tools.
- See the range of tools and plugins for First and Third-Order Ambisonics from Richard Furse and Blue Ripple Sound
- The Ambisonic Toolkit (ATK) brings together a number of classic and novel tools for the artist working with Ambisonic surround sound. The ATK toolset has been been gathered, authored and developed by Joseph Anderson over a number of years, and is now a collaborative open source (GPL) project. Check out some Ambisonic
projects for Linux, at Kokkini Zita (under construction)
- Core Sound has announced the first portable soundfield mic at under $1000.
The Tetramic is well worth a look!
- Daniel Courville is writing a series of guides on the now-available tools for creating and distributing Ambisonic recordings.
- Dr Bruce Wiggins has developed a
DirectShow plugin for Windows Media Player that enables it to play Ambisonic
Waveform Extensible files (see below) which can be created using Richard
Dobson's multichannel tools. Dobson has also developed a Windows B-Format
- An Ambisonic File Format based on WAVE-EX has
been specified for B-Format and UHJ (2-channel) files. Martin Leese has documented
this and it
is reproduced here (Nov 2005).
Audio Units - plug-ins for Apple OS X
by Aristotel Digenis and VST ports from staff and students at the University
of York. Decoder and processor plus
a growing range of additional elements including a VST-based decoder
- David McGriffy's Ambisonic tools provide some useful facilities:
- The set of available plugins for digital audio workstations grows apace
with the addition of these items from Gerzonic.net.
Currently included in the set are: bPlayer: 1st- and 2nd-order
ambisonic fileplayer as VST Plugin for PC platform. Mac version in production;
bRec16 and bRec32: 1st- and 2nd-order wave file recorders as VST
Plugins. Mac version in production. Record your live b-format streams or virtual
mixes by the click of a button; decoder_hexagon implements
the Furse decoding equation, feautures a volume control and a slider to seamlessly
blend from 'strict-soundfield'- to 'controlled-opposite'-decoding.
- An exciting set of Ambisonic
VST plugins for Macintosh- and Windows-based DAW and music production
systems such as Steinberg's Nuendo, AudioMulch and Max/MSP, is available free
of charge from Dave Malham at the University of York's Music Department. Written
by Dave Malham and Ambrose Field, the plugins include B-Format panning - with
and without GUI - and a configurable high-resolution B-Format decoder that
can handle many speaker arrays. All the plugins include the ability to handle
- Dr Thomas
Chen has developed powerful software for the Creamware Pulsar system,
providing multiple, configurable B-format decoding, B-Format mixing and signal
manipulation. He intends to make this software available commercially, either
through Creamware or direct.
the Waterloo, Ontario-based company run by Michael Dunn, has released the
SSP-1 Surround Processor kit, offering full B-format decode as well
as UHJ and other formats. It offers multiple loudspeaker configuration options,
subwoofer crossover and even an overhead speaker output. You can slave two
units together and decode full periphony. Michael has done a wonderful job
here - he also offers Ambisonic CDs and other audio equipment kits.
Productions Limited actually came about because of a chance meeting
between Alan Mihara and Dr Geoffrey Barton, their founder directors, in connection
with audio technology. Geoffrey was at that time working with Michael Gerzon
on the development of Ambisonics. Alan heard the system and convinced his
then employer to buy up the development. At this he was unsuccessful as BTG
would not part with the patents, but Alan and Geoffrey stayed in contact.
Trifield has a number of audio patents and offers them on licence to equipment
manufacturers and audio software companies in the consumer and pro-audio fields.
Most of the patents came about as the result of collaboration between Barton
and Gerzon over some years. Support for licensees varies from straight licensing
of the patents to provision of complete designs.
- Audio cognoscenti regard Meridian
as one of Britain's leading consumer audio manufacturers. Their Surround
Processors include Ambisonic and Trifield decode capability, and have
some incredible reviews.
Bob Stuart of Meridian was also one of the designers of MLP,
the lossless packing technique used in DVD-Audio, which includes Ambisonic
- If you're interested in the Soundfield
Microphone, check out this location. The US distributors, TransAmerica
Audio Group, have a Soundfield
USA site that contains additional examples. There is also a remarkable
Ambisonic microphone available from AGM