ambiMIK-1 from miniDSP Announced With Dirac 3D
miniSDP ambiMIK-1 360-degree recording with Dirac Smarts
miniDSP has teamed up with Dirac to deliver the first consumer-driven, Ambisonic USB microphone for content creators and music makers
The new miniDSP ambiMIK-1 microphone features 3D audio processing from Dirac and is designed to enable AR/VR developers, musicians, podcasters, videographers, and vloggers record immersive, spatial audio.
miniDSP is known for its innovative digital signal processing (DSP) platforms, but the Hong Kong-based developer has announced its ambiMIK-1 Ambisonic USB microphone.
The ambiMIK-1 plugs into a standard USB port and promises to capture lifelike, 360-degree sound. We are told that it can be used for anything from recording music to producing augmented/virtual reality content. Furthermore, you don’t require a sound card, an external preamp, or XLR cables. The bundled Dirac 3D audio software — custom-designed for the ambiMIK-1 microphone — allows you to turn captured 3D sound into binaural audio for immersive listening through standard headphones or VR headsets.
Tony Rouget, Founder and CEO of miniDSP, told GadgetyNews:
With the ambiMIK-1, we have democratised 3D audio recording, playback, and content creation. The ambiMIK-1’s unique combination of ultra-portability, high sample rate, and low price mean virtually anyone can record rich, high-quality, spatial audio, whether they’re capturing the immersion of a live music performance or the 360-degree soundscape of a virtual reality experience.
Ambisonic microphones include multiple capsules for capturing sound from different directions. The ambiMIK-1 comes with four 14-millimeter, low-noise cardioid capsules, along with built-in analogue-to-digital converters, an embedded preamplifier, and USB processor in a lightweight aluminium body. It’s capable of recording 32-bit, multichannel audio at sample rates up to 192 kHz.
To create a plug-and-play Ambisonic microphone, miniDSP teamed up with Dirac for the custom virtual studio technology/audio unit (VST/AU) software plug-in. Dirac measured the microphone response in 300 directions (1,200 total measurements) to develop the custom filters required for turning raw microphone recordings into quality 3D audio.
Mathias Johansson, Dirac co-founder & CEO added:
The custom solution we developed for miniDSP draws from our extensive research into 3D audio psychoacoustics and multichannel digital filter optimisation. It leverages our proprietary, dynamic head-related transfer function (HRTF) database to create highly accurate, localised sound for any 3D audio application. With the Dirac-enabled ambiMIK-1 microphone, content creators of all types can record dynamic, spatial sound that can then be experienced by fans over any headphones. It’s a technology once reserved for the professionals, now delivered to the masses.
With the Dirac-enabled ambiMIK-1 and its native support for binaural output, musicians can easily create recordings of performances that can then be experienced by fans through any headphones. Podcasters can record interviews with groups and, when played back, their voices will sound like they’re coming from different positions in space for a more realistic-sounding conversation. Amateur videographers and vloggers can add a more professional, cinematic 3D sound experience to their films and shorts. And because the Dirac-based ambiMIK-1 also supports Ambisonic (B-format), engineers can use the microphone to capture audio that they can then adapt to VR, gaming, and 360-degree video content.
Price and availability
The ambiMIK-1 microphone comes with a license for the custom Dirac VST/AU plug-in, a shielded USB cable, a mini tripod, and a wind screen. It is available now for $349 US.