Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
SoundField targets HD surround broadcasters at NAB2007
UK microphone manufacturer SoundField has responded to the surge of interest in 5.1 audio among HD broadcasters with several new products to be shown at the upcoming NAB2007. The company will also be educating users on the benefits of its new range of microphones.
At the top of the new range is the company’s first digital microphone, the DSF-2. Introduced last year, the mic is now making waves among the big satellite broadcasters in Europe as a means of capturing 5.1 audio for HD. It can be used at up to 1.3km from its associated broadcast vehicle, and has the ability to capture stereo and surround audio simultaneously, offering backwards-compatible SD transmissions alongside HD programming. Last year, the DSF-2 captured 5.1 crowd ambience at the FIFA World Cup in Germany. More recently, Rupert Murdoch's Sky has announced that it is standardizing on the DSF-2 as its surround microphone of choice for all its HD sports coverage.
Also on show at NAB will be the recently introduced ST350, a compact, portable microphone ideal for field recording. The ST350 weights only 290g (around two-thirds of a pound) and measures about half the size of the older SoundField ST250 mic. Running from the mains or 9V-18V power cells, the ST350 may be used with cable runs of up to 200m from its control unit, even when operating from batteries.
The newest, most compact and affordable product in the line, is the SPS200, which weighs just 220g. The first SoundField mic to be supplied without an associated control unit/decoder, the SPS200 offers the same audio recording format flexibility and 5.1 surround recording capability of its higher-end siblings, achieving this by means of cross-platform software control; this makes it ideal for one-camera location recording teams with a laptop that need to capture audio in 5.1. The SPS200 offers many of the company’s advanced features, including the ability to generate 5.1, 6.1, 7.1 and simultaneous stereo with variable width, and to continuously vary the mic's effective polar pickup pattern and orientation without moving the mic.
SoundField's new products will be on display at NAB2007 Booth N9421.
For more information, visit www.soundfield.com.