There are several other ambisonic microphones out there, even some that are relatively inexpensive, but Embrace Cinema Gear set out to make their ambisonic mic, the Brahma, easy to use and of high quality, all while being affordable for the independent filmmaker. Check out Embrace's demo video to find out how the Brahma ambisonic microphone captures the "true 3-dimensional representation of an acoustical ambience" with its innovative design after the jump.
The India-based Embrace team is led by filmmaker Nakul Sood and sound recordist Umashankar, who has been making microphones and amplifies for over 30 years. They have engineered and manufactured over 80 unique filmmaking tools, and tackling an affordable ambisonic microphone was their latest endeavor.
Based on a design from the original paper on Ambisonics written by Michael Gerzon and Peter Craven, the Brahma is an "electrets based, phase accurate" ambisonic microphone with four cardioid capsules mounted on a 3D printed tetrahedron. Embrace designed the mic to be a single-point recorder that allows users the flexibility to "generate virtually any microphone pattern in the world." That includes, cardioid, figure 8, hypercardioid, subcardioid, supercardioid, omnidirectional, blumlein, blumlein with height, mid-side, and XY pair.
According to the Brahma press release:
Normal professional and non professional microphones record sound from 1 direction and are limited to 1 microphone pattern. The Brahma records sound in such a way that it has complete directional control, that is 360 degrees on 3 axes, as well as the ability to change between 6 microphone patterns and multiple combination patterns, as well as stereo and surround sound options.
Embrace explains that the Brahma is just as versatile in post as it is during recording. The sound image can be panned, tilted and zoomed. The B-format files can be processed in several different playback formats: mono, stereo, biannual, 4 and 6 sided array, 5.1 surround, 7.1 surround with height, 8 channel surround with height. Brahma Volver and VVMic are the suggested software for processing Brahma files, but there are also other options.
As far as quality goes, Embrace hasn't released many specs as of yet, but has said that because of the tetrahedron design, larger diaphragm capsules can be brought closer together, which reduces noise and increases the sound quality and frequency response. Check out the sample below:
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Embrace has launched a Kickstarter campaign for the Brahma and are currently taking preorders for all 3 versions: a stand-alone microphone that can be used with a 4 channel recorder ($649); built into a modified Zoom H2n recorder ($899); and both -- a stand alone coupled with a modified Zoom H2n recorder ($1,399). Since the H2n is a handheld, all-in-one recorder/mic, filmmakers can continue making films unencumbered by lots of gear and cable with the technology and design of the Brahma.
What do you think about the Brahma ambisonic microphone? Let us know in the comments.