October 25, 2013

Embrace Cinema Gear Introduces the Inexpensive Brahma Ambisonic Microphone

Brahma microphoneThere 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.

Brahma Tetrahedron

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.

Brahma Volver

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:

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/94219248" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

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.

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24 Comments

I really dig that you can work with the sound in post, similar to how we color grade images. I don't think this system will replace traditional sound recording with lavs or shotgun mics. But for getting a killer ambient sound, this setup looks really interesting.

October 25, 2013 at 4:27PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Agreed.

October 25, 2013 at 5:11PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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marklondon

Every really cool product I step upon lately I realize it's a damn Kickstarter project.

October 25, 2013 at 7:49PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Marcus

lol. is it because people are taking advantage of kickstarter, or is kickstarter enabling projects that would never have started in the first place?

October 26, 2013 at 3:52AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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"is it because people are taking advantage of kickstarter, or is kickstarter enabling projects that would never have started in the first place?"
Projects that would have been enabled anyway are just using Kickstarter to get free money.

October 26, 2013 at 9:25PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Lapus Walping

What is the problem with receiving free money to develope things like this..
As long as it is af good, and can even help us as film people... why complaing...
I say... when there are money outthere, and you have a project that can benefit from it..
What is the problem of using it...
I do the same in some of my project... finding people who are willing to invest in it,
and help me realizing the project.
I´m happy and and the investors are happy too... projects forfilled....
GO

November 1, 2013 at 7:04AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Jonny Pedersen

I thought that kickstarter money was meant to be paid back?

November 2, 2013 at 11:09PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gary

This reminds me a bit of Mitra 3D Mic Pro. I think it'd be great for a master/ambient track

October 25, 2013 at 8:37PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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The Mitra seems better as it doesn't need post-production.

October 26, 2013 at 8:25AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Awesome. Be great to hook up to a GH2.

October 25, 2013 at 9:32PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Norm Rasner

Anyone know if the sample is a multi-tracked recording or a single track?

October 25, 2013 at 10:54PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Kraig

it was not multitracked. it was recorded using the brahma2/zoomH2n. the process is described on the soundcloud page. umashankar

October 26, 2013 at 12:54AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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umashankar

Brahma2/zoomH2n/GH2

October 26, 2013 at 4:16AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Norm Rasner

I love the idea of this!

October 26, 2013 at 7:22PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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For those who are wondering, A-format and B-format are kind of to sound what "light-field" tech is to camera....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soundfield_microphone

October 27, 2013 at 11:39AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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dano

seems to be a economical mike :)

October 27, 2013 at 1:38PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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wesley

I would like to review the 4 ch version with my Zoom H4n when it is ready. I have 100,000 readers and over 35 years of audio experience.

November 1, 2013 at 8:55AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Demo recording sounds very nice indeed. My audible listening experience with Sonic Studios DSM mic gives similar surround quality performance but with more extended frequency response without needing post processing as illustrated by recordings on pages
www.sonicstudios.com/mp3.htm
www.sonicstudios.com/mp3_2slp.htm

November 2, 2013 at 9:14AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Nice to see this capture format being expanded upon a la Soundfield - it's great for me in post to be able to decode and control what usually is a static source with the Soundfield Surround plug - love this to offer similar possibilities - more than once got me out of a corner by being able to focus on a source that has been left uncovered. 90% of my material that mic's like this would be used on, is music, audience position or small performance duties - no need for it in dialogue capture (hell editors struggle with 1 boom and a radio! lol) but would give me a nice phase coherent source to expand to multichannel in the mix. /clap!
As for the other ProLogic baked in multichannel mics - just give me a bog standard array and I'll choose thanks ;p Hanging a ball on top of a Canon aint fun when we get it to mix - just hire a Soundfield and plonk it closer - or ahem, hire a sound guy (saves you ££ in post - we're far more expensive De-noising crap audio in the studio to match your expensive Epic filmed beauty shots ;p) Anyway I digress - long day de-noising crap audio .. well you get it hehe

November 8, 2013 at 8:20PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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From the VERY BRIEF pictures of cabke and connectors, this looks like the individual capsules are singel-ended (unbalanced). Is this correct or are they balanced? What output impedance are the capsules? As you might know, we are the world's largest manufacturer of audio and video cables, and we would be interested inexploring the cable required to extend the distance btween these microphones and the recording device/end user.

Steve Lampen, Product Line Manager - Entertainment, Belden

November 17, 2013 at 7:52PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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glamorscene

November 22, 2013 at 2:55PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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The Mitra does require post EQ, it colors the sound quite heavily. You might want to check out the 3Dio Free Space microphone, which produces a more natural sound.

But all binaural microphones boost certain high frequencies due to the pinna effect that enhances the directionality in the sound.

February 10, 2014 at 12:39AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Skaven252

Does anyone know if Embrace's camera rigs are any good? Particularly the one for the Blackmagic Cinema Camera? Thanks.

April 29, 2014 at 12:55PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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German Carranza

I'm not sure about the BMCC rig, but I did buy a DSLR Kit from them. Very happy with it. Solid quality stuff.

July 3, 2014 at 7:31AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Serena