In need of ambisonic sounds? Look no further than this free library from RØDE.
When RØDE introduced the NT-SF1, it made capturing ambisonic audio more affordable. Now the company is offering access to a library of high-quality, royalty-free ambisonic recordings. The best part, you can download the entire library for free.
The audio has been recorded by top players in the industry using the NT-SF1. Searchable categories include ambiance, animals, vehicles, sound effects, and more. You can preview and download each sound directly before loading them into the free SoundField plug-in that's compatible with any digital audio workstation.
Check out this video to learn more about what RØDE is offering.
What is ambisonic audio anyway?
Ambisonics is a 360° surround sound format. It's been around for a long time but has gained traction with the development of Extended Reality (VR, AR, and MR). It's a way for creators to record, mix, and playback immersive audio for 360° video.
Ambisonics is not to be confused with surround sound. Both are more immersive than two-channel stereo, but in surround sound, the audio is sent to a specific set of speakers. The rumble of thunder, an explosion, or a plane passing overhead are examples of low-end frequencies and are generally reserved for the subwoofer. Mid-range frequencies, like the spoken word, are saved for the center speaker. High range frequencies are sent to another array of speakers. Sound mixers essentially choose what appears on each channel. This is where 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound comes in.
With ambisonics, audio can be sent to any speaker. It's format-agnostic, meaning, it's not limited to the capabilities of an individual speaker. They can be decoded to stereo, 5.1, 7.1, Dolby Atmos, or anything else. It's the reason why they are popular.
RØDE's Ambisonic Sound Library
The RØDE library is a smart idea. It gives creators who are unfamiliar with ambisonics a chance to explore the format for free. That said, it would be even better if RØDE opened up the library allowing recordists to submit new sounds without the requirement of it being recorded by the NT-SF1. To create an ambisonics sound community. Maybe that's exactly what will happen next.
To check out the Ambisonic Sound Library, head here. The SoundField plug-in is available to download here. If you're interested in learning how to record ambisonic sounds using the NT-SF1, you can watch this series.
Have any experience with ambisonics? Let us know what you think about the format in the comments below.