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Recording Ambisonic Ambiences at the Inter Miami Game

The following article was written by SAE Institute Miami Instructor, Dan Abrusci. Dan is a multi-awarded Audio Engineer, Sound Designer, and Audio Educator with over 12 years of experience working in Music, Film, and Television.

 

After trying to record ambisonic ambiences in a stadium for quite some time, but being unable due to COVID restrictions, I was finally able to go to a major league soccer game and make it happen! This article will recap the experience recording ambisonic ambiences, and share the recordings done at the Inter Miami stadium and mixed at SAE Miami. It will also provide sound and video examples, as a great way to test this microphone in a proper environment.

For this recording, I used the Rode NT-SF1 microphone and a Zoom F8n recorder.

The main reason why I wanted to record ambiences in a stadium, is the fact that there is a lot going on from all sides of the microphone. There’s ambience in the front of the capsules, which might be different from an action that is happening on the sides or the rear of the capsules. I thought that having such a dynamic ambience would be a great way to test the microphone properly. It will also demonstrate some of its capabilities and options in post-production when mixing.

North of the Stadium – Inter Miami fans

For this recording, I had the front of the microphone pointing towards the football field and the rear pointing the Inter Miami fans.

I personally think that one of the most exciting things about using this microphone is the fact that Rode provides a plugin (Soundfield) in which you can change several things according to your needs, some of these are:

  • Encoding to different formats (Input and outputs include B-Format (FuMa and Ambix), mono, stereo, 5.1 and 7.1

 

Microphone placement at the northern part of the stadium (Inter Miami crowd). Photo by Yenis Martin
  • The direction where the microphone is pointing at
  • The pickup pattern
  • The angle of the altitude (up or down)
  • The angle of the rear and front capsules
  • The output levels 

I find all of these options very useful in post-production, due to the fact that you can change the decisions you made at the time of the recording and that there are plenty of options to play with and choose from, depending on your needs.

Soundfield plugin by Rode

recording  ambisonic ambiEnces South of the Stadium – General crowd

For this recording, I was at the south part of the stadium, which gives us a more general perspective of the overall ambience of the stadium. The front of the microphone pointing towards the football field and the rear pointing the crowd.

You still hear the chants of the home team fans, but given the fact that they were on the other side of the field, this option presents us with a more general crowd. The chants are harder to understand and the whole ambience feels more general.

One of the nice things of this position is the fact that the squad scored a goal, giving us lots of dynamics in volume, but also a great sound of that moment.

Microphone placement at the northern part of the stadium (Inter Miami crowd). Photo by Yenis Martin

After some time in the studio adjusting both of these audio files and experimenting with the different possibilities the plugin provides, it became very clear to me that there are a lot of options to choose from in post-production. In this case of recording ambisonic ambiances, you feel right at the stadium just by listening in a surround format.

You can find the sound recordings below and a video recap of the experience on YouTube.

 

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