The new SoundField by Røde NT-SF1 Ambisonic microphone captures the entire spherical sound field with great sensitivity. This means that later, in post-production, users can manipulate the sounds coming from every direction, alter the mic directivity, position and rotation. The capsule combination also allows users to create a full 7.1.4 surround mix, or a fully head-tracked 360-degree soundscape for immersive video.
At the heart of the NT-SF1 is the brand-new TF-45C externally biased condenser capsule with a cardioid polar pattern, able to support up to 129 dB maximum SPL and with a sensitivity of -30.4 dB re. 1 Volt/Pascal (30mV @ 94dB SPL, 1kHz). Inside the black brass microphone body there are active electronics and a JFET impedance converter with bipolar output buffer, all powered by 6.2mA @ 48V (per channel) phantom power.
This completely new design breaks new ground in precision manufacturing. Created in-house at Røde’s Sydney headquarters, it is machined to tolerances of less than 1 micron in the company’s own state of the art fabrication facilities. The result is a capsule with breathtaking clarity, sonic purity and exceptionally low noise.
SoundField pioneered Ambisonics and 360° surround-with-height audio capture in 1978, and was acquired by The Freedman Group, home of Røde Microphones, in 2016. The SoundField by RØDE NT-SF1 marks the first collaboration between the two storied brands. The result is a broadcast-grade ambisonic microphone for less than USD$1000 – a world first. The NT-SF1 also comes with a blimp-style windshield and fur cover for intensive wind protection, and a shock mount for steady recording.
SoundField is also the pioneering company behind the concepts of A-Format and B-Format audio. The microphones record in A-Format but it is the conversion to B-Format that allows a single Ambisonic Microphone to provide 4 tracks that can be manipulated in any direction in post, possess any polarity possible and enable creators to place their sounds wherever they like within the 360° soundfield.
The SoundField by Røde Plugin is a bespoke companion plug-in available for free download on both Windows and Mac and allows users to endlessly reshape their audio. The plug-in is perfectly matched to the NT-SF1 Microphone and operates in a completely different way to traditional ambisonic processors. Eschewing the matrices and correction filters of previous generations, it utilizes state-of-the-art frequency-domain processing to deliver spatial accuracy at all frequencies. And with the embrace of beamforming technology, B-Format can, for the first time, create shotgun-type patterns. The plug-in has the standard surround-sound set-ups including Dolby Atmos up to 7.1.4 and is supported by Pro Tools, Q-base, Nuendo, Reaper and Logic in VST, AU or AAX formats. Intuitive, powerful and easy to learn, the SoundField by Røde Plugin is also a visual feast, with unique sound level visualization providing immediate feedback into levels and soundscape, whilst ‘advanced’ mode opens up all parameters and controls for the ultimate in sound shaping.
“With four of our incredibly transparent new TF45C half-inch cardioid capsules set in the striking tetrahedral array, the NT-SF1 rivals the finest ambisonic microphones in the world,” says The Freedman Group’s founder and chairman Peter Freedman. “Thanks to our unmatched investment in precision automated production, we can make these mics at a fraction of the cost of our competitors – and its sound quality is superior in every way. As for the ‘SoundField By Røde’ Plugin – Wow! It is so powerful, intuitive and looks incredible. And it’s free!”
For full specs, features and demonstration videos of the SoundField by Røde NT-SF1, visit rode.com/ntsf1. To download the free SoundField by RØDE Plugin, go to rode.com/soundfieldplugin.