Archive for September, 2020




Ambisonic vs SASS vs Iso-Binaural vs MS – Microphone rig comparison

Soundscape Microphones: SASS, Iso-binaural, MS & AmbisonicThere are a range of approaches to making audiophile, stereo recordings of natural soundscapes. Some of these technologies have been around for many decades, while others are more recently developed.

Last year, Doug Quin and Andrew Skeoch had the opportunity to put four state-of-the-art rigs to a side-by-side test.

Each array uses top-end microphones, deployed in the following configurations:

MS (mid/side): Pair of Sennheiser MKH 30 + MKH 40 in Røde blimp. This has been an industry standard option in film and TV for many years. (DQ)

Ambisonic: Soundfield SP200 Ambisonic, upright in Røde blimp. Ambisonic is a new technology offering multi-channel recording from a single microphone, with the ability to simulate various array patterns when decoded in post. (DQ)

SASS: pair Sennheiser MKH 20s in original Crown SASS head. The SASS has been described as quasi-binaural array. While the original Crown units are no longer available, many sound recordists have made DIY versions. (AS)

Iso-Binaural: Pair Sennheiser MKH 8020s, ~20cm apart, oriented 180º with convex baffles. This is also a quasi-binaural array, capturing a spherical soundfield with a light and versatile rig. It is a custom DIY design – info here. (AS) more »