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How to Edit Ambisonic Sound Effects

Learn to edit 360° ambisonic sound effects using the free SoundField plugin by RØDE in this straightforward video tutorial.

Have you ever recorded some audio and wished you could redirect the microphone in post? It sounds like something from a sci-fi movie, except that it is actually possible with ambisonic sound effects!

In this video tutorial, we are going to learn how to edit ambisonic sound effects using a free audio plugin from RØDE microphones. Plus, we even have some FREE ambisonic sound effects you can use to follow along.

For our video tutorials, we pride ourselves on having the information from the tutorial both available in video and written form here on the blog. We get it, not everyone has time to watch a 15-minute video. And when you can press Ctrl+F and find the keyword you’re looking for, it can save a lot of time.

However, as the tutorial is very much based on sound and what you can hear within the video, it’s highly recommended to make sure you watch the embedded YouTube video for this one. There’s only so much you will be able to learn from the text below.


What is Ambisonic Audio?

Ambisonics are a 360° spherical audio format. Ambisonics are recorded with ambisonic microphones, which usually consist of four microphone capsules that point in different directions. The NT-SF1 microphone is a good example of an ambisonic microphone.

How to Edit Ambisonic Sound Effects - RØDE NT-SF1 Microphone
NT-SF1 ambisonic microphone. Image via RØDE.

Because ambisonics are a 360° audio recording, you can focus on a specific area of the audio in post-production. You’re essentially redirecting a virtual microphone. This allows you the ability to create multiple sound effects from one ambisonic audio file. You can even change the audio from Mono to Stereo, or even 5.1 Surround Sound.


SoundField Plugin

To edit our ambisonic audio, we are going to use a free audio plugin from RØDE called Soundfield. The free plugin works with a variety of Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) apps, such as Pro Tools, Reaper, Logic Pro, and Adobe Audition.

How to Edit Ambisonic Sound Effects - Applying the SoundField Effect
In your DAW app, select your ambisonic audio file and apply the SoundField effect.

In your DAW of choice, just select your ambisonic audio file and apply the SoundField effect. This will open up the SoundField plugin interface. The plugin works the same regardless of which DAW you decide to use. (I am using Adobe Audition.)

How to Edit Ambisonic Sound Effects - SoundField Plugin
The SoundField plugin interface.

SoundField allows you to easily redirect a virtual microphone, change the microphone type, and even adjust the angles of the microphones, resulting in a variety of sound options.

For example, you can spread the microphone angles on a stereo output to 180°, resulting in audio that sounds like it was recorded with a binaural microphone. You can even rotate around the audio to hear the ambisonic sounds from different directions.

How to Edit Ambisonic Sound Effects - Virtual Microphone
Set the angle of the stereo microphones to 180° for a binaural effect.

Ambisonic Sound Uses

Because ambisonic sound effects offer so much latitude in post-production, you can really customize your audio to better fit with your edits. Whether that means outputting a wide-angle sound to match with a wide-angle video clip, or really focusing in on a specific area to create more of an isolated sound effect. Ambisonics offers a way to “future-proof” your audio recordings, giving you the ability to output to nearly any other audio format.

How to Edit Ambisonic Sound Effects - Audio Output Formats
Ambisonics offers a way to “future-proof” your audio recordings.

Free Ambisonic Sound Effects

Do you need some ambisonic sound effects to experiment with? Shutterstock is giving away 18 Free Ambisonic Sound Effects! The freebie pack includes sounds like Beachfronts, Oceans, Surfing, and Skateboarding. They’re perfect for getting your feet wet and experimenting with ambisonic audio.

VISIT THE SHUTTERSTOCK SFX LIBRARY HERE

If this tutorial has tickled your fancy, and you’d like to dive deeper with more ambisonic sound effects, be sure to check out the Shutterstock SFX library. Shutterstock has the first Metaverse-ready SFX library filled to the brim with SFX tracks presented in ambisonic, stereo, and 5.1 formats. All of the immersive sound effect tracks can be used in a variety of projects like VR, game streaming, game development, immersive films, ads, documentaries, and more.


Interested in the tracks we used to make this video?

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