Wakefield, Yorks., UK (March 24, 2011)–Harvard University’s Media Production Center (MPC) now has three SoundField mics with the addition of a new Mark V B-Format.
Anthony Di Bartolo, manager of the MPC, provides audio, video and multimedia services across the university, and has long been a user of SoundField microphones, including the older ST250 portable microphone system, for jazz and acoustic recording. “We already have an SPS422B and the SP451 surround processor here,” he explains, “but we were looking for another mic or system that would enable us to record in surround. Of course, there are now various ways to do that, and we considered those, but it was the flexibility that the Mark V offers after recording that really did it for us, as well as its phase coherence and tonal neutrality.”
The Mark V is being used to make stereo and surround-sound recordings for various departments at the university, including the music faculty. The Mark V comprises a multi-capsule microphone that produces audio in a four-channel proprietary format. Known as SoundField B-Format, the four-channel signal may be decoded using SoundField hardware or software to produce audio in a variety of formats, from phase-coherent mono to multi-channel surround, via stereo and M&S.
“Much of the audio work we do at Harvard ends up in stereo,” explains Di Bartolo, “but we do archive the four-channel B-Format signal for post production flexibility later. We have used our older SPS422B and SP451 processor to create 5.1 surround soundscapes, and the Mark V offers us even more options, with the ability to move the mic after the recording, or change the pickup pattern in post. That’s useful to us, as we don’t always get a soundcheck, and we’re often constrained by where we can place mics. With the Mark V’s processing options, we can remedy some of those issues.”