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"Holophone" Surround Sound Mic.

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Brian Reynolds
"Holophone" Surround Sound Mic.
on Feb 28, 2010 at 10:31:38 am

Has anyone used "Holophone" surround microphones as a location sound mic or in productions?
What are the good, the bad and any tricks that you might come across?

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Ty Ford
Re: "Holophone" Surround Sound Mic.
on Feb 28, 2010 at 2:41:17 pm

Hello Brian,

I was just talking to one of my magazine editors about this mic the other day. Great idea, but exactly what do you use it for?

Not dialog, it's camera mounted and that's too far away. Even if you boomed it it would be wacky.

Ambi, Maybe, but you can't stand next to the camera or it'll hear you sniff, swallow, etc. Depending on the camera, it may also pick up camera motor and/or zoom surround!

I like that it includes the encoder to squirt surround out on two tracks. Does your editing system know what to do with that to turn it into surround so you can mess with it? Do you just NOT mess with it?

Do you have a proper surround monitor system so you can hear what you're doing if you DO mess with it?

Can you convert discrete surround back into dolby digital (or something else) after you're done messing with it?

Inquiring minds want to know! :)


Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide

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Jean-Christophe Boulay
Re: "Holophone" Surround Sound Mic.
on Mar 1, 2010 at 8:57:51 pm

I've used a Holophone to record ambiances. I can't really see it fitting into a typical video shoot workflow, though, mainly for the reasons Ty mentions. It's useless to record on-set, as you'll record everyone behind the cameras and the mixer will want that track in mono anyways. On a set, it will also record the ambiance of the whole set including all the things you don't want.

For its uses, it it great. It records killer surround ambiances. That's still a pretty niche market. You usually record an ambiance once, transfer it to the database and will never record it again. In that perspective, it's a mic I'd rent a few times rather than buy once. Also, as Ty hints, this is a sound engineer's mic. There aren't that many on-set sound guys I know I'd want fussing around with my surround.

As a mixer, I'd take mono tracks over Holophone tracks almost every time. I may lay those mono tracks over an ambiance recorded through a Holophone, but that's about as far as I see its use going in most typical workflows.


JC Boulay
Technical Director
Audio Z
Montreal, Canada

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