Sennheiser announced a new partnership program designed to smoothly integrate its Ambeo VR Mic, custom-designed for spherical audio capture, with existing production gear, including VR cameras, field recorders, plug-ins, and software.

The first group of partners includes Zoom, Aaton Digital, Orah, Sphericam, Noise Makers and Harpex.

Sennheiser Ambeo VR Mic

The key technological hurdle in Sennheiser’s proposed VR audio workflow is the A-to-B format conversion required for use of the Ambeo mic. Specifically, the mic delivers four-channel first-order Ambisonics A-format output that must be converted into the four-channel Ambisonics B-format. To date, Sennheiser provides a VST/AU/AAX plug-in for the task, but now the converter is being integrated in audio tools.

For example, Sennheiser said that, by the end of the year, both the Zoom F8 and F4 field recorders will incorporate the A-B conversion software. So will Aaton Digital’s Cantar X3 and CantarMini audio recorders.

Orah’s Vahana live video-stitching and -streaming software now integrates seamlessly with the Ambeo VR Mic, Sennheiser said, while Sphericam’s Beast 360-degree camera has the Ambeo mic built in.

Sennheiser described Noise Makers as a “longstanding” partner, with Ambeo options built into its Ambi Head plug-in. And Harpex has its own plug-in for converting the Ambeo mic’s A-format recordings into a variety of standard surround formats, including Dolby Atmos, Imax, Auro 3D and higher-order AmbiX.