Introduction to Ambisonic
Simply put: Ambisonic is a specific method for creating, capturing and playing back spatial audio. It is radically different from other surround techniques as the technology is capable of reproducing a spherical representation of sound where the directional information of a source is located in a 3D soundfield.
Ambisonic is also both a recording and a spatial synthesis technique, where one can capture the full environment in 3D sound through the use of so called A or B- format microphones such as the: Soundfield SPS200, Røde NT-SF1, Sennheiser Ambeo, Coresound TetraMic and more. Alternatively, a sound field can be synthe- sised from any mono, stereo and multichannel sources to Ambisonic, constructing a virtual 3D sound environment by placing the sources at locations in a virtual 3 dimensional field.
In the simplest form of Ambisonic – the 1st order ( also called B-format) – only 4channels is needed to represent a full 3D sound. The 4 channels or spherical components W, X, Y and Z resemble the pressure patterns found in an omnidirectional microphone (W) and three figure-of-8 microphones for left/right (Y), front/back (X) and up/down (Z)
Ambisonic encoded audio needs to be decoded to speaker signals
Ambisonic as opposed to other channel based surround and spatial techniques does not carry a speaker signal. It is an encoded audio signal that has to be decoded to the speaker signals. The positional information is carried as normal multichannel audio signals, not data compressed audio like a ZIP file or FLAC file. This makes it completely compatible with Kyma. Think of Ambisonic encoding as being similar in a way to Mid-Side encoding for two channel stereo spatial information.
The encoding / decoding scheme has the advantage of being very portable and flexible since one is not bound to a specific speaker setup. Your ambisonic mix can be decoded for a number of speaker setups, for instance Quad, headphones (binaural3D), 5.1, 6, 8, 7 speaker etc. based on the chosen decoder.
When an Ambisonic sound field is decoded to sound systems all the speakers contribute to the directional content. What one is hearing is not the sound coming from a specific speaker but from a specific direction.
B-Format Generated by KAT
KAT Encoders and Transformation:
KAT Mono Encoder
KAT Stereo Encoder
KAT Multi Encoder
KAT B-FormatLoopPlayer v1.2
KAT BFormatFilePlayer v1.3
KAT Quad 4.0 Rectangular
KAT Quad 4.0 Square
KAT 8 Decoder flat
KAT 8 Decoder center
KAT Cube (3D)
KAT Binaural (3D)
KAT UHJ (stereo compatible)
KAT Graphic EQ
KAT Spatial AM
KAT Freeze/Freq Shift
Plus many source audio, examples and signal flows designed by Kyma Ambisonic experts Cristian Vogel and Anders Tveit