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HOWTO: Working with B-format recordings - 1



At BEK we recently acquired a SoundField SPS2000 ambisonics microphone and a Tascam DR680 portable hard disk recorder. Over the last two weeks I have been out doing a number of field recordings for an upcoming installation (more info coming soon), and I am currently figuring out how to transform the recordings into 4-channel B-format files for further processing in Max. This is as much a note to myself for future reference as anything else.



The first task is to merge the four mono channel sound files into a 4-channel file. This will be an A-format file, containing the raw signals from the four capsuels of the SPS200 microphone.

I am using Mac OSX, and for this part I will be using Amadeus Pro. At 40 US$ it’s an affordable program. There would probably be heaps of other ways of doing this as well.

On the Tascam I have been recording to four mono channels. First I need to open all of them:



Next step is to create a new sound (File > New sound), and add three additional channels to it.

Ensure that sample rate and bit depth is set to the same as the Tascam recordings!



Now I select one mono file at a time, select all and copy. Next I go to the new sound, select the appropriate channel and paste. When done I save as an AIFF file. I get a warning that information might be lost, but that’s OK.


Now I’m left with a four channel A-format file.


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