Portable Soundfield System Now Shipping

Innovative British microphone manufacturer SoundField have begun shipping their compact, portable microphone system, the ST350, which was announced last year. Like all SoundField microphone systems, the ST350 consists of a multi-pattern microphone and an associated decoder/processor unit with built-in mic preamplification. However, in the case of the ST350 system, the mic is a newly designed model about half the size and weight of the mic in the older ST250 system, and the new decoder/processor can be run from the mains or 9-18V DC power cells. Even when using batteries, the design of the new lightweight microphone allows it to operate with lengthy cable runs where required, permitting it to be used reliably at distances in excess of 100 metres from the processor. In short, the system provides an affordable, portable, single-mic solution for broadcasters who require a surround compatible output for HD broadcasting.

Just as with SoundField’s other microphone products, the ST350 system produces a four channel signal in the company’s proprietary B-Format. The ST350 processor has built-in decoding to convert the B-Format signal to a Stereo or Stereo M/S output, which can be routed to the dual rear-panel XLR connectors. Alternatively, the B Format signal may be output via the rear-panel multi-pin Lemo connector. Other decoders in the SoundField range, such as the hardware SP451 or the Surround Zone software (now compatible with Pro Tools, Nuendo and SADiE DAW systems) can then be used to decode the signal to create a variety of surround-sound formats — and all from the one multi capsule ST350 mic.

Also built into the ST350 control unit are various B-Format processing options, unique to SoundField microphones, that allow users to continuously vary the apparent orientation and stereo pickup pattern of the microphone, but without touching the mic itself. An overall Gain control, stereo headphone jack, high-pass wind-noise reduction filter, and five-segment LED metering are also built in for recording convenience.

The ST350 is shipping now, and can be seen on SoundField’s stand at the AES show. For more information, come to Booth number 1313, or check out www.soundfield.com.