In Part 1 of this test I discussed the individual bits and pieces as well as the setup of the custom Schoeps CCM 41 4-Microphone Surround Sound Cross. In Part 2 I will show you the resulting 360 video as well as what the microphones look like when they are being used for recording surround sound in a 360 video shoot.
To test the setup I went out into a nearby hiking area and then came back to a typical street in the little village of Mendt-Irmeroth in Buchholz, Germany where I currently live. The following pictures and videos show you the results. At the end you will find a sample video and the accompanying 4 audio tracks for download so you can do your own experimentation with these files.
The first picture shows you the setup of the F360 and the Schoeps Surround Sound Cross in a forest setting. I shot a 360 video here but later decided that it was a bit too dark for the purpose of evaluating the patch footprint of the setup. I still thought this would be good so you can see what the setup looks like ‘in the wild’ (pun intended).
I then moved to a more open area with more light. Below is a video that shows you a 360 photo of the location with the microphones in place. this really gives you a good idea of how much more ‘dead zone’ the Surround Sound Cross occupies as compared to the mini tripod that is usually the only thing that shows up in the 360 videos. As an unscientific observation I would think that we only occupy about 25% more space than would normally be occupied by the Manfrotto 209 mini tripod that I use for the Freedom 360 rig. I don’t just provide a screenshot here on purpose because that would be out of context. The microphone cross has to be seen in comparison to the rest of the scene.
However, now that you have seen the occupied area in the above scene and in comparsion to the rest of the location, here is a photo of the patch in the second video that I recorded at the street in Mendt-Irmeroth.
And here is a link to the 360 video with just the regular, built-in, non-surround GoPro sound, hosted by our friends over at Vrideo.com
The reason for showing you this video with the regular GoPro mono-sound is that I have hit a wall. My problem is that I don’t have any way (or enough knowledge) to convert the 4 tracks from the surround sound cross into a format that I can test in my Samsung Gear VR.
Supposedly, Samsung’s Milk VR can play back 5.1 AAC encoded MP4’s, however and unfortunately, Milk VR is not available in Germany at the time of me writing this. Even using a VPN tunnelling app called ‘Hola’ on my Samsung Galaxy Note 4 to simulate me being in the US does not work. While I can see the Milk VR Logo (which I couldn’t when connecting without Hola) the application simply won’t start. The screen only goes black for about 8-10 seconds and then I’m back in the app library.
So without a way to test whether a 5.1 surround file is actually being played correctly, including the positional information and the headtracking, there is no way for me to know whether the 5.1 file that I export from Premiere Pro is actually working or not.
For this reason I am putting all files here so that those of you who are in the US or know other savvy ways to test the files in a Gear VR can give us feedback and maybe share their solution.
So here goes, below you will find the 360 video in it’s stitched 360 format together with the 4 audio tracks that I recorded with the Schoeps CCM 41 4-Microphone Surround Sound Cross and the Zoom H6 field recorder. I have provided you with a clap signal in the 360 video and all audio tracks so you’ll be able to syncronise the audio and video correctly.
Link to raw/stitched 360 video file
Links to audio files
So this is as far as I got with the current limitations that I face. I hope to hear some success stories from out there. Happy fiddling around and lastly, a huge thank you to the fantastic people at Schoeps who have created this custom solution for us to test. You rock.