Audio recording with TA-1 microphone

spatialaudio

#1

I purchased a Theta V with TA-1 4-channel microphone, and tested spatial audio recording.
From the original footage (2 fisheye lens video), I could not feel spatial audio. However, I can recognise the direction of sound source when I converted it to 360 video. (It was not very clear but I could feel it)
Problem is that I cannot find any difference between with and without TA-1 microphone.
Even with the original microphone included in Theta, I can feel it. Attaching the TA-1 doesn’t improve the sense of spatial audio. Does the mp4 format really support this 4 channel audio or ambisonic audio streams? Or do I need any special software?

I have one more question. This TA-1 records 4 channel audio (I believe it’s a pair of stereo channels).
How can I extract this 4 channel audio streams separately?

Thank you.


#2

In order to experience the Spatial Audio in your Theta V recordings, you need to first stitch and process the original footage and play it back via the Theta Desktop application which supports spatial audio playback.
While listening with headphones, you should clearly hear the sound fade in and out and blend as you change your view.
If you are sharing to Youtube, you must first prepare the file by using the Ricoh Theta Movie Converter. Once uploaded to YouTube, you should clearly hear the spatial audio. YouTube takes additional time to process the spatial audio, so be patient.
I think the built in mics on the Ricoh Theta V are great except that it is more susceptible to wind noise.
When you use the Ricoh Theta Movie Converter, it will convert it into a file with 3840x1920 h.264 and Linear PCM 4 channel audio. Extracting the audio tracks should be fairly straight forward then.


#3

@coolhs99 Can you confirm that you are using the RICOH THETA Movie Converter that ZZChu mentioned? Also, I am going to send a note to a guy I know at Ricoh about testing the TA-1. He may have some advice. First, I want to confirm you’re using the movie converter. Thanks.


#4

One more thing, I personally don’t think there is a huge difference in quality between the built in microphones and the TA-1. It could be my old ears, but I didn’t find a dramatic difference except for wind resistance.


#5

Hi,

I tried both the Desktop App and the movie converter. Now I can see the converted videos (mp4 files) have spatial audio when they are played on the Desktop App. However, I’m not sure about the movie converter. It just changes MP4 file to mov. Only difference I can find is that the mp4 file is reduced to 2K when I upload it to YouTube but it is kept as 4K with mov file. But I cannot hear the spatial audio on YouTube (It is clear on the Theta Desktop App). I cannot find any option to turn on the spatial audio during uploading or Playing.
Anyway, YouTube is not very important to me. I will check both mp4 and mov files with their audio tracks if I can extract 4 channels.
It is a bit disappointing the performance of TA-1 is not very great for spatial audio recording. What I felt is just reduction of noise. Thank you for your comments.


#6

Hi,

I used the movie converter to generate a mov file, but it doesn’t give any difference when I uploaded it to YouTube.
I checked the process you showed, but only difference is that I ticked the [top/bottom correction] check box. If it made the difference, I will try again with my laptop when I’m back home .
Unfortunately those apps don’t work on my Windows 7 desktop but only on my Windows 10 laptop. (I’m using the latest versions and firmware)
Thank you very much for your advice.
If you hear anything from the guy testing the TA-1, please let me know.

Regards,


#7

Can you hear the spatial audio on YouTube with this simple test?

YouTube uses a different spatial audio format than the THETA Desktop App.

When you use Movie Converter to change the video to .MOV, it converts the THETA spatial audio format into YouTube spatial audio format.

Can you do a simple obvious test to confirm that sound appears to be coming from different points around the camera?

For example, put the camera in the center of 4 people talking and ask them to talk in sequence.

Right now the process is a bit clunky.

  1. Download video to desktop
  2. Use Desktop App to convert video into Equirectangular format
  3. Use Movie Converter to change into .MOV and change spatial audio format into YouTube-compliant format (file will be .MOV)

Once you have spatial audio from YouTube working in general, you can then do some tests with the TA-1, primarily with:

  1. wind
  2. low bass sounds

Note that there is an active discussion here about a possible problem with the spatial audio converter. Scroll down to the bottom portion. We’re trying to organize the information and submit to Ricoh.