Development of a 7th Order Spherical Microphone Array for Spatial Audio Recording
* Presenting author
The increased research in spatial audio processing and technical achievements in mixed reality systems created a demand for appropriate microphone arrays to record and reproduce immersive spatial audio. Current findings in research show that high order spherical microphone arrays can be a good choice for an adequate reproduction, but unfortunately, they are barely available. Our own investigations on sound field decomposition for binaural rendering revealed that a 7th order rigid-sphere microphone array with the size of an average human head and 86 microphones arranged according to a Lebev grid provides good perceptual results. As there is simply no real-time microphone array matching these specific requirements, we developed one within the scope of a current research project. This work describes the development of such a microphone array as an open-source hardware project using components that are easy to access and produce in order to increase the availability of spherical microphone arrays for research and media production. The array is composed of Sennheiser KE14 electret condenser microphones, 3D printable body components, and standard peripheral audio devices. Subsequently, we present a first technical evaluation concerning functionality and applicability for sound field decomposition.