Audio-Technica has announced scheduled availability in Europe and the UK for its recently launched BP3600 Immersive Audio Microphone, which will be available for purchase from May 2023.
The development of the BP3600 included nearly three seasons of extensive prototype testing at MotoGP, the Grand Prix motorcycle racing Championship, in conjunction with commercial rights holder Dorna Sports S.L., which has made the microphone a core audio component of its future programme broadcasting.
Audio-Technica’s Rod Thomaz, Project Manager for MotoGP, said: “As audiences expect and demand a more encompassing audio experience in their listening environments, the need for real-time live immersive mixing is only going to increase.
“The ongoing design and technical feedback that we received from the Dorna Sports audio team was both invaluable and instrumental to our fast development of the BP3600, allowing Audio-Technica to be well-placed to deliver the tools required at the beginning of that immersive signal chain.”
The microphone has eight compact capsule assemblies with excellent high-frequency characteristics integrated into the body while remaining compact and lightweight enough for single-operator usability and easy setup. Direct routing is also possible, with no need for additional decoding or latency processing with 5.1.4-channel speaker layouts. This practical, state-of-the-art broadcasting solution captures realistic sound that will bring the recording location directly to listeners without the need for extensive equipment.
The BP3600’s eight microphone modules extend from the body to form a cube with 15cm (5.9 inches) between each microphone assembly. Each microphone assembly in the eight-channel near-coincident array is equipped with a 12mm (0.47-inch) hypercardioid capsule to produce ideally separated, discrete signals and deliver immersive audio experiences with ample spaciousness.
When used in a typical 5.1.4 immersive scenario, the four upper microphone channels can be assigned to the upper speaker channels, and the four lower channels can be assigned to the lower speaker channels. This eliminates the need for additional decoding or latency processing during routing.
User-friendliness is enhanced with the main unit’s highly visible colour-coded and numbered channel indicator rings that allow for easy identification of channels. To ensure that on-site setup is simple when time is limited, each microphone assembly features a lock that guarantees precise, repeatable positioning and prevents accidental removal. These connector locks additionally protect the microphone terminals from the elements, including rain and make disconnecting an assembly quick and reliable. Also included is a safety strap that can be connected to drop-prevention wires when used above spectators in stadiums, auditoriums, or other venues.
The end of the microphone’s grip includes a LEMO 2B multi-pin output connector for attaching the included LEMO-to-XLRM (x8) breakout cable for routing the eight channels to a mixing console or audio interface. LEMO-to-LEMO 2B multi-pin connector extension cables are available separately for use between the microphone and the breakout cable to increase the cable run length. Phantom power (48 VDC) is required for each channel.
The BP3600 comes standard with eight dedicated windscreens and a microphone stand clamp with a 5/8″-27 to 3/8″-16 threaded adapter. The microphone can be quickly disassembled and placed in the included case for easy protection during storage or transportation. Additional accessories, including Rycote BBG Windshields for increased noise protection and Rycote BBG Windjammer synthetic fur covers to attenuate extreme wind noise, are sold separately.