Surround Comparison


The purpose of this test is to know about how the different surround rigs react in different locations. Here are the 3 setups chosen for this surround sound comparison :

  • Schoeps Double MS with Cinela Pianissimo blimp
  • Rode NT-SF1 Ambisonic microphone with its blimp and suspension set in the Up position
  • Michael Williams Surround Tree mounted with 4 or 5 Sennheiser MKH 8090 with Rycote Baby Ball 

Surround Formats Overview

I have been able to record in the 5.0 Surround format and also have the capacity to do so in the 4.0 QUAD version, along with an additional set of smaller bars for the M.W Surround Tree. For the DMS and Ambisonic systems, these aspects are managed afterward in postproduction. Then sound designers have the ability to choose the preferred delivery format, including 5.0 surround, 4.0 QUAD, 2.0 stereo, and more.

  • 5.0 Surround
  • 4.0 QUAD
  • 2.0 Stereo


Some of the recording locations for testing these surround rigs included :

  • An old attic open to the outside with a distant road and daily traffic on a rainy day.
  • The city heights with a distant city rumble, distant traffic, and a helicopter passing by.
  • A city park with children playing and people walking. The noise of people playing tennis and people talking with city rumble at the back.
  • A city square with pedestrians, people on bicycles, and vehicles passing by.
  • A field with a water course on the front and cars passing by behind both at a distance.
  • A bedroom with open and closed window configurations.

your turn to listen

The main goal of this surround comparison is to listen these rigs in 5.0 surround and 4.0 QUAD positions with the same sound source. It also compares the stereo reduction of all these rigs. 

The recordings from these locations have detailed metadata to simplify the process of comparison.

So now, you can download and listen to these files and comment on all the differences you find between these formats. Remember that these sounds are free and can be used without issues.

Here you will find contextualization videos, showing the different recording systems in the different recording locations. 

  • 141 Sounds / Over 9,5 Hours
  • 96 kHz / 24 Bits
  • Extensive Metadata UCS Compliant
  • Ambisonic, 5.0, 4.0 2.0 sounds available
  • RECORDER : Sound Devices Mix Pre 10 II
  • MICROPHONES : 5x Sennheiser 8090, Schoeps DoubleMS Cardioïde, Rode NT-SF1
  • Files classified by takes and locations to simplify the research
  • Files of the same length depending on takes and locations

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *