The Freedman Electronics Group, who own pro audio brands such as RØDE Microphones, Event Electronics and Aphex, has expanded its company portfolio by purchasing the surround sound recording marque SoundField from TSL Products including the current product line as well as all IP associated with the iconic brand. The existing product line will continue, and all support and warranty for SoundField products will now be handled through the new entity.
Soundfield - A Checkered History
Arguably the Soundfield microphone and the Ambisonics format were way ahead of their time. The Soundfield mic was originally invented by Michael Gerzon and Peter Craven and their theoretical design was subsequently developed into a practical microphone system by Calrec Audio Limited, who launched the first Soundfield mic in 1978.
Then in 1993, the Soundfield mic part of Calrec was separated out as the company SoundField Limited, who further developed the range of products. However by this point the original patents relating to the Soundfield mic expired, other companies have started to manufacture soundfield mics.
In 2012, TSL Products at IBC announced that it has acquired leading surround sound microphone and audio processing technology manufacturer SoundField Ltd, and now it finds another home in the Freedman Electronics Group. We understand that the Freedman Electronics Group MD, Peter Freedman is ecstatic with the purchase.
I’m extremely excited we have added the SoundField product line to the Group. RØDE is a power player in studio and live microphones and the world’s market leader in on-camera mics, so adding a product line like SoundField – with its unique surround sound microphones and applications – to our portfolio is a real step for the Freedman Electronics Group.
The applications for cinema, home theatre, music, gaming and, crucially, the rapidly growing Virtual Reality medium are astounding. SoundField created the technologies that are now benchmark equipment for capturing responsive atmosphere and a stunning sonic world. Oculus Rift, Playstation, Google, Samsung, HTC, even Facebook are all exploring and expanding their immersive VR experiences. But, to quote George Lucas, ‘Sound is 50 per cent of the movie-going experience.’ SoundField and RØDE will lead the way with immersive audio capture.
TSL Products’ Product Director Pieter Schillebeeckx will be joining The Freedman Electronics Group as New Product Development (NPD) Director in January 2017 as he has been working on the SoundField technologies for 16 years and keen to continue his work. Pieter told us...
I’m looking forward to a terrific new challenge, RØDE is simply the envy of the audio industry and, with Peter Freedman’s vision on both product innovation and market strategy, this is a great opportunity to develop new technologies and be part of the ongoing audio revolution that RØDE is building. To be able to live and work in such a beautiful country as Australia is really a bonus.
It will be interesting to see how the Soundfield range is developed by the Freedman Electronics Group especially as Ambisonics has now found a home in virtual reality content production.