Zoom H2n Update Lets You Record Immersive Audio For Virtual Reality

zoom-h2n-recorderZoom Corporation has released an update for their Zoom H2n Handy Recorder that makes it a streamlined solution for recording and outputting spatial audio files for virtual reality applications.

The update is a collaboration with Google and their JUMP Virtual Reality platform. It adds a new mode that records in a format that is compatible with YouTube 360 video playback.

The Zoom H2n is the only handheld recorder that captures four-channel surround sound audio, making it a good option for recording spatial audio files for the Jump platform.

Recording Immersive Virtual Reality Audio

The H2n Handy Recorder now offers unique features for capturing spatial audio, a next-generation surround sound compression format that allows content creators to extract and separate four individual audio tracks. Just like 360-degree videos provide an immersive visual experience, spatial audio helps viewers hear the depth, distance, and intensity of a place. Using the H2n recorder, creators can capture four surround sound audio tracks—left, right, forwards, and backwards—to go along with the stereoscopic VR video. When viewers watch the video, they can change the direction of sound as they move through the VR environment.

The new H2n firmware update allows content creators to capture a single four-channel multi-track WAV file that includes Omni, Left/Right, and Forward/Backward tracks. YouTube now offers native support for the spatial audio format, and audio recorded with H2n in “Spatial Audio” mode will be automatically decoded for playback on the site.

Google Jump

Google’s Jump platform is designed to make it possible for viewers to experience a place like they’re actually there, through VR videos and surround-sound audio.

To help content creators make videos for the platform, Google has developed a specialized Jump camera rig consisting of 16 camera modules organized in a circular array. When deployed as part of the Jump camera rig, the Zoom H2n recorder sits in the center of the circular multi-camera array. Then Jump Assembler (a Google cloud solution) assembles the 16 pieces of video with the sound file into a stereoscopic VR video ready for YouTube.

The new VR firmware update for the Zoom H2n Handy Recorder is now available.

4 thoughts on “Zoom H2n Update Lets You Record Immersive Audio For Virtual Reality

  1. I like my H2n very much. It is a very full-featured recorder. It’s main strength is that it records in Mid-Side stereo (with an option to use the X-Y mics). I really like M/S stereo very much. The mics sound good.

    I’m purely guessing here, but It sounds like this new firmware will take audio from the M-S mics, and the X/Y mics and create the “omni” track either from a mono sum of all the mics, or calculate a MID for all mics (what is “center” or common to all mics). Then for the directional “diamond quad” create a matrix of what is unique to each mic (like a “side” channel for each direction). Clever.

    I wonder if they’ll include any other improvements. I’ll let you know.

  2. When saying that it’s the only one, the Zoom H2 also has this feature. I’d be interested if there were a software tool that would allow me to use the quad recordings of my Zoom H2 in this way, rather than needing to get a H2n. This could also be interesting for surround audio content in general, which is rather difficult to share currently.

  3. I also updated ..
    A bit disappointed that the 3 sources are combined
    ( i wished they where 3 separated audio files )
    So the need for plugins is big… and i’m a plugin free type of girl
    However when using Harpex-B player the troubles begins.
    It plays the side channel as Z ( height ) channel…
    Again a bit disappointed . I hope Zoom lets us choose if we like one combined file or separated files … and then the orientation problem ..
    does anybody else that problem?


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