That kooky-looking apparatus in the image above is actually one of the coolest audio devices I’ve read about in some time. It’s called the RS5 underwater surround rig, and it’s made by Ambient Recording, a German company that specializes in location sound recording.
And a new documentary called Sounds of the Ocean (check out the preview below) is using it to craft what may be the first truly underwater surround experience captured in the wild (not creatively mixed in the studio).
From the source story at Televisual:
It’s built around extremely sensitive underwater microphones (or more accurately, hydrophones), installed in pressure-resistant directivity spheres, making it possible to create directional underwater recordings.
The special housing created for the sound recorder enables recording to be made in depths of up to 100 meters, in high-quality surround sound rather than mono recordings, which are typical when filming underwater.
Check out the teaser video below (a cool piece called The Canon Crackers of the Pistol Shrimp). Granted, you’re not getting the full audio experience, but it’s a neat taste of what’s to come, both in the full documentary and future eye- (and ear-) candy for us nature-doc-loving geeks.
Let’s just hope David Attenborough is paying attention.