As it approches its 50th year in business, The Freedman Electronics Group – home to pro-audio brands RØDE Microphones, Event Electronics and Aphex – has expanded its portfolio with the purchase of surround sound recording specialist SoundField from broadcast equipment manufacturer TSL Products.
The deal between RØDE managing director Peter Freedman and TSL MD Chris Exelby sees Freedman Electronics take control of the entire SoundField company, which includes the current product offering as well as all IP associated with the brand.
The existing product line will continue, and all support and warranty for SoundField products will now be handled through the new operation. TSL Products will retain the upmix/downmix processing product range, which will be rebranded.
“I’m extremely excited we have added the SoundField product line to the Group,” said Freedman. “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.”
SoundField invented 360-degree surround sound – or ambisonic – audio capture technology in 1978, and its range today comprises ambisonic microphones and systems/apps for broadcast, music and location recording.
“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,” Freedman continued. “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% of the movie-going experience.’ SoundField and RØDE will lead the way with immersive audio capture.”
Exelby added: “We’re proud to have brought the revolutionary SoundField microphone and processor range to its current prominence across many sectors, from live sports and broadcast events to music recording, and now to VR. It is fitting that SoundField has now found a new home with one of the world’s most innovative microphone manufacturers, where it can be developed still further, while we at TSL Products focus on our core broadcast business and invest further in the crucial R&D that will lead to the next generation of broadcast control, monitoring and power management solutions.”
TSL's product director Pieter Schillebeeckx will be joining The Freedman Electronics Group as new product development (NPD) director in January. He has been working on the SoundField technologies for 16 years.
“I’m looking forward to a terrific new challenge,” Schillebeeckx commented. “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.”
“I welcome Peter Schillebeeckx to the RØDE team,” Freedman concluded. “It’s very exciting that someone so steeped in the SoundField microphone technology and history is enhancing our brains trust.”
Picture: The SoundField SPS200 Software Controlled Microphone