The Reynolds A-Type 8 is an eight-capsule hybrid-second-order A-Format ambisonic microphone array, representing the culmination of years of product development and testing. The mic comes bundled with a state of the art custom A-format to B-Format conversion VST plugin made by the brilliant team at Atmoky and each mic is lovingly built by hand by Jack Reynolds in Hackney, East London and cabling is provided by LEMO UK.
The mic array itself is eight closely-matched 14mm cardioid electret capsules with 78dB signal to noise ratio.
Low noise floor is an extremely important feature for nature recording or in situations where the background room tone needs to be clearly audible. The capsules have a max SPL of 127dB and the sensitivity is -21dB so lots of gain is generally not required when recording even the quietest sources. The capsules also been tested and behave well in a range of conditions from cold, wet overnight recordings to humid jungles and hot dry deserts.
The mic headbasket and body are made in London from SLS 3D-printed Nylon, which is incredibly light weight (the mic weighs just 85 grams), perfect for stuffing in your backpack, and also has low susceptibilty to condensation since the plastic body doesn't get as 'cold' as a metal bodied microphone. The SLS (selective laser sintering) process also produces hardly any waste material. The mic body and grille are then nickel coated for electrical shielding and to give a hard wearing surface.
Internal wiring is silver-plated teflon-insulated (military spec) and every component is chosen the highest possible quality. Great care is also taken to reduce any resonances in the mic body and grille. The capsule array is mounted on Sorbothane pads to decouple and vibration-isolate the sensitive mic capsules from the mic body.
The 3m long cable included with the microphone is made to the highest ISO standards by LEMO in West Sussex, using double helical shielded Canford HSJ 8 pair microphone cabling. If you don't want to record the local radio station while you are out recording nature, electrical shielding is extremely important.
The cable is terminated with an extremely high quality LEMO 3B series plug, which mates with a LEMO 3B 16 pin socket on the mic body. LEMO connectors are found everywhere from the International Space Station to the most expensive movie cameras. We have chosen LEMO for ultimate reliabilty and performance.
The tails at the other end of the cable are terminated with colour-coded industry standard Neutrik XX 3pin XLRs with a built-in electronic circuit providing a fully electronically balanced low impedance output, giving the mic a high sensitivity and the ability to drive long cable runs with no losses.
The final part of the system is the ground-breaking VST plugin custom designed by Atmoky, which converts the raw A-Format signals recorded directly from the mic, into second order B-Format ambisonics (ACN SN3D), for use in virtual reality, 360 video or as a spherical audio storage format that can be decoded to binaural or a wide range of channel based output formats.
The Atmoky A to B plugin is unique in the way it processes the A-format and it includes a low noise setting for making recordings of very quiet sources at distance, a BBG windshield setting that compensates for high frequency loss and coloration when using the BBG windshield, and there is a control to compensate for high frequency loss when using the Windjammer fur in higher wind conditions. Additional controls add a low frequency shelf boost below 40Hz, and an 'air' control which boosts the high end above 12.5KHz to match the response of a Neumann KU100 binaural diffuse field EQ.
The overall design is intended to be as rugged and reliable as possible but also to deliver the quietest most detailed sound at the lowest possible price point. We don't sell through distributors or retailers, which keeps the price low and also means you can contact the designer and builder of each microphone directly with any queries or questions.
The A-Type 8 evolved out of conversations and field tests with leading sound recordists, collaboration with cutting edge spatial audio software developers and microphone component suppliers and I am very proud to finally offer this finished product for sale.
Overall, the A-Type 8 is intended to be lower noise, better shielded, higher fidelity more robust and more reliable than similar products. The design originated with field recording in mind, but customers have recently been getting excellent results in classical music recordings scenarios at BBC Maida Vale Studio 1, Abbey Road Studio 2, The Snape Maltings and many others.
Once encoded into second order B-Format it is easy to decode to binaural for headphone listening or to stereo, or surround formats, surround with height ('Atmos') or for use in VR and Gaming experiences in Unity or Unreal Engine or 360 video soundtracks. You can also extract theoretically perfect 'virtual microphones' at the post production stage.
It's a highly flexible tool and A-Type 8 owners seem to have nothing but good things to say. For example, Mike Hatch, award winning engineer and owner of Floating Earth, said:
“In a field dominated by major manufacturers, Jack Reynolds has hand crafted a surround microphone that offers truly exceptional audio quality and noise performance. His unique design uses a 3D printed frame and high performance capsules to produces a microphone that is more transparent than any others I have heard so far, and I highly recommend them”
A couple of beautiful recordings, kindly made available by Mike Hatch from are available on the Reynolds Microphones Youtube Channel
Custom cabling options and microphone body lengths are available to order. The short body variant includes a short angled LEMO link cable for mounting in a Rycote Cyclone Small windshield, for ultimate shockmounting and wind protection. These options are available in the dropdown menue below. Please drop us an email enquiry if you want to discuss any details or custom options.
Optional accessories include:
- A custom-designed Rycote BBG windshield, made in Stroud, which seats the mic array perfectly in the centre of the windshield
- The Rycote BBG Windjammer fur windshield, for higher wind conditions
- The Rycote INV 7HG shockmount with adaptors for various mic stand threads to securely hold and vibration isolate the microphone.
- Waterproof rugged plastic flightcase
Email email@example.com if you would like to try out a demo mic or if you have any questions.
Reynolds A-Type 8
- Eight Channel Phantom powered, pre-polarized condenser microphone
- Capsule signal to noise ratio: 78dB
- Overall theoretical self noise (W Channel): 7dBA
- Sensitivity: -21dB at 1kHz (±3 dB)
- Max SPL: 127dBSPL
- Output impedance: 30-50 Ohms
- Output: XLR-3M balanced, transformer-less, floating
- Power consumption: ~3mA per pin
- Weight: 95g