The portable, battery-powered ST450 is aimed at location recording film and TV sound specialists everywhere, and builds on the success of SoundField's previous ST250 and ST350 portable microphones. In line with established SoundField tradition, the design of the ST450 has benefited from a great deal of practical feedback gleaned from users of both previous models.
The electronics in the ST450 have been completely redesigned, taking advantage of new, improved components, resulting in a superior noise performance, and more accurate stereo and surround imaging. Best of all for location use, the ruggedly designed ST450 weighs just 290 grammes, and may be used at a distance of up to 200 metres from its associated control unit. The weight of the control box is 580 grammes.
Like its predecessors, the new ST450 generates audio in any format including mono, stereo, 5.1 surround and beyond, without the need for more than one microphone. In addition, it will generate surround and stereo simultaneously, and incorporates a new approach to converting the information captured by its four-capsule array into surround and stereo.
The microphone's control unit includes a built-in front-panel headphone monitor, bar-graph metering, and the usual fine degree of control offered by SoundField microphones over stereo width, microphone orientation, and polar patterns, which are continuously variable. There is also a dedicated Gain control and Mid/Side output switch.
The differences between the ST450 and ST350 are:
- Lower noise floor
- Increased headroom
- Better Stereo and Surround imaging
- More efficient heating element for improved environmental operation
- Re-designed internal power management for reduced start-up current draw
- Connections moved to side panel from rear for ease of "in bag" cable management
- Industry standard audio and power connectors (5-pin XLR for audio instead of Lemo and 4-pin Hirose instead of Lemo for power)