reprinted from a Cascade Audio press release:

Eugene, OR) March 28, 2008 Cascade Audio, Inc., an Oregon-based surround microphone technology company, announced today the availability of Vive – a unique, patented surround microphone which produces Dolby Pro Logic and Dolby Digital 5.1 compatible surround sound recordings on any stereo video camera with a mic input jack. Sold as an affordable after-market accessory at B & H Photo (www.bhphotovideo.com/), it mounts easily to camcorders to record in true surround sound in a single step. Consumers can now take full advantage of their surround speakers for their home movies, with a lifelike, multi-channel listening experience. B & H Foto & Electronics Corp. retails the microphone for only $99, plus shipping.

The surround microphone market is receiving heightened awareness due in part to surround-enabled video cameras from Sony and Panasonic released in 2007, says John Iredale, President, Cascade Audio, Inc. The proliferation of online video, ease of use of video editing software and lower camcorder and home theater prices has spurred interest in improved sound quality over built-in camcorder microphones.

The VIVE surround microphone is the only surround microphone targeting the consumer market at a price point under $100. Unlike the Sony surround microphone, which works only with specific Sony camcorders, the VIVE works with any camcorder that has a microphone input jack.

We view this as the next revolution in audio technology. Just as the video recording market moved from mono to stereo, it will make a similar shift from stereo to surround sound. Cascade Audio is the only company that can provide true surround sound with this simple solution for camcorders, said Iredale. Surround sound is now available in virtually every home receiver sold today. Consumers want to take advantage of their home theaters full capabilities. Videos recorded with Vive will fill the back and center channels with clear, realistic sound, bringing the movie theater experience to their own living room.

The Vive was previously released under the name SSM and has since undergone improvements in sound quality and mounting options. Reviews from users are incredibly positive. People are amazed that this microphone can produce true surround sound without any additional hardware, comments Gwyneth Iredale.

Vive has multiple microphone capsules and an innovative and extremely simple design which delivers stereo AND full surround sound. The patented process encodes the signal and records onto any standard media, such as DV, DVD, CD, .wav or mp3 to name a few. No external hardware, additional software or finalizing steps are required. Vive mounts easily to any camcorder and connects to the auxiliary microphone jack. Its compatible with all Dolby surround sound-enabled receivers in the marketplace including Dolby Pro Logic and Dolby Digital 5.1 technology. It delivers high performance audio recording with 20 Hz to 20 KHz frequency response and <60dB signal to noise ratio, appealing to the savviest audiophile. There is an option for recoding a center channel using an additional lapel or handheld microphone.

There is a huge market opportunity to fill consumer demand, states Gwyneth Iredale, Cascade Audios Director of Marketing. There are approximately 60 million camcorders in use in the US Market alone, 15 million new camcorders sold each year and 100 million residential surround playback systems worldwide. The Vive price point is comparable to stereo accessory microphones on the market today.

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