Munk Productions Ambisonic Ambiences (MPAA) allows you to build coherent scenes by using certain ambiences in series as building blocks.
In the Description field for each sound file you’ll sometimes see the phrase “Matches MPAAxxxx” or “Matches MPAAxxxx and yyyy…” near the end of the field. This means that the files in question has beginnings, endings or both that match. Miking positions and scene audio content are either identical or highly similar, making it possible to use the ambiences in direct succession, sometimes with a short crossfade.
This enables the building of coherent scenes from multiple files. As an example, let’s look at MPAA0286 (Static) and MPAA0288 (Transition).
The descriptions for these files read as follows:
Leisure, Exterior, Ski Resort “A”, Winter, button lift, by entrance to lift, lift engine, clinks from button seat arms, voices, skis, snowmobile passing behind, very faint music, skiers arriving, Northern Europe, ZM-1-3E. Matches MPAA0287 and 0288.
Leisure, Exterior, Ski Resort “A”, Winter, from button lift entrance to smaller ski slope: Skiing from lift through tunnel to middle of slope. Button lift engine, clinks from button seat arms, voices, skis in snow, very faint music, Northern Europe, ZM-1-3E. Matches MPAA0286, 0287 and 0289.
With these two files it’s possible to build a scene which starts at the button lift. Perhaps a conversation is taking place. This is with the Static MPAA0286 as background.
The main character then goes off on skis to another, smaller slope. This happens in the Transition MPAA0288.
All three ambience types (Static, Action and Transition) have files that are interlinked this way, both within types and across them. If you need to locate a matching file from another package, try using the shop’s search function and enter the Unique Identifier you’re looking for. The search result will lead you to find the package(s) that contain the file.
What about files with no “Matches” designation?
Of course, not all files match other files this directly. But because MPAA is a very consistent library, also sonically, many ambiences recorded at the same locale sound very similar and can often be linked by a suiting crossfade. If the perspectives of two otherwise similar recordings are different, there are options depending on file format:
In Ambisonic format, try rotating the perspective to see if this equalises the recordings to such an extent that they can be linked directly.
Otherwise, some form of scene change is necessary; either direct crossfading (indicating a scene change), or some other intermission, e.g. narration.
In binaural format some form of scene change is necessary; either direct crossfading (indicating a scene change), or some other intermission, e.g. narration.