Nimbus Records

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Nimbus Records is a British record company specializing in classical music recordings. Nimbus was founded in 1972 by the late bass singer Numa Labinsky and the brothers Michael and Gerald Reynolds and has traditionally been based at the Wyastone Leys mansion site, near Monmouth and the English/Welsh border. A core technical aspect of the company’s recording philosophy was the early adoption of the Ambisonic surround-sound system invented by a group of British researchers including the late mathematician and recording engineer Michael Gerzon. The recordings have been made with a single-point array of microphones (developed by Dr Jonathan Halliday) which is equivalent to a form of soundfield microphone, encoded into stereo-compatible 2-channel Ambisonic UHJ Format and released on conventional stereo media.

An Ambisonic decoder is required to experience such recordings in their truest, surround-sound, form. These have never been widely available, so Nimbus recordings are typically experienced as undecoded UHJ which is compatible with normal stereo reproduction.

The emergence of home-theatre systems with increasing emphasis on surround playback offers opportunities for domestic listeners to experience at least some of Nimbus’ many hundred Ambisonic recordings in their original condition. For example, the company has issued a series of “DVD Music” recordings in which the original 2-channel UHJ masters have been decoded to loudspeaker feeds and issued on conventional DVD-Audio/Video surround format discs.

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