Spheres of Influence

Two new spheres have entered my world.

The first sphere is the Kaotica Eyeball.

It's designed to isolate the microphone from room reflections. It's main market is portable voice-over work, but I've installed it in the studio to let me get rid of the cobbled-together tent of blankets I'd been working in. The studio is much roomier now, and I don't have to shuffle chairs in and out of position to go from recording to editing.

It may not be for everybody, but I have to give Kaotica points for customer support. When my first test produced unacceptably muffled audio I emailed them to ask what their return policy was. Less than an hour later I got a phone call from one of their support people in LA, who told me specifically how to set it up for my mic.

The mic pictured above, the Neumann TLM-103, is both the mic they used for developing the product, and the mic I use in my studio. Which was handy. My tests showed, however, that the stylish blue pop screen they supplied rolls off the high end. I don't have it installed in my setup, sticking instead with the idea of speaking just off axis to the mic so I don't puff at the diaphragm.

Still cozy, I know, but a lot less claustrophobic than the old setup. Since it takes at least 60 hours in this room to produce a 10 hour audiobook, it's worth it.


The second sphere is the Mid/Side microphone on my Zoom H6 audio recorder. It's a clever little thing with a directional mono mic aiming forward (the top in the picture below), and a figure-8 mic at right angles. What it allows you to do is, by controlling how much "side" signal is present, dial your way from mono all the way to full stereo.

But the signal comes out with mid on the left channel and side on the right. I searched all over the place for a way to deal with that in Pro Tools, and failed. So, once I figured out how to make it work, I had to make a tutorial.

Has anybody tried to study how much YouTube is an educational resource? It's practically the manual for a lot of the software I use, because the actual manuals often leave things out.