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New Rode 16 Channel 360' Mic
  • This plus an iTouch looks like a much better solution that those 3D mics floating around for me. Love the concept. @PhillipBloom adds his usual high standards of reviewing to the launch video.

  • 37 Replies sorted by
  • Regarding the practical use, I think this is redundant invention. I wonder what Rode company expects here, who should be target consumer group?

  • Regarding the practical use, I think this is redundant invention. I wonder what Rode company expects here, who should be target consumer group?

    Fools like you :-)

  • Ha, ha, I might be a fool, but I won't buy this :-)

  • I think it's a very interesting idea from a technical standpoint even though it looks strange. Microphone elements are fairly cheap - so why not use a bunch of them?

    The logical extension of this design would be to have a baseball sized microphone with large and small electret elements arranged in a spherical configuration. With suitable signal processing you could have a noise cancelling microphone capable of any number of patterns as well as ambient surround capabilities - all virtual and even simultaneously available - you would never have to "point" the microphone, just configure it! You could even do it in post - and that's a very interesting possibility.

    I'm not sure I get the iPhone part, though - and the separate capsules seems clumsy.

  • On second thought - I think I do get why it uses an iPhone- where else can you get that amount of processing capability at anywhere near the price?

    Actually, I think it's quite brilliant - but the proof will be in the resulting sound quality.

  • When it's loud around, normally the mics must be positioned very close to each of the sound sources (objects of the recording). When it's silent and gain must be high, it gets difficult to avoid secondary noises (cloth etc)- so the positioning it's also difficult. If it is outside, one will need here 32 wind noise protectors.

    Speaking from the practical side, I really fail to see the point for inventioning this device.

  • Is this conversation really happening lol

  • I get the issue about cloth noise, etc... that's why I suggested a spherical arrangement. In such an arrangement you could mitigate many of those types of issues with signal processing. As for the noise protectors - one big dead cat would do the job.

    The advantage I see to this kind of thing (or, maybe later models) is that you could put the microphone on a pole, just above the frame, and be able to not worry about where you point it too much. Plus, you could get ambient sound and noise cancelling - all in one device. Also, you could decide directional characteristics in post.

    Admittedly, I have no idea whether they support any such features or not. Nevertheless - I see the value in embarking on such designs - as bizarre as they might look.

  • @cbrandin I'd also say the spherical arrangement is the next logical step especially if its connected to the iphone, then you could synch in with your camera via bluetooth and lift it on a boom pole or crane or heck, just throw the whole mic array into the air over your source. For sure the right software could programmed to isolate the source sound you want using todays advanced algaerythms. I'm also wondering about wind noise and if they'll make a custom dead cat or will they have to use wombats.

  • "what I was hearing was better than what my ears could hear"!!!

    mr Bloom and the Rode marketing department have done themselves proud.

    even if you had 16 mics with very narrow pickup patterns played back across 16 similarly places speakers the phasing problems could/would be horrendous.

    a Decca Tree, a double MS setup or a single Soundfield mic do it far more elegantly.

    funny though!

  • got it! its April 1st in Australia!!!

    VK was ahead of us all as usual. :)

  • @Siddho You are making some very naive assumptions about how surround sound and signal processing work. Even with simple systems currently in use there is not a 1:1 mapping between microphones and speakers. Instead sound is mapped into a virtual soundfield according to microphone configuration, and then it is remapped into a soundfield according to speaker placement. Also, the microphones don't need to be particularly narrow field - signal processing can be used to calculate a narrow field response area from multiple not-so-narrow field microphones. Granted, it might take some time to work out all the signal processing as approaching sound capture this way is relatively new - but rest assured, it will come.

    Geez, for a bunch of guys into the latest and greatest visual technology, there are some real Luddites here when it comes to new ideas for sound capture;)

  • Ha, ha, I find it very funny if it is really 1st April joke :-)

  • Just in case you want to learn about microphone array processing (and you're somewhat of a masochist):

  • If there was anyone left who was in any doubt that Bloom's opinion can be bought, that video says it all. This thing is a total gimmick. "Better than what my actual ears could hear"... makes me cringe.

  • Gee - now you guys are down to killing the messenger. A lot of snark from a bunch of people who have never seen a microphone array before trashing the guy who actually used the product. Unimpressive and irrational...

    Microphone arrays have been around since 1975 (at least). They weren't popular because they were very, very expensive, and very difficult to use properly. With as cheap as electret elements are today, and as much as signal processing has advanced (in price, quality, and ease of use) it seems to me that all this is pretty viable today.

  • Boy, if this is an April 1st joke it will inspire me to design something like it - but in a more spherical array. Something like eight microphones around with four each up and down. Their choice to use a two dimensional array is somewhat confusing.

  • Hmmm. Suspicious timing.

  • April Fools - but - I purchased a Zoom H2N at $125 a month or so ago. It records MS, and they give you a VST plugin which is rather nice in post. Especially when the mic is very close to the sound source and the image needs to be trimmed down in width a little.

    ps: it records in XY front, XY rear (4 channel) or MS, and I have been using it mainly in MS...

  • Microphone arrays have been used now for about ten years. The basic fact is that ten mics that you can position will always sound better than ten mics stuck on a wheel or whatever.

    BUT when you get up to a hundred minimics on say a large dish, computer controlled with a network and micro servos, then you create a different world of sound. This thing is basically a weed whacker style. Even with good mics, they should be detachable, either wirelessly or on spring cables.

  • Something like eight microphones around with four each up and down.

    @cbrandin When I read this, my first idea was what @trevmar already wrote, to use two H2n's if you like this idea in general.

    And although we're probably April Fools this time, it was also my point what @DrDave described better: the problem of such a device is the fact, that one would must position all sound sources around it. Separately positioned mics will always sound better.

  • Most of my audio is recorded live, from whatever mics happen to be within range, and it would be nice to be able to steer a VST null (to get rid of extraneous background sounds) or a peak (to focus on the subject). So Rode's idea is something I have considered myself. Perhaps not 16 capsules, however... The next best thing has been the MS mode of my new H2N...

    I read that the figure 8 element of the H2N is actually two small cardioids back-to-back. Pity they don't record all three channels (M,S1,S2), that would lead to some excellent flexibility in post...