- On January 13, 2014
In the months before Christmas I came across the small Canadian company and their new product, the Kaotica Eyeball. It promises professionally recorded sound, anywhere. Here’s how they describe it:
The Eyeball channels sound directly into your microphone. This means that all of the low and high frequency information contained within your voice can now be captured, allowing you to truly hear yourself for the first time. The Eyeball accurately portrays every aspect of your voice, without adding any colouration, producing a vocal track that is clear and defined every time. The design prevents your microphone from capturing ambient noise and room tone, while reducing any potential phase cancellations.
As a voice over artist, reading the above and seeing some of the reviews out there already, I jumped at the opportunity to get one. I work in a small vocal booth has fairly good acoustics already, but what made the Eyeball stand out from many of the other reflective screens was the intuitive sphere design. Any and all sound you direct towards the microphone is fed in and you don’t lose anything off to the sides, resulting in a ‘fuller’ sound overall.
When the Kaotica Eyeball arrived, I was surprised at how light it was. When I unboxed it, however, you can feel the premium materials used and the foam barely gives way when squeezed, which is reassuring. The blue pop shield is removable and of very high quality and this is how your microphone is fitted on to it. You place your mic bottom forward in to the hole left by the pop shield and it then squeezes through a hole on the bottom of ball. It fits nice and snug and holds the mic in place. I have a RODE NT1000 and the Eyeball guarantees a fit on all mics of a similar size. I have found that with the Eyeball fitted, the bottom of my mic can’t reach the screw fitting of my shock mount, but the size of the Eyeball itself means that it rests very neatly and securely on top. I had a good play around with this to make sure it wasn’t going to tip over.
One of the most noticeable differences when using the Eyeball is your base recording level will automatically be higher, but any room ambiance you might have is blocked out. Indeed, this is what the Eyeball is really all about: recording on the road. It just so happens it suits a voice over’s needs down to the ground also. I’m sure the effects the Eyeball has will depend on each person’s voice and recording surroundings, but what I’ve ended up with is a recording that sounds more like me and doesn’t require as much processing to get the sound I’m looking for.
Below you’ll find an example of the difference in sound with and without the Eyeball (please excuse the sketchy recording, I wasn’t 100% sure I was going to use this until afterward when I’d already dismantled my previous set-up). For around £150 with shipping, you definitely get what you pay for and it represents great value. You can pay hundreds (and thousands) for sound proofing and professional booths, but unless you can afford a studio you’re likely to find in Soho in your house, then this will do the trick. If you have any questions about the Eyeball, send them over and I’ll be happy to answer them.