Newport 2012: IsoMike

Soooo. IsoMike. Yeah. I have no idea what I was expecting here. But whatever it was, wetting my pants wasn’t one of those things. Yeah … Thanks.

If you don’t know, and there’s really no reason why you would, IsoMike is a 4-channel recording effort using a huge, marvelous contraption of four big-ass baffles that are hung from a crane to keep the four individual mics separate. The channels, then, are front-right, front-left and rear-right and rear-left. Who needs a center channel? Whatever. In many cases, the front-facing mics are pointing at the event, while the rear mics are picking up “ambient sound”. Alternatively, if the event happens to be moving, say, the mic placement in the array can generate a … unique … perspective, planting you directly in the path of that event.

It was that latter bit that … ah … yeah.

Anyway, so they have this demo disc recorded at a racetrack with the IsoMike hanging over the finish line. A bunch of motorcycles take off, whizz past the array, fly around the track, and barrel back down on you. Let’s just say it’s thrilling and leave the skid marks out of it, okay? Holy mackerel.

On a more audiophile note, the IsoMike team has a few discs they’ve recorded that really do pick up a tremendous sense of scale and drama. The most notable was their capture of the Blue Knights marching band back in 2007. Hit the link for the video to get a sense of what went into the performance and I think you’ll agree, this is tremendous stuff. Totally makes me rethink “surround sound”.

The demo at Newport used four Sony SS-AR1 speakers, powered by Pass Labs amps and driven with front-end electronics from EMM Labs.

If you are multi-channel capable, pick up some of the discs. They’re remarkable.