No, this is not War of the Worlds, or any re-make for that matter, but maybe the Kaotica Eyeball could be used this way (talking to aliens), since it is so versatile. I will say that it is most beneficial for use in studios and voice over booths. I had the chance to play with one helping a friend convert their closet into a voice over booth. If you want to learn more about the process and how the Eyeball works in this setting, click here. I then took it with me to a production, where it proved to be very helpful.
On some commercials, it may be necessary to record Voice Overs in a “studio-like” fashion without the studio. This is where products like the Kaotica Eyeball come into place.
I used the Kaotica Eyeball on a commercial which required a voice over recording. Commercials commonly ask for recorded voice overs. This is not necessarily a difficult task to achieve, yet it is never an easy task. It requires coordination with production in order to time the recordings on the day just right.
The client in this scenario wanted the talent filmed in several downtown locations to make the commercial feel 100% LA authentic. They filmed in Echo Park, a downtown Barbershop, and even some driving shots with our talent singing in the back seat. This helped to paint this landscape for the voice over to carry on top of.
Here is the problem. Production allocated enough time in the day for filming, and used the small amount of time at the end of the day to record voice over. The most isolated room I could find, to record the cleanest soundtrack I could, in the middle of Echo Park, was the production vehicle. Then another production vehicle, and another, when we changed locations. The Kaotica Eyeball helped alleviate the ambiance which included vehicle noise, people talking, and anything else you might hear in the city. We were parked on the side of the road where everything can be heard from inside the vehicle; yet, it was still the most closed off area we were given.
Different Budgets Require Different Options
Depending on the budget of your production, there are options that can be supplied for recording a clean soundtrack. One can purchase and install a fully installed WhisperRoom into a trailer that helps to cut out the noise of your surrounding environment completely. This is the ultimate solution. It also costs upwards of $10,000 to $15,000 for you to begin even thinking about building this solution.
So what should you do when you are asked to record what NEEDS to be a clean dialogue track with no extraneous noise in sub-optimal locations?
ANYTHING you can. One starting solution is right at the source of the microphone using the Kaotica Eyeball.
The Kaotica Eyeball is acoustical treatment that helps to isolate your microphone from the external environment. It targets the two most important variables in the recording process: your voice and the isolated microphone. By focusing your voice to an isolated microphone, the Kaotica Eyeball is able to capture the complete spectrum of your voice while reducing environment noise. All the while, it gives you clear and concise vocals free of any coloration. Creating your ideal recording space is as easy as placing the Kaotica Eyeball over your favorite microphone.
The Kaotica Eyeball:
Lessens the need for excess equalization and post production processing
Provides a clear tone vastly reducing reflections and the ambiance within a recording space
Enables the microphone to capture the complete spectrum of your voice and reduce much of the external environment
Clear and concise vocals free of any coloration
Provides wind resistance when recording outside
The Kaotica Eyeball accommodates mics which are side address with long/short-bodies.
Front address microphones such as the Shure SM7B do not meet these requirements and will not work with either versions of the Kaotica Eyeball.
Please refer to the compatible Microphone list to see which Kaotica is best suited for your preferred microphone.
I was using a Neuman TLM103 Condenser Microphone which slid into the Kaotica perfectly. If you want to see their compatibility list, click here and click on compatible mics on the top of the page.
On the Day
We recorded three different voice overs in three different production trailers. Let me begin by stating it was not my idea to use a production trailer as a voice over booth. These trailers are incredible noisy, not insulated, and the perfect test for these types of situations!
So the first thing we have to do is get real here. When we have a motorhome next to Echo Park with cars and other noise makers going by us every second, not even 100 Kaotica Eyeballs is going to REMOVE all noise. It simply isn’t possible because you haven’t enclosed yourself in with the microphone (WhisperRoom).
There is always an opening to the noise just around the microphone, so make sure to put that opening in a dead zone. A Dead zone is the quietest angle of the room. When the Kaotica Eyeball is on the stand, move the stand in a 360 degree fashion and listen to the ambience of the room change. Where does the sound dip? Point the microphone that way. This will help the Kaotica Eyeball even more than just plopping it down in front of the talent.
I definitely love the product. It keeps a delicate microphone more safe while helping to isolate sounds to only what is in front of it. Clients also love it. Our talent instantly knew what it was and was comfortable standing in front of it without direction. Since this is becoming a very popular item in studios, having it crossover into production sound kits is a fantastic idea. It will help to make us more well rounded and able to connect more with our talent.
The Kaotica Eyeball is very impressive in what it is able to dampen. The inner material is very dense and does a good job of keeping the outer noises coming from around the mic into the pattern. If we were recording even a few streets over, our recordings would have been much cleaner. As it happens on some productions, there was no time to scout these locations on the day. This is why we desperately need to start educating productions on how to include sound in location scouts. A simple direction of driving a pass van up the street 2 blocks to get away from a busy intersection removes that extra unnecessary noise.
I borrowed this Kaotica Eyeball from a friend for this review.
It worked out perfectly for the production I need it on and I do plan on purchasing my own, definitely with a green pop filter for Video Mantis!