Nomono launches mind-blowingly expensive $3,000 microphone array for podcasters

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Nomono calls its Sound Capsule “a portable, cloud-connected spatial audio recorder for podcasters and journalists,” and with a $3,000 price tag, I’d also use that many words to try and understand the product. Today, a Norwegian team is launching Sound Capsule along with cloud-based software that helps process and prepare captured audio for release.

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“Well, you have a zoom recorder, you have some random microphones. There are cables, some wireless, but nothing is connected – it’s not related to your workflow,” said Jonas Rinde, CEO and co-founder of Nomono, in an interview, explaining the origin of the Nomono idea. “How can we replace the need for a studio with all these mics and setup time and complexity. We want technology to disappear while you use it.”

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Today, the company is showcasing its integrated hardware and software solutions to simplify field recording, file management, collaboration and production. The company is also paving the way for more immersive spatial audio in the future.

The Nomono platform includes the Nomono sound capsule, which is a Wi-Fi enabled recorder that combines four compact wireless lavalier microphones with a 360-degree spatial audio microphone array. The entire package weighs less than 4 pounds and connects to the Nomono Web App, an online audio collaboration tool where content creators can back up their recordings, collaborate with their production teams, and apply AI-based dialogue processing to ensure audio quality. as best you can before starting the editorial process.

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The sound capsule contains a spatial recording module and four wireless lavalier microphones for maximum recording flexibility. Image credits: Nomono

The company is taking on existing podcasting workflows by replacing the virtual and literal clutter of cable and spaghetti bit-and-bit with its all-in-one field recording solution. The company targets podcasters and journalists, and the tool automatically uploads recordings to a cloud-based collaboration and audio preparation tool.

The Nomono team claims to have replaced complexity with simplicity; the CEO told me that the company is looking to replace many audio technologies with a single record button. There is no need to set levels or format SD cards – the bottom line is that creators simply press one button and start a conversation.

The recorder itself includes an ambisonic microphone array to capture high-resolution 3D recordings of the environment and atmosphere along with each participant’s voices. The combination makes it easy to record object-based spatial audio compatible with formats from binaural to Dolby Atmos. The goal is to draw listeners deeper into the conversation for a more immersive experience.

“All of Nomono’s technology is built with spatial audio in mind, so creators can create content like they always have, and transition to spatial audio production with ease,” Rinde explained to me.

Woman with lavalier microphone

The company’s lavalier microphones are low-profile and relatively unobtrusive. Image Credits: Nomono.

If it were any other founding team, this article would contain quite a bit of mockery of the company’s $3,000 price tag. This is a lot of money, and I’m struggling to figure out who will make their way to the front of the line for this product. The only thing that makes me wonder is the previous founding company. Prior to Nomono, Rinde led Huddly, a company that was very successful in selling $870 webcams for conference rooms. It’s also a ridiculous price, but after spending a lot of time in Huddly-powered conference rooms, the magic of high-quality AI-enhanced video cameras was undeniable, and the product found an eager audience among people who wanted great meetings. impressions of the room, damn it, the price. The team did it once for video conferencing, and who am I to say what technology and price tags the professional podcasting market can handle.

The company’s demo video certainly paints a rosy picture of the future of podcasting, with a number of tricks up its sleeve that a suitcase of recording equipment can’t touch:

The audio captured by the Nomono sound capsule is uploaded wirelessly to the Nomono Web App, a secure cloud resource and audio collaboration tool that uses AI-based signal processing, which is surprisingly good. It cleans up raw audio with great panache, and it’s easy to see how it can save time-hungry podcast producers an awful amount of time. In addition to audio processing, the platform allows content creators to easily collect and organize content in a central repository. Producers can collect comments, feedback, and approvals in an elegant timeline interface optimized for audio production. The company suggests that the same Nomono intelligent signal processing technology that enables spatial audio recording can help separate foreground dialogue from the background environment to provide much greater voice clarity and noise reduction, with much less distracting artifacts or the need to completely remove background audio.

“Nomono redefines the listening experience, allowing everyone to record immersive sound with uncompromising quality and ease,” Rinde concluded. “With our platform’s ability to create great recordings at the click of a button, Nomono removes technical hurdles and time-consuming steps so podcasters and journalists can focus on their story and the people telling it.

Over time, it seems like the company wants to own the entire editing process:

“Editing is on our roadmap. The first challenge was to automate the process of getting good sound,” Rinde explains. “The following features we are rolling out will further ease the workflow for our users and editing is in the pipeline; this is the obvious next step.

For now, all AI features are running in the cloud, but the company plans to move more features to the device over time.

“Here’s the smart thing about AI being in the cloud first: right now, we’re doing all the processing in the cloud with Amazon. This gives us great opportunities, and the key here is to train AI in the cloud,” explains Rinde. “Next, you can make a little brother or sister of an AI trained on a smaller dataset. But he will be well trained, and you can put him on iron. We have a small piece of software already running on the sound capsule itself. Over time, we will try to move to the sound capsule itself, because this will reduce the need for bandwidth.”

“For the equipment, we will have a price of $2,999 that you can pay upfront,” Rinde explains. “But then we will also provide hardware as a service. The big media will just say, “Yeah, we’re going to have 10 of those.” For the independent podcaster, they may want to forgo the Zoom recorder – for them, we can offer a monthly plan for $129/month and an annual plan for $119/month, just to get a little less. threshold to start using them for them.”

As an avid amateur podcaster, $3,000 is completely out of my budget (I had to save money to buy the $120 mic I use now, but that also represents my entire audio system). Most importantly, this product is not for me or people like me. Interestingly, professional audio producers have a well-established workflow and tend to be quite finicky about exactly how they like things set up. I can’t wait to see who will end up accepting the Nomono installation.

We hope to be back with a review in the near future, but for now, if you’re feeling impatient and ready for early use, the product went on sale today.

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