Nomono launches $3,000 microphone array for podcasters that is expensive on ears – TechCrunch


Nomono calls its sound capsule a “portable, cloud-connected spatial audio field recorder for podcasters and broadcast journalists”, and with a $3,000 price tag, I’d also use that many words to try to make sense of the product. The Norway-based team is today launching its sound capsule, along with a cloud-based software suite that helps process and prepare captured audio for broadcast.

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

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

The Nomono platform includes the Nomono sound capsule, which is a Wi-Fi-enabled recorder that combines four compact wireless lapel microphones with a 360-degree spatial audio microphone array. The entire package weighs less than 4lbs and connects to the Nomono web app, an online audio collaboration tool where content creators can save their recordings, collaborate with their production teams, and apply enhancement processing. AI-powered dialogues to ensure their audio sounds as good as possible before starting the editorial process.

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

The company struggles with existing podcasting workflows, replacing a virtual, literal mess of cables and spaghetti of bits and bytes with its all-in-one field recording solution. The company targets podcasters and journalists, and the tool automatically uploads recordings to a cloud-based audio preparation and collaboration tool.

The Nomono team claims to replace complexity with simplicity; the CEO told me that the company aims to replace a lot of audio engineering with a single record button. There are no levels to set and no SD cards to format – the pitch is that creators just press a button and start the conversation.

The recorder itself includes an array of Ambisonic microphones to capture a high-resolution 3D recording of the environment and ambiance as well as the voices of each participant. This combination facilitates object-based spatial audio recording compatible with formats ranging from binaural to Dolby Atmos. The goal is to bring listeners deeper into the conversation for a more immersive experience.

“All of Nomono’s technology is designed with spatial audio in mind, so creators can produce content like they always have and easily transition to spatial audio production,” Rinde told me. .

Woman wearing a lapel microphone

The company’s lavalier mics are unobtrusive and relatively unobtrusive. Picture Credits: Name.

If this were another founding team, this article would not include a small amount of ribs for the company’s $3,000 price tag. That’s a lot of money, and I’m having a hard time figuring out who would fight their way to the front of the line for this product. The only thing that makes me think is the old company of the founders. Prior to Nomono, Rinde ran Huddly, which very successfully sold $870 webcams for conference rooms. It’s also an absurd price, but, after spending a lot of time in Huddly-powered meeting rooms, the magic of the high-quality, AI-enhanced video cameras was undeniable, and the product found itself a avid audience among people who wanted great meeting room experiences, the price be damned. The team did it once for video conferencing, and who am I to say what technologies and price points the professional podcasting market will support.

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 peli case worth of recording gear can’t touch:

Audio captured by the Nomono sound capsule is wirelessly uploaded to the Nomono web app, a secure cloud resource and audio collaboration tool with remarkably good AI-powered signal processing. It tidies up raw audio with a lot of panache, and it’s easy to see how it could save busy podcast producers a ton of time. In addition to audio processing, the platform allows content creators to easily gather and organize material in a central repository. Producers can collect comments, reactions and approvals in a sleek timeline interface optimized for audio production. The company suggests that the same Nomono intelligent signal processing technology that enables spatial audio recordings can help separate foreground dialogue from the background environment to provide much greater vocal clarity and noise reduction. , with far fewer distracting artifacts or having to completely remove background audio.

“Nomono redefines the listening experience by allowing anyone to record immersive sound with uncompromising quality and ease,” Rinde concluded. “With our platform’s ability to deliver great recordings at the push of a button, Nomono eliminates technical hurdles and time-consuming steps so podcasters and broadcast journalists can focus on their story and the people who tell it.

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

“Editing is on our roadmap. The first challenge was to automate the process of getting it to sound good,” says Rinde. “The next features we’ll be implementing will make the workflow easier for our users, and editing is on the roadmap; it’s a clear next step.

For now, all AI functionality takes place in the cloud, but the company plans to move more functionality to the device over time.

“Here’s the smart thing about having the AI ​​in the clouds at the start: right now we’re doing all the processing in the cloud with Amazon. That gives us a lot of power, and the key here is to train AI in the cloud,” says Rinde. “Then you can create a little sibling of the AI ​​that has been trained on a smaller dataset. But it will be well formed and you can put it on the material. We have a small piece of software that already works on the sound capsule itself. Over time we will try to focus more on the sound capsule itself, as this will reduce bandwidth requirements.

“For the hardware, we’ll have a price of $2,999 that you can pay upfront,” Rinde says. “But we will also do hardware as a service. The mainstream media will just say, “Yeah, we’ll have 10.” For an independent podcaster, they might want to move away from the Zoom recorder – for them, we can offer a monthly plan at $129 per month and an annual plan at $119 per month, just to get some sort of low threshold to start using them for them.

As an avid hobbyist podcaster, $3,000 is way over my budget (I had to save up to buy my $120 microphone that I use now – but that’s also my entire audio setup). The bottom line is that this is not a product that is for me or for people like me. What’s interesting is that professional audio producers have well-established workflows and are usually quite picky about how they like things set up. I can’t wait to see who will end up adopting the Nomono setup.

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


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