Audio, besides learning to edit, is probably the biggest hurdle aspiring shooters balk at when considering doing video as a profession. Audio can be baffling, challenging and expensive. If you aren’t sure what you’re doing, you end up with sound that is akin to hearing a conversation through a tin can in a Miami club. “Good” audio equipment is expensive and doesn’t guarantee results. Well, that was the case until Mikme. I spent some time with the attractive little box and its creator, Philipp Sonnleitner, and have seen (or rather, heard) what it is capable of… and I was impressed.

Mikme_1

Mikme_2

 

So what is Mikme? It’s a wireless recording microphone that lets you capture sound quickly and easily with the push of a button and commanded with a well-conceived mobile app. Equipped with a gold-plated condenser capsule, an 8GB hard drive and the latest Bluetooth technology, Mikme is designed to capture your audio in studio-grade quality.

 

Mikme_4

 

Bluetooth? But isn’t Bluetooth horrible for transmitting high quality audio? Yes. It was. But Sonnleitner has created a unique Bluetooth transmission system with no skipping, no missing data packets, no problems. It’s called “Lost & Found Bluetooth Protocol” which is a secure audio transmission over bluetooth (patent pending). It works incredibly well, shockingly well actually considering my past experiences with Bluetooth technology.

Mikme is designed to be approachable for anyone, but full featured enough for higher level professionals to want it as well. It features real time monitoring, nearly immediate transmission of completed audio tracks from the device to your mobile phone, built in 8 GB storage backup, USB hookup if you want it, and the ability send the files to Dropbox for immediate sharing all packed into a small cube no bigger than the palm of your hand.

 

Mikme_Userinterface

 

As you can see, the device is super easy to use. The controls are really straightforward, and the app itself has an intuitive design that easily flows with how swipe controls should work. Check it out:

 

Mikme_App_All

 

Not only can you record, but there are neat editing effects in the app as well. That third pane, the one with Elvis? Each area of that image can add a different variation of an effect to audio. What the Mikme team did was really link visual queues with audio feedback. Let me explain a bit more. You see, when you have a lot of audio tracks in a traditional system, you just see a bunch of file names in a list. In order to see what each one is, you have to listen to them.

Not with Mikme. They have done something to make it so audio has visual meaning.

When you take an audio clip with the Mikme, you label that clip with a photo. In the fourth pane in the photo above, you can see how that looks. If you tried to find a specific clip you know you recorded without those photos, you would be forced to guess which file was the one you were seeking. With photos attached to the audio, you can simply recall “I took a photo of Rick” and find the packet you want nearly instantly. It’s brilliant, and the best part of the app in my opinion (I generally edit all my audio on my desktop, so the editing features were less impressive to me, however I can recognize that people new to audio would find them really helpful).

 

Mikme_App

 

So here are some tech specs on what is packed into the little cube:

  • Capsule – 1 inch, gold plated, true condenser
  • Polar pattern – Cardiod
  • Audio frequency bandwidth, 20 to 20kHz
  • Sensitivity – 18 mV/Pa
  • Signal to noise – 75 dB-A
  • Preattenuation pad – 0 to -30 dB

Internal Audio Recorder

  • Internal memory – 8 GB
  • Recording time –  180 hours MP4, 16 hours WAV
  • Bit depth – 24
  • Sampling frequencies – 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, 96 kHz
  • Processor – 168 MHz Cortex M4
  • Rechargeable Li-IO battery – 1000 mAh
  • Battery-powered operation time standalone recording – 7 hours (5 hours with bluetooth recording)

Mikme_OperationModes

The possible uses of Mikme are nearly endless. You can use it for intervews for video, capturing ambient sound while outside, recording music in environments or just doing a simple interview on your iPhone. It’s all made much, much more approachable to anyone thanks to Mikme.
Mikme_Video_2

 

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Mikme works wirelessly with Android and iOS 7+ and wired with USB Audio Class compliant devices on iOS, Android, Windows, Mac OS, Linux (the app will be available here on the iTunes App Store). Mikme will be the smallest and most versatile recording device and you can get one via their IndieGoGo page for $169. That’s a raging deal for an audio device that can do so many things. Stereo sound, interviews, podcasts, the Mikme is capable of doing them all really well. It doesn’t necessarily excel at anything, but it’s really good at just about everything.

  • Data transfer via Bluetooth isn’t new; that technology came out like 10 years ago. My tiny Fitbit and my speaker can update their firmware through my phone, so that bit is not impressive at all. The audio is very good though.

    • Philipp Sonnleitner

      hey this is philipp sonnleitner – ceo and founder of Mikme. so yes bluetooth for audio is around since more than 10 years. in the form of streaming audio to bluetooth speakers via bluetooth with A2DP and streaming from headsets from the headphone through HFP protocol. there is only one problem. these protocol work fine for normal speech applications for person to person communication such as phone calls. A2DP works fine for audio streaming to bluetooth speakers.

      BUT

      once you record your voice, music or whatever audio for a video for your brand, artist you don’t want to miss a single piece of audio. and that’s the difference. A2DP and HFP which are standardized bluetooth protocol are not QoS Quality of Service. If there is a packet lost it’s lost and with the packet your audio is cutted and a small piece is lost.

      With Mikme and it’s patent pending ‘Lost & Found protocol’ we are transmitting every single piece of audio packet and none will be lost. That means that if your bluetooth is weak we still will be able to deliver every packet. also mikme can record high quality audio locally on it’s internal SD card. so if you battery dies at your phone. you still can record with mikme.

      i think your fitbit can’t do that. though fitbit is a really good product and intended to another use case 😉

      hope that helps to understand what it is made for and why this is something completely new.

      philipp

      • Interesting. So in simple network terms, you’ve managed to pack the “RMTP headers” in your “UDP” interface and have the presentation or application layer and have it deal with the reliability. I think the same principle is used in the high-speed trading field: trades must happen fast, but trades must happen reliably (you can tell I’m a network guy).

        Very interesting info here Philipp. Thanks for stopping by and explaining.

      • J-2

        I’m curious if Mikme could be use for live piano recording? Something like Budokan in Joe Hisaishi, Yiruma, Yanni, etc that can pick up surround sounds with clarity and excellence in capturing piano bass to treble tone? Please have a listen to these artists can would appreciate to hear on these improvements optimize for piano and jazz.

        • Philipp Sonnleitner

          that should work fine. the 1 inch large true condenser capsule will pick up all sound in very high quality, rich and warm sound and very detailed for bass, treble and highs. grand piano recording should work very well. i am a piano player on my own and my piano sound very rich on my recordings.

          • J-2

            Yeah, I read it too but I need to hear piano recording if you don’t mind posting an update in Indiegogo before I would go ahead with the purchase. Fast playing piano recording will test how good your product can go.

          • J-2

            Any update on my enquiry for a piano demo?