Since the introduction of recording, bands and artists have used specific microphones to capture sound from the entire room. Unfortunately, once captured, trying to fix certain sounds or mistakes was next to impossible. This is where Zylia comes in with their ZM-1 Microphone.
It makes use of 19 separate condenser microphones that are spread across the spherical body, as well as a single LED ring that runs through the equator of the device to indicate its recording functionality. Essentially, recordists have the ability to capture a 3D, 360-degree sound, as well as traditional stereo. We like to think of it as the virtual reality of the audio world. Let’s dive into our Zylia ZM-1 Review to see what this bad boy is all about.
- 19 Microphone Omnidirectional Digital MEMS Capsules
- LED Ring Status Recording Indicat0r
- 48 kHz / 24-bit Recording
- USB Connectivity
- 20-20,000 Hz Frequency Range
Overall, the ZM-1 is impressive. It is easy to see something like this and think that it might be a gimmick, as there is a hollow character with many of these types of microphones. Luckily, it’s just not the case.
The Zylia ZM-1 comes with a tabletop stand and a threaded microphone stand, which allows you to place it just about anywhere in the room. It connects to your computer via USB and uses special software to get it going. It is as simple as setting your microphone up in the middle of the room, calibrating it, and recording. The software will even ask you what kind of instruments you are recording before asking you to play an eight-second bit on each of the instruments so that it can find the instruments in the space.
Though you might have to move the instruments around in the room a bit to get the mix that you desire, the software gives you the ability to tweak the mix much more than you’d think. Let’s say your guitar that was placed in the corner of the room needs to be turned up. You can simply adjust that guitar in correlation with the microphone that was picking it up the most. Essentially, you get a room recording with multi-track session editing capability.
The track separation is impeccable. Even the small amounts of bleed can be tweaked using regular DAW software in post. It is great for picking up live performances and crowd responses at the same time, perfect for those who are looking to record a live EP, for example. You can even use it to capture 360-degree audio for YouTube of Facebook, making the creation of enveloping soundscapes a breeze.
Pros and Cons
- Innovative Design
- Perfect For Live Performances
- High-Quality Audio Capturing
- Solid Software Tweakability
- None that that are worthy of mentioning. Not really…
Should You Buy It?
The Zylia ZM-1 is a well-executed recording device that delivers beautiful room recordings with the ability to edit and re-mix well after the fact. There is nothing currently available that we’ve found that can do what this thing can do. Yes, it might take a bit to get used to, but once you get it set up, it is the perfect device for on-the-spot recordings in just about any space you can think of.
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If you currently use the Zylia ZM-1 let us know what you think in the comments!