Mikme wants to fix your iPhone's audio problem | Cult of Mac

Mikme wants to fix your iPhone’s audio problem


The tiny Mikme wireless microphone is designed to capture great audio quickly and easy.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

SAN FRANCISCO — While other people were crapping their pants or scratching their heads during the Apple Music unveiling, Philipp Sonnleitner was having an “aha!” moment.

It happened right after Apple took the wraps off of Connect, the social element of Apple Music designed to let artists share intimate moments with fans, from backstage video and unreleased tracks to private performances from couches anywhere in the world.

“You saw the Apple Connect?” Sonnleitner, CEO and founder of Mikme, asked during the getgeeked tech showcase here during Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference. “We have the tools!”

You can forgive him for being excited. He’s hip to the iPhone’s dirty little secret when it comes to capturing video. While the high-def video can be astonishingly pristine, the audio is lacking.

He’s also thrilled that his diminutive device could be the missing link that makes it simple for musicians, artists and everybody else to capture quality audio on the fly. It’s easy to imagine every guitarist stowing a Mikme in his or her case to record impromptu jam sessions or grab audio for a potentially viral video. Likewise, anybody who is interested in making and sharing videos could benefit from the easy-to-use Mikme, which is being offered through a just-launched Indiegogo campaign.

Mikme CEO and founder Philipp Sonnleitner wants your iPhone to record better audio.
Mikme CEO and founder Philipp Sonnleitner wants your iPhone to record better audio.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
The tiny wireless microphone — about half the size of a pack of cigarettes — captures high-quality audio at the touch of a button and stores the files on a built-in SD card. Even better, the Mikme Audio Recording iOS app makes it supremely simple to mix up to eight audio tracks. It’s totally visual: You simply select the track you want to tweak, then drag a little circle left, right up or down to adjust the sound.

“It’s like Instagram filters for audio,” Sonnleitner told Cult of Mac.

If that’s the comparison, Mikme’s app is to industry-standard studio software Pro Tools as Instagram is to Photoshop. It punts on deep tweaking, instead giving users an easy and fun way to mix audio without losing their minds in the bowels of an overly complicated program.

Where can you get a Mikme? Right now you can’t, although Indiegogo backers can preorder now. 

Sonnleitner said he learned a lot from a previous failed Kickstarter campaign for Mikme, including that he should expand his target market beyond musicians. Many of his original backers planned to use the device for podcasting, recording lectures and similar endeavors.

The product hasn’t changed, aside from upgrading the app (an Android version is in the works, too). But the audience is potentially broader. A manufacturer in Munich is on tap to make Mikme for delivery by the end of 2015. (This time the target is a much more realistic $25,000 rather than the $210,000 Sonnleitner sought the first time around.)

Pricing for Mikme will be $199 for an 8GB model with a 0.66-inch microphone capsule or $299 for twice the storage and a slightly larger 1-inch capsule. Battery life on the wireless device will be five to eight hours, said Sonnleitner, who previously worked for Austrian microphone maker AKG Acoustics.

Mikme is also working on some pretty bizarre-looking stands, with prototypes created by Austrian artist Andreas Eberharter, aka AND_i, who has produced some outlandish jewelry for Lady Gaga, among others.


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