thoughts and decisions for a creative edge


ISM Wireless Mics


With more and more mics adopting the 2.4GHz ISM domain. There is evidently an explosion of production to this category of mics within the industry. We own the picoMIC from picoGEAR for a while now and loved it from day 1! The simple setup and un-intrusive form factor is something unlike wireless mics for talents for last half century. Instead running on VHF or UHF, this ISM signals does not need any licensing for it to be used anywhere in the world which makes it even more appealing to many. Its low power consumption which some claims to last 20hrs is an unbeatable specs that is incredible if compared. If you’re ok with 24bit 48Khz transmission for your line of work. Mics of this specs may be something to look out for for your production.

Most audio connections in live sound applications and use cables to carry audio signals – analogue, digital or networked – from sound sources to stage boxes, from stage boxes to mixers and from mixers to power amplifiers. However, one category of sound source is often connected through radio waves: microphones. Although a cable is the most secure way to connect a microphone, with the highest audio quality, there’s a practical reason to use radio: freedom of movement of the performer. This also goes for worn musical instruments, such as guitars.

Over time, frequency ranges in the UHF (Ultra High Frequency) band from 470 MHz to 823 MHz have been used by wireless microphone system manufacturers, made possible by legislation in countries to allocate certain frequency ranges for entertainment use. With the advance of cellular data, these frequency ranges have been – and are being – re-allocated in favour of television and mobile data networks, reducing the ranges available for entertainment infrastructure. The reason is simply that the economic importance of television and mobile phones has grown to be far more significant than entertainment infrastructure. The result is that the availability and bandwidth available for UHF wireless microphone systems is limited year by year, reducing channel counts or, worse, possibly making systems with a fixed frequency range obsolete.

An alternative to this challenge is the use of so-called Industry, Scientific and Medical (ISM) frequency bands. These bands are designated and guaranteed for use by most of the planet’s governments. Their use for consumer services include 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz WiFi and Bluetooth wireless networks, plus 1.8 GHz DECT wireless local telephony networks. Globally, these applications are used so extensively that it would lead to worldwide chaos if they were cancelled. Therefore the long-term availability of these frequency bands is almost certain.

The bandwidth – and with it the channel count – that ISM bands can support is not high, but neither is it particularly small; in practise around 14 channels at 2.4 GHz WiFi and around 56 channels at 1.8 GHz DECT. The free air connectivity range at these high frequencies is limited to a maximum of about 100 metres, with lower in-house ranges. This is good for WiFi and DECT because every home can have its own wireless network without disturbing other homes, meaning many networks can use the same frequency simultaneously. For microphone systems, of course, this is a constraint, limiting the maximum distance between transmitter and receiver. In addition, the GHz range is vulnerable to blocking by objects such as walls, ceilings and – relevant for entertainment – guitars, drum kits and the performers themselves. The higher the frequency, the higher the likelihood of signal blocking, which is the reason why 5 GHz is sometimes less suited for use.

The main issue, however, is interference, caused by reflections of the high frequency radio signals by walls and other metal objects. For this reason, ‘diversity’ techniques have to be applied, for example by using two carrier frequencies per connection and two antennas for reception. If interference occurs at one frequency or antenna, the system can switch to the other.

The existence of WiFi networks in the same location is, of course, another challenge for 2.4GHz systems. However it’s not as severe as you might think. By selecting carrier frequencies in between those used by WiFi networks – by using directional antennas and making sure that no Wireless Access Points are located in performance area between the microphone transmitters and receivers – the connection is virtually resistant to WiFi traffic.

Why nCoV-19 is fatally tricky

Let us make this easily understandable.

For those STILL not understanding why this is more serious than the Flu, a cold, H1N1, Bird flu or anything else…. or For those who are still not practicing social distancing.

Best explanation I’ve seen to date…

Feeling confused as to why Coronavirus is a bigger deal than Seasonal flu? Here it is in a nutshell. I hope this helps. Feel free to share this to others who don’t understand…

It has to do with RNA sequencing…. I.e. genetics.

Seasonal flu is an “all human virus”. The DNA/RNA chains that make up the virus are recognized by the human immune system. This means that your body has some immunity to it before it comes around each year… you get immunity two ways…through exposure to a virus, or by getting a flu shot.

Novel viruses, come from animals…. the WHO tracks novel viruses in animals, (sometimes for years watching for mutations). Usually these viruses only transfer from animal to animal (pigs in the case of H1N1) (birds in the case of the Spanish flu). But once, one of these animal viruses mutates, and starts to transfer from animals to humans… then it’s a problem, Why? Because we have no natural or acquired immunity.. the RNA sequencing of the genes inside the virus isn’t human, and the human immune system doesn’t recognize it so, we can’t fight it off.

Now…. sometimes, the mutation only allows transfer from animal to human, for years it’s only transmission is from an infected animal to a human before it finally mutates so that it can now transfer human to human… once that happens..we have a new contagion phase. And depending on the fashion of this new mutation, thats what decides how contagious, or how deadly it’s gonna be..

H1N1 was deadly….but it did not mutate in a way that was as deadly as the Spanish flu. It’s RNA was slower to mutate and it attacked its host differently, too.

Fast forward.

Now, here comes this Coronavirus… it existed in animals only, for nobody knows how long…but one day, at an animal market, in Wuhan China, in December 2019, it mutated and made the jump from animal to people. At first, only animals could give it to a person… But here is the scary part…. in just TWO WEEKS it mutated again and gained the ability to jump from human to human. Scientists call this quick ability, “slippery”

This Coronavirus, not being in any form a “human” virus (whereas we would all have some natural or acquired immunity). Took off like a rocket. And this was because, Humans have no known immunity…doctors have no known medicines for it.

And it just so happens that this particular mutated animal virus, changed itself in such a way the way that it causes great damage to human lungs..

That’s why Coronavirus is different from seasonal flu, or H1N1 or any other type of influenza…. this one is slippery AF. And it’s a lung eater…And, it’s already mutated AGAIN, so that we now have two strains to deal with, strain s, and strain L….which makes it twice as hard to develop a vaccine.

We really have no tools in our shed, with this. History has shown that fast and immediate closings of public places has helped in the past pandemics. Philadelphia and Baltimore were reluctant to close events in 1918 and they were the hardest hit in the US during the Spanish Flu.

Factoid: Henry VIII stayed in his room and allowed no one near him, till the Black Plague passed…(honestly…I understand him so much better now). Just like us, he had no tools in his shed, except social isolation…

And let me end by saying….right now it’s hitting older folks harder… but this genome is so slippery…if it mutates again (and it will). Who is to say, what it will do next.

Be smart folks… acting like you’re unafraid is so not sexy right now.

#flattenthecurve. Stay home folks.

AMBEO Soundbar

Been using the same 5.1 Surround Speakers from BOSE for almost 22 years and I think it is finally time to make a change. Will be making time to remove all that surrounding wires that’s been lining the living space perimeters and get equal or better sound for the future with this newly released product from Sennheiser. We have had fun with their FOA mic the AMBEO VR, now this seems like the most natural step – to pair with the recordings we got!

Though – you really don’t need to.

The beauty of the system is flexibility with the AMBEO format that is incomparable with other surround audio tech. It is not dependent on what kind of format the audio source is from. It will play 5.1 or stereo just fine too for most home users. In addition this will also enable you to play 5.1.4 which previous needed Dolby Atmos systems which are still connected systems through wires to be spread out between speakers and sub woofer. AMBEO is plug-n-play for those who just wants to capture or playback most immersive and rich audio without the hassle from the past. No more entangled wires. Now let the planes and bullets fly above your head to the rear and back or let Nascar racing audio wraps around you when it goes round the track. You’re about to get immersed in ridiculously good audio.

The AMBEO Soundbar is compatible with the 3D audio formats Dolby Atmos®, MPEG-H and DTS:X™. Beyond this, it also features upmix technology, which recreates stereo and 5.1 content as a thrillingly immersive 3D sound experience. –

MPEG-H – Your personalized audio format

So much development in audio in recent years. This one, MPEG-H is the one that we’d be waiting for to truly leap into the future.

Do watch the post by Fraunhofer IIS as it describes what is in store in this very near future.

Chris Jojo’s interview on spatial audio.


Listen A Little – TSO ft Oxygen

Found a good band to listen to the other day. What was even more interesting was the integration of Ambisonic mix done by their audio engineer Khushh Mehta of KRMA Mastering Mumbai/Bangalore.

I grew up in Singapore, thus this Indian ascents added to a well defined jazz groove along with great instrumentalists really got me boppin to the beat and wondrous mix. Be sure to listen with headphones on this one. You don’t really need to, but that’s where the bonus is.

Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar

CES 2019: Sennheiser Dolby Atmos & DTS: X-Soundbar “Ambeo” arrives in May

In May, Sennheiser will launch the soundbar “Ambeo”, which was already presented at IFA. The Soundbar is the latest addition to Sennheiser’s AMBEO 3D audio program and offers 5.1.4 sound with a virtualization technology developed jointly with Fraunhofer and 13 speakers. The soundbar is compatible with Dolby Atmos, DTS: X and MPEG-H 3D audio formats. At the same time, stereo and 5.1 content can be played via Upmix as an immersive 3D sound experience.

The AMBEO Soundbar uses an automated room calibration that optimizes the sound for the individual room and the preferred seating position. Over five different presets (film, music, sports, news and a neutral setting) can also optimize the frequencies and the 3D sound characteristics for the corresponding content.

With built-in Google Chromecast, Bluetooth and HDMI eARC / CEC, there are a variety of connectivity options, complemented by three additional HDMI inputs, an optical audio input and an AUX (RCA) input.

The Soundbar can be operated via App: The Sennheiser Smart Control App for iOS and Android allows users to make sound settings, select presets, personalize the sound via the equalizer and choose between three different AMBEO modes (Light, Standard and Boost) , Future new features can be uploaded to the Ambeo Soundbar via Wi-Fi or app updates.

The Sennheiser “Ambeo” soundbar should cost 2499 EUR.

For more details and recerence, checkout Sennheiser’s homepage HERE.

Original post in German 11.01.2019 (Karsten Serck)


Foley shit! Red Bull MTB just got sweet.

Sound makes more than half the picture.
I still agree to that claim 200% despite what anybody else think. Or we’d be out of our jobs! When my eyes go off the screen, I am still engaged with the storyline through audio that permeates the room.
Make sure you watch the processed clip above first and then watch the raw clip with the post production work below. You’d smile on how you’ve been ‘fooled’ to be in the middle of the action. That’s the power of sound.

Great job by Eddie Masters and Dave McMillan. I just wish they shared the RAW audio from the original capture thus to understand the whole process which these foley did. Overall a good overall experience keeping us audience engaged. Sound is magic.

#SoundofSpeed #RedBull

ProTools’ Facebook 360 & Ambisonics

I know many would wish that AVID unlocks this capability also for non-HD ProTools user.. as many are left to gawk on its incredible usability with today’s growing market. It looks like it should be able to work with latest non-HD version as the final mixdown only consists of 9 Ambisonic audio file and 1 stereo file. But it is the new Track and Bus setup in 12.8.2 that is uniquely required to enable the Ambisonic mixdown and encoding. It might also just be due to safety nets that AVID lock this ability out; should you not have a proper surround sound studio setup which may cause output spatial audio errors either wise.

Screen Shot 2017-11-01 at 23.42.59

Screen Shot 2017-11-01 at 23.42.36

Check out the short video how easy it is to use this app. If you’re a 360 design company who’s dabbled with apps like Kolor and similar as Autopano Video, audio plugins such as this is what would make your production stand out from the rest. Delivery to the web is still pretty limited. But looking at the clip, we see that it has been enabled for Facebook and YouTube 360 VR sharings which is fantastic for a start!


OASIS go forward. OAXIS stay away.

This is a long one.. ohh yes. Long and frustrating on-going incident. Not the usual happy me here. But a disgruntled me being played by one company from Kickstarter. IF you don’t like to hear other people’s problems, stop reading. If you want to possibly avoid being played by such a company and help echo the bad practise of this company, do share this post around to let them know such practise is NOT welcomed. Anyhow.. make your choice.

Its a new age for startups with the growth of Indiegogo and Kickstarter. It’s a great opportunity for fresh new company to get a shot of actually producing products which they’ve tinkered to produce, but not want to go to the bank to get loans for a product that is not yet done. So it’s a reach to the community public, a petition to gain their trust in a product that they’d hopefully want and in return for a fraction of the price before actual launch.

I have backed many Kickstarter and Indiegogo startups. But this month I came across the most unrespectful company who not only took my money and ignored my plea for help. But also made it clear that I GOT ROBBED in broad daylight.

Before I iterate even further. Let me just say this. I backed the company for a product I wanted. It is a binding agreement when you support their cause to have this item funded, that they should in return have your back at best possible right. You’re one of their micro-investors. But when the product you got is faulty. What is the proper way to handle this situation. You blame the customer? You blame your investor?

I even remember noting that it was a Singapore registered company. Thus I was even more keen to support them. If you follow my blog, you’d know I am a Singaporean myself. Thus hey, patriotic support right? And coming from Singapore, retail is da bomb. No problem to be expected. Things should go smooth, easy, and trust worthy. It should have.

The Kickstarter campaign I’m referring to here is the InkCase i7 Plus: Dual Screen For iPhone 7 Plus by OAXIS.

I was one of the Early Bird backers.
$137 + $14 shipping cost making it a total of $151
But when the day came, DHL asked me to pay shipping tax of €53,46.
That was my first mistake. No clear indication on the box that this was OAXIS’ InkCase. If I knew earlier, I would not have paid this extras and sent it back.

Shipping costs should have been calculated-for in the additional shipping amount that we pay on Kickstarter. That is the normal practise. The company we back would usually cover the shipping cost along with the fulfillment cost. Backer’s ‘shipping & fulfillment cost’ usually brought to a minimal. With OAXIS however, I got a feeling that the $14 we paid to is just for the labelling… and the rest is on us backers.

Seriously I had no idea what was in the package, so I just paid it anyway. I order stuffs quite regularly internationally. So can you imagine how frustrated I got when I realized I paid additional €53+ on tax for this?


So I wrote to them:

Sep 20 2017

I had to pay import tax €53,46. If I knew that the package was from InkCase Kickstarter I would have asked them to ship it back.

Now will I get refunded for this amount???? I see that you have more and more people commenting about same problem with the DHL shipping. I hope you have something planned to make up for this extra costs. I have the payment receipt as proof. Let me know how we sort this out.

Hasan – Singaporean in Holland

This was their reply:

Sep 21 2017
Hi Hasan, Sorry to hear about your situation. But import taxes are something beyond our control. Startups like us on Kickstarters often face this problem with their backers as we are just following proper customs paper work. 
We seek your understanding on this.

Thank you and have a nice day.

Amazing right? No I did not add or change anything.. It’s what they say. We seek your understanding.. REALLY

Sep 21 2017

My situation? It’s your situation actually. You already charged the expected shipping costs. We agreed to this. There should be no more additional hidden costs upon receiving it. I’ve backed few Kickstarter projects. And also a few from Singapore and never got into such issue with the shipping. Maybe you should ask how they did their shipping without incurring extra costs for your supporters. And I supported your project as I’m a Singaporean. Your response however reflect the little care or support you give to people who backed you.

It is purely unacceptable that you seek us to understand your situation. We’re the ones paying.

They’ve stopped responding via Kickstarters Reward Message Page after that.. Thus I went on to eMail them. You see there is no wrong in pursuing to know why I have to pay this much. It is the first time that a Singaporean company have just left me to deal with it, seeking understanding from these extra incurred costs. Something was not right within OAXIS. It is not a Singapore company’s etiquette to leave your customers to deal with such problem. We’re afterall in a partnership here. Remember you are their micro investor. But if 1,174 backers are left to deal with such incidents. Will that be a good thing for the company which you invested in?? Of course the only difference here is OAXIS probably take us as a one-time opportunity. They’ve made their cut. The rest of shipping costs is what they have avoided.

It costed me this much. But after a week’s use it broke.

I am rarely angry. So rare that I don’t know how to be angry I think. I thought I just let it go with that extra cost. I will not back them again in future Kickstarter. But the very reason of extra costs incurred for a product that does not even last days triggered me off when it broke and failed badly as I was trying to remove it from my phone.


OAXIS have to understand. We have few cases for different purpose on our phone. It’s not meant to be dorned permanently. If you design a case for a smartphone, it should be easy to put them on and just as easy to remove to serve their daily purpose. I own few other cases. And they’ve all lasted through time and time of use and removals.

I have several cases for the iPhone 7 Plus. The Lifeproof NÜÜD when I go out paddling. For work meetings I have the phone in a ThinOptics cover which holds my reading glasses in its sleeve. The InkCase was supposed to be the ideal reading accompaniment when I’m commuting.. (But it didn’t even get to its paces). Each serving its purpose.

I chose to invest in InkCase because I read a lot. It was the additional features that you can just view your agenda schedule and ePubs easily on the back of the phone that sold me. Not so much of the case itself. It definitely serves no purpose on protecting the phone. We know now that the case cannot even protect its own electronics from daily use! What more the phone in it.

So what do you think about it? Am I wrong to be unhappy about this company for not holding up to its promises? Or maybe just the way it conducts its business after the fact. I am usually not easily ticked off. Fact that I can meticulously write this down to tell the CEO or owners of OAXIS that the way they treat their root supporters as they did is wrong, then I have done my job. I got the fumes out of me (I hope). 

OAXIS have to deal with many more of similar problems that is coming to them. But I hope they would also deal with my problem as I will update on it in time to come… get their act together to deal with their original micro-investors from Kickstarter.

Right now all I have is a very expensive iphone7 plus case.. collecting dust and a lesson for my readers on a company to avoid. It’s also crazy to find this link about somewhat a similar item while digging into the product. Did they actually just made a copy of what the PopSlate was??

Below is a collective of the complains that I picked out from comments page on Kickstarter which they have not replied or addressed.

In the light of things, after 4 or 5 emails with a few days of silence.. 

OAXIS sent me a mail saying that they have decided to give me a ONE TIME REPLACEMENT.. This was after the multiple rejections in efforts to get myself one replacement. They didn’t realize that we customers / micro investors are human. We get angry at rejection and frustrated when such requests costing ME and few others hundred or dollars are rebutted with obstinate response claiming that it is us at fault for their faulty design. And then there is this policy that if I want that case replaced. I have to mail back that broken screen.

I threw away the case in frustration. It was long gone in the bin the second time they say YOU GOT TO PAY. From $75 to $50 and now Free Replacement… and now they send me the company policy. Who they kiddin’

I sent them my last string of mail. If OAXIS consists of real people to understand the frustration I had in trying to get their help. And when I tossed that case away, it was with a bitter experience of a fellow Singapore company that no longer tells me how trustworthy a Singapore Company is. It’s a sham.. I hope they would make an exception of this policy. Hopefully someday I will regain trust of a Singapore Kickstarter company.