Introduction: KopyKatica Eyeball Microphone Isolation Device

This Instructable shows how a very ordinary foam ball can be turned into a very useful and effective audio treatment device. I do hope that you make one and enjoy the results.

Step 1: The Original Device.

If you are into audio recording, especially of voice overs then you may have heard of the Kaotica Eyeball.

This amazing device is placed directly over a microphone to create an effective studio quality sound treatment.

UK voice over artist Peter explains it very well in this YouTube clip.

Step 2: Making the Instructables Version

If you want to make the KopyKatica version of the Eyeball then you will need a few basic tools and the not-so-basic hole cutter set.

Something like this: Typical item available at Amazon

Step 3: Oh... and One of These

Yes... a foam football (oops that is a Soccer ball for my US friends)

Here is another example from Amazon

A 20 cm version is ideal.

Step 4: First Measure Your Mike

I measured my condenser microphone diameter to ensure a snug push fit.

Step 5: Marking Out

I first produced a hole template and then marked out the hole on the ball.

I was very carefull to ensure that it was 'square' with the axis of the ball.

Step 6: The Hack an Slash Method

Frankly this is how I started and it is NOT the way to do it ...not at all.

I tried hacking out the core using knives and even hot wires, but the result was HORRIBLE.

Then I thought ...if you need a big hole.... what about using a big hole drill...

Step 7: A Hole Better Way

Yes, who would think that a tough hole drill designed for plasterboard (Drywall), would be able to cut a neat hole in a squishy foam ball.

With some trepidation I set it up....and switched on...

Step 8: Plan Diagram

I have added this plan from my notebook to clarify the hole drilling, after a question was asked in the comments.

I do hope this is now clear but please feel free to ask for further information if you need it.

Step 9: Going In...

It sank into the foam like butter...

Ideally I would have used a pillar drill and a sphere clamping device.

In fact I used my arms and the 'wife clamp' method.

(Mrs G deserves a special mention for keeping her nerve as the hole cutter whizzed around between her hands).

Step 10: Deep and Wide

Success was happily achieved.

The hole was very neat and correct.

Step 11: Better Black

The football markings were just not right for my 'studio' and so I decided to spray it.

I did a test first on the cut out plug to make sure that the paint did not adversely effect the foam.

All went well and so I proceeded to empty an entire can onto the surfaces...outside and inside.

Step 12: A Photographic Challenge

These are the best images I could manage, since taking a picture of a black hole in a black ball is not what the camera likes to do.

Step 13: Cosy Mike

And...here is my microphone all tucked up in it's new ball of silence.

Step 14: Lookin' GUDD!

I was VERY pleased with the finished appearance and it certainly does not look 'home made'.

Step 15: The Sound of Silence

I have made a few test recordings with the KopyKatica and can report that it certainly makes a positive difference.

I switched on a radio in the background and then recorded a few minutes of speech into the mike both with and without the KopyKatica.

The result was remarkable.

With the device on there was definitely less audible background sound.

The main benefit seems to be in the improvement to the sound of the voice. I feel that it adds depth and clarity.

I cannot compare the effect with the real device since I cannot afford one, but if you do voice recording, then I can definitely say that it is well worth making one of these and judging for yourself.

It may not perform exactly the same as the real thing but it still looks good.

Even if you have to buy a set of hole cutters and the ball there is still a substantial saving over the $200 cost of the Kaotica Eyeball.

Enjoy the 'sound of silence'.

Comments

author
Sventresca (author)2017-01-29

Instead of external pop filter take a pantyhose and some spray adhesive and glue the pantyhose to the front of the KopyKatica before painting. This will eliminate the need for an external pop filter.

author
MountainEcho (author)2016-12-28

I love this Idea. But, have you seen any issues with heat on Phantom powered microphones?

author
TheIcePrince (author)2015-07-18

THIS - is Friggin Briliant ! .. It takes an Onmi "Pick-Up Pattern" and forces it to conform to a tight Cardoid pattern just by creative Mic "Treatment" ... No stores of VST Plugin Patches to remove Ambience - Just a well designed Foam Countour "Sound Hole" .... The Two things I always want removed from my "Voice-Over" recordings are Zero Room Ambience and a richer Bass end YOU showed us how to NAIL them Both - Thank you so much for Blogging about this and making an "Instructable" - A Neoprene Nurf Baseball woulod serve as a bit smalller Sphere - but the Dense Foam would do exactly what this one does - bravo !!! - "Fantastic Share" Sir !!!!

author
IWGYK (author)2015-07-16

I'm absolutely trying this with my MXL condenser mic at my studio.

We are a loud band in a small space, so needless to say it is difficult/impossible to get perfectly mic'd amps and drums, room just is not big enough.

I'm also going to try this with my smaller SM57's and smaller foam balls that are mic'd right up on the 4x12 guitar stack.

I'll try to get a before and after recording of all the mics without and with the foam.

I'm also going to try super heating a steel pipe the diamter of the intended mic and "plunge cut" to see if it helps any stray foam particles to melt together, rather than ending up in your windscreen grate forever!

Great idea, props man.

author
Gregarious (author)IWGYK2015-07-16

Thanks for your comments.

Please note that this ball and even the real thing have most benefit in treating the sounds rather than eliminating sounds.

I tried using the heat method but it was really horrible. I hope you have more luck than I did.

I promise that the use of the hole drill is amazingly effective and produces a neat finish.

Do let us all know how you get on.

author
Gregarious (author)2015-07-12

I think it might be a bit cumbersome but please do share your experience if you try it.

author
mvelazquez8 (author)2015-07-12

This would be perfect for a CB microphone especially in my high noise level semi truck!

author
Gregarious (author)2015-07-09

That will be interesting. I hope that you or someone, can also do some analysis of the original eyeball. Meanwhile I am planning to upload a sound file comparison later.

author
bomboy (author)2015-07-06

cool stuff. I would put it through more acoustic tests before i used it in a session. nice job!

author
Gregarious (author)bomboy2015-07-06

The cost of the real thing is around $200 (around £170 going price in UK)

If you want the real studio results you will need to buy the real thing.

For a total outlay of between $6 and $30 depending on what tools you have, it certainly helps.

I am not claiming it is the same as the pukka version, and I do not have sophisticated test gear to do acoustic tests.

My ears do detect a real benefit and it is FAR better than the acoustic shields that I tried.

I would love to hear from anyone trying it, that has the ability to do full testing.

author
bomboy (author)Gregarious2015-07-09

I'm going to give this a try and will do some acoustical analysis. i plan to test a few different mics and will share the results with eveyone.

author
Jonny J (author)2015-07-06

Great idea!
It's gone onto my "to do" list. :)

author
Gregarious (author)Jonny J2015-07-07

Great. If you get to make one please do post a picture and share any useful tips.

author
jcleere (author)2015-07-07

Well done!!! I was trying to figure out where you'd get a sphere of foam
Big enough. A football genius!!!

author
Gregarious (author)jcleere2015-07-07

Thanks. I also looked at using a rugby ball shape but that was just too weird.

author
Whatsizface (author)2015-07-07

I noticed in the pics that there are two holes. One allows the Mic to pass into the ball and the other is the voice opening. You measured one but not the other. What size is the voice opening? Assuming it's only the height of the mic pickup?

Perfect timing for this! I'm in the process of launching a product management podcast ( http://www.prodcasters.com/) and have my mic and power supply on order.

author
Gregarious (author)Whatsizface2015-07-07

Yes, there are two holes. I measured the Mike one because that is a required size. The opening to speak or sing into is basically as big as you can get a hole cutter for. You raise a good point though and so I shall add a step to the Instructable later that shows this explicitly.

author
monkeywork (author)2015-07-06

can you put before and after audio on SoundCloud for us to hear?

author
Gregarious (author)monkeywork2015-07-06

Yes I am planning to do exactly that....maybe a week or so to wait...sorry.

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Bio: A long time Instructables lurker.. now pleased to be an Instructables worker,...as in; doing instead of doodling. This is easier now that I am ... More »
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