Tutorial: Getting Started with Spatial Mic USB – Part 1

Tutorial: Getting Started with Spatial Mic USB – Part 1
October 1, 2019 Voyage Audio

In part 1 of this 2 part Getting Started with Spatial Mic USB tutorial series, you will learn how to quickly begin recording audio with Spatial Mic USB and Reaper. We will be using the included USB cable to provide audio streaming, power and control between a host computer and Spatial Mic. In addition, this guide assumes you will be listening on headphones using stereo binaural decoding.

Software Installation

Before we connect Spatial Mic USB and start recording, we need to download and install a suitable USB driver*, Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), plugins and control App for Spatial Mic USB.

  1. Install the 64-bit version of Reaper for your operating system: https://www.reaper.fm/
  2. Head over to the Voyage Audio Downloads page and download the Spatial Mic Converter plugin and Spatial Mic Control app for your operating system.
  3. For Reaper to find the Spatial Mic Converter plugin, it needs to be in the VST3 search path. You may define your own search path, or use one already defined in Reaper preferences. Check out the numerous posts on the Reaper forum, or take a look at section 1.15 Enabling VST Plug-ins in the Reaper User Guide.
  4. Spatial Mic Control app is stand-alone and does not come with an installer. Simply move this application to a place on your computer for storage and run the application to take control of Spatial Mic USB.
  5. Once audio is encoded with the Spatial Mic Converter plugin, we need a way to decode the audio for playback. There are many ways and options available for this step, however a simple way to get started is to download the free Open-Source IEM Plug-in Suite and use the BinauralDecode plugin.

* Driver note: USB drivers are not provided for Spatial Mic. For macOS, Spatial Mic works out-of-the-box with built-in core audio drivers. For Windows 10, we recommend using ASIO4ALL when recording audio in a DAW. Please see the Spatial Mic USB User Manual for more information on setting up ASIO4ALL.

Making the Connections

Now that the necessary software has been installed, it’s time to make your first recording.

  1. Plug the free end of the USB cable to the USB port on your host device. Spatial Mic USB will go through an LED start-up sequence to indicate the device is receiving power.
  2. Open Reaper and select “Spatial Mic” (macOS) or ASIO (Windows) as your audio system. For more information on setting up ASIO for Windows, please see the Spatial Mic User Manual. 
  3. Press Command + t (Ctrl + t for Windows) to create a new track and label it Spatial Audio.
  4. Open the track Routing as shown, change Track Channels to 8 and de-select Master Send.
  5. Right click on the Record Arm/Disarm button and select Input:8 channelSpatial Mic 1…Spatial Mic 8[8 chan] as shown.
  6. Enable recording by clicking the red Record Arm/Disarm button. The meter on the track should now be showing signal from Spatial Mic USB.
  7. Create another track by pressing Command + t and label it Mic Out.
  8. Open the track Routing as shown, change Track Channels to 10 and select 1: Spatial Audio from the Receives drop down as shown. For the receive, make sure 1-8 is selected under Multichannel Source from the audio dropdown menu as shown. 
  9. Click the FX button on the Mic Out Track and insert the Spatial Mic Converter Plugin. Your screen should now look similar to this: 
  10. Next, click Add and insert the BinauralDecode plugin from IEM: 
  11. You may now press the record button or press command + r to begin recording audio. Press the space-bar stop and press the space-bar again to playback.
  12. You should now hear properly spatialized binaural audio, recorded with Spatial mic USB in your headphones.

Going Further

Congratulations – you can now record audio with Spatial Mic via USB connection to an macOS or Windows computer. In the next tutorial we will learn about the different features included in the Spatial Mic Converter plugin, how to control Spatial Mic USB with the Spatial Mic Control app and more.