Tone Tank is the über cool way to reposition studio microphones
By Paul Ridden
March 5, 2013
Don't go thinking that the Tone Tank is just a big boy's toy, it's not. It's a serious piece of studio equipment, on a par with the mixing desk and professional monitors – well, perhaps not quite. In addition to adding a bit of fun to the studio floor, this RC military tank allows sound engineers to precisely position studio microphones without having to constantly leave the console. And yes, the cannon is fully functional.
The Tone Tank robotic mic stand is powered by a rechargeable battery that's reported to offer an hour's worth of driving time before needing a recharge via the supplied AC adapter. It has two forward speeds, reverse, and can be turned left and right. Control is via a 9V battery-powered radio controller, and the gun turret also rotates up to 320 degrees left or right. A bag of 6 mm Airsoft Battle Bullets is included to fire off at any musician not pulling his weight, within its 25 meter (82 ft) range.
When it's time to get down to some serious work, the Tone Tank can be maneuvered into the best position to capture the instrument/amp sound. It comes supplied with a standard mounted microphone stand adapter, quick release mic clip and wheel stabilizer mounted brackets.
Though you'd think that the sound of motorized vehicles moving around the studio floor would be detrimental to the recording process, the company reports that many hours of on-the-ground testing has revealed no interference making it through to the mix when using amplified instruments. You may have to exercise a little more care when slamming down vocals or acoustic instruments, however, but driving while recording is probably not going to happen anyway.
The company says that up to three tanks can be independently controlled at any one time – the short video below shows a pair of Tone Tanks moving in for the kill.
Each Tone Tank is priced at US$129 (including free shipping within the U.S.).
Source: Tone Tank