If you've ever mic'd up a drum set, you are no doubt familiar with the struggle for floor space among various cymbal and mic stands – the traffic jam around the snare drum is about as predictable as death and taxes. If you've ever used multiple microphones in an iso booth, you know that floor real estate is precious. Perhaps someone is filming their acoustic guitar player, but your mic stands look cheap and droopy, so you hang your head in shame as a sad song plays softly in the background. Well, luckily for all of us Triad-Orbit is here to change all of that with their O2X boom system.
The O2X offers a crazy amount of flexibility and stability in a well-designed, compact package. It's a little difficult to describe everything that the system offers, but if you visit their website there are videos that show exactly what the O2X is capable of, as well as other specs and details. In short, the O2X is part of Triad-Orbit's innovative stand system and includes four different extension arms; two long (15-24.5") and two short (9.5"-12.5"). These arms are interchangeable and provide many options, such as reaching the short and long sides of a grand piano for instance. The long arms contain graduation markings to help with stereo mic'ing or Decca Tree configurations. On top of all that, the apparatus that holds both arms can swivel, thereby accommodating movement of the entire system with a single adjustment. There are other features as well, like Quick-Couplers at the end of each arm that allow you to effortlessly pop mics on and off (so satisfying), and the ability to adjust the legs independently. Even with no arms attached, the O2X works well as a stereo bar and sets up easily for a M/S, Blumlein, or X/Y (using the deepest shoulder notch) mic configuration.
In use, the O2X is perfect for a bunch of recurring situations such as mic'ing the top and bottom of the snare drum, two floor toms, an acoustic guitar and vocal at the same time. A grand piano setup is easy, or even mic'ing a guitar amp (though I did find that this works best if your amp is on an amp stand or off of the floor in some way). Triad-Orbit also offers mounting accessories for videographers, so you could potentially mount cameras and lights on the O2X if that's your thing.
If I had to be critical of the O2X, I would say that it almost provides too many options. I'd prefer a clamp system rather than a screw-based system for extending the body and arms of the stand, though I realize at that point they'd need to provide replacement parts for when the clamp eventually strips. The current screw-based system results in occasionally moving the mics when you'd prefer they not be moved, but the benefit is that the stand will probably last forever, with no expected wear and tear – I'll take that compromise over a clamp system failing and a $5,000 microphone hitting the floor or your clients' instrument! If you're looking for a sturdy, elegant solution for multiple microphone situations, you should definitely make it over to the Triad-Orbit website and see what they have to offer.