Anyone who's ever attended a Styx concert can tell you that lasers and smoke are both integral components to any musical act. But now compressed audio pioneer David Schwartz is squeezing the tech into microphones to achieve higher fidelity recording.

The first clip explains how things work. Essentially, smoke rises through a tube, you talk or sing into the smoke and as the vapor moves with your voice, the laser can measure these particles without affecting them (interfering) in any way.

Normal mics, while pretty darn good, use a clunky diaphragm that shakes to measure sound. The thought behind this new tech is that this diaphragm impedes a true signal more than microscopic (1-3 micron) particles floating in the air, measured by a laser.

The second clip will show you how a laser mic actually sounds. In one word, that's "horrendous." But given that we're witnessing a demonstration of the very first prototype by a guy who knows a thing or two about audio, we'll shrug off the quality and expect things to get better. Plus, when have lasers ever failed us in the past? [via DVICE]