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This paper describes an approach to achieving a flexible layout of microphones on the surface of a spherical microphone array for beamforming. Our approach achieves orthonormality of spherical harmonics to higher order for relatively distributed layouts. This gives great flexibility in microphone layout on the spherical surface. One direct advantage is that it makes it much easier to build a real world system, such as those with cable outlets and a mounting base, with minimal effects on the performance. Simulation results are presented.