Audio acquisition and production


Remembering the days when the average 'portable' sound recorder was heavy enough to induce a hernia, I have high respect for the capabilities of modern digital audio devices. Not least the solid-state recorders that have emerged as successors to the Sony-originated DAT and MiniDisk formats. But avoid anything that lacks XLR connectors unless you are willing to risk the intermittent signal loss caused by mini-jacks. My remit here is to summarise some of the newest kit across the whole audio sector in a tight 1 kilowords. So without further ado...
AKG Acoustics' new WMS 4500 wireless microphone system is designed to handle multiple users and multi-channel applications. It is is available in two new frequency bands: Band 7 (500-530 MHz) and Band 8 (570-600 MHz), offering more options for multi-channel systems in today's crowded RF environment. The system's components, the SR4500 receiver unit, the PT 4500 emitter, and the HT 4500 handheld microphone unit offer new features and new construction. Squelch threshold, carrier frequency selection, and the listed user name can be edited and stored with an easy-to-use menu.
Clear-Com Communication Systems has introduced Version 5 of its Eclipse Digital Matrix System. Acting as a central switching unit for communications across a broadcast operation, it offers expanded connectivity options between frames and panels and simplifies the user interface of its configuration software. Multiple Eclipse systems can be combined as one non-blocking matrix using redundant high-capacity fibre, resulting in a large, high-quality, full-duplex communications system for mobile production and studio integration.
Crystal Vision's new Synner HD combines a video synchroniser, tracking audio delay, audio embedder, extractor and audio processor on one 100 x 266 mm board. It also includes features for processing Dolby E and can combine this with standard AES audio. If the Dolby E is locked to the input, it will be delayed and timed so that the Dolby E data is correctly aligned with the video frame.

DiGiCo's new SD8 incorporates many features of the company's D Series in compact unit. Features include a 37 faders, each with a 20-element bar-graph meter, plus multi-function rotary controls, electronic labelling and a 15-inch touch-sensitive TFT display. The TFT shows functions relevant to what is being adjusted at any instant. A physical fader, knob or backlit electronically labeled button is either provided for every major mix function, or can be programmed onto one of the provided user macro buttons. All 24 channel faders and 12 assignable aux/master faders can be assigned as channels or masters, allowing 36 main faders to control inputs if so required. A 12 x 12 output matrix is provided, its 12 buses being additional to the console's 24 stereo, solo and master buses.

Digidesign's recently announced Pro Tools 8 audio creation and production software incorporates a new interface, new plug-ins and virtual instruments, new scoring and MIDI features, plus expanded editing and mixing capabilities. An improved console, control surface and M-Audio controller integration enable users to map plug-in parameter adjustment to almost any encoder on their controller, and to access each track's 10 inserts.
Eyeheight's AS-2MD digital audio shuffler simplifies the task of re-assigning embedded audio channels within an HD-SDI or SD-SDI feed. A second input allows embedded audio to be extracted from one feed and added to alternative video from another. It also enables audio breakaway of any source if installed on an HD-SDI router.
Fostex' UR-2 is a stereo audio recorder using SD cards and USB pen drives. Features include dual SD card slots and a USB host connector for alternate recording/playback. Timer play and power-on play enable automatic playback start for such as chime and repetitive announcement. The play mode list is in CSV file format which can easily be edited using a text editor or spread sheet program software on PC.

Holophone's PortaMic 5.1 camera-mountable surround microphone has six separate mic elements arranged to correspond with the typical Dolby 5.1 speaker configuration providing the means to capture a discrete surround recording from a single point source,. The PortaMic's encoder is equipped with Dolby Pro Logic II encoding which allows the six audio channels to be encoded down to two channels. The surround encoded audio is output to both a stereo mini plug and six-pin balanced mini XLR. Measuring only 25 mm high, the microphone's encoder also presents a low profile when connected to the camera.
Marantz recently announced the PMD620, a 62 x 102 x 25 mm handheld digital recorder that captures to SD flashcard media in WAV or MP3 audio formats. Features include an inbuilt stereo condenser microphone plus a single-hand control surface with thumb-operated transport wheel and illuminating record button. Recording time with a 4 GB card extends from 3 hrs 44 minutes for stereo PCM at 24-bit 48 kHz to almost 12 days for mono MP3 at 32 kbps. Features include non-destructive onboard editing and cut-and-paste creation of new sound files.
NTP Technology's BLISS is a mixer control surface operating on a standard PC. Designed for use with the company's 625 and Penta 725 audio routers, it is configurable for up to 24 channels displayed on two adjacent wide screens computer monitor screens. BLISS allows configuration of source and destination on each channel as well as master effects and signal processing. Linked to the router via a standard IP connection, the NTP audio software console provides the functions of a digitally-controlled desk in a far more compact footprint than a traditional horizontal hardware-based installation.

Sonifex has expanded its Reference Monitor range of 1 U rack-mounted audio monitors loudspeakers offers quality loudspeaker monitoring and accurate, high resolution metering of up to four or ten stereo audio sources. The new RM-CA2 has two analogue stereo XLR inputs and 1 unbalanced RCA phono input plus three-driver transducers. The RM-CAD8 confidence monitor has all the features of the RM-CA2 together with one S/PDIF, one TOSlink and four AES/EBU digital inputs.
Studer's new OnAir 2500 digital all-in-one radio on-air console is based on the OnAir 2000. Control surface, I/O breakout, DSP core and power supply are all integrated within a single chassis. The fader strips include a graphical OLED display containing a channel label, level and gain reduction meter and parameter readouts, adjustable via a rotary encoder and two push buttons below the display.


Caveat

Don't let the word 'digital' put you off your guard, particularly when choosing a sound recorder. Check carefully for internally generated noise, susceptibility to input preamp overload and resistance to ambient RF interference. Check also what happens if the power goes down before the audio file is terminated.
akg wms4500
akg wms4500
eyeheight
eyeheight
studer onair 2500
studer onair 2500

Tags: akg | iss025 | clear-com | crystal vision | digico | digidesign | eyeheight | fostex | holophone | marantz | ntp | soniflex | studer | eye to eye | audio | N/A
Submitted by N/A Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
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Tags: iss129 | medialinks | 4k | ip | vr | ai | John Smith -new
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Somewhere down the latency river
Ben Hawker Some people have been, understandably, getting fairly excited over the prospect of being able to deploy wireless cameras to capture and transmit 4K UHD. Manufacturers and developers are closing in on the ability to deliver systems that will offer up almost endless creative options at the highest – to date – possible picture quality.
Tags: iss129 | latency | 4k | wireless | rf | presteigne | Ben Hawker
Submitted by Ben Hawker Click to read or download PDF
Canon C200: Tried and Tested
Ben Sherriff There are many reviews about this camera online and a heap of incredibly detailed comparison and behind the scenes footage that will really give you a full insight into what it can do. So first a disclaimer - this review is less detailed and based on my personal reading of what this camera means for Canon and all other camera manufacturers and us – the users of these technologies. So, what’s all the fuss about?
Tags: iss129 | spellbinder | canon | c200 | c100mkii | c300 | red | alexa | asx-r7 | Ben Sherriff
Submitted by Ben Sherriff Click to read or download PDF
Class: Do we still need standards
Bruce Devlin - new On the 1st January 2018, I officially took on the post of SMPTE Standards Vice President. The role has responsibility for all of SMPTE’s standardisation activities and it fills me with equal measures of excitement and terror.
Tags: iss129 | smpte | st2110 | dpp | Bruce Devlin - new
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Innovation in cameras moving to 4k
Tony Valentino For a number of reasons, wireless camera links needed time to migrate to 4K. However Broadcast Sports International, BSI, designs their own cameras and builds their own hardware and their transition to 4K is already complete.
Tags: iss129 | bsi | ref-cam | wireless | 4k | Tony Valentino
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A Bluffers Guide to Batteries
Mike Colyer The Christmas decorations are down; the family have all headed home – and the New Year’s festivities have drawn to a close. I put my hand up to it – I’m a little drained. As such, I figured I’d start the new year with a Bluffer’s Guide to Batteries. With the cold weather setting in, it can be a nightmare to pick the right disposable batteries for small kit – and maintain rechargeable batteries in larger items. This article will take an overview of which batteries will last longer under certain usage conditions – and how to achieve the cell’s maximum potential.   
Tags: iss129 | batteries | alkaline | ni-mh | li-ion | lithium | Mike Colyer
Submitted by Mike Colyer Click to read or download PDF
Empowering connectivity choice in the field
Yvonne Monterroso Reliability, flexibility and ease of use are the key requirements when covering the news and live events, especially when the location could be anywhere. Connectivity is one of the biggest concerns in the field when the pressure is on to capture a key event – if you cannot establish a reliable transmission path to send your video back to the broadcast studio, there is no story.
Tags: iss129 | dejero | satellite | streaming | ku-band | cloud | Yvonne Monterroso
Submitted by Yvonne Monterroso Click to read or download PDF
Taking the lead in the HEVC and 4k revolution
Malcolm Harland There’s probably a good reason that BVE is held in late February — it offers you a few weeks to set your annual plans in place. Then, once you’ve decided on the opportunities you want to take advantage of and improvements you want to make, you have a chance to visit this massive exhibition to see the latest technological innovations that will help to bring your plans to fruition.
Tags: iss129 | garland | hevc | liveu | hc11000 | media excel | ntt | bws | lu600 | Malcolm Harland
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2018: A Changing of the Guard
Peter Savage 2 The guys at KitPlus asked me if I could write about what I think is going to happen in 2018 – a feel, or mood, piece of what we might see this year. I’m not sure why they asked me but perhaps it’s because I’ve been around the industry a long time. Anyway, to look forward I think sometimes it’s best to look back as history has a habit of repeating itself.
Tags: iss129 | azule | finance | Peter Savage 2
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Speed in a Changing Media Landscape
Mike Nash We are living in the video era - the staggering statistics on video growth make that abundantly clear. According to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Methodology 2016–2021, video will make up 82 percent of all consumer internet traffic by 2021, an increase from 73 percent in 2016. To put this in perspective, “it would take an individual more than five million years to watch the amount of video that will be crossing global IP networks each month in 2021.”
Tags: iss129 | hulu | amazon | netflix | signiant | svod | Mike Nash
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AoIP in the intercom world
John Sparrow Everyones talking about using AoIP (Audio over IP) in the broadcast world, but what does it mean to the operators actually making the production - the intercom users? And after years of interoperability taking the lowest common format of analogue tie-lines (also known as 4-wires), has intercom today already moved into the digital world by sharing digital audio resources with other types of hardware?
Tags: iss128 | clearcom | clear-com | dante | aes67 | beltpack | isdn | John Sparrow
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Leveraging licensed broadcast spectrum assets
John Payne There are several different approaches to transmitting live and file-based content from the field to the studio. Traditional microwave Electronic News Gathering (ENG) provides high bandwidth, high-quality transmission with low latency. Using the secure, dedicated BAS spectrum keeps control in a broadcasters hands. The past few years have seen a shift in video technology toward acceptance, and adoption of IP-based links into ENG workflows.
Tags: iss128 | eng | bas | imt | vislink | imt-vislink | John Payne
Submitted by John Payne Click to read or download PDF
Managing Talent
Nicole Inanc Presenting for television is a talent that is critically competitive. Budding presenters around the world produce showreels, attend acting schools and fight to be the next Ant and Dec¦ but what is it exactly that makes a successful television presenter? As a wannabe TV presenter myself, I wanted to explore the exact process talent managers follow when finding the next big thing and whether I have exactly what it takes.
Tags: iss128 | portsmouth university | education | bsc | ccitv | Nicole Inanc
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Reunion on Kingsman ensures efficient workflow for sequel
KitPlus Both on and off camera, there are some collaborations that are built to last. Armed with the success of their work on the first film adaptation of the Kingsman comic book (Kingsman: The Secret Service), director Matthew Vaughan reunited with cinematographer George Richmond, DIT Joshua Callis-Smith and colorist Rob Pizzey, to deliver Kingsman: The Golden Circle, the upcoming second installment in the spy comedy series.
Tags: iss128 | kingsman | blackmagic | goldcrest | davinci | arri | dit | KitPlus
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Supporting broadcast quality control
Alan Wheable With the ever-increasing number of program channels and range of different program distribution formats, the process of ensuring program quality has become a complex one for contribution/capture, production, post production, server ingest and content distribution.
Tags: iss128 | omnitek | wcg | hdr | test and measurement | smpte 2110 | smpte 2022-6 | Alan Wheable
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IP Prompting
Jon Hilton# The potential nirvana of interoperable IT, Telecommunications and Broadcast convergent technology definitely felt a lot closer at this years IBC with the launch of many, many broadcast IP ready devices, workflow and solutions. While the big ticket camera and live production infrastructures dominated the headlines there were a number of smaller but equally important IP workflows that were launched which are fundamental to successful, professional TV production and this includes the often forgotten world of TV Prompting
Tags: iss128 | portaprompt | ip | prompting | ippg | windigi | Jon Hilton#
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Looking back at IBC 2017
Duncan Payne IBC feels like a bit of a dim and damp memory now, but a few over-riding memories do remain however, not least of which was the Arri party to celebrate its 100th year. It was like an old-school manufacturers IBC/NAB party, back when manufacturers had marketing budgets, and lots of sales people. It got IBC off to a great start; thanks Arri.
Tags: iss128 | ibc | arri | red | panasonic | adamantean | sony | eva | nokia | ozo | Duncan Payne
Submitted by Duncan Payne Click to read or download PDF
Video Tape recorders cannnot die.
KitPlus This article concentrates on what is often described as the weakest link, namely 1) above i.e. the Playback Decks and what could be another weak link, namely 2) i.e. Tape Cleaning Facilities. I have read several articles recently written in the belief that the playback of magnetic video tape will be all but dead in about 20 years due mainly due to lack of working VTRs this inspires me to do something about it.
Tags: iss128 | rogcon | vtr | achiving | betacam | ravensoburne | dct | ampex | dct700 | umatic | KitPlus
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There is no where to hide from cybercrime
Mark Harrison The media sector is an attractive target for cyber attacks of all kinds from malicious individuals who enjoy disrupting high profile shows, to organised criminals who are attracted by the value of content, to nation states aware that media is a way of conveying or distorting messages.
Tags: iss128 | dpp | cybercrime | microsoft | azure | tinopolis | security | Mark Harrison
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Growing a news agency from the inside out
Lorna Garrett Growing a new media outlet in todays highly competitive market requires taking a strong look at the new ways media is being consumed. Many of the most successful recent startups are community focused, often finding a niche market that wants to be engaged in a way they perceive themselves. Al-Araby TV is a London-based news and current affairs satellite channel that has set out to do just that for Arab citizens.
Tags: iss128 | gpl | garland | al-araby | teracue | x-player | amino | aminet | icue | Lorna Garrett
Submitted by Lorna Garrett Click to read or download PDF
How the Cloud can be enabled as traditional broadcast workflows evolve
David Schleifer The Cloud itself is fairly simple, but for broadcasters it can be difficult to leverage. It isnt technically complex but broadcast still overlaps requirements that need real time, high resolution and quick turnaround solutions. Plus, this is coupled with the need to connect with dispersed geographic locations, reduce costs and access multi-format assets. As a result, broadcasters have moved away from asking the basic question what can I do in the cloud? to trialling projects and implementations are now underway or under evaluation.
Tags: iss128 | ott | primestream | David Schleifer
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Marjan Television Network - a case study
Ian Muir Internet and Satellite content distribution now allows production companies and broadcasters to send targeted TV programmes and video to widely dispersed audiences all over world, whilst located where theres easy access to the technology, equipment and expertise to produce top quality programmes.
Tags: iss128 | ac ent | lighting | chroma-q | space force | fresnel | quasar | q-led | lumipix | stark400 | Ian Muir
Submitted by Ian Muir Click to read or download PDF
The dangers of live streaming without a license
Joseph Adamson The entertainment industry is visual and sound driven. Without these two elements there would be no such a thing as entertainment. Its obvious that there are people who create sound/s and visuals. Copyright laws were created to protect the industry and these artists. Many organisations have been created to look after musician, writers, poets and filmmakers. For example there are a number of bodies especially the MCPS [Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society], which is responsible for collecting royalties and licensing of music on behalf of musicians and music producers.
Tags: iss128 | ail | youtube | streaming | license | Joseph Adamson
Submitted by Joseph Adamson Click to read or download PDF
The Transition to a full end to end IP video solution
Brian Olson Most video professionals will agree that the future is IP. The question is, when and how do they make this transition? With manufacturers just introducing new IP products, many people are observing and waiting. However, the reality is that the move to IP is already rapidly taking place and is more transformational than the move from analogue to digital, SD to HD, or HD to UHD/HDR. IP will change the way that people interact with video, making it more flexible, more accessible, more scalable and will provide more opportunities for content delivery
Tags: iss128 | newtek | ptz | ip | uhd | streamstar | xsplit | vmix | ndi | Brian Olson
Submitted by Brian Olson Click to read or download PDF