Eye to Eye: Whats new in audio 2009


Part of my day at SATIS recently was sent discussing with Neutrik the dodgy issue of sexual compatibility, a subject not mentioned in my report from the show for TV-Bay last month. I had recently invested in a Roland Edirol R-44 solid-state audio recorder. Used in conjunction with four Rode phantom-powered capacitor microphones, it makes an excellent and highly portable recording system capturing straight to SD memory. I was a very happy Roland customer until I made the mistake of plugging jacks into the combined XLR/jack connector in order to copy a reel-to-reel tape from an ancient Ferrograph. The jacks went in fine but were almost impossible to extract (or, in SDI parlance, 'de-insert'). Fortunately both jacks had right-angled handles so at least there was something other than a slippery in-line cylinder to pull on. With the assistance of stout cord and a couple of mighty tugs, the connectors duly emerged and were hastily chucked. The Neutrik guy's advice was to stop using cheap jack plugs as they might a be few microns out of tolerance. Quite.

This minor incident apart, audio is not quite as exhilarating now as it was in the good old days of analogue. Modern digital kit works perfectly most of the time and post-production is a simple matter of choosing the right software for your PC or Mac or paying through the nose if you need to impress visiting clients with the size of your control surface. The following is an outline of some of the newest kit.

Calrec Audio has introduced an 8-SDI input de-embed I/O unit to its range of Hydra fixed I/O units. It extracts up to 128 channels of synchronous or asynchronous embedded audio, making these available to all consoles on Calrec's Hydra network. Hydra enables Calrec digital mixing consoles to share I/O resources and control data. The Hydra network uses gigabit Ethernet fabric to provide high bandwidth and a scalable, flexible architecture, enabling precise tailoring of the system to the requirements of each installation. With up to 96 inputs or outputs, analog or digital, Hydra's remote I/O units can be connected on the same network to provide remotely located sources and destinations that can be used by any or all of the mixing consoles.


Clyde Broadcast's BB3 telephone balancing unit provides the interface between an analog telephone line and broadcast mixer, also optionally to a mobile phone. The BB3 incorporates a ring detector with front panel indicator and an output to drive an external display. The call can be diverted from a handset to the mixer either from the local button or remotely from the mixer.

Fostex' UR-2 is a 1 U rack mountable stereo audio recorder capturing WAV files to 2 SD cards (SDHC compatible) or a USB storage device at up to 24 bit 96 kHz. The analog input and output are balanced XLR/+4 dBu and unbalanced RCA -10dBV/ Digital I/O complies to AES/EBU and S/P DIF digital. In addition to external control via parallel remote with D-Sub 25pin and RS-232C serial remote, a USB keyboard and 10-key keyboard can be used to trigger instant playback start. The front-panel microphone input offers 48 V phantom power.

Lawo has added to its mc66 a new router board and new operating surface. The new MKII router is available with 8,000 x 8,000 crosspoints and a fully integrated control system. Customers can choose their own level of system redundancy. The operating surface now includes OLED displays, touch screens, GUI control and easy integration of smaller units or external devices.


Logitek's JetStream IP-based audio routers provide audio I/O, mixing, processing and audio distribution needs for radio applications. First in the series is the JetStream Mini, which provides enough capacity for one 24 channel radio console. Logitek's existing control surfaces (Mosaic, Artisan, and Remora) provide the user interface to the JetStream. One JetStream Mini unit provides eight I/O card slots accommodating five types of I/O card: four mic preamps (with phantom power); four stereo analog line inputs; four stereo analog line outputs; four stereo AES or S/PDIF digital inputs and four stereo AES or S/PDIF digital outputs.

Roland's M-380 digital sound mixer is a 48-channel console in a compact rackmount footprint. Features include rapid recall of setups, 100 mm motorised and touch-sensitive faders, an 800 x 480 colour screen, and dedicated knobs for EQ, pan, and gain. The M-380 V-Mixer has up to 48-channel mixing capability including digital patch-bays, built-in effects processors, 16 auxiliary/monitor sends, 8 matrices, 8 DCAs, 8 mute groups and built-in stereo recording/playback. The M-380 V-integrates with PCs via remote control software allowing users to prepare channel setups and configurations.

Sennheiser's G3 range of radio microphones and in-ear monitors are now available from Canford at prices starting from ’415. Features include increased range and extended AF frequency response compared with the earlier G2 series. All except entry-level versions provide an Ethernet port for PC software control and monitoring, making remote adjustment simple. The professional models provide 32 presets per frequency bank. The entry level systems has 20 frequency banks with 12 presets each. Receivers also feature an equaliser and a guitar tuner which can be quickly called up from the menu.

Sonifex' RB-DD4 audio delay allows four mono channels of audio to be delayed independently or together. Each channel delay is user selectable from multiples of common video frame rates or a user-defined value set via the serial interface. The unit is designed for synchronising audio to video which has been delayed by processing latency. The operator can select which channel needs to be delayed using a front-panep button. Am 'all' option which allows the selected delay to be applied to every channel. Output can be synchronised to an on-board master clock with selectable frame rate. Warning indicators on the front panel register loss of lock on both inputs and for the selected external synchronization.

Trinnov Audio's SmartMeter is a multi-meter and monitor controller designed to meet the requirements of broadcasters and post-production studios. It offers features for metering multiple stereo and surround audio sources. The SmartMeter is both a multi-meter and a monitor controller. A touch-screen-based, easy to use interface provides access to all functions: loudness meter, peak programme meters, quasi-peak meters, spatial analyser and timeline. The monitor controller offers solo, mute, source selection, volume control and downmix. The SmartMeter is based on the Trinnov Processor which offers up to 10 analog i/o, 12 adat i/o, 16 AES i/o or 24 MADI i/o.


Tags: roland | iss036 | edirol | neutrik | calrec audio | audio | clyde boradcast | fostex | lawo | logitek | sennheiser | canford | sonifex | trinnov | N/A
Contributing Author N/A

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