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Zoom - H6 Handy Recorder Zaxcom – MAXX Available: Now; Price: $2,395 (£1500) Available: TBD; Price: TBD Zoom recorders are familiar and well used by the broadcast industry but this latest development looks interesting for two reasons: one it has four XLR inputs. And two, you can change the mic to suit whatever you’re doing. The battery operated H6 comes with a mid-side mic and an XY mic plus there’s an option for a shotgun mic. In total it can handle six channels of simultaneous recording, capturing HD audio up to and including 96kHz/24-bit. Ambient Recording - Quickpole QS Available: May 2013 Price: $932 (£600) Yes, it’s a boom pole: a big old stick that you put a mic on the end of. But don’t underestimate the quality or effort that goes into making one – especially the Quickpole QS. Described as the company’s ‘masterpiece’ this is handmade (yes, handmade) from Pre-preg carbon fibre. Ambient themselves admit that this is “an extremely time-consuming way of production”. However, because it gives them the chance to design the tube characteristics layer-by-layer they reckon they’ve created a boom so stiff, lightweight and well balanced that the boom op can “control his microphone like a surgeon controls his scalpel but from an 18 feet distance.” Sounds impressive. Announced last year but only just shipping (and still not yet available here) the Zaxcom MAXX is a hybrid machine combining a channel mixer, wireless transmitter, multi-track recorder, time code reader/generator and time code slate all in a single device. Within that you get four XLR inputs (complete with phantom power and pre-amps) and the ability to record a two-channel mix output to a CompactFlash or SD card at up to 192 KHz/24-bit. A built- in Zaxcom digital wireless stereo transmitter carries two channels of audio and SMTPE timecode to any Zaxcom ENG style receiver. It looks pretty nifty (although for mixing multi-track audio for TV, Zaxcom’s Nomad may still be the way to go). Denecke and Timecode Buddy - TS4 Available: TBD; Price: TBD This is another hybrid device: a Denecke TS-3 slate with an integrated Timecode Buddy WiFi Master that allows the user to sync and communicate with the MovieSlate tablet app. In essence it provides the slate, clapperboard and logging functionality available on the iPad but in a far more robust device that also generates accurate timecode. At NAB it was only shown as a prototype but it’s nice to see two supposed competitors working together for the common good. There’s more of course. The Timecode Buddy ‘mini’ line looks really interesting as does K Audio’s RemoteMix 2, a two-channel field mixer and headphone amplifier that includes a communications interface for remote broadcast or backup audio. Then there are other innovations - like Sound Devices’ 664 field mixer - that are no longer brand new but are still generating interest. But if I start detailing them all we could be here until next NAB so I’ll leave it there. Of course, great kit alone won’t get you great quality audio. You also need to watch the camera, know your lenses, make proper use of the boom, tie the audio to the narrative, ensure that contributors feel comfortable, and so on. But spending some serious money will definitely help. TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 77 MAY 2013 | 39 TV-BAY077MAY13.indd 39 02/05/2013 21:18