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AUDIO Finding the Oracle of audio capture by Simon Tillyer W ith over 300 hours of YouTube video uploaded every 60 seconds it’s not hard to understand why any manufacturer would be looking closely at the new generation of emerging filmmakers whether they be in the consumer (creating content for “fun”) or prosumer (creating content for a fee) markets. You might however question what interest a specialist audio manufacturer would have. Understanding the complexities of audio is more often than not the barrier to good sound and the solution to which Sennheiser was looking for when developing their new AVX system. The AVX is a wireless microphone system designed for totally stress free audio capture allowing everyone (in Sennheisers words) to “relax”. Launched at NAB and having its European debut in Cannes, just ahead of the fi lm festival, we were invited to get our hands on it and fi nd out more. Sennheiser undertook signifi cant research involving panels covering all market sectors as well as working in collaboration with fi lmmakers such as Geert Verdickt to come up with the “Oracle” of audio performance and simplicity. Crucial during development, Geert, a video journalist and self-confessed one man band, explained how he worked; “When shooting there are three main things I look for. (1) Form: The size of the kit is important, trailing wires and cumbersome receivers are not good for anyone. (2) Emotions: these are what separate video and audio. You see a fi lm of a lady crying with no audio and it has little effect. Add the audio and suddenly you have millions of YouTube views. Finally (3) Authorship: this is how you tell 54 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 101 MAY 2015 the story, how you make it your own. Combining these three gives you something that will make good tv”. Geert is also an educator running workshops on fi lmmaking and it is clear that Sennheiser have listened to what is needed and the result is the amazingly compact AVX receiver which plugs directly into the XLR socket of a camera. From here it automatically pairs with the microphone and, using phantom power control from the camera, switches on when the camera does. It is not however phantom powered but uses lithium ion rechargeable batteries offering around 4.5 hours of constant use. Bearing in mind that it is turning itself on and off with the camera then that could be many hours of shooting depending on your job. The system automatically adjusts the correct audio levels and transmits using a specially protected link in the license- free 1.9 GHz range which requires no registration and is in use across many countries worldwide. Depending on your geographic location in the world up to 12 units can operate in the same area automatically and inaudibly adjusting frequency on the fl y without the need for any operator adjustment, or even knowledge that the frequency has changed. The whole point behind AVX is that the user doesn’t need to worry or care about frequencies, just plug in and press record. “Whether you’re a journalist compiling a show report, a professional videographer fi lming a documentary or an in-house marketing specialist making a product video – AVX gives you the room to concentrate on your creative work”, says Sven Boetcher, Portfolio Manager Broadcast & Media at Sennheiser. “No licensing is required, the system automatically selects a suitable transmission frequency and also makes all necessary settings – that’s true ease of use.” Sennheiser have created several ready-to-use AVX systems that contain everything required to immediately go live with