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The Nagra VI 8-Channel Digital Recorder 60th Anniversary Edition with Brushed-Aluminum Front Panel from Nagra offers 24-bit word length and sampling frequencies from 32 - 192 kHz. There are 6 analog inputs, 4 of which are equipped with high-quality microphone preamplifiers, and 2 AES inputs. This unit is equipped (as standard) with a full SMPTE/EBU time-code system including a chase synchronizer, iXML metadata, programmable digital filters and monitoring for Ambisonic microphones.
The principal recording media is a 120GB internal hard disk. All main functions are located on the front panel of the recorder, and all setup features are accessed through ergonomic menus and shown on the 3.5" TFT sunlight-readable display. The Nagra VI is fitted with an interchangeable lithium-ion battery pack, and supplied with a mains power supply for charging. The machined-aluminum front panel is supplied with two plastic handles which also serve to protect the front of the unit from accidental damage. A carrying case and strap for over-the-shoulder operation and a pair of legs to incline the recorder for easier table-top operation are also supplied.
The recorder offers six independent analog audio inputs. Inputs 1 - 4 are equipped with traditional Nagra microphone preamplifiers for dynamic and phantom +48V microphones and menu-selectable sensitivity for different microphone types. An audio limiter can be selected for each of the microphone inputs and can be ganged in pairs if desired. The four transformers offer fully floating inputs for the dynamic microphones, giving an improved signal-to-noise ratio. The remaining two analog inputs are line-level for connection to other equipment supplying a line-level signal, such as radio receivers. When set to the LINE position, all 6 analogue inputs will accept up to +24 dB. The two input connections (channels 5 + 6) double up as AES inputs (A and B) when selected to digital-input mode. A total of 8 channels can be recorded; 6 audio inputs + a 2-channel mix, or 8 inputs assuming both AES inputs are used for 4 digital inputs.
Zipper Noise Suppression
The unit benefits from a complex development in a suppression system used on every level control of the recorder. The end result is that the potentiometers can be moved instantaneously and no digital zipper effect can be heard. The potentiometers on the Nagra VI behave in exactly the same manner as the traditional logarithmic potentiometers used in Nagra analog recorders but with the advantage of the precision offered by digitally controlled encoder devices, and hence an increase the perfection of all recordings.
Recording Medium and Format
The Nagra VI records to a 120GB internal 2.5" hard disk. An extractable compact Flash card is used to record a copy of the audio tracks depending on the user's track selections. The Nagra VI allows approximately 15 minutes of 8-track 24-bit/48 kHz recording per GB of available disk / card space. The compact flash-card section is equipped with a "Hot-Swap" possibility meaning that the CF card can be removed and replaced while the Nagra VI is powered up, without causing any damage to the card or the recorder. The Nagra VI records using Broadcast Wave File (BWF) format and is iXML-compatible for the metadata, making the files compatible with all modern post-production equipment.
The Nagra VI is equipped with a sunlight-readable 3.5" color TFT display with a resolution of 320 x 200 pixels. This specially designed high-luminosity display is used to visually indicate not only the status of the Nagra VI but also the bargraph modulometers, take number, time code and the current operating modes of the machine. It is also used to display the menu system for all the machine parameters. When the display is in the menu mode, the audio levels can still be monitored using the LEDs on the front panel. A choice of user-selectable screens can be displayed in the Test, Record and Play positions, including the modulometers ONLY, according to the operator's desire. The colors and intensity of the screen can be adjusted by the user.
The Nagra VI has the possibility to mix the audio from the 6 analog inputs to a stereo mix on channels 7 + 8. The output of the mixer can be set to both mono or stereo. Each microphone-input level and L / R pan can be controlled using the arrow keys giving versatile mixing facilities. The mix channels can be recorded to the CF card in the copy process, as well as being recorded to the internal drive in the normal manner. If channels 7 + 8 are not being used for the mix, then all 8 inputs can be used for recording (using both digital inputs). Mixing to the audio outputs during playback is also possible.
The Nagra VI is equipped with a powerful system to verify the read-and-write speed permitted by the different media (internal drive, CF card and USB drives). The NAGRA VI allows the user not only to verify the digital id of the CF cards but also to check the read/write capacity of these media. Poor-quality, low-cost cards can cause severe problems when trying to write high bit-rate linear-PCM audio in real time.
The Nagra VI is equipped with two high speed USB 2.0 ports. One is designed to connect the Nagra VI to a computer for file transfer. The second is a "host" connection and is used for connection of an external drive (USB key, external hard disk, DVD-RAM burner) or an external device such as a USB keyboard.
The Nagra VI can store up to six internal templates containing all the user-selectable settings and parameters of the recorder. These can be individually named and recalled at any time to rapidly change the settings of the machine depending on the desired operating situation. Templates may also be stored on external media (6 per medium) as text files and can be edited using a simple text editor such as Notepad. This system allows for the creation and use of partial templates if desired.
The internal time-code system and all the internal digital electronics of the Nagra VI are clocked by a crystal which is a "Stratum III" TCXO which has been artificially aged in an oven to maintain stability. This crystal gives a guaranteed overall stability better than ±4.6 ppm over a period of 15 years throughout a temperature range from -20 to +70°C. The drift due to temperature changes is less than 0.28ppm. The Nagra VI will handle all the standard SMPTE / EBU frame rates as well as the 23.976 fps rate for the HD format. All the frame rates can be pulled "up/down" for the NTSC markets. The internal chase synchronizer allows the recorder to follow / chase any external time code signal for post-production synchronization purposes.
In the Box
Nagra VI 8-Channel Digital Recorder 60th Anniversary Edition with Brushed-Aluminum Front Panel