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1519 Views
Posted 03/06/14
In this video, Rob Rives shows us around the MOTU 828x, a professional digital audio interface that features a total of 28 inputs and 30 outputs. The unit, which is equipped with bothThunderbolt and USB connections, can be used with 32- or 64-bit Mac or PC systems. The interface is rackmountable and offers eight channels of 192kHz analog recording and playback, combined with 16 channels of ADAT optical digital I/O (8 channels at 96kHz), stereo S/PDIF, MIDI I/O, word clock, two headphone jacks, and stereo XLR main outs.
1417 Views
Posted 03/24/14
In the following video, Rob Rives demonstrates the QCon Pro DAW controller from Icon Digital, and how it is capable of streamlining your workflow when tracking and mixing. The video explores the unit's compatibility and functionality with a variety of common DAWS such as Pro Tools, Logic Pro, and Ableton Live, including its mapped controls. Rives discusses how the QCon Pro's eight touch-sensitive, motorized faders can be used to control different banks of tracks in your project, as well as how its rotary controls can work with your plug-ins.  We hope you enjoy the video, and invite you to view the wide selection of other instructional and informative videos at B&H.com.
20025 Views
Posted 05/20/14
Zoom sent shock waves through the pro audio world last year with the introduction of its flagship H6 recorder and its breakthrough modular microphone system. Although still very young, the H6 has already become an industry standard and a go-to piece for professional and enthusiast videographers, journalists, engineers, and musicians alike. Now, just a year later, Zoom brings yet another creation to the table in the form of the new H5 Handy Recorder —a smaller, yet more affordable little brother to the mighty H6, which keeps many of its key features, including its trademark interchangeable mic system. I was fortunate enough to get a chance to spend some time with the H5 to get a sense of its capabilities and make some recordings of my own. The H5 ships with the XYH-5, a stereo X/Y microphone module that's similar to the H6's standard XYH-6 mic, but with smaller matched condenser capsules and a fixed 90-degree X/Y angle. Like all of the modules, the XYH-5 has its own gain knob for setting the input level, but it also features an integrated rubberized shockmount that employs rugged external wires to help minimize vibration and handling noise. This feature will certainly come in handy for run-and-gun ENG applications, where any extra measure to combat hand, boom, and camera-borne noise is always appreciated. Another intriguing aspect of the XYH-5 is its ability to handle an impressive 140dB SPL, which is more than any other Handy Recorder mic. This means that you’ll be able to get closer to loud sound sources and rest assured that your audio will be recorded cleanly. This is great for recording concerts, foley, sporting events, and more. Additionally, the module has a 1/8" mic/line-in jack on its side, capable of supplying 2.5 volts of plug-in power to small condenser mics that require it. Now, the XYH-5 is great, but the fun doesn't stop there. One of the things that excited me the most about the H5 is that it's compatible with all of the H6's microphone modules, including the XYH-6 X/Y mic mentioned above, the MSH-6 mid-side stereo mic, the SGH-6 shotgun mic, and the EXH-6 dual XLR/TRS combo input module. I made some test recordings with the H5 using the included XYH-5, and the optional SGH-6 shotgun module, which I'll tell you more about in a minute. Capable of recording up to four tracks simultaneously, the H5 features two XLR/TRS combo inputs for connecting your own mics, in addition to the stereo module. These inputs use the same mic preamps as the H6, have switchable-20dB pads, and have the usual circular knobs to control the input gain. However, the H5 features a protective "roll-bar" that covers the knobs to prevent accidental movement of gain controls in the field. I thought this was a nice touch considering how well suited the unit is for handheld use, due to its small size (as opposed to always being used with protective carry case). On the monitoring side, the H5 features an 1/8" headphone output, plus there's a line out for making a backup or sync-guide recording directly to your camera. The headphone and line out jacks both have independent volume controls, as well. The recorder has the same tough rubberized plastic build we're used to, but is still very light, weighing only 0.7 pounds with the XYH-5 attached and two AA batteries installed. The H5 is capable of more than 15 hours of continuous recording using alkaline batteries, and an optional AC adapter is available separately to power the H5 without batteries. While the H5 doesn't have the flashy, casino-like, full-color display of the H6, it does have a nice, large backlit LCD screen that is easy to look at, and certainly serves its purpose. It was easy on the eyes while reading level meters and navigating through menus; everything looked very clear and readable. The transport controls are as they should be, including dedicated buttons for Stop, Play/Pause, Record, Rewind, and Forward, as well as record arm buttons for each of the four inputs. The arm buttons also serve as track mutes during playback. On the right side of the unit, you'll find the obligatory 2-way joystick selector and menu button that allows you to navigate the H5's folder-driven interface. The H5 puts a plethora of control at our fingertips, giving us channel independent compression and limiting on each track, as well as low-cut filtering. There are three compressor settings and three limiter settings for various applications, as well as ten different low-cut settings between 80 and 237Hz. There are some useful advanced features that are worth mentioning, including the Pro Tools-esque pre-record function that keeps the H5 continuously recording in the background, keeping a two-second buffer whenever you have a track armed. This is useful in the event that you're late to the punch (no pun intended) in hitting the record button, so you won't miss the first word of that interview, or the first note of that guitar take. There is also a convenient back-up record option that can be engaged on the L/R tracks to create a duplicate version of your main recording, only 12db lower than your input level settings. This is a nice failsafe that will give you some options if your main recording clips by accident. Just under the joystick and menu button lives the SD card slot, which takes SD or SDHC cards up to 32GB, and a 2GB card is included in the box. Audio can be recorded to either BWF-compliant WAV or MP3 formats in a variety of resolutions. For WAV files, the H5 supports quality up to 24-bit/96kHz for stereo recording, and up to 24-bit/48kHz in four track mode. The MP3 format can only be used when recording in stereo mode, and various options between 48 to 320kbps quality are available. The USB port on the left side of the unit makes it easy to transfer recorded files to your computer, and it also lets you use the H5 as an audio interface with either your computer or an iPad. In preparation for my test recording (an indoor interview of my poor wife), I set my bit-depth and sample rate to 24-bit/48kHz and connected the included XYH-5 stereo X/Y module to the H5, which locked into the top of the unit easily with a gratifying snap. I positioned my subject (wife) about five feet in front of me and the H5, so that the air conditioning unit in our apartment was to her right, about twelve feet away. I hit the Record button, and asked her to tell me about her day. The first thing I noticed in my headphones (other than that her job is way less fun than mine) was that the stereo image was tight and focused, reproducing her voice loud and clear in the center, while still giving me a sense of the acoustic space at the same time. I could hear the AC unit mostly in my left channel, but it was definitely lower in volume and more subdued in the stereo field. Next, I popped on the optional SGH-6 shotgun module and immediately noticed the highly directional quality of the mic, and the excellent rejection from the sides. Now my wife's voice sounded extremely clear and present, as long as I kept the mic pointed directly at her. The air conditioner, on the other hand, was now dramatically lower in volume and, with the low cut kicked in at 150Hz, it was even less noticeable.  After the interview, I was conveniently able to play back the recording so that my wife and I could both hear it by using the H5's built-in speaker, located on the back of the unit. Also located on the back, there's a 1/4"-20 thread for tripod mounting, or to connect directly to a DSLR or camcorder with the use of an optional hot-shoe mount. Last but, not least, in addition to the XYH-5 capsule, the H5 package includes a foam windscreen, a USB cable, a 2GB SD card, two AA batteries, a download for Wavelab LE for PC or Mac (Windows and OS X), and a carry case for safe storage and transport. If Zoom’s goal for the H5 was to take the most essential pieces of the H6 and pack them into a smaller, more portable device (and I have an inkling it was), I’d have to say they’ve succeeded with flying colors. I’d be curious and excited to see where Zoom takes the Handy Recorder line from here. RECORDING MEDIA   SD card   16MB to 2GB SDHC card   4GB to 32GB     INPUTS L/R [XYH-5 X/Y mic]   Mic type Directional Sensitivity-45 dB, 1 kHz at 1 Pa Input gain-∞ to 52 dB                                    Maximum sound pressure input 140 dB SPL     MIC/LINE IN    Connector  1/8" stereo mini jack Input gain- ∞ to 52 dB Input impedance  2 k Ω or more Plug-in power  2.5V supported Backup recording-12 dB lower than set L/R input gain     INPUTS 1/2   Connectors  XLR / TRS combo jacks (XLR: Pin 2 hot / TRS: Tip hot) Input gain (PAD OFF)-∞ to 55.0 dB  B11 Input gain (PAD ON)-∞ to 35.0 dB Input impedance 1.8 k Ω or more Maximum allowable input level +22 dBu (PAD ON) Phantom power +12V /+24V /+48V (can be turned On/Off independently for Inputs 1/2) Equivalent Input Noise (EIN)  -120 dBu or less      LINE OUT     Connector  1/8" (3.5mm) stereo mini jack Rated output level -10 dBm  Output load impedance 10k Ω or more     PHONE OUT   Connector  1/8" (3.5mm) stereo mini jack  Output Level  20 W +20 W into 32 Ω load Built-in speaker 400 mw @ 8 Ω, mono  Recording Formats [STEREO MODE] WAV (BWF-compliant) Sampling frequency  44.1/48/96 kHz Bit rate  16/24-bit (Stereo) Maximum simultaneous recording tracks 2     MP3    Sampling frequency 44.1 kHz Bit rate  48/56/64/80/96/112/32/160/192/224/256/320 kbps      WAV (BWF-compliant)   Sampling frequency  44.1/48 kHz Bit rate  16/24-bit (Mono/Stereo) Maximum simultaneous recording tracks  6 (L/R + INPUT 1/2 + L/R backup)     DISPLAY Backlit LCD (128 x 64 pixels)     USB [Mass Storage Class operation]   Class USB 2.0 High Speed      USB [Audio Interface operation: Multitrack mode]   Class USB 2.0 High Speed Sampling frequency  44.1/48 kHz  Bit rate  16/24-bit   Inputs / Outputs  4/2     AUDIO INTERFACE OPERATION [Stereo mode]   Class USB 2.0 Full Speed Sampling frequency  44.1/48 kHz  Bit rate 16-bit  Inputs / Outputs  2/2 USB bus-powered operation: yes iPad operation yes, stereo mode only     POWER REQUIREMENTS   Battery AA size (LR6) battery x 2 AC adapter  AD-17 (DC5V/1A/USB-type) (optional) USB USB bus power Battery life (with alkaline battery, continuous recording): Over 15 hours     DIMENSIONS   H5 2.3 x 5.3 x 1.7" (66.8 x 135.2 x 42.1mm) XYH-5 X/Y mic 2.6 x 2.4 x 1.6" (65.5 x  62.2 x 41mm)     WEIGHT   H5: 6.2 oz (176.0 g) XYH-5 X/Y mic: 3.3 oz (94.0 g)
31040 Views
Posted 05/21/14
In the following video, Rob Rives, from B&H, demonstrates Sony’s new line of UWP-D digital wireless systems. Rives explores the UWP-D11 bodypack lavalier system, the UWP-D12 handheld transmitter systems, and the UWP-D16 bodypack lavalier, handheld, and plug-on transmitter systems. Rives highlights the key features of the systems, including the multiple battery and charging options, digital companding circuitry for improved transient response, pilot tone squelch suppression, channel synchronization, camera mounting options, interchangeable microphone capsule options, and backwards compatibility with UWP-V wireless systems. The video also showcases B&H’s wide selection of kits to expand the functionality of the wireless systems. We hope you enjoy the video, and invite you to view the wide selection of other instructional and informative videos at B&H.com
6548 Views
Posted 06/06/14
In the following video, Rob Rives gets his hands on the Sony PCM-D100 High Resolution Audio Portable Recorder and demonstrates the sound quality it is capable of capturing with its built-in stereo microphones. Rives explores the functions and features of the PCM-D100, including its multiple digital audio format recording capability, and 24-bit/192kHz PCM and 2.8MHz DSD. The video showcases the way the recorder sounds when capturing acoustic guitar, as well as an outdoor scene. Rives also talks about its 32GB of internal storage and its support of external SD cards for expanded memory. We hope you enjoy the video, and invite you to view the wide selection of other instructional and informative videos at B&H.com.
858 Views
Posted 08/12/14
In the following video, Rob Rives, from B&H, demonstrates the Focusrite iTrack Dock for the iPad. He explores the dock’s form factor, input capability, and monitor control knob. The video showcases the dock's microphone preamps, taken from Focusrite’s Scarlett interfaces, and Rives mentions its maximum recording resolution of 24-bit/96kHz. He also demonstrates the iTrack’s app compatibility. We hope you enjoy the video, and invite you to view the wide selection of other instructional and informative videos at B&H.com.
991 Views
Posted 08/26/14
The arrival of the Rytm drum machine from Elektron has been highly anticipated due to its design, which combines analog sound generation with digital sample playback, forming a versatile tool for musicians, producers and sound designers alike. In this video, Rob Rives takes us on a guided tour of the Rytm, demonstrates some of the unit’s extensive capabilities, and gives us a sampling of its vast sound-generating functions.
1140 Views
Posted 09/09/14
In the following video, Rob Rives takes a look at the Alesis Control Hub MIDI interface, and shows how it might be integrated into your Mac or PC-based creative workflow. The video explores its MIDI I/O, as well as its functionality as a headphone amplifier for your computer. We illustrate some of the options for its 1/4" footswitch input, and its plug-and-play functionality. We hope you enjoy the video, and invite you to view the wide selection of other instructional and informative videos at B&H.com. 
2782 Views
Posted 09/09/14
In the following video, Rob Rives, from B&H, overviews the new Presonus AudioBox iOne and iTwo audio interfaces for recording one or two tracks at up to 24-bit 96 kHz resolution into your Mac, PC, or iPad.   Rives explores the different methods of powering the interfaces, the input connectors, and features such as phantom power for condenser microphones and the available gain of the Class A microphone preamplifiers.  The video also showcases the user controls for monitoring, MIDI I/O capabilities, as well as the included Presonus Studio One Artist DAW for computers and Capture Duo app for iPad. We hope you enjoy the video, and invite you to view the wide selection of other instructional and informative videos at B&H.com
3033 Views
Posted 09/11/14
Dave Roberts, from MOTU, explains the ins and outs of the new Thunderbolt-compatible 1248, 16M, and 8M audio interfaces. He also explains how the separately available MOTU AVB (Audio Video Bridge) box enables you to network with multiple computers and extend cable runs, and he emphasizes how the interfaces themselves are outfitted with top-notch components. We hope you enjoy the video, and invite you to view the wide selection of other instructional and informative videos at B&H.com. 
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