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NAB 2008 B&H Pro Audio News

The latest news from the largest broadcasting show on Earth

By Sam Mallary

The B&H Booth NAB 2008

The B&H Booth NAB 2008

NAB is without a doubt the mother of all broadcasting tradeshows, and 2008 marks the fourth year I have attended this grandiose event. In recent years, the focus of the show seemed to be fixed on the rocky and confusing transition that television has been making to high definition. With February 17th 2009 (the official DTV transition date) rapidly approaching, it's nice to see that the organizers of NAB have changed gears to emphasize the importance of content.

This shift is likely due to the painfully long 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike that shook the industry to its core. NAB has created the tagline "Where content comes to life" to define the identity and underlying purpose of the show. As nice as it is to have a brilliant high-resolution image on your screen, it's useless without crystal-clear audio to support it. If viewers cannot clearly hear and comprehend the message, there is no message at all—and on that note, here's an exciting pro audio message from NAB 2008.

Sound Devices 788T Portable Recorder

A welcome surprise this year was the announcement of the formidable Sound Devices 788T portable recorder. It's the latest and most powerful addition to the well-respected 7 series of portable recorders, with the ability to handle eight mic or line inputs, and eight tracks of audio. Complete with time code and an internal 160GB drive, the 788T can also record to compact flash, an external FireWire drive, or an external DVD burner—all simultaneously. The build quality and user-friendly operation are nothing short of exceptional.

Sony UWP series

Sony has completely redesigned its UWP series of portable wireless microphones and has fully answered the call for a more robust and intuitive prosumer system. Holding one of the five new wireless components in your hand, you immediately notice its sturdy metal chassis and its satisfying, tactile feel. The transmitters can now scan automatically for available frequencies, and switch between mic and line level inputs easily, which is accomplished with a simple, clearly-marked switch. The new portable wireless systems should be available in June.

Lectrosonics announced a new modular wireless receiver, the VRM WB Venue Wideband receiver. Quite remarkably, this new system covers the entire UHF band of frequencies, from 537 to 768 MHz, making it an ideal wireless system for touring, installations, and all stripes of multimedia settings.

Lectrosonics VRM WB Venue Wideband receiver

Lectrosonics also showed off its new SR Dual-Channel Slot Mount ENG Receiver. As its name implies, it's designed to work with the standard wireless slot on larger format video cameras. Lectrosonics has built two different slot adapters to make the unit compatible with a wide array of cameras (Sony, Ikegami, Panasonic, etc.). You can also opt for an SREXT bottom plate with TA3 outputs for external usage or mounting outside of a slot. You can power it with any 8-16 volt DC power source when it's not in the camera's slot, and hardware is available to mount it on a hot shoe.

Rycote InVision

The new InVision product range from Rycote rewrites the book on how graceful microphone suspension is accomplished. Utilizing bleeding-edge plastics technology, these new shock mounts eschew the more traditional elastics that are so easily mangled. In their place is a nearly-indestructible Lyre technology plastic that suspends the microphone and is unaffected by cold weather. The mounts are inexpensive and designed to hold everything securely, from miniature Scheops to medium-length shotgun microphones.

Audio Technica interview microphone

Audio Technica debuted its brand new AT8004 & AT8004L ENG interview microphone, and updated its AT804 handheld mic as well. The AT8004L has all of the outstanding sonic qualities of the dynamic omnidirectional AT8004, with an extended handle to accommodate a mic flag and a plug-on transmitter easily. Both mics now feature a non-reflective, dark gray matte finish that is ideal for working opposite a video camera and lights. Both models should be shipping sometime in May.

Edirol/Roland  F1 on-camera hard drive/field audio recorder

Edirol/Roland introduced the F1 on-camera hard drive/field audio recorder. It's designed to mount to a larger format camera and record the camera's video feed via FireWire. In terms of packing a great deal of functionality into a small footprint, the device serves double duty and separately records high-quality audio utilizing its dual XLR inputs, preamps, limiter, and pads. There is no file-size limitation, the drives are easily swappable, and there are multiple powering options.

Edirol R09HR

NAB 2008 also allowed Edirol to show off its new portable audio recorder, the redesigned R09HR. Now equipped with USB 2.0 speed, a larger and brighter display, built-in preview speaker, and a wireless remote, it's sure to please many field-recording engineers, musicians, podcasters, and broadcasters.

Edirol R44 four-channel field recorder

Also new from Edirol is the super-lightweight R44 four-channel field recorder. It records to SD media at a variety of resolutions and includes useful onboard tools like a limiter, low-cut filter, 3- and 6-band EQ, an enhancer, and even a DeEsser. Its compact size and smaller footprint will be a welcome addition to any field recordist's kit.

Countryman E6 Earclip

Countryman announced its new E6 Earclip accessory, which will be welcome news to the droves of E6 microphone users worldwide. The clip simply mounts to the end of an E6 microphone and creates a two-ear support. This will enable E6 users to be more active when using their microphones by more securely fastening to their head. It's available in black or tan to suit different hair tones, and it's compatible with all E6 and E6i microphones.

If you have any more questions about these new pro audio products, we encourage you to contact us on the phone, online, or in person at our SuperStore in New York City. 1-800-947-9923

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Recording | Desktop Audio | Keyboards & Synths | ENG, EFP & Broadcast | Live Sound & PA Accessories

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