Production from the Field

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Trends in Technology, May 2010

JK Audio BlueDriver Series

JK Audio offers several products for use with Bluetooth-equipped phones. The BlueDriver uses Bluetooth wireless technology to send and receive audio from professional audio equipment. The BlueDriver model F3 connects directly to the mic-level audio output of an audio mixing console or to a dynamic microphone. The model M3 connects to the microphone input channel of an audio mixer. If you need maximum portability, the JK Audio BlueKeeper wireless audio gateway provides a method for conducting and recording desktop interviews using a cell phone.

There are many options available to send audio to the studio from the field. DSL, cable modem, IP, Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G networks, BGAN/VSAT, PSTN and ISDN (albeit to a lesser degree now) are all viable options. It used to be that codecs were designed to work with one or two services; now, for the most part, many codecs can interface with almost any available interface. Some may require optional interface modules. And thanks to cooperative standard setting efforts, different brands of codecs can easily be used on each end of a path. Equipment from Tieline, AEQ, Telos, Comrex, Barix, AETA, APT, Musicam, MDO, Mayah and others can typically find common ground to establish an audio pathway.

Recording and editing

The availability of audio recording and editing software for computers is at an all-time high. USB interfaces provide for easy routing of audio to and from a computer. Laptops have made portable recording and production increasingly convenient. Portability is often further enhanced with the addition of a wireless network card for point-to-point transmission or posting of audio from any Internet access location.

Yellowtec iXM

Two recorders that look like a microphone are the Yellowtec iXM and HHB FlashMic. These both combine a studio-quality microphone element with a flash recorder. The iXM stores audio on SD cards and is powered by a dual power source: An internal, rechargeable LiON supply powers the recorder up to 8 hours, while three AAA batteries can be installed to double that time. A line-in jack is standard. Mic capsules manufactured by Yellow and Beyer Dynamic are available in omni, cardioid and super-cardioid (six total capsule choices). A headphone jack and USB port round out the connections. The recorder controls are placed comfortably on the side of the mic body.

The Flashmic can transfer files via USB, and is available with an omni-directional or cardioid mic element. Its 1GB flash recorder provides up to 18 hours of recording time depending on recording mode. The DRM85-1 features a line input that is convenient for connection to a press box. All models sport a headphone jack with volume control. Continuous operating time for the two on-board AA batteries is quoted at 8 hours.

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