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Field Report: JK Audio RemoteMix One, BluePack
Smart phones have become the de facto news gathering tool of choice. The RemoteMix One by JK Audio and its Bluetooth twin BluePack can mix and feed one microphone and one line level device to a cell phone in a compact, portable package. It creates a professional front-end to a cell phone whether it is used for phone-ins or as an IP codec.
Connecting a professional microphone or mult box feed to that tiny 3.5 mm TRRS (tip-ring-ring-sleeve) cell phone connection can be challenging without a proper interface. What if a reporter wants to feed audio cuts in real time during a report? Lugging around a portable multi-channel mixer may be impractical. Need a wireless mic at a press conference that interfaces to your cell phone? These challenges and more are met with the RemoteMix One and BluePack.
These rugged, belt worn devices join an elite and innovative family of remote production tools including various Bluetooth enabled devices for transmitting and receiving audio via a cell phone. "On-the-Street" reporting demands an uber-simple interface so the correspondent has their head in the story, not the technology on their hip. There are only three user volume controls: "Mic," "Aux Send" and "Head Phone" with only two switches for "Power" and "Mic Mute." The BluePack exchanges the "Mute" for a Bluetooth pairing "Multi Function Button."
The inputs and outputs
The XLR jack is a "mic" level input and works with any standard dynamic microphone. It does not provide phantom power. A playback source can be fed through the "Aux In" 3.5 mm jack and controlled with the corresponding front panel control. This mix is sent to the phone via a 1/4" "Headset Interface" jack.
|Performance at a glance|
|■ Operates on 9V battery
■ Wired phone connection for RemoteMix One
■ BlueTooth phone connection for BluePack
■ Belt-pack mixer and monitor amp
■ Rear-panel I/O
The 1/4" headphone jack provides a very adequate 0.5W per channel mix of the microphone, auxiliary source and return audio from the remote end. For recording purposes, a stereo 3.5 mm jack outputs the local "mic" feed on left channel and return audio on the right. The reason for this arrangement, according to JK Audio's Joe Klinger: "Most recorders loop the input (record) audio directly to the output jacks for real-time monitoring. We went out of our way to ensure that [the] 3.5 mm output does not get looped back into the input, to avoid an echo or feedback loop. You can still hear the full mix on the headphone jack."
- continued on pafge 2
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