Recording audio on an HDSLR has always been a bit tricky. With limited audio level control and a single mini-plug microphone input, these cameras aren’t built for professional audio recording. There’s good news though – two products have hit the market that will make your sound guy really happy. The BeachTek DSA-SLR and the JuicedLink DT454 are XLR audio adapters specifically built for HDSLR cameras. They both include functions designed to make your still camera perform more like a video camera.
The DSA-SLR has two XLR inputs and a single stereo mini-plug output. The XLR inputs are line/mic switchable with a phantom power (+48v) option on each channel. Unlike previous models from BeachTek, the DSA-SLR features a low noise pre-amplifier that provides 15 db gain. A headphone jack is also provided with volume control adjustments.
Most HDSLR cameras are set to auto gain the microphone input, which does not make for great audio, so the box also comes with a AGC (auto gain control) disable feature. With this enabled, the camera is fooled into locking at a consistent input level. Finally, the DSA-SLR features RCA input for monitoring the camera’s audio output. A switch on the front of the device allows users to monitor either the XLR feed or the camera’s output. The inability to monitor the camera’s audio output was a major concern for many, so this little box solves many problems. On top of all of these features, the DSA-SLR is a well-built, solid piece of gear.
JuicedLink’s DT454 has many of the same features as the DXA-SLR, but adds a simple level meter and a stereo mini-plug audio input. JuicedLink has been known for their clean pre-amps, and this unit has four of them: two on the XLR inputs and two on the stereo mini-plug input. The four channels can be mixed together for output to the camera. The same mini-plug connector can also take input from the camera to monitor output. Like the BeachTek, the JuicedLink box has an auto gain control disable feature, but with some proprietary “special sauce” that promises to improve quality. The JuicedLink DT454 produces high quality audio, and has feature set perfect for HDSLR cameras.