The arrival of Version 3.0 firmware for the ALEXA has opened up a wealth of new options, one of the most notable being the ability to record audio to SxS cards. Since audio input is via five-pin XLR female, AbelCine has specially constructed cables to allow analog line-level audio to be input, while the A/D converter in the ALEXA will convert this signal to 24 bit / 48 kHz PCM audio. As of V3.0, an audio window can now be accessed to set level – this window allows for MANUAL or UNITY operation. Channel 1 and 2 can be directed to either left or right, and the sound roll can be manually entered as well. Reference marks are located at -20 and -18db for US or European recording.
Version 3.0 also brings with it timecode operations – timecode can be input via a sound recorder or a device such as the Ambient Master Clock. The advantage of the Master Clock is that it will alert you to any drift before it becomes a sync issue; if timecode is generated by ALEXA internally, the camera will drift one frame over eight hours.
This firmware update has definitely added some great new functionality to ARRI’s ALEXA. Watch my video to learn more.