In my latest video, I talk about the new Beachtek DXA-ALEXA for the ALEXA Mini. As you may know, audio input to the ALEXA Mini is via a Mini 5-pin connector on the front housing, while audio into the camera is line level only. This presents operators with a challenge getting their mic level signals into the camera. The Beachtek DXA-ALEXA converts mic level signals to line level for recording audio direct to the C-Fast cards used by the ALEXA Mini.
The Beachtek DXA-ALEXA is a preamp that supports powered mics, as well as those requiring phantom 48 power. The unit supports channels of audio input via XLR 3 connectors with independent gain switches. Tracks can be recorded separately or as a mix. Each channel input adjustment knob has a detent, so range of adjustment can be made by feel if or when line of sight is not possible. Each channel has a diode for record level that is color coded, and levels can be quickly and easily evaluated for record level.
The kit for the ALEXA Mini comes with the preamp and mounting bracket; cables are ordered separately as the preamp will work with other cameras, such as RED. In my video above, I go through what is included in the kit, set up, and usage, as well as a microphone test.
Quality audio is a must on any shoot, and Sennheiser offers professional audio solutions at an affordable price. In this blog, I take a look at two solutions using the Canon C300 MK II as a point of reference for shooting with a compact camcorder.
The MKE 600 mic is an all-around workhorse that can migrate from camcorder to DSLR. It can be powered by an AA battery or with Phantom power supplied from the camera, which makes it a great option for high-quality audio on a budget.
The ME 64 series microphone has optional power solutions and the convenience of exchangeable mics know as capsules. These capsules are attached to the power supply to complete the unit. The higher the capsule number, the more directional the pickup will be. You also have a choice of Phantom or battery power supplies. In my video above, I show more about these audio options and then catch some live sound to hear the quality of the mics.
The PIX-E series of recorders from Sound Devices have proven to be very popular, and at their booth this year, Paul Isaacs talked to me about the next evolution in the line. The PIX-LR is an accessory designed to work with the rest of the PIX-E models (PIX-E5, PIX-E5H, PIX-E7) and provides two XLR inputs and two XLR outputs. It is a convenient screw-on attachment that can be mounted to the bottom panel of any of the PIX-E recorders, and also draws power from the attached monitor. Its front panel features track-level meter LEDs for channels 1 and 2, as well as large transport controls for Stop, Rewind, Play, Fast Forward, and Record. Watch my video above to get a closer look at the PIX-LR.
At NAB 2015 I reported on Sennheiser’s AVX system, which includes a lavalier mic, transmitter and receiver. What makes this system unique is the fact that it is able to set its own levels. Camera operators in “one-man-band” situations can now be confident that the audio they are recording will be pro quality and at optimal levels. This gives these filmmakers working on unscripted projects the freedom to concentrate on composing the frame while knowing audio will be recorded properly.
…continue reading At the Bench: Sennheiser AVX Audio System
Now that the PIX-E5 recorder is shipping, Video Devices, the new division and name of Sound Devices’ video product line, has released a series of PDF guides on how to best integrate the most popular cameras on the market with their PIX-E series 4K recorders.
…continue reading Video Devices PIX-E Series Camera Integration
Sony’s enormously flexible PXW-FS7 has been shipping for about eight months now and is very well received at many different levels of the market. With its two shooting modes – Custom and CINE-EI – this camera is well suited to a wide variety of productions and applications.
In Custom mode, it can be treated like a broadcast video camera, with traditional gain settings and video-friendly frame rates. In CINE-EI mode, it can be treated like a high-end digital cinema camera, using exposure indexing and shutter angles from the world of film and scripted narrative. Its “cat-on-a-shoulder” design and included grip with camera controls is reminiscent of the cinema veritè-style cameras of the 1960s, 70s and 80s, but fully updated for the digital age.
…continue reading Lenses and Accessories for the Sony FS7
It was a busy NAB for our technical specialists with visits to the Panasonic, RED, Arri, Zeiss, Canon, Sony and Freefly booths, to name a few. With so much to cover, we thought we’d round up all our NAB blogs in one place for you.
…continue reading NAB 2015: Roundup of Our Blog Coverage