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Tuesday
Jul102012

Beau Weaver Reports: Studio Six Digital IAudioInterface2 vs Tascam iU2

Okay, this is what I was waiting for...     

The Studio Six Digital IAudioInterface2.  IAI2 is rugged and solid….built like the Sound Devices gear.  It has an internal battery for phantom power, so it draws nothing from the iPad/iPhone.  And, if you have the charger plugged in to charge the internal battery, it also charges the iOS device battery too.  $399.99 Pricey, perhaps, but it's actually a piece of pro gear…..as opposed to a consumer device like the Tascam iU2.  It even has optical output.
There is an App called AudioTools that gives control to inputs and outputs. When you close the app, it saves your preferences to flash ROM in the IAI2.   It might be a little daunting for a non-technical person, but gives much flexibility…….and the bonus of not being able to accidentally change settings while in the field.  The app also has a nerdy suite of test tools
You can actually plug the 416 right into the unit for a one handed operation (okay, two, if you are holding the iPhone).  And it has 1/4 jacks and will drive real headphones. 
The audio is very clean, with very little self noise……and I am a freak about that…….any discernible noise is not okay with me…..because of how heavily processed the end result may often be.  But this is very quiet.

Works great with TwistedWave for iOS.  
It's much better than the Tascam iU2.  The iU2 works with iOS devices….but it is designed to sit on the desktop, not work in the field.  It has a bunch of switches on the underside, which are inconvenient and it has no power source.  For portable, it must be plugged into a USB battery pack or USB powered hub.  It has way too much internal noise for my taste.  However, if one wishes to travel with only one audio interface device, iU2 works with Mac OS X Core Audio.  So, less to carry.
Still, the IAI2 is the winner.  Almost twice the price….but it is a real piece of PRO gear.  
Thursday
Jun282012

ISDN: A Love-Hate Relationship by Dave Immer


 

Early ISDN in North America was difficult to cozy up to because its versatility required so many configuration choices to be made by the phone company as well as the end user. This required a high level of technical cooperation between the two – a relationship that was strained from the beginning and remains so today. We hate this.

Frustration was a constant risk in this arrangement which gave rise to cynical variations on the meaning of the ISDN acronym:

ISDN - It Still Does Nothing
ISDN - I’m Spending Dollars Now
ISDN - Incredibly Sophisticated Digital Nightmare  (my personal favorite)

But the rewards for getting it to work right gave people the incentive to forge ahead. Two decades ago, when it was new, ISDN promised a blazing-fast (128kbs!) network connection to the internet, graphics output bureaus and video-conferencing services as well as pro-audio users such as production facilities and broadcasters. 

With the help of a technical working group, ISDN ordering codes were developed that greatly simplified the process. With a simple letter code like M or S you could specify the entire programming setup. We love this.

Let me know if you have any other alternate “meanings” of the ISDN acronym.

Thursday
Jun072012

Help the Sommer Family: Mike Sommer's studio equipment for sale

Studio designer, voice actor, and friend Mike Sommer passed away suddenly in the fall of 2011 and left behind quite a bit of studio equipment.  Thanks to Mike's dear friend Aly Kay for gathering the images. If you'd like to help his family and purchase something from his collection, here's how you can do it.  

Take a look at the photos below.  If you see something of interest, complete this form.

If you have any questions about specific equipment condition, model numbers, or logistics please call David at 805-578-2506.

 

George Whittam

 

 

Thursday
May312012

Hello Hello. Can You Hear Me Now? Your Codec Meters Matter.  

by Dave Immer

Too often I have been on line or on the phone with studios or talent trying to set levels or find the signal while the engineer or talent is unable to see the encode or decode meters on their codec. This situation puts the user in the position of not knowing if there is incoming signal present at the codec, or if his local signal is hitting his codec, or the signal is loud enough.

If the far-end facility is at a similar disadvantage, then it compounds the difficulty. As minutes tick by, everyone gets nervous. Larger facilities are often the most at risk in this respect because their codecs are typically located in a machine room down the hall or on another floor.

Life will be easier if you can see the codec meters in the control room. If you are a talent with a home studio, position your codec or control screen so you can see it while standing at your mic. Remember, what you see on your send meter is what they see on their receive meter (if both sides are framed.)

When you’re trying to confirm your ISDN or IP audio transmission, the meters that matter are the send (encode) and receive (decode) meters on the codec itself.

Let me know if you have questions or comments about your encode/decode meters.

Thanks,

Dave

Thursday
May312012

Hello Hello. Can You Hear Me Now? Your Codec Meters Matter.  

by Dave Immer

Too often I have been on line or on the phone with studios or talent trying to set levels or find the signal while the engineer or talent is unable to see the encode or decode meters on their codec. This situation puts the user in the position of not knowing if there is incoming signal present at the codec, or if his local signal is hitting his codec, or the signal is loud enough.

If the far-end facility is at a similar disadvantage, then it compounds the difficulty. As minutes tick by, everyone gets nervous. Larger facilities are often the most at risk in this respect because their codecs are typically located in a machine room down the hall or on another floor.

Life will be easier if you can see the codec meters in the control room. If you are a talent with a home studio, position your codec or control screen so you can see it while standing at your mic. Remember, what you see on your send meter is what they see on their receive meter (if both sides are framed.)

When you’re trying to confirm your ISDN or IP audio transmission, the meters that matter are the send (encode) and receive (decode) meters on the codec itself.

Let me know if you have questions or comments about your encode/decode meters. Thanks,

-Dave

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