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Tascam is developing a hotshoe XLR adapter to Canon, Fujifilm and Nikon


Marcio Kabke Pinheiro
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On 8/19/2021 at 2:16 AM, Eric Calabros said:

They even could create an open standard for USB mic input, but didn't. XLR is really ancient for this "mobility and convenient" world. 

@newfoundmass nailed it.....I would never want a USB mic over an XLR mic. Yes XLR is ancient, and large, and unwieldy; but the entire audio world ecosystem is built around it. If camera makers started going off on their own with USB audio they would make it a nightmare to tap into the 20+ years worth of XLR interfaces out there. 

For the work that I do I have to connect to DJ mixers, PA systems, wireless mics, wired mics, karaoke subs, etc. etc. The standard interface on nearly all of them is either XLR, 2.5mm, 3.5mm, or 6.35mm jacks...not a single USB interface amongst them. Additionally, XLR was designed from the ground up to be low noise and high quality; I can't say the same for USB.

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10 hours ago, herein2020 said:

@newfoundmass 

Additionally, XLR was designed from the ground up to be low noise and high quality; I can't say the same for USB.

Most of us are not doing any Hollywood level project.. my mic is always 20 cm away from my camera.. how much noise may I get in that distance?

However, have you checked Tascam TM-250U mic? The output is already digital in this case. You can plug it to your mac, to your iPhone, to your Android phone.. but not your mirrorless camera! 

 

https://tascam.com/us/product/tm-250u/feature

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2 hours ago, Eric Calabros said:

Most of us are not doing any Hollywood level project.. my mic is always 20 cm away from my camera.. how much noise may I get in that distance?

However, have you checked Tascam TM-250U mic? The output is already digital in this case. You can plug it to your mac, to your iPhone, to your Android phone.. but not your mirrorless camera! 

 

https://tascam.com/us/product/tm-250u/feature

Other than because you have it already, why would you want to? 

These USB mics are all lower end consumer devices targeted towards people that don't really know a lot about audio. While there are some higher end USB mics they're again targeting novices that prefer ease of use over quality.

I guess I can see why it'd be nice to be able to use them if that's what you have to work with, but I feel like that'd be catering to such a small part of the market and there is probably some work around already, such as using a mixer. 

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@newfoundmass USB audio is an existing standard which, if implemented in cameras, would let people use USB mics, but more importantly they could use mixers and completely bypass camera preamps and ADCs. And it would open up to a whole range of audio devices, like MixPre's, Zooms, or even desktop mixers from Behringer, Tascam, FocusRite, etc. That would streamline a lot of types of shoots.

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5 hours ago, Eric Calabros said:

Most of us are not doing any Hollywood level project.. my mic is always 20 cm away from my camera.. how much noise may I get in that distance?

However, have you checked Tascam TM-250U mic? The output is already digital in this case. You can plug it to your mac, to your iPhone, to your Android phone.. but not your mirrorless camera! 

 

https://tascam.com/us/product/tm-250u/feature

 

I am definitely not working on any Hollywood level projects...but I need XLR all the time, its not just cable runs where it is important, it is also the wireless mics that I use, the wired taps into the mixing boards, concerts, wedding DJs, all use XLR; and yes, sometimes I do need a 50' wired run from a mixing board to my XLR input.

I caveat all of this with the fact that I do not know anything about USB audio, maybe it really is that great and camera makers should include it in their cameras, but I do know that I've had to connect to almost everything imaginable and I have spent a small fortune on prosumer grade audio gear and it is all based on the XLR interface.

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1 hour ago, KnightsFan said:

@newfoundmass USB audio is an existing standard which, if implemented in cameras, would let people use USB mics, but more importantly they could use mixers and completely bypass camera preamps and ADCs. And it would open up to a whole range of audio devices, like MixPre's, Zooms, or even desktop mixers from Behringer, Tascam, FocusRite, etc. That would streamline a lot of types of shoots.

Fair! 

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  • 1 month later...
On 8/19/2021 at 6:58 AM, herein2020 said:

What would be great is if 32bit float audio was included in the TEAC accessory but I guess I can't have everything.

As the recording is happening on the camera, then 32bit would need to be supported on the camera body itself. (as well as with the Tascam's AD convertors)
 

On 8/19/2021 at 7:27 AM, KnightsFan said:

My ideal solution would be if cameras could accept USB audio interfaces, then using a MixPre or Zoom F4 and pipe the audio in digitally from there.


Ideally I'd want to see both prosumer recorders and prosumer cameras supporting DANTE. (you can run over a thousand channels of 32bit audio with a single ethernet connection)

However unfortunately it is only professional recorders which do this. (with but only a couple of exceptions that don't DANTE: 833 & Nova, but that's because they're primarily targeted at ENG bag mixers)

Thus the better option could be for them to support AES, as every professional recorder on the planet supports both AES inputs and AES outputs (not just current generation recorders either, but the generation before that, and even the generation before that! My Sound Devices 833 has a total of 10 AES inputs). 

But once again, unfortunately AES support on cameras is only limited to the small handful of professional cameras. 

In the end though, this discussion is a bit like discussing if you want your camera to have a micro HDMI output or a SDI output? Easy choice here!!

Likewise, don't go for USB audio input, give us AES on the GH6/X-T5/Z6mk3!

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Here is my take... I feel that XLRs are antiquated... in fact that whole mixing board environment in studios is antiquated. Its been carried forward from analog days... and I don't see the point since the advent of Avid Pro Tools (which has been around since the 90s; and as a studio if you weren't using it by the 2000s chances are..... you were out of business - this is high end audio studios).

Different story for live musical events (with instruments) - there hasn't been much innovation in this area - although wireless has become a thing.

But going back to studio set ups... if you are going from mic to mixing board to computer.... I don't know about you... but that middleware sounds problematic to me.... the only time that I see a problem without a mixing board is phantom power to condenser mics, but that should be a problem that Sennheiser, Audio-Technica, etc. should be solving.... shoot... if I plug in my iphone to my laptop... its charging and I can upload/download on it. 

If you think I'm spouting non-sense -> you don't connect your lavalier mics to XLR wiring (nowadays).... don't tell me its different... if you are going to tell me XLRs are the shit.... it has to be straight down the board.... every single audio situation.

On 8/21/2021 at 12:11 AM, herein2020 said:

Additionally, XLR was designed from the ground up to be low noise and high quality; I can't say the same for USB.

You forgot to add the fact that -> "XLR was designed from the ground up to be low noise and high quality" in the 1950s which was for Analog Audio (vinyl & tape era)... that doesn't apply to digital audio where it is transformed to Is and Os.

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By the way, I haven't said anything about USB. 
image.thumb.png.9e9f67d597778b875f72780794c757bd.png

Sorry for my rudimentary diagram. Look... in all reality XLR isn't transforming sound into Is and Os AND from my understanding USB doesn't accept analog information to flow through it.... you need a digitizer for that... so the problem isn't with USB Audio.... but the digitizer (transforming the sound into Is or Os)... you can place the digitzer anywhere you want.... you can take Mic to digitzer via XLR then move from digitizer to computer via USB. Even on-camera audio.... you can move from Mic to input device via XLR (its digitized on the input device or in-camera)... its then recorded on a memory card and then card info is moved via USB port..... so... in theory....why not digitize on the microphone itself where it is the quality that you want?

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On 10/5/2021 at 5:03 AM, mkabi said:

If you think I'm spouting non-sense -> you don't connect your lavalier mics to XLR wiring (nowadays).... don't tell me its different... if you are going to tell me XLRs are the shit.... it has to be straight down the board.... every single audio situation.

Wireless lav bodypacks are small, that's why they don't have full size XLR connectors. 

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The problem with USB audio for widespread use is it's limited to short cables. There are workarounds, but it gets complicated once you get to 5+ meters. XLR cables can easily be 10x that length. So XLR is better unless you know that the DAC is always going to be right next to the recorder.

As far as non-USB digital audio goes, it would be interesting if we saw some uptake of RJ45 ethernet ports on cameras along with the necessary standards to carry video and/or audio. Those have (flimsy) locking connectors and longer run distance, plus there's a POE standard in place. But as of right now, the only universal standard for digital audio in the consumer world is USB. AES would help pro audio, but would be useless for most consumers still.

@mkabiI think we're heading in the direction of putting the DAC (digitizer) in the mic housing like you are suggesting. Certainly the consumer world is. The Sennheiser XS Lav Mobile and the Rode VideoMic NTG are examples, and then there are a couple bodypacks like the Zoom F2 or Deity BP-TRX that are moving there for the wireless world. I think putting the DAC in the mic is especially beneficial for consumer products, because it means that the audio company is solely responsible for the audio signal chain.

However, for the foreseeable future, if there is a wire between the mic and recorder, then analog via XLR to a DAC inside the recorder has no downsides compared to digitizing on the other end. If we're talking wireless it's a different story--it would be better to both digitize and record on the TX side, but that's a legal minefield.

Also, the reason lavs get away with thin cables and 3.5mm jacks is because they have short runs. You can run unbalanced audio from your shirt to your belt, not 50m across a stage.

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1 hour ago, KnightsFan said:

As far as non-USB digital audio goes, it would be interesting if we saw some uptake of RJ45 ethernet ports on cameras along with the necessary standards to carry video and/or audio. Those have (flimsy) locking connectors and longer run distance, plus there's a POE standard in place. 

Do you know about EtherCON? Last year I started getting an EtherCON set up that was planned for a specific need I had (running long distance, between multiple sets, with multiple channels of audio, in both directions, while filming simultaneously, with rock solid reliability, all on the cheap) for a planned feature film project (sadly it never happened).

1 hour ago, KnightsFan said:

But as of right now, the only universal standard for digital audio in the consumer world is USB. AES would help pro audio, but would be useless for most consumers still.

Would be nice if both DANTE and AES moved into the prosumer world (for instance if the Zoom F8n mk2 had it, and the URSA Mini Pro G3), then with time it would move into the consumer world too. 

1 hour ago, KnightsFan said:

@mkabiI think we're heading in the direction of putting the DAC (digitizer) in the mic housing like you are suggesting. Certainly the consumer world is. The Sennheiser XS Lav Mobile and the Rode VideoMic NTG are examples, and then there are a couple bodypacks like the Zoom F2 or Deity BP-TRX that are moving there for the wireless world. I think putting the DAC in the mic is especially beneficial for consumer products, because it means that the audio company is solely responsible for the audio signal chain.

There are already some pro mics which are digital, they've been around for years and years. But the problem is the digital standards shift and change over time. Now way would I want to invest thousands of dollars, or even hundreds of dollars, into a digital mic.

However, I could get an ancient vintage mic from the 1960's or 70's, and with the simplest of simple mods I can be up running in moments recording amazing audio with my standard analogue XLR audio recorder that everyone on the planet has. 

1 hour ago, KnightsFan said:

However, for the foreseeable future, if there is a wire between the mic and recorder, then analog via XLR to a DAC inside the recorder has no downsides compared to digitizing on the other end. If we're talking wireless it's a different story--it would be better to both digitize and record on the TX side, but that's a legal minefield.

It is best to centrally record and manage all the audio recordings. 
The company doing digital wireless the best right now is Shure, with their range of Shure Axient Digital wireless products. 

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1 hour ago, IronFilm said:

Do you know about EtherCON?

Never heard of it. It's a good idea, there are a number of ad hoc locking connectors out there including for USB, would be nice if they could standardize and gain traction. The other side though is that software standardization for network AV isn't there yet. NDI has some promise.

1 hour ago, IronFilm said:

There are already some pro mics which are digital, they've been around for years and years. But the problem is the digital standards shift and change over time. Now way would I want to invest thousands of dollars, or even hundreds of dollars, into a digital mic.

However, I could get an ancient vintage mic from the 1960's or 70's, and with the simplest of simple mods I can be up running in moments recording amazing audio with my standard analogue XLR audio recorder that everyone on the planet has. 

Yeah, the difficulty of finding an affordable 5.1 receiver for my home theater shows the limitations of digital longevity. Only way these days is with HDMI passthrough, which means finding a receiver that supports all the image formats you want. It's ridiculous that every time you want to upgrade your image you need a new sound system.

I think anyone serious about audio should stick with analog mics for the reason you mention. Digital mics are a little bit like fixed lens cameras. However, I do think there is a user tier where they make sense and will continue to grow market share.

1 hour ago, IronFilm said:

It is best to centrally record and manage all the audio recordings. 
The company doing digital wireless the best right now is Shure, with their range of Shure Axient Digital wireless products. 

Right, but you're talking orders of magnitude more expensive than consumer gear. If you're buying Rode Wireless GO-tier--which is near the quality tier I expect for this Tascam unit--it will be much more reliable to record at the TX. I trust a $150 recorder. I don't trust a $150 wireless set. In terms of what's technologically possible, recording at the TX in extremely high quality with very high reliability is quite affordable.

 

I can extrapolate quite a bit in terms of how early digitization would help the consumer market. If my shotgun mic recorded onto an SD and sent wireless to a mixer for monitoring, suddenly I don't need nearly as good of a boom pole or booming technique to avoid cable rattle. I'm not saying that's a good pro workflow, but the benefits are pretty tangible for the rest of us.

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On 10/4/2021 at 12:03 PM, mkabi said:

Here is my take... I feel that XLRs are antiquated... in fact that whole mixing board environment in studios is antiquated. Its been carried forward from analog days... and I don't see the point since the advent of Avid Pro Tools (which has been around since the 90s; and as a studio if you weren't using it by the 2000s chances are..... you were out of business - this is high end audio studios).

Different story for live musical events (with instruments) - there hasn't been much innovation in this area - although wireless has become a thing.

But going back to studio set ups... if you are going from mic to mixing board to computer.... I don't know about you... but that middleware sounds problematic to me.... the only time that I see a problem without a mixing board is phantom power to condenser mics, but that should be a problem that Sennheiser, Audio-Technica, etc. should be solving.... shoot... if I plug in my iphone to my laptop... its charging and I can upload/download on it. 

If you think I'm spouting non-sense -> you don't connect your lavalier mics to XLR wiring (nowadays).... don't tell me its different... if you are going to tell me XLRs are the shit.... it has to be straight down the board.... every single audio situation.

You forgot to add the fact that -> "XLR was designed from the ground up to be low noise and high quality" in the 1950s which was for Analog Audio (vinyl & tape era)... that doesn't apply to digital audio where it is transformed to Is and Os.

XLR will remain the standard for professional audio until a viable alternative is adopted by all the major companies.

I don't have a ton of experience in audio studios but I've been in enough of them to know that XLR is the predominant connection to mixers (which are still used) and digital interfaces. If anything analog is experiencing a bit of a resurgence as some artists move away from the overly digital sound that has been popular for the last 15 to 20 years. A lot of the most popular vocal mics that are used today are older because of the sound they produce. 

Using wireless systems to knock XLR is silly/unfair. It's quite obvious why they don't use XLR given their size these days. Regardless it's still very common to connect the receiver to your camera or recorder with XLR. I do since I use the Panasonic XLR adapter. 

I'll continue buying XLR mics and recorders until a viable, widely adopted alternative pops up. I like my XLR mics. 

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23 hours ago, newfoundmass said:

Using wireless systems to knock XLR is silly/unfair. 

Its only "silly/unfair" if you don't understand the pretext of the argument... the argument is about "quality" vs. "convenience of size" obviously you believe that the "convenience of size" overrides "quality" in the context of lavaliers. My complaint is that if you can oversee it that once.... you should be able to oversee it every other time too.

Or - put in the same wireless technology that you have in lavaliers in regular mics.

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11 hours ago, mkabi said:

Its only "silly/unfair" if you don't understand the pretext of the argument... the argument is about "quality" vs. "convenience of size" obviously you believe that the "convenience of size" overrides "quality" in the context of lavaliers. My complaint is that if you can oversee it that once.... you should be able to oversee it every other time too.

Or - put in the same wireless technology that you have in lavaliers in regular mics.

Again that's silly. "If you don't need XLR on your wireless kit then why do you need XLR at all" is not a valid argument. If you don't understand why they're made the way they are and why those reasons don't apply to every other device then nothing I write will make you understand. 

Besides, as I stated, you can output to XLR if you choose to. 

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Would rather skip wires altogether for consumer applications and have some kind integrated wireless audio standard (perhaps the upcoming bluetooth low energy audio standard). It would be great to have my camera record internal audio to card and also offer audio out/in via Bluetooth LE to a wireless lav (or even apple AirPods) that seamlessly connects to the camera after a one-time peering scheme. The person behind the camera can also use any bluetooth earbuds/headphones to monitor the audio.

Low battery consumption, decent range within 10 meters, very convenient, widespread support.

Pro applications will always need something more robust, of course.

This is why cameras are so far behind the times when it comes to interfacing. Make it easy and people will come.

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On 10/9/2021 at 3:28 PM, KnightsFan said:

Never heard of it. It's a good idea, there are a number of ad hoc locking connectors out there including for USB, would be nice if they could standardize and gain traction.

It is very common in the audio world (and has uses for lighting too). 

On 10/9/2021 at 3:28 PM, KnightsFan said:

I think anyone serious about audio should stick with analog mics for the reason you mention. Digital mics are a little bit like fixed lens cameras.

That's a good analogy.

On 10/9/2021 at 3:28 PM, KnightsFan said:

I can extrapolate quite a bit in terms of how early digitization would help the consumer market. If my shotgun mic recorded onto an SD and sent wireless to a mixer for monitoring, suddenly I don't need nearly as good of a boom pole or booming technique to avoid cable rattle. I'm not saying that's a good pro workflow, but the benefits are pretty tangible for the rest of us.

Eh. Cable rattle is a thing you should figure out and solve long before you've even finished your first year as a Boom Op. This shouldn't be a big day to day concern for yourself. 

On 10/10/2021 at 3:11 PM, mkabi said:

Or - put in the same wireless technology that you have in lavaliers in regular mics.

There is no wireless technology in the lav mic itself. That's rather instead in the bodypack transmitter. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 10/11/2021 at 6:22 AM, IronFilm said:

That's a good analogy.

Is it though?
 

Okay fine... @IronFilm I value your input as you have invested way more than me in the audio industry... so... you can let me know if this is bad or good (meaning does the audio quality deteriorate or just as good):

 

 

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