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Eric Toline

New from Rycote: Looks interesting

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Tac!T

"The Rycote Tac!T (pronounced "Tas-It") filter is an in-line, active "third-order" (18dB/octave) filter with a "knee" at approximately 60Hz. This enables it to pass, unaffected, virtually all of the desired audio, while massively reducing wind and handling noise, and floor transmitted vibrations. The energy in these extreme low frequency and infrasonic sounds can be very high, and if not attenuated, would otherwise cause overloads and disturbances across the entire audio spectrum.

The Tac!T filter draws its power from the P48 phantom supply while also passing power on to the microphone. It is electronically symmetrical and does not disturb the intrinsic balance of the microphone circuit, nor does it introduce any signal loss for normal programme frequencies.

A key feature of the Tac!T filter is that it fits entirely within the body of a Neutrik XX-series XLR connector. It is not switchable, and the electronically buffered circuitry ensures that its performance is consistent for almost all phantom-powered microphones and preamplifiers in general use.

Tac!T is a fully symmetrical balanced 3rd order filter. It is has a DC path through it so that it can couple phantom power as well as signal.

What is the current draw from the recorder's or mixer's P48 supply?

Current draw is ~necessary~ for the circuit to operate - the device will not work with dynamic microphones that do not pull current. The actual current draw varies with the load used so it is not possible to give a specification figure for it. The circuit demands are very low and with IEC 26815 compliant P48 supplies it is very unlikely to cause any problems. With excessively hungry microphones (eg those that suggest they need the full 10mA available, such as Earthworks), and phantom powering that cannot deliver adequate current, or is significantly under-voltage there ~might~ be problems. The likely outcome is under-performance of the microphone in terms of max SPL etc, or increase in self-noise rather than failure.

Front-end filters on mixers are usually 6 or 12dB/octave, and these give a greater loss of wanted higher frequencies for a given cut of infrasonic or extreme LF noise. The steeper 3rd order filter (18dB/oct) is more effective. This is why the Schoeps Cut 1 and similar filters are liked by many recordists. In some cases internal filters are also fitted after a transformer and/or first amp stage - in that case these parts of the circuit can be overloaded before the internal HPF can act. Transformer inputs are particularly susceptible to infrasonic overload.

Tac!T can be used in conjunction with internal mixer filters to give a dual slope HPF, but is perhaps of greatest value in applications such as camera inputs where no LF tailoring is provided at all.

Tac!T FILTER TYPICAL PERFORMANCE

Signal loss

0dB @ 1kHz,

-3dB @ 63Hz,

-40dB @ 14Hz

Introduced noise (22Hz -22kHz) - 1.5dB

Max signal level +3dBu (<0.2% distortion)

SPECIFICATIONS

Cable Length: 45cm (18")

Cable diameter: OD 4.8 mm

Connectors: Neutrik® XX series, XLRm3* to female XLRf3, Black casing, gold pins

Cable Type: Ultra flexible Mogami® W2893 star-quad cable"

Price about $100 should be available in 3-4 weels

post-22-0-55610700-1335905712.jpg

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"Amazing concept... something new, and useful for us, and it wasn't introduced at NAB..."

Er - it was introduced at NAB... I've even seen the blog video.

Chris Woolf

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nice to finally have an alternative to massively overpriced Schoeps LC60U. I would still like for steep LF roll off like this to be built into field mixers and recorders.

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" steep LF roll off like this to be built into field mixers and recorders. "

many do have filters, and there are several variations, including similar steep options...

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"nice to finally have an alternative to massively overpriced Schoeps LC60U. I would still like for steep LF roll off like this to be built into field mixers and recorders."

The Schoeps LC60U is a beautiful piece of equipment. But, yes, the Tac!T is significantly less expensive.

The most usual filters on mixers and recorders intended to prevent overload of the input stages are passive (second order) designs. You can place active (steeper) filters further into the audio chain but you need front ends with massive headroom to prevent overloads. There are designs that can do that but only a few.

Chris Woolf

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"Would you use this at the mic end or mixer end?"

Doesn't matter - electrically there's no difference. Whichever is more convenient.

Chris Woolf

Sorry should of specified I meant for practical reasons not technical

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based on the construction, the unit would be at the mic end (female XLR-3) although it could be anywhere between the mic itself and the input to your recorder/mixer/preamp

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Sorry should of specified I meant for practical reasons not technical

I would use it at the mixer end so you could change mics with out having to move the tac!t from pole to pole.

Eric

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"How did they fit all the electronics in the XLR plug??"

Modern surface mount components are very small. There's a tiny PCB that fits between the pins of the Neutrik NC3M and has about 20 components on it. That includes the audio filter circuitry and some extras to keep RF out of the equation.

Chris Woolf

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This looks like it could be particularly effective with the Sennheiser 8040 and 8050 on a boom. Also if the circuitry is on the male end, could it be swapped with the XLR on a connbox with the Sennheiser connector fairly easily?

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"This looks like it could be particularly effective with the Sennheiser 8040 and 8050 on a boom."

I would hope so. It was intended for all those microphones/preamps where an HPF is either not available, or doesn't have the requisite characteristics, or is inconvenient to use for some reason.

"Also if the circuitry is on the male end, could it be swapped with the XLR on a connbox with the Sennheiser connector fairly easily?"

In principle the filter could be used a number of different formats, but I think Rycote want to establish the product first before building 23 variants. That makes good commercial sense.

{I'm just the guy who designed it]

Chris Woolf

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Looks great!  I can see having one live in my mixer bag pretty much permanently.There are almost endless variations.  Stereo Y-adapter, etc..  I'd rather see them sell the connector in a "roll your own" version.

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This is the kind of clever devices that potentially makes our job easier! An alternative that is cheaper and more universal compared to the screw-on-filters for certain mics (some of which aren't steep enough), which also means less mic length and weight on the boom end. Nice!

Looking forward to hearing about how well this works on the MKH8000-series.

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Wow, that's a very clever invention on the part of Rycote. I've had to help some newbies occasionally when they've encountered huge rumble problems on booms. My first question is: "are you rolling off the low end?" Amazing how much below-60Hz noise that gets rid of...

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