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    Sound Recordist, BBC Engineer
  • Interested in Sound for Picture

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  1. Well it may be 12v dc powered, but look what type of connector they have carrying that power into it. :-/ Yes it's now the kind of 'standard' DC in for MI market rack units powered by wall-warts, and some products have cable-hooks for these, but i wouldn't trust the power to stay in securely on this in a temporary location setup. Basically this is just another case of moving the mains part of the PSU outside the case ( not least as it allows cheaper regionalisation of plugs and volts ) for something intended to be operated from its own supplied PSU anyway, rather than it being something actually designed for 'optional battery powering'. I'm not saying you couldn't run it from 12V batts, but i doubt the current draw would be at all frugal. Having said all that though, since i'm keeping an eye out for any new small mixers for gig recording for possible purchase next year, this is interesting per se.
  2. with ref to the other thread where i detail my success in using a Korg fader controller, bear in mind that as best as i can tell from my experiments with DAW/NLE setups and controlling them from iPad midi controller apps, HUI uses a kind of 'hierarchy' of levels within the Midi control data to give many controls different functions depending on the 'context' of what state/window the controlled application is in at any given time. Or put another way it virtually 'routes' the midi commands to different functions based on what is rendered controllable in various modes. By contrast the Nagra Midi implementation is a quite basic 'CC' value one, so any fader unit you're thinking of trying with the Nagra has to be capable of being reset ( often by some key-combination on power-up ) to basic/classic Midi controller mode before the Nagra will recognise any commands from it, and even then you may have to manually edit some faders/pots/buttons to send different CC values before you can 'learn' all the required commands on the Nagra. If anyone wants i'll search out the CC table i used to edit the values in my NanoKontrol units so that all controls on them were recognised by the Nagra, and post it in this thread.
  3. FYI some additional info on my Midi control setup for the Nagra VI 1) The total current draw from the Nagra usb port is 120>130mA ( NanoKontrol 2 is 60>70mA and the Kenton Midi host is 50mA ), and so using a usb splitter lead to supply just 5V power to the Kenton unit ( which in turn passes it through to the NanoKontrol ), there is more than enough of the 500mA supply capacity of the USB port left to run either the RF-dongle for mini keyboard or* a USB flash memory key, since the RF dongle uses very little current, and - for example, 2 recent SanDisk usb(3) keys i've bought use no more than 130mA in read and write. However i wouldn't try attaching an external bus-powered 2.5" SSD at the same time as the Midi units are powered. 2) just to be clear, the template i've set up to load onto a NanoKontrol2 only allocates Midi controller numbers to all the faders, pots and keys on the panel in the ranges that are recognised by the current Nagra MIDI implementation. You still of course have to learn-assign all the controls to the functions you want them to control - individually and manually - in the Nagra midi setup menu. 3) Note that it's possible to allocate external midi control keys to activate 'TEST' and 'PRE-RECORD' states as well as Record, and all these override the normal 'safety' factor of the Nagra 'mode' selector switch. That's to say, you can, with external midi, engage pre-record, record, and play with the selector switch at 'STOP', and also activate STOP with the selector switch set to RECORD. Whether you regard this as a reason for not allocating the external transport keys depends i guess on how likely you think accidental operation of keys on the NanoKontrol by 'nudging' is.. NB that the externally assigned 'test' doesn't seem to do anything. I'd have expected it to put the machine into the same mode as the selector switch Test position, including auto-pre-record that i have enabled, but nothing appears to happen. However since activating Pre-Record manually from the external panel has effectively the same effect as selecting 'Test' on the selector switch, i'm not letting this last detail bother me. Hope this helps anyone who's thinking of going down the same route as me. And yes, i realise that the NanoKontrol mini-faders are hardly comparable with the proprietary ext-fader units from SD, Aaton, Cantaar, Sonosax, but i don't see any alternative available for use with a Nagra except larger mains-powered USB fader controllers, and what do you expect for £130 ? :-) Matt * but obv not both at once as the Nagra won't recognise a usb hub, let alone 2 devices at once attached to it. I don't have the 2nd optional ( keyboard ) usb port fitted, and probably won't have it done, as i think the cost is too much simply to let me have keyboard and external storage connected at the same time, since the usual manual copy/backup operation is just a few l/r/u/d keypresses on the front panel to initiate and not something i'd expect to do more than once a day with there already being main and backup media in the machine.
  4. Well, i may by posting this have revealed myself to be, in Nagras eyes, nearly as risky an 'experimenter' as the original video poster, but i too have replaced the cell-pack in a 'standard' Nagra box with a high-capacity one. As previously noted by someone above, the circuit inside is identical, there's a switch to select between 3S2P ( the original 4.8Ah pack ) and a 3S6P configuration ( 1st pic )... I wasn't actually aware that sending a pack back to Nagra and having new cells fitted was 'only' £330, but this still seems a bit steep in the light of the fact that what i fittted was a pack i had custom made up by a reputable supplier for £200, which is what you see in the other pics. ( NB this includes the typical 'charging balance' pcbs between each stack, so i have no reason to think it's any less safe or will have a shorter life than the similar 3S6P that Nagra could have fitted ) Also, although physically the only difference between the 2 capacities of pack ( apart from the actual no. of cells fitted naturally ) is the switch setting, would Nagra agree to 'upgrading' a standard capacity pack to a high capacity one - as i've done here - for the same price as renewing the high-cap ? Anyway, for those of you interested in the details you'll also see here that; 1) the pack i fitted is 15.6Ah and not an exact 'match' to the Nagra 13.8Ah high capacity pack. This was primarily because of the individual cell capacity they happened to use, but i reckoned the percentage difference wasn't high enough to 'upset' the Nagra charging circuit; what's important is that the pack is still in 3S6P config, with it's own correctly set balancing circuits, and in any case it simply takes a bit longer to charge than my other pack ( an original 13.8Ah which has indeterminate life left and which i'll similarly renew i think ), as i've noted on the extra label, which shows the Nagra-circuit is supplying the same total current in charge. 2) Terminal block connection - a bit temporary looking but it's solid enough. I could have soldered and heatshrunk, but didn't have any heatshrink left at the time.... 3) pack label inside says 11.1v, Nagra box label outside says 10.8v. Don't worry, these are different nominal quoted working/load voltages for what is the same working range of voltages across 3 li-ion cell voltages in series.
  5. yes, that's kind of what i was getting at above, in that with all the physical controls on 9 out of 10 field recorders controlling the software anyway, rather than being 'in circuit', there's no practical reason to 'restrict' the number and placement of them on the recorder except the available surface areas themselves, and so logically best placement would/could be achieved by, as you say , splitting a field recorder/mixer into 2 units cabled together. Something it appears Sonosax are kind of doing with the new 'modular' version of the SX4..... , albeit without separation on cable, nor any pan controls, but whatever....
  6. Also, what's with the -10 output ? This doesn't make sense even in an MI market context as far as i can see .... Overall though i think this is another example of the typical Japanese electronic firm obsession of many years with making things as small as they can be made, even if not only does the likely user-base not require or want it to be quite so 'compact', but also where that compromises the ergonomics of the very type of product that depends on things NOT being 99% menu-driven :-/ Yes i know actual hardware controls like toggle switches, pots, encoders are what bumps up the manufacturing cost now compared to having more software, but which would you want given the choice; this for $1000 or the same thing inside but with more+larger controls on the outside for $1500 ? i know which one i'd opt to buy
  7. agree entirely Tom. Although why they chose bluetooth control rather than 'straight' network over wifi (both use same freq. band but network easier to extend range over their quoted max 10m ) puzzles me. Update 29nov15. it's occured to me since i wrote all this that there IS a good reason for choosing to have the iOS control app work via Bluetooth, and that is simply that going the normal wifi/ip route would mean on the one hand the need for a dhcp server circuit/software in the F8 itself - because single peer-peer fixed-ip connection is never that reliable in my experience - and on the other hand extra setup in the i-device that would require it to also disconnect from other wifi signals. So for example if i bought an F8 i could control it with their bluetooth app but remain connected to my TC Buddy wifi master at the same time if i wanted. Now that the manual is up on their site and i've read it, then in the light of that design choice of Zooms, it's also therefore annoying to find that although those 8 too-small input gain controls are not 'dedicated' pots but software-linked, nonetheless they aren't freely assignable to other functions ( not that their size would make that much use ) and there's no available mechanism apart from their bluetooth iOS app to control the gains externally. If only they'd also provided a second peripheral usb port and added usb-midi control ( i.e. Option to have wired physical mixer controls ) they'd be talking. It seems while the timecode and dual-media are 'right' for location sound, the remote functionality is instead aimed at the ipad-controlled-mixer for bands market, which is incongruous to say the least, or perhaps not so much if you remember it can also be a usb interface. Have to say i've succesfully mixed small PA for a band on a Mackie DL1608 that was on stage, using the Mackie app on iPad standing at back of the venue, but of course i wasn't having to do anything else at the same time.... i could go on picking holes in its feature-provision and strange choices, but obviously that won't change how this recorder is hardware-wise now, while i actually struggle to think what they HAVEN'T thrown into the software already given what the hardware consists of and is fixed as. What i suspect may happen is that depending on how many Zoom find are selling, or not, through Pro-Audio channels, and how many or not are snapped up by music retailers, plus feedback/coverage etc., we might well see another product from Zoom within 12 months incorporating some of the things it's obvious to us are 'missing' and slightly larger to allow better on-board controls. Either that or get ready to see a couple of interesting new products by 2016 from some of the 'proper' location recorder manufacturers ?
  8. Hi all As you can see from this clip below i've got mine to work with the compact usb controller Korg NanoKontrol2, via a Kenton USB-MIDI host, which is pretty much the only device available i know of that performs the 'reverse' connectivity of normal USB-midi interfaces. NAG_NANO_MIX.mp4 Although all pots and faders were recognised straight away by the 'learning' method of the new MIDI menu on the Nagra VI, when moving on to learn the transport keys it wouldn't recognise any of the default Midi CC values as valid data to 'pick up' and save, but editing the parameters of the controller itself via the PC utility solved that, after i'd guessed a probable range of controller values which would work. Anyone interested in using this particular panel i'll give you a list of the numbers or just email you the template file which you can load onto the panel directly Doubtless the same method could get any other USB fader controller working with the Nagra, as long as it's operating in class-compliant mode ( i.e. where no extra driver required on PC or Mac ), as the Kenton converter will only recognise and forward midi messages generated by a usb class-compliant device. Incidentally, the Kenton host box, and through it the Korg panel, can reliably be powered from the primary USB port on the Nagra VI, which is rather convenient :-)
  9. Hi everyone I have had one of these on loan a few weeks back and have written a kind of 'review' of it. www.reviews.audioskill.co.uk as far as i know, mine is the first user-review out there in English, which as well as the obvious advantage of being 'native' for UK/UK readers here ( i myself can read the French stuff that's online on the 4Minx ), also has an 'anglo perspective' on the recorder that may be useful ?
  10. Hi chaps, I had one on loan a few weeks ago and have written a 'review' of it www.reviews.audioskill.co.uk
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