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Ambient Insider's tips VSLOT, UMP II, PTM, ...


TimoK
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Ambient Insider's tips

 

Recent requests from the USA and China showed that although frequently used in Europe some of our products and small workflow helpers are rather unknown to the majority of our community. Thus we would like to take the opportunity and introduce you to our "insider's tips" which have been on the market already for quite some time.

 

VSLOT

 

Alexa_VSLOTSR_ganz.png

As prosumer as well as digital cinema cameras nowadays offer at least broadcast compatible video quality they mostly cut back professional audio features and inputs. With the VSLOT you can add a professional stereo slot-in receiver (of course also mono) to all cameras or rigs with a V-Mount battery. This way professional slot-in receiver from Lectrosonics, Sony, Audio Limited, Sennheiser, etc. can now be used on smaller HD cams or cinema cams, delivering an adequate audio to the good video quality.

 

Alexa_VSLOTSR_detail.png

The receiver uses the power from the V-Mount battery and of course loops it through to the camera. The cables are available in different lengths to provide a slim camera rig without dangling cables while our included 20cm stereo cable works for most setups.

 

It powers the receiver through the standard Unislot 25-pin DSUB connector...

VSLOTsubDpin25.png

 

...and delivers up to two channels on a 5-pin TA connector

VSLOTpanel2.png

 

 

 

 

 

UMP II and QWB wireless boom solution

 

QWB_application2.png

 

The Quickpole Wireless Boom (QWB) is a handmade extension made out of carbon fiber and aluminum to attach a body pack wireless and our UMPII power supply to a boom tip. Of course it doesn’t matter whether it’s an Ambient pole or not as the stainless steel threads are standard 3/8”. It adds 25cm length to you boom with only 90g additional weight.

The idea behind it is that plug-on transmitters often offer a worse range since they are using the Mic body as antenna. Now, of course the range you get from a plug-on is strongly depending how well your Mic body makes contact with the XLR or the plug-on. Thus sound mixers asked us a long time ago to develop something so they could use there rock solid belt packs also for their boom microphones.

 

The UMP II, our latest generation, is lighter and smaller than our first box and can provide 48 and 12V Phantom as well as T-Power for older Mics.

  • Dimensions (WHD):
    57 x 92 x 18 mm
  • Weight (unit only):
    100 g

UMPII.pngUMP_BC.png

 

It can power even the hungriest microphones, e.g. Schoeps CMIT for days from only two AA batteries. Of course one TA3f to XLR3 cable is included as well as a TA3f cable with one open end to solder your wireless connector to it. We took great care that our circuitry does not affect the audio at all.

As our American customers prefer to use an internal cabled boom with a microphone power supply and a wireless transmitter on their belt we added a belt clip to the UMP II.  

 

In Europe sound mixers prefer to use the transmitter and Power source on their boom tip.

 

Pros and Cons:

The American way of course provides a lighter boom and easier access to the transmitter and Power distribution

BUT

Internal cable can rattle and the body pack on your belt has less range.

 

The European way is a compact sized setup you also can use on a stand increases your boom lengths and offers the best wireless range.

while of course the boom gets heavier.

 

 

More Insider's tips will follow if you like

 

Best Regards

 

Timo

 

P.S. we also offer an active Phantom Power to T-power cable called PTM

 

PTM_Phantomizer.png

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Thanks very interesting about VSLOT -

 

"This way professional slot-in receiver from Lectrosonics, Sony, Audio Limited, Sennheiser, etc."

 

and Wisycom I presume?

 

Though I have a built in top to mine that already has 5pin TA (an EL2 I believe see photo)

 

post-2842-0-98488500-1387367898_thumb.jp

 

but presumably I'll get output from both 5 pin TA's?

 

Has the VSLOT been tried with any MCR42 variants?

 

thanks

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Thanks very interesting about VSLOT -

 

"This way professional slot-in receiver from Lectrosonics, Sony, Audio Limited, Sennheiser, etc."

 

and Wisycom I presume?

 

Though I have a built in top to mine that already has 5pin TA (an EL2 I believe see photo)

 

attachicon.gifWisycom-MCR42-EL2.jpg

 

but presumably I'll get output from both 5 pin TA's?

 

Has the VSLOT been tried with any MCR42 variants?

 

thanks

 

Of course it also works with Wisycom as it works with all receivers using the standard UNISLOT format.

 

Sadly I'm not too familiar with the MCR42 while I only hear good about it. Anyway I can't guarantee whether the  5pin Lemo on the top will be cut when the unit is connected to an unislot but I strongly doubt it. That would make the connector on top rather useless for most setups...

Thus I presume that you would have both outputs available as you have on a Lectro SR5P, Audio Limited CX2-S, ...

.

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Timo,

Thanks for the writeup. Such blurbs are quite welcome IMO.

Now the important question: Where can we see, try out, and buy these devices in the states?

The last time I checked, availability here is even more challenged than awareness.

 

John,

we were well aware of the availability problem we had since Sound Devices stopped distributing Ambient when their growing business forced them to concentrate on their own products.

(Which obviously worked out pretty well)

 

Finding a new US distributor who is well accepted by the industry and still is neutral to all pro audio resellers is not an easy task... ;)

 

With Redding Audio, our last year installed US distributor, we faced and solved that availability problem. They now keep most of our portfolio in stock and get deliveries on a weekly basis, so availability in the USA and Canada should be no issue anymore.

Additionally, they would happily send a demo unit to any reseller if you ask for it so you can check it out.

 

I can only encourage you to do so, as we would also highly appreciate any feedback from american sound mixers. Be it directly to me or here on jwsound.

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Timo,

That's good to hear.

In the department of more feedback:

From my observation, I don't think you'll see much U.S. market penetration until dealers begin stocking and promoting these products. I base my comment in part on the fact that only recently I searched for any availability of a couple of the very items you mentioned and came away with the distinct impression that they were not to be found, except by chance, in this corner of the world.

Keep in mind that marketing isn't just about availability, but also detailed product information, dealer support, informed sales people, feedback from other users, etc. These things have yet to be established for the aforementioned products. I look forward to when they are.

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Timo,

That's good to hear.

In the department of more feedback:

From my observation, I don't think you'll see much U.S. market penetration until dealers begin stocking and promoting these products. I base my comment in part on the fact that only recently I searched for any availability of a couple of the very items you mentioned and came away with the distinct impression that they were not to be found, except by chance, in this corner of the world.

Keep in mind that marketing isn't just about availability, but also detailed product information, dealer support, informed sales people, feedback from other users, etc. These things have yet to be established for the aforementioned products. I look forward to when they are.

 

John,

thanks a lot for the feedback.

 

Yes, I'm familiar with that procedure as we established that, as you might know, with our time code products and boompoles already but it takes time for special items like these since there is no high demand.

 

Additionally dealers reduced their stock holding articles drastically in the last years and only keep items in stock which are fast and easily sold.  (We did the same in Germany) Thus now the manufacturers and distributors have to hold higher stocks so they can react quickly. That's where the US availabilty problems without distributor came from.

Again this makes niche products like the one we just showed rather products you won't find on shop shelves BUT of course we try to be present in shops as well. We are working on that and made some big progress as you should see in the near future.

 

On the other hand most sound mixers in my opinion are very well aware what  exactly they need and I know a lot who even know better than their local reseller. So in my opinion making professional users aware of what solutions you offer will definitely help more than any staff training or stock holding anywhere in the world.

 

"Keep in mind that marketing isn't just about availability, but also detailed product information, dealer support, informed sales people, feedback from other users, etc. These things have yet to be established for the aforementioned products. I look forward to when they are."

 

Well, that's why I started this very thread ;) and I'm also looking forward to when they are.

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I own all Ambient booms and their timecode slate. Everything they do is manufacturered to the highest levels of quality, with impeccable fit and finish. The best I could do is provide a sort if DIY kit. I certainly will not be selling any sort of competitor to this as it would not be nearly as well built an probably not even cheaper. What I can do is build weird little boxes that serve a personal function and provide some self satisfaction. Now to open up the broken ERX-2TCD and see if there's going to be room to shoehorn it into the box...

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Timo,

More feedback:

1). What could help is getting the dealers to at least list that these items are available. Maybe suggest an "on special order" section so the dealers don't feel cornered by the shipping delay in not having them stocked on site.

2). Next -- and this is a biggie as far as I'm concerned -- more detailed photos of the items along with even more description.

3). PRICES! Almost every purchase decision includes this. Don't make me call to find out how much it costs because there's a good chance I've moved on to another product that targets me enough that it makes ALL the purchasing information I need readily available. Right now I feel like I have to do extra work to learn about and purchase products like above, for example.

4). Make ordering numbers clearer. Example: I just ordered a couple more of the little aluminum plates that hold an XLR connector at the tip of a boom pole. This time (as I also needed to do last time I ordered one), the order required a discussion with the sales person (with a popular, well known dealer), as the product comes in various configurations. This was a different sales person from before, but each time there was confusion as to which version I was ordering.

5). To put a fine point on some of my feedback, I'm still interested in your boom pole wireless solution but I'm leaning more heavily toward just buying a plug-on transmitter as I feel I have insufficient knowledge to seriously consider the Ambient product.

Please don't take the above as criticism, but as honest customer feedback. Thanks. I'm glad Ambient is interested in improving communication.

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as Timo knows: tough room...

 

Really?  Really?! 

 

He asked for feedback and I was honest and direct with no slight meant, just telling him what, for this particular sound mixer, would help Ambient market and sell more products to me.  I said the things that, if I were a manufacturer, I would want to know and would appreciate knowing. 

 

I see that as a win for both sides of the equation.  If my comments came across as anything other than that, I apologize.

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really agree with points posted above (price/photos/kit names/order numbers), i use a lot of odd one off ish ambient bits and they work incredibly well for me, but aquiring them involves more research and troubleshooting than most people have time for...a lot of people comment to me on how well thought these various ambient 'solutions' i have are, but if they aren't in stock, have to be special ordered, and the price is more or less unknown even at speciality stores, it's hard to sell people on them

 

huge ambient fan and user, look fwd to seeing them make more inroads in n america

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Thanks for your feedback John & J, it is highly appreciated.

 

As said before, we are working on that at the moment but after all these years without distributor, where single "aluminum plates" had to be ordered and shipped directly from Germany it became far less attractive for resellers to sell these items. It might take some time to reinstall what was lost. But we are making good progress:

 

We just shipped demo boom sets to five resellers chosen by Redding and a demo set of accessories will follow, soon. Thus you'll be able to touch feel and compare our products in all big shops from the next weeks on. More news on that will follow, soon.

 

In the end we are very thankful that you care and support us with your feedback and of course just by using our gear!

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The VSLOT: 405$

 

Machined out of POM and aluminum and equipped with original male and female IDX V-Mount connectors to prevent a wobbling rig. The whole VSLOT only adds 4.8cm to the camera lengths to maintain the camera balance. Weight without receiver: 480g

The included VSL-2X3 cable (as on the picture) TA5F-2x XLR3M is 20cm long and as thin as a professional shield allows it to be while the PE insulation takes care of the robustness.

 

VSLOTcable.png

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Speaking of the vslot and Sony things- I've noticed hawk woods do an equivalent adapter with audio outs at the top for the sony f5/f55. I'm wondering if the connector on the bottom would foul anything (tripod plate?) on an f5/f55 rig? It's not something I'm able to see and haven't sent audio to an f5/55 yet

On the other hand I can usually gauge prices for Ambient products in the UK pretty well through dealers here

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