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RadoStefanov

A review of Nova “OneUnit” and mrx214 wireless modules. 

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18 minutes ago, osa said:

I know july was a pipe dream for delivery but has anyone other than Rado put their hands on one of their very own as of yet? I have been saving my lunch money since april 

It was always august. 

And Yes

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3 hours ago, osa said:

I know july was a pipe dream for delivery but has anyone other than Rado put their hands on one of their very own as of yet? I have been saving my lunch money since april 

 

There's at least a few dozens out in the wild, and they keep delivering more every week.

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11 minutes ago, Ze Frias said:

 

There's at least a few dozens out in the wild, and they keep delivering more every week.

 

Love hearing that

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On 10/6/2019 at 2:35 AM, Kvark said:

Nice review.

I want a MRX214 receiver with four separate transmitters (mono) in. That would be an instant sell actually.

 

Ah, feels good.

 

The only things missing now is an app with complete control of the Nova, and wifi upload on demand from the transmitters to the Nova.

 

Big thumbs up to Zaxcom. This is moving things forward in a big way. 

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The Nova is looking increasingly impressive. I hope to add either this or an 833 to my kit next year. There's no doubt the guts of the Nova are impressive, but I haven't seen much information (if any) about the sound and quietness of the analog preamps. I understand they have NeverClip, but I'm more curious about how they sound compared to the 833 and other top end devices. Just how quiet are they? Couldn't find any specs on Zaxcom's website about their equivalent input noise levels.

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2 hours ago, yophoto91 said:

[...] but I'm more curious about how they sound compared to the 833 and other top end devices. Just how quiet are they? Couldn't find any specs on Zaxcom's website about their equivalent input noise levels.

 

Specs only say so much about how a recorder "sounds", but for location sound all recent recorders certainly are "quiet enough". Feature set and design philosophy are usually much more important then sonic quality in daily use, but in any case it's probably a good idea to rent both for a couple of days before buying one and test which one fits best for you (and sounds best to your ears).

chris

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4 hours ago, chrismedr said:

 

Specs only say so much about how a recorder "sounds", but for location sound all recent recorders certainly are "quiet enough". Feature set and design philosophy are usually much more important then sonic quality in daily use, but in any case it's probably a good idea to rent both for a couple of days before buying one and test which one fits best for you (and sounds best to your ears).

chris

Zaxcom have extremely quiet everything. I did not think that self noise is an issue in 2019.

 

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I get that the Nova, Maxx, 833, 6 and 7 series are all top notch recorders and there's many things within a feature set to look for as a professional mixer. My question, though, is specific to the sound quality of the preamps. In the same way someone may prefer to pick a CMC641 over a MKH50 for a particular voice/location or vice versa, I would like to know if any early adopters of the Nova can comment on its sound signature. It seems like there's a few dozen of these in the wild, at least. Does one recorder render recordings a bit warmer or more neutral than the other? Yes, the self-noise is low on all the machines, but is one discernibly lower than the other? I know the 833/Scorpio sounds great and is impressively quiet not just based off their listed specs, but because I've heard samples. I imagine it would be helpful for many to have comparable information/samples for the Nova.

 

Sure, I would love to rent both units, but that's not always practical, and given this is an open forum where experienced mixers may have used these discussed devices it would be informative to dig into the sound quality specifically. 

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19 minutes ago, yophoto91 said:

I get that the Nova, Maxx, 833, 6 and 7 series are all top notch recorders and there's many things within a feature set to look for as a professional mixer. My question, though, is specific to the sound quality of the preamps. In the same way someone may prefer to pick a CMC641 over a MKH50 for a particular voice/location or vice versa, I would like to know if any early adopters of the Nova can comment on its sound signature. It seems like there's a few dozen of these in the wild, at least. Does one recorder render recordings a bit warmer or more neutral than the other? Yes, the self-noise is low on all the machines, but is one discernibly lower than the other? I know the 833/Scorpio sounds great and is impressively quiet not just based off their listed specs, but because I've heard samples. I imagine it would be helpful for many to have comparable information/samples for the Nova.

 

Sure, I would love to rent both units, but that's not always practical, and given this is an open forum where experienced mixers may have used these discussed devices it would be informative to dig into the sound quality specifically. 

Every zaxcom device ever has had great micpres. Not to mention the unmatched "other then sonosax" 137dB dynamic range. Noise is extremely low. You can listen to it. I don't use analog mic pres. 

I made a choice to use wireless all the time and it really helps.

 

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47 minutes ago, yophoto91 said:

My question, though, is specific to the sound quality of the preamps. In the same way someone may prefer to pick a CMC641 over a MKH50 for a particular voice/location or vice versa, I would like to know if any early adopters of the Nova can comment on its sound signature.

 

I'm sure people with more experience in music recording, post, or simply with better ears will have more to add here, but while I can clearly hear a difference between a MK41 and MKH50, I find it very hard to hear a difference between modern high-end recorders.

Never used a Sonosax or a Cantar though which are often praised - curious if I could hear a difference there. Has anybody here done a side by side comparison of different recorders?

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The mic pres on the Nova are the best and quietest that Zaxcom has ever released. 140dB of dynamic range. Clean and transparent sounding. It's the bee's knees.

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4 hours ago, chrismedr said:

 

I'm sure people with more experience in music recording, post, or simply with better ears will have more to add here, but while I can clearly hear a difference between a MK41 and MKH50, I find it very hard to hear a difference between modern high-end recorders.

Never used a Sonosax or a Cantar though which are often praised - curious if I could hear a difference there. Has anybody here done a side by side comparison of different recorders?

No, Never done a A/B recorder comparison but we all have to remember we (production sound mixers) mostly hear our recorders through the h/phone amp, not via a studio playback system.

To be honest that was another one of the deciding factors for getting a Sonosax SXR4+,  after using the 688/633 & 552 for several projects I decided I really didn't like the h/phone amps so needed to try something else. After 15+ years of using an SQN mixer the SD h/phones amps sounded awful to my ears, but was always happy when listening back via my studio monitors. I'm not dissing SD recorders, they sound great but not via h/phones for me and that's how I listen 99.999% of the time..

I know, slightly OT but am sure you get my point.

 

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1 hour ago, engaudio said:

 

To be honest that was another one of the deciding factors for getting a Sonosax SXR4+,  after using the 688/633 & 552 for several projects I decided I really didn't like the h/phone amps so needed to try something else. After 15+ years of using an SQN mixer the SD h/phones amps sounded awful to my ears, but was always happy when listening back via my studio monitors. I'm not dissing SD recorders, they sound great but not via h/phones for me and that's how I listen 99.999% of the time..


I've heard that Scorpio/833 has a better headphone amp? Not that I've directly compared them. (but when you look at the spec sheets for instance, the 633 is 100 ohms while the 833 is 4 ohms)

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2 hours ago, Ze Frias said:

The mic pres on the Nova are the best and quietest that Zaxcom has ever released. 140dB of dynamic range. Clean and transparent sounding. It's the bee's knees.

I doubt I will ever get to use them. 🙂

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Love SQN, if they ever came out with a recorder along with their preamps.................. would be a sweet combo

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1 hour ago, RadoStefanov said:

I am doing some driving scenes with whips and the transmitter is in the driver’s  pocket. Clean reception.  Unreal. 

Bag in the same car or follow car? 

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On 10/18/2019 at 12:31 AM, engaudio said:

No, Never done a A/B recorder comparison but we all have to remember we (production sound mixers) mostly hear our recorders through the h/phone amp, not via a studio playback system.

To be honest that was another one of the deciding factors for getting a Sonosax SXR4+,  after using the 688/633 & 552 for several projects I decided I really didn't like the h/phone amps so needed to try something else. After 15+ years of using an SQN mixer the SD h/phones amps sounded awful to my ears, but was always happy when listening back via my studio monitors. I'm not dissing SD recorders, they sound great but not via h/phones for me and that's how I listen 99.999% of the time..

I know, slightly OT but am sure you get my point.

 


it’s tricky. If you’re capturing dialog, then you have different needs than if you’re recording music or ambience. That goes for inputs and for what you want to hear via the headphones. 
 

i also factor in that I usually use a Zaxcom mixer and my Zaxcom wireless is connected via AES. No pres except the boom, if the boom isn’t wireless.
If I’m setting up a Sound Devices mixer with Lectrosonics wireless, I’m making the wireless send to mixer inputs a line level signal because that’s what Lectrosonics recommends. 
 

I was working as a 3rd for a mixer this last week and we were talking about how much of it is mics we grow accustomed to, and how anything different sounds.... different. I think that’s why some people have reactions to DPA mics. They don’t color the sound like some common mics in our world. The same would go for hooking up your wireless inputs to the mixer through mic-level preamps versus a digital connection. 

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From someone who has been doing location sound for 30 years and Audio post for nearly as long.

You would be surprised at how much EQ and compression etc we sometimes use to get the scene to flow

I really don’t think these days the gear really makes much difference.Its all excellent.,but the room ,the costume the lav placement

the individuals voice,the helicopter ,the dog the plane and the chainsaw do.

Having a recorder mixer wireless rig that weighs next to nothing is very exciting for my worn out back and knees tho

my 2 cents

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Appreciate your initial thoughts @RadoStefanov. Do you happen to know if the IFB audio transmission has been improved on the Nova?  I seem to hear very polarizing views of IFB through Zaxnet where some people say it works without flaws, while others (perhaps in more dense 2.4 GHz environments) have had issues. Most of my gigs are setup with clients and camera being within just 30 feet of the bag so I'm wondering if I can use a few ERX3TCDs for IFBs and camera hop for reliable transmission since my working distance is usually very small. Or, do I need to go UHF?

 

EDIT: Also, do you happen to know (or maybe @glenn) if on the Nova you can transmit the IFB while AES is being utilized?  I may have misunderstood the information, but I vaguely recall that due to the limited processing power on the Nomad years ago, it was not possible to simultaneously output IFB through Zaxnet while using the AES inputs.

 

-Mark

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