Small Batch Audio Crowdfunding Campaign Scheduled for May 26th



Last month, we covered the announcement of the new Podcaster Pro audio-production device being developed by Adam Curry’s Small Batch Audio. At the time, we mentioned that the product would be launched thru an online crowdfunding campaign. But, the date of the campaign was not yet known.

In an e-mail update sent today, Small Batch announced that the crowdfunding campaign will go live on Friday, May 26th:

We’ve locked in the kickoff date of our crowdfunding campaign for the Podcaster Pro to Friday May 26th 2017 and we’re very excited! I hope you are as well.

The e-mail also gave some information on how the Podcaster Pro will be priced during the campaign:

As the Indiegogo campaign starts the first people supporting the campaign will have an opportunity to lock in the $497 early bird level. After 48 hours the early bird level will be locked and a higher price level will be available.

The e-mail also notes that prospective buyers who are already on the Small Batch Audio mailing list will be able to put in special requests for the $497 early-bird price, even after early-bird pricing is no longer available. It’s unclear if that offer is only available to those already signed up for the list, or if it’ll be repeated for those who sign up for the list prior to the launch of the campaign on May 26th.


Livestream Rounds Up Product and Feature Releases for Q1 2017



Livestream logoMedia-streaming platform Livestream was pretty busy during 2016. And it looks like the service isn’t letting up during 2017. Livestream recently posted a roundup of all of the things it’s released so far this year. This includes new software and hardware products, as well as updates to some of Livestream’s existing products. Here are some highlights from Livestream’s roundup:

Livestream Simulcasting: Described by Livestream as, “one dashboard to rule them all,” the simulcasting service allows users to stream to multiple platforms from their Livestream accounts. That includes Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Periscope, Twitch, and more. Livestream’s Simulcast service also provides in-depth analytics so users can see which platforms are the most popular with viewers.

HTML5 Player: We wrote earlier this year about Livestream’s new HTML5 player and it looks like the company has delivered on the promised player. The player is a much-needed upgrade from Livestream’s previous Flash player. Livestream is still working on getting the HTML5 player on all possible platforms. The new player is currently available only on the Chrome web browser.

Studio 4.2: We also covered the launch of Livestream’s latest “studio in a box” product, Studio 4.2. Since the release of Studio 4.2, Livestream has added new features to the device, including Dropbox integration, making it easier to bring remotely-stored media into the device.

Dontions for Livestream Subscribers: Livestream broadcasters can now accept donations from viewers during live presentations. This service has been implemented by a wide variety of organizations, including houses of worship and nonprofits to independent artists and creators.

For more information on all of Livestream’s achievements so far this year, check out this Livestream blog post.


DPA Introduced 4-Way Microphone Clip



DPA Microphones introduced a 4-way d:screet microphone clip at NAB 2017. Popular among broadcast journalists, churches, television and film productions, DPA Microphones’ d:screet microphone series is perfect for any situation where you need a completely hidden microphone. DPA d:screet Lavalier Microphones deliver clear, clean and sonically pure sound in a wide range of applications.

Now, this versatile and durable microphone can be paired with the new SCM0013-B 4-way clip. The new 4-way clip offers fast and secure mounting – upwards, downwards, left and right – and has multiple cable management mounting options. The clip offers three points for cable attachment, providing the user with the flexibility they need to move around.

The holder is used with omnidirectional microphones that pick up sound perfectly, no matter which direction the microphone is placed in. The rear cable controls run behind clothes and minimize the mic’s visual appearance.

The clip is available in black, only. It does not fit d:screet Heavy Duty mics. If you need a clip for a Heavy Duty, choose the SCM001 Miniature Microphone Clip for Heavy Duty Microphones.

The SCM0013 4-way Clip fits the following microphones:

  • d:screte Slim 4060 Omnidirectional Microphone, Hi-Sens
  • d:screte Slim 4061 Omnidirectional Microphone, Lo-Sens
  • d:screte 4060 Omnidirectional Microphone, Hi-Sens
  • d:screte 4061 Omnidirectional Microphone, Lo-Sens
  • d:screte 4062 Omnidirectional Microphone, XLo-Sens
  • d:screte 4063 Omnidirectional Microphone, Lo-Sens & DC
  • d:screte 4071 Omnidirectional Microphone, Low-cut, Presence Boost

Sennheiser Introduced HDV 820 Headphone Amplifier



Sennheiser introduced the latest product in its audiophile range, the fully balanced headphone amplifier HDV 820, at the Tokyo Headphone Festival. The HDV 821 builds on the accomplishments of the audio specialist’s first-ever digital headphone amplifier, the acclaimed HDVD 800. The new HDV 820’s enhanced, higher resolution and ultra low distortions components open up a whole new listening experience for the most demanding audiophiles.

The HDV 820 amplifier allows for unadulterated listening enjoyment, thanks to its improved fully balanced signal processing and extremely low harmonic distortion. It provides an incredibly pure sonic experience for every audio source.

The all new digital section of the HDV 820 is powered by a high-quality ESS SABRE32 digital-to-analog converter in a completely balanced topography. The DAC offers unequalled dynamic range, ultra-low distortion and unmatched audio clarity. It preforms at a PCM resolution of 32 bits and a sampling rate of up to 384 kHz and up to 12.3 MHz in the DSD mode.

The analogue section and the power amplifier of the HDV 820 derive from the existing HDVD 800, but in a carefully improved version. Its multiple audio outputs include an unbalanced output through an XLR3/6.3mm combined NEUTRIK socket, one balanced XLR4 and two balanced 4.4mm Pentaconn sockets. Due to its diameter of 4.4mm, it is suitable for mobile and stationary applications. The unmodulated, very low contact resistance of the Pentaconn Connection leads to a distortion-free signal transmission. The HDV 820 delivers superlative performance using digital sources, whether optically, coaxially or via USB, as well as analogue sources via balanced (XLR) and unbalanced (RCA) inputs.

Designed and manufactured in Germany, the HDV 820 has been created to be a perfect companion to Sennheiser’s audiophole headphones. The amplifier delivers a particularly impressive acoustic performance when paired with Sennheiser’s acclaimed HD 800 S headphones. This harmony is reflected by a new anodized black finish with white LED lights, a design that complements the subtle elegance of the HD 800 S.


Blackmagic Design Introduced UltraStudio HD Mini



Blackmagic Design has introduced the UltraStudio HD Mini, the world’s first portable Thunderbolt 3 capture and playback solution designed for archiving, edit monitoring, streaming, and live broadcast graphics. UltraStudio HD Mini is in stock and available now from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide for $495.

Blackmagic Design took a different direction with UltraStudio HD Mini, by including some new connections that people needed, and removing ones that people don’t use anymore (like analog out).

People are capturing from older analog and digital broadcast decks for archiving content to modern digital media files. People also want to run live graphics into switcher with fill and key and of course, we often need to get high quality monitoring in HDMI and SDI when editing and color grading and need perfect AV sync. It also works with Open Broadcaster software for 1080p streaming.

UltraStudio HD Mini has been designed to do those tasks well. Blackmagic Design fit it all into the small Teranex Mini sized design. It is Thunderbolt powered so you don’t need to connect it to a power supply. You can power it from your laptop battery.

If you add the optional Teranex Mini Smart Panel you also get video, audio meters and status, including a new frame buffer indicator to assist in evaluating disk performance on broadcast systems. You can also rack mount multiple units using the Teranex Mini Rack Shelf. The optional Teranex Mini Smart Panel is $85.

UltraStudio HD Mini features professional broadcast quality connections that include 3G-SDI, analog YUV and composite NTSC/PAL video inputs, along with a reference input. There are also two 1/4” audio connections for analog audio input that work with balanced HiFi sources. In addition, UltraStudio HD Mini can remote control professional broadcast decks using the built in RS-422 connection. For output, you get dual link 3G-SDI with fill and key, and an HDMI connection for monitoring video with a big screen television.


Telestream Wirecast 7.6 is Here!



Telestream has released Wirecast 7.6, the newest version of Wirecast. You can upgrade to this version from the Telestream website.

Produce your live shows in a whole new way – workgroup production is now possible by using and sharing sources from your entire network. Now it’s easier than ever to bring IP video sources into Wirecast over your local network. Wirecast will now automatically detect and receive any video or audio that is broadcast via Newtek’s high-quality, low-latency NDI protocol.

Add high-resolution, live video from cameras, Adobe Creative Cloud apps (such as Adobe Character Animator) graphics (such as NewBlue titles), scoreboards and screen capture sessions, directly into your Wirecast stream.

Here is a list of improvements in Wirecast 7.6:

  • Capture NewTek NDI sources
  • Fixed RSS feeds not working properly in the Text widget
  • Fixed a crash occurring as a result of using a large number of CFF sources (i.e. Titles)
  • Fixed an issue where Toggle Broadcast for Periscope was greyed out
  • Changed Periscope API for “Should Tweet” to “Should Not Tweet”
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when a YouTube Event ended by closing an unsaved document
  • Fixed an issue where the cursor exits the Places field after each key stroke in the Facebook destination
  • Added a better error message if Facebook prevents creating a stream due to broadcasting copyrighted material
  • Added more encoder presets for Facebook destination
  • Display settings for previously scheduled Facebook events
  • Fixed an issue where deleting an encoder from Periscope’s dashboard would break authentication until restarting Wirecast
  • Fixed issues when performing Smooth transition via Keyboard Shortcuts set to Shots

Blackmagic Design Announced DaVinci Resolve 14



Blackmagic Design recently announced DaVinci Resolve 14.  It is a dramatic upgrade that is the biggest release in the history of the software. There is currently a public beta for DaVinci Resolve 14 that can be downloaded from the Blackmagic Design website for free.

The DaVinci Resolve 14 update was designed to solve some of the bigger problems in post production. The first problem was performance. They have made some dramatic performance gains and DaVinci Resolve 14 is now up to 10 times faster than the previous release. It’s very fluid and much more responsive.

With DaVinci Resolve 14, they have built in Farlight audio on its own new page in the software. It’s incredibly powerful and can play back up to 1,000 tracks with parametric EQ, dynamics and plug ins on every track, all in real time, when used with the Fairlight Audio Accelerator card. It’s also very powerful when run on a stock computer system as well.

Because audio for film and television is a lot more complex, Blackmagic Design thinks integrating it into DaVinci Resolve will make it fast and easy. It’s just a button click away. Plus, it works with the full sized Farlight consoles so it makes an amazing combination.

To make this workflow really fast, you want people to be able to edit, color and do audio post production all working together, on the same job at the same time. To make this easy, DaVinci Resolve 14 now integrates extremely powerful collaboration tools to make that easy.

With editing, advanced color correction and these new Farlight audio tools, DaVinci Resolve 14 is like getting 3 high end applications in one. The performance improvements and new audio features are built into the free DaVinci Resolve software you can download for free. However, the new collaboration tools and some of the plug ins are only available in the paid DaVinci Resolve Studio.

Blackmagic Design has now reduced the price if the full DaVinci Resolve Studio to $299 so that it is much more affordable. It can be purchased on the BlackMagic website.


Sound Devices Releases New MixPre-3 and MixPre-6 Interfaces



Sound Devices Mix PreSound Devices made waves a few years ago with the release of its MixPre-D audio interface. The company is likely to gain attention once again with the recent announcement of its new MixPre-3 and MixPre-6 interfaces. Sound Devices designed these new MixPre units to be as robust, reliable, and easy to use as the original MixPre-D. But they’ve added some exciting new features and functions to these new MixPre offerings:

The MixPre Series feature Sound Devices’ innovative new Kashmir microphone preamps. These high-performance, ultra-low-noise, discrete, Class-A mic preamps were hand-crafted by Sound Devices. The mic preamps feature a -130dBV noise floor, analog limiters, and new 32-bit A-to-D converters to ensure high quality, stress-free, professional-grade audio recordings.

The MixPre-3 features 3 full-sized balanced XLR mic/line audio inputs, while the MixPre-6 features 4 balanced XLR/TRS combo jacks to connect microphones or line-level devices. Both have a 3.5 mm auxiliary input that can be used for plug-in power mics, 2-channel line-in audio, camera return, or timecode.

Sound Devices suggests that these new MixPre models could be used for a variety of applications, including podcasting, field recording, video production, interview recording, or backup recording in conjunction with a computer.

Both the MixPre 3 and MixPre 6 are currently available for pre-order from most audio equipment vendors. The MixPre 3 retails for $649.00 while the MixPre 6 retails for $899.00.


Sony Announces a9 Mirrorless DSLR Camera



Sony a9Digital camera technology has made some real strides in recent years. It used to be that, if you wanted a good photography camera, you’d buy a high-end DSLR. If you wanted a good video camera, you’d buy a high-end dedicated video camera. But a great convergence has been happening between photo and video-capture, with many modern DSLR cams gaining the ability to take high-definition video, as well as high-resolution images.

Sony is pushing that convergence to the next level with its upcoming a9 camera:

This mechanism-free camera can deliver a-class-above performance conventional mechanical SLRs have only sought. For example, this system realizes a totally blackout-free viewfinder while conventional systems can only try to reduce blackout time. A high-speed, vibration-free, silent Anti-Distortion shutter vastly extends the range of shooting situations while a mechanical system can only aim for lower vibration and quieter shutter release sound. α9 provides continuous tracking of moving subjects for foolproof AF/AE… α9 allows its viewfinder to show not only images of the subject… but also the final image of a shot. Now, thanks to a new image sensor that superbly manages all these roles…

A few highlights of the Sony a9:

  • Full-frame stacked CMOS sensor with integral memory
  • 24.2-megapixel full-frame image sensor
  • Enhanced BIONZ X image-processing engine
  • High-speed continuous shooting at up to 20fps
  • Non-mechanical electronic shutter eliminates blackout with typical SLR mirror action
  • Light directly reaches the image sensor without mechanical interruption
  • Electronic shutter speeds up to 1/32000 sec
  • Anti-distortion electronic shutter allows silent shooting
  • Vibration-free electronic shutter that can keep the camera stable, for razor-sharp images

The Sony a9 DSLR camera body is available now for pre-order with a retail price of $4498.00.


Sonnet’s Echo Express III-D and Echo Express III-R Now Available with Thunderbolt 3



Sonnet Technologies is the leading provider of Thunderbolt-to-PCle card expansion systems; pro media readers; and storage, network and other interface cards for pro users in the audio, video, and broadcast industries. Sonnet has announced that their Echo Express III-D and their Echo Express III-R are now available with Thunderbolt 3.

Sonnet’s Echo Express III-D (desktop) and Echo Express III-R (rackmount) Thunderbolt-to-Ple Express (PCle) three-slot expansion chassis are now shipping with full support for Thunderbolt 3. With the new interface, both systems enable users of Mac computers equipped with 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports, such as the new MacBook Pro, to take advantage of Thunderbolt 3’s 2750 MB/s of PCl Express bandwidth to support more fully even the most demanding, highest performance adapter cards.

Echo Express III-D and Echo Express-R Thunderbolt 3 Editions provide one x16and two x8 PCle 3.0 slots to support three full-length, full-height, single-width PCle cards. The III-D and the III-R Thunderbolt 3 editions support the use of every Thunderbolt 3 – and macOS compatible PCle card available, including professional video capture, audio interface, 16Gb and 8Gb Fibre Channel (FC), 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE), SAS and SATA HBA, and RAID controller cards.

A dual-port 40Gpbs Thunderbolt 3 interface, which offers double the bandwidth and connectivity of Thunderbolt 2, enables the Sonnet systems to support 4K video I/O cards at high frame rates, as well as other bandwidth-hungry cards. In addition to support for the most demanding, highest performance PCle cards, the III-D and III-R Thunderbolt 3 editions offer support for connecting two 4K displays or one 5K display. For connected devices requiring extra power, 15 watts is provided to connected bus-powered devices through the Thunderbolt cable.

Both chassis feature a built-in universal 300-watt power supply with a 75-watt auxiliary power connector to support PCle cards with higher power requirements. Also, the systems integrate two large ultra-quiet, temperature-controlled cooling fans to enable their use in noise-sensitive environments. In addition to providing extra space to install two 5.25-inch mobile rack devices within the same enclosure using one of Sonnet’s Mobile Rack Device Mounting Kits, the III-R also features captive thumbscrews for easy card installation.

The Echo Express III-D – Thunderbolt 3 Edition is expected to be available May 22, 2017, at a suggested retail price of $899. The Echo Express III-R – Thunderbolt 3 Edition is expected to be available May 22, 2017, at a suggested retail price of $999.

Visit Sonnet Technologies at the NAB 2017 in Booth #SL9927.