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August here we are.
Come on spring.
Products announced at NAB, NAMM and Pro Light and Sound are slowly
entering the market. It's a good time to do your research for future
wants and must haves if you aren't busy.
Welcome to new readers. We encourage you to pass this newsletter on and
encourage your friends to subscribe.
Keep in touch with Sound Techniques, no matter where you are. Click the
links, ask us questions and keep an eye on our website and
Facebook page for the latest breaking news on developments, new
products, upgrades, digressions and developments here and abroad…
Meanwhile grab a cuppa, find a good broadband connection and a quiet
moment to read the newsletter in full.
RF Explorer arrives
Our first shipment of RF Explorers has arrived and we have only a
few left in stock $199 + GST.
But while inexpensive, palm sized and light, does it work?
Out of the box it is a simple device with no accessories, bar the
Nagoya telescopic antenna which is optimised for 430 MHz, the mid
frequency of operation for the WSUB1G model which scans from
It requires a bit of customising to get it field friendly.
The display is 3cm x 5cm with the vertical axis measuring signal
strength and the horizontal axis frequency. The display also shows
battery strength and indicates the signal strength parameters.
The menu has 3 screens which can be optimised for your particular
Frequency menu: Pick a mid frequency for your batch of radio mics and
choose an appropriate frequency span. I chose 51.2 MHz being two blocks
of Lectrosonics wireless. This will determine the frequency span on the
Attenuator menu: I set the display to max hold with a signal strength
range of -50dBm - -90dBm. This gave an appropriate display for NZ's TV
channels and Sound Techniques' wireless transmitters. It can be
adjusted on the fly by the up/down keys on the front panel.
Config menu: The backlight, contrast and how the frequencies are shown
on the display can be adjusted here.
The internal 860mAh, high capacity, LiPo battery is delivered half
charged and requires a USB port and USB type A male to male mini cable.
Connection to a computer charges the battery and links the Explorer to
client software when installed. The software allows the screen to
be viewed on your computer. The RF Explorer's parameters can be
adjusted through the software and scans saved for reference.
The manual is on line (or supplied by Sound Techniques). New firmware
can be downloaded and installed via the USB connection.
The switches are of a lower quality than I was used to. They are basic
and make an audible click so you wouldn't use it on a quiet set while
recording. The on/off switch extends from the top of the Explorer.
All things considered this is a cost effective, conveniently sized
piece of kit which offers most of the features found in devices costing
at least $1,000 more.
* Pocket size and light weight
* Solid aluminum metal case
* Spectrum Analyzer mode with Peak Max, Normal and Averaging modes
* Support all sub-1Ghz ISM bands (from 240 to 960MHz) and 2.4GHz ISM
band with optional WiFi module (Bluetooth, WiFi, ZigBee, etc).
* Lifetime free firmware upgrades available, developer is open to
community requested features
* High capacity Lipo battery for 16hs+ of continuous run,
rechargeable by USB
* Windows PC client Open Source
* Internal expansion port for optional RF Explorer Expansion Modules
For more information on the RF Explorer see the website or contact
In store now
We have a good sample of Bubblebees in stock. See how the Bubblebee
range can provide the best wind protection for your lavalier
Rycote mic flags:
See a sample of the Rycote mic flags, both cubes and triangles.
LMC makes a range of mounts for lavalier mics including variations of
the Sanken rubber mount and vampire clip mounts for COS-11
OSIX Leonard LEO mount/ball gag
A lightweight mount and windgag for Schoeps CMC micrphone capsules
New interfaces from MOTU
Due soon from MOTU is the new Track16 desktop studio interface.
It's the most exciting and unique MOTU product in years. Record two
mics, two guitars, a keyboard, a sound module, and eight optical
channels simultaneously to your PC or Mac through Firewire or USB 2.0.
It features great metering, low latency, a solid metal chassis and
studio grade sound. Extras include the ability to generate and resolve
MOTU Track 16Other MOTU devices such as the MOTU 8Pre can be linked
via the optical input to give you an additional 8 mic inputs with
individual preamps. Add a second Track16 or other MOTU audio interface
as your needs grow, by daisy-chaining or by using a standard FireWire
or USB 2.0 hub. The Track16 provides driver-level support for resolving
multiple interfaces with each other so that their audio streams never
drift apart over time during recording or playback.
It's due in August. Pre-order price is $995 + GST.
The Microbook II is in stock. This upgrades the popular MicroBook.
The MicroBook II provides simultaneous inputs for a microphone, a
guitar, and a keyboard or other stereo line level device. The mic
preamp delivers neutral coloration and pristine sound, with 20 dB pad
and 48V phantom power for condenser mics. Programmable outputs provide
up to six flexible monitoring options. It's compact and provides
studio grade sound.
Lectrosonics survival hints
Don't fry your SR dual channel receiver
'Check phantom power is off before plugging the SR into microphone
inputs if phantom power is not required. Otherwise you can fry your SRA
Powering transmitter from a common power source
When powering UM400 or SM series transmitters from an external power
source we recommend the proper battery replacement kits from Lectrosonics
to protect your equipment rather than after market or self made devices.
See the BDS options (battery distribution system) from Remote Audio
for an effective power distribution system for your bag.
A common fault reported to our service department is that the headphone
output of the Lectrosonics R1A IFB receiver is scratchy. Often the
problem can be solved on the spot as the headphone socket has lost its
retaining nut and more importantly, the isolating washer that sits
between the nut and the body of the receiver. Sound Techniques keeps
stock of the washers and nuts to remedy this.
Be warned that if you attempt to replace the whole socket yourself,
below the board to which it is soldered are small pads which can be
damaged by the heat of the soldering, rendering an expensive trip to
the Lectrosonics doctor essential.
For the record Lectrosonics covers the freight costs for any repairs on
current Lectrosonics equipment bought from Sound Techniques.
News on the UHF spectrum
Digital Switchover is rolling out through New Zealand. There are two
processes which impact on radio microphone users. First up is the
digital restacking process where the current digital channels are moved
in preparation for the analogue switch off. Then there is the actual
digital switchover. Dates for digital switchover for the regions
The frequencies allocated for digital television are being changed now.
This process is callled digital restacking. When and where is
The amount of spectrum which will be used has been complicated by the
addition of Sky's delayed igloo service which is already transmitting
though not with any programming. Aucklanders in particular have been
affected by the loss of UHF spectrum in the mid 500 Mhz region.
You can check what frequencies DTV is using with this guide from Radio
Spectrum Management. It requires a good knowledge of NZ geography.
How do I search/confirm the frequencies and polarisation for each
1. Visit the RSM Register of Radio Frequencies SMART
2. Select “search licences”.
3. In the channel field, enter the DTV channel e.g. DTV33
4. Click the “Search” button
Backlit display for Lectrosonics
Lectrosonics has introduced a new backlit LCD feature to HM, SMQV, SMV
& WM Digital Hybrid Wireless Transmitters.
By holding the up arrow while turing the unit on, you can cycle to the
"bl" menu by pressing the audio button. This gives you three backlit
options: always on and two delays at 5 mins or 30 seconds.
Unfortuantely older models are not upgradeable.
Batteries are the key to using most products which Sound Techniques
supplies, yet information on how to get the best from batteries is
often hard to find.
The common rechargeable batteries chemistries are NiMH, Lithium ion or
These batteries should be fully charged and discharged 2-3 times on
first use. However don't ever leave the batteries in a device to run
down below the terminal voltage. That may well be terminal for the
After the intiial conditioning the batteries should be topped up,
unless they are being stored, in which case they should be stored at
around 1/2 capacity and recharged prior to use.
The batteries self discharge over time, though the discharge rate is
much lower for the Sanyo Eneloop rechargeables.
All rechargeable batteries are ultimately consumable. Experience
suggests that they will need to be replaced after 18 months of daily
This month's Specials
Minimum 10% off all ADAM Audio professional monitor speakers. Take
advantage of the economic chaos in Europe.
Alpine MusicSafe ear protection $39, GST inclusive or $29.00, GST
inclusive with any purchase. Free courier within New Zealand
15% off selected AKG studio microphones (C2000B, C3000B, C4000, C451B,
C568, Blue line SE300 with CK98 capsule)
50% off selected AKG headphones (K420, K440NZ, K141 mkII)
40% off Hawkwoods multi resource NP style 4-bay battery charger
15% off Countryman DI ’s
25% off Denecke P48 and T-power power supplies
1x Fostex CR500 CD recorder ex-demo $1,147.50 + GST
Recording media: Get it while it is available
HHB recordable DVD media
HHB MiniDisc 80 mins
HHB DAT tapes – make an offer
Wireless systems ex stock
Lectrosonics LMa transmitter and UCR100 receiver on block 26 with TRAM
TR50 or Sanken COS-11 microphone $2,695 + GST
Sennheiser G3-100 ENG kit, transmitter, receiver, plug-on transmitter,
$1,325 + GST
Sennheiser G3-100 kit, portable transmitter, receiver, $995 + GST
15% off selected Garfield products (MicBra, HushHeels, HushLav)
Ricsonix PinMic outdoor silver 25% off
Ravencourt BetaBox camera interface $322.50 + GST, 1 only
Sennheiser basic IFB system G3-100 transmitter with G2-IEM EW300 in ear
receiver $1,100 + GST
Sennheiser HD201 headphones 20% off - $41.70 + GST
Remote Audio Speakeasy V3 portable speaker $448 + GST, 30% off
Prices available only while stocks last or August 31st, 2012
Contact us to take advantage of these prices
Shure pro products
Shure has relaunched its professional product range and Sound
Techniques has a display case featuring new shotgun mics, headphones,
windshields and more.
Rycote makes wind protection for almost all microphones. Its
website is a mine of information about types, sizes and styles and
includes a database of appropriate windscreens for most common
microphones. If your microphone isn't included look here for a
guide to help us to choose the correct softie for you.
Greg Moon on Shortland St
The Techos Guild magazine featured an article on Shortland St from a
technician's perspective. Greg Moon, senior sound, includes his view
from the control room.
Sennheiser SKP 300 plug-on transmitter
Added to the Sennheiser Evolution range is a new plug-on transmitter,
the SKP 300, which delivers phantom power
Sanken CU-55 microphone
Sanken's latest, a small, wide frequency range, condenser microphone
designed mainly for music recording. The CU-55 captures sound
beautifully not only for a full orchestra, but also in solo acoustic
Remote Audio new products: include a monitor return switching box
for Sound Devices 788T Recorder. 7506 replacement ear pads, cables,
Lectro 195 antenna.
Sound Devices Wave Agent and Mac OS 10.8 Lion
Extra steps are required for installation due to new Mac security
Lav bullets arriving shortly.
Got a problem dropping a lav mic inside a costume? Check out the
Lies, damn lies and statistics
13kg of coffee beans powered Sound Techniques though the last 12
239 service jobs were overseen by Sound Techniques in 2011.
Let us know what you are doing.
We enjoy hearing about what you're up to. This personal touch helps us
to help you and lifts the standards of how we all work. The more we
know about your reasons for contacting Sound Techniques, the better the
range of solutions we can offer you.
Rental equipment catalogue updated
Sound Techniques has revised its rentals catalogue and pricing,
effective August 1st 2012
The new catalogue can be downloaded here.
It's the first major revision of rentals stock and pricing since
Some bundles have been revised to accommodate the move away from
shooting on film. Other ambiguities have been resolved.
Note the minimum rental is $55 + GST. Rentals FAQ's, information, terms
and conditions are on line
We give thanks to:
3 Foot 7 Ltd ; Alexander Turnbull Library; Alistair Wilson; Anaru
Dalziel; Ande Schurr ; Auckland Council, Sue Berman, Tania Allen; City
Impact Church; Composite Pictures; Danny Watts; Dean Thomas; Eyeworks
New Zealand Limited; Fuma Productions; Gabriel Muller; Grant Finlay;
Myk Farmer, Islington Productions; James McLeod; Mark Williams; Magic
Memories; New Pacific Renaissance Ltd: New Zealand Racing Board; Niche
Cameras; Outside Broadcasting Ltd; Production Sound Ltd; Reuben
Rowntree; Richard Flynn; Rocket Rentals; Sam Scally; South Pacific
Pictures Prod Ltd; Te Wananga o Aotearoa; Thick as Thieves; TVNZ;
Weaving The Strands; Corporate Consumables Ltd; Top Shelf Productions;
Rongo Productions Ltd.
Would you like your invoices and statements by email?
We can save paper, time, postage and hassle if we send out your
invoices and statements by email.
If you want this service please email Sound Techniques with your
name, business name, contact phone number and email address.
Our usual hours
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday Friday 08:30 – 17:00.
We open at 9:30 am on Tuesdays to allow us time for a team meeting &
We only open on weekends and public holidays by prior arrangement.
Terms of trade
Our principal terms of trade are:
1. All invoices are to be paid COD unless agreed in writing.
2. Claims arising from invoices must be made within 5 working days
3. All goods remain the property of Sound Techniques Ltd until paid
4. All overdue invoices bear interest at 20% per annum (or maximum
allowed by law) on unpaid balance. There is also a $30 returned payment
fee for any declined cheques/automatic withdrawals.
5. In the event of default of payment when due, all costs of
collection, including legal fees and court costs, shall be paid by the
Buy or rent gear from Sound Techniques and we promise:
· We will deliver the appropriate gear for your application to achieve
the best quality of audio.
· We will support all products sold to the best of our ability.
· We will always make time to discuss equipment requirements with our
Who do you know who would like to know more about our products and
Introduce a new customer to Sound Techniques and we’ll give you 5% of
any resulting sale back as a credit, up to $50 total. Just tell the
client to let us know you sent them.