MicW – Broadcast quality mics at a beginners quality price……….

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When the iOS revolution started in the shape of iPhones and iPads, there seemed to be an unending trail of promises about how these devices would enable us to hold virtual recording studios in our hand, and make recordings out and about that would parallel anything in a ‘proper’ studio.

It didn’t happen quite like that.

Mainly due to a high-pass filter that Apple built into the microphone and headset circuits in an attempt to cut down background rumble, but which made any ‘proper’ recording virtually useless. Until iOS6 that is, which suddenly allowed the filter to be bypassed, and all of a sudden the possibility was there. But, would it ever be realistic to expect the hardware to make it all possible?

Enter MicW!

Oh my word! These little guys are the business!

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MicW prides itself in designing and manufacturing high quality, high performance microphones for a wide range of audio measurement and recording applications.

MicW is a member of BSWA Technology Ltd., a measurement microphone company. BSWA was founded in 1998 as a joint venture between the Chinese Academy of Sciences and five sound engineers looking to market better, more affordable measurement microphones. Today, BSWA microphones are widely used in aerospace, automotive, and environment noise measurements.

MicW uses unique methods to produce its capsules, the heart of a microphone, resulting in better performance, reliability, sound definition, and transparency. MicW capsule diaphragms are made from titanium, nickel, stainless steel, and polymer composites so that the best material is always used in its designs. In addition, carefully selected quartz insulating material within the construction ensures stability against high temperatures and humidity. Each capsule is individually calibrated using the free field method according to IEC 61049 measurement microphone standards and aged in an environmental chamber for long term stability.

So what does this mean for us?

It means that there is now a range of microphones, very competitively priced, which will allow you to use your iPhone or iPad for audio measurement, recording, and broadcast use

Let’s take a look at some examples from the range:

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The i266 is a high sensitivity cardioid microphone recommended for dedicated, high quality sound recording. Durable enough to withstand the rigors of an ENG life, the warm and clear sound of the i266 microphone is an excellent choice for broadcasting and enables the iPhone to act as a genuine reporter’s tool of the trade. The i266 can also be used in conference room as well as an excellent choice for recording voice and live music.The i266 is a cardioid microphone with high sensitivity. It is recommended for high quality sound recording, specially for broadcasting live radio interviews and other live applications.

iShotgun

The iShotgun is the newest member in MicW, i-Series professional microphones. It is a uniquely designed super cardioid shotgun for smartphones such as iPhones, tablets and DSLR cameras.

The iShotgun design is smart and small, it is low weight, coupled with an easy fix onto iPhone and camera. The super directional patterns eliminates unwanted background noise when you make recordings. The iShotgun is the ideal tool for mobile journalists and audio professionals.

The iShotgun has been tested for the following devices

  • iPhone 3, 4, 4S and 5
  • iPad 2 , 3, 4 and mini
  • ipod Touch
  • Mac book
  • Samsung Galaxy
  • HTC Desire 
  • Canon 5D, 7D, 60D
  • Sony Alpha 6 and 7 series
  • Nikon D7000
  • Panasonic X900M/X909/V707 
  • Sony CX250/CX570/CX730
  • Canon HFD10
  • Computers with Microphone Input

 

 

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The i436 is a mini microphone with a unique streamlined design, and a cool metal texture. Designed for use with the iPhone, iPad and iTouch, it can be used for recording, measuring, meetings, interviews and many other applications. It requires no extra power, it connects through the headphone jack, and consequently it is very portable. It features omni-directional sound and is equipped with a special connector so you can monitor while you record.

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The omnidirectional i825 lavalier microphones are recommended for on air productions, forum discussions, and durable enough for ENG use. The minimal size of these microphones makes them perfectly suitable for Television and Video productions. The omnidirectional i825 lavalier microphones are recommended for on air productions, forum discussions, and durable enough for ENG use. The minimal size of these microphones makes them perfectly suitable for Television and Video productions.
The i825 is used for ambient sound recording for its omni direction.

http://www.scan.co.uk/search.aspx?q=micW

A Customer question…….

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I just had a conversation with a Scan customer, and it provoked me to write this little missive, on the age old question of “Is bigger better?” or indeed “Is more expensive better?” In this case, in relation to microphones……… and it provoked me to remind you of something else……

The customer in question, is a very nice young lady, who is looking to set up her own first studio, in order to record herself over the next couple of years while she looks to sell her songs. She seems to have a good idea of what she wants to achieve, but wondered if she should ‘stretch herself’ (her words, not mine) to a better microphone than the one she had budgeted for.

So, without naming brands, or dissing one mic for another, let me try and generalise on the subject, and then point out a very real and cool possibility via the Scan website.

Generally speaking, a Large-diaphragm Condenser mic  (if we’ve lost you here, please refer to our very earliest blogs about different mics and types…) will be able to be utilised in many more areas than a smaller diaphragm mic.

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In some cases the smaller ones are especially useful, i.e. in specialised areas, say miking a Cello or a piano, but as a rule, a nice Large-Diaphragm condenser will be able to record just about anything, from Lead vocals to a violin to a Saxophone. Indeed, you’d be hard pressed to find a professional studio that doesn’t have at least one Neumann U87 or it’s like in the armoury, and some of the more modern mics feature variable pickup patterns and switchable pads, specifically to make them all the more versatile and useful.

So, dear customer Lady, my recommendation would always be to go for the best microphone you can afford. Over the course of your work, you will hear time and again, that what you put in, has the biggest effect on what you get out, and aside from that, although at the moment, you don’t envisage recording string quartets, the ability to record just one violin and put it in front of your software violin section, might well put you ahead of the loop, so…….

Given that’s the case, how can we help……

Here’s how…….   http://www.scan.co.uk/finance/paymentoptions.aspx

Here at Scan we offer 2 exceptionally good finance options, which might allow you to make that first purchase, just a little more manageable, and allow you to upgrade a component or piece of kit you thought you couldn’t afford.

Here are a few Frequently Asked Questions:

What is financing?
Scan.co.uk are committed to offering the very best products money can buy with the most convenient ways of paying for your goods. Financing is a convenient way of purchasing your goods with a minimum outlay and spreading the cost over a period of time that is convenient to you.

Who is eligible?
To apply for financing you must be aged between 18 and 75, work at least 16 hours a week or disabled/retired with an income. Homemakers are not excluded either and can apply under their own names but we will require their spouses employment details. You must also be a resident of the UK and have lived here for at least 3 years.

Who is this available for ?
Scan finance is available to retail customers only.

How can I apply?
Applying for financing couldn’t be easier or more convenient. After you have selected your purchases, all that is required is to fill out a simple on-line application form and we will do the rest.

What Do I Need To Apply?
To apply for finance you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be over 18 years of age.
  • You must be a UK resident with at least 3 years continual address history.
  • You must be in full time employment, unless retired or a house person with a spouse in full time employment.
  • You must have a UK bank account capable of accepting Direct Debits.
  • You must have a valid Debit or Credit card registered in your name and to the home address on the application form in order to pay your deposit.

How much can I borrow?
When checking out, just complete the easy online application form that you’ll receive from V12 Retail Finance and you can be approved instantly for up to £15,000 to allow you to make the purchase you’ve been dreaming of, and pay for it in easy manageable instalments.

Is a deposit required?
Yes, a minimum 10% deposit will need to be paid upon acceptance on all finance options.

When will I know if my application for financing has been approved?
An instant descision will be given online whether or not your application for credit has been approved.

Once my application has been approved, what happens next?
Once your application for finance has been approved we will release your goods for shipment immediately. Typically the first payment will be due one month after the delivery of your goods.

Can I ask for my purchases to be delivered to my work address?
To safeguard against fraudulent applications, we can only deliver to your home address. However, for a small surcharge, we can arrange for your goods to be delivered on a Saturday morning if that is more convenient for you.

What if I require any further assistance?
For any further information you may require on the finance related part of your application, we have set-up a Scan Finance help-line for your convenience. This help-line is manned Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm. Please call 02920 468 900. Calls are charged at national rate.

Are there any additional charges?
If your application is accepted an arrangement fee of £20 will be applied (charge applies for Buy Now Pay Later option only)

Why is there a V12 arrangement fee?
V12 apply this charge to cover the costs incurred during the application process, this includes doing a credit check in order to process the application. The charge is only payable on acceptance of an agreement and should your payment not be authorised, you will not be charged.

How are my monthly payments made?
All monthly payments are paid by direct debit from your personal bank account. Typically the first payment will be due one month after the delivery of your goods, subsequent monthly payments will be due every month for the length of your agreement.

What type of goods can I buy on Finance?
Anything on our website. Please remember that the minimum order value for finance is £300(inc vat)

Can I pay off my loan early?
You can settle your loan agreement at any time. Simply contact V12 Retail Finance and they will calculate and send you your settlement figure. Your settlement figure and date are calculated in line with the Consumer Credit Act.

Who provides the finance ?
Consumer credit service provided by V12 Retail Finance. V12 Retail Finance is licensed by The Office of Fair Trading (Consumer Credit Licence: 0594229).

 Neumann Solution D

NOVATION Road Show 2013: Niche broadcasting, Personal channels and the Scan webcast on June 6th…..

NOVATION Road Show 2013 with Chris Calcutt:

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Ladies & Gents, I want to look forward to June 6th, and the start of our move towards global domination in this field.

Ok, well , maybe not that, but certainly we’re serious about moving forward as Web broadcasters, and to that end we’ll have Novation’s own Chris Calcutt here on the 6th of June to walk us through new product. This will include recent Frankfurt showstopper Bass Station II, Launchpad S and Launchkey 25.

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Personal Channels:

(To re-cap, all the data coming from the ‘big’ corporations i.e. Google, You Tube etc. is showing that the trends are moving away from traditional family TV sessions, where the whole family gather around the box to watch programmes together, and moving towards much more personalised content, delivered to niche consumers via the internet.)

Here at Scan, we’re working towards delivering the best web cast experience we can. It looks like we’ve got the pictures out clean and sharp, and we’ve managed to get the interactivity happening nicely. The idea is that on June 6th, between 6.30pm and 7.30pm, if you are in any way interested in Music Technology, we will be broadcasting a programme that you can watch on your smart phone or pad, and that you can have the opportunity to engage with, by asking questions. (Anyone remember ‘Tomorrows World’?, imagine that format but with Music Tech.!)

If you do manage to tune in, bear in mind that this is the start of the future…..

Over the coming years, musicians, comedians, storytellers, indeed anyone with a skill that requires a viewer, will find opportunities to host their own channels, and seek out audiences for themselves by affiliating with other like minded people. In my mind’s eye, I can see 10 years from now, whole families sitting together in living rooms after dinner, each watching bespoke programming based on their favourite subjects, and having it delivered via Google glass type lenses projected directly onto the retina by low level laser, so it expands the whole field of view, and becomes a 3D reality!

Anyway, back in the real world of today, make a date to join us on the 6th of June, and take the first steps……..

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ROLAND HD3- Compact, Bijou and very, very Cool…….

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The history of electronic drums is fraught with good ideas but poor execution.

Along the way there were offerings from most of the ‘big’ manufacturers, and in some cases, certain companies came to be synonymous with an era (those of us with long memories will recall many a happy hour trying to sort out Simmons SDS7 triggers in a ‘live environment’), but it is to the Roland company that we turn when we want to consider the biggest success in this field.

Indeed the V-Drums series has become forever associated with “Man that sounds awesome, I’ll never be able to afford one……”

But……………

Of late, the V-Drum series has expanded to encompass the less expensive end of the market, and it’s one of these we’re going to have a look at here….

The ROLAND HD3:

First things first, this thing sounds amazing.

There would be no point talking about it if it didn’t fulfil this ultimate need.

It has 20 on board kits which cater for pretty much all musical tastes, and while the pernickety will argue that a certain ‘Norwegian Nose-bleed Death Metal’ preset is conspicuous by its absence, most of us would agree the selection is pretty broad and covers all the bases.

Also, although the Big V-Drums set ups have the beautiful Roland mesh heads, (which make the whole difference to the playing experience), on every drum, the one place where it’s really necessary is the snare, and the HD3 has exactly that, the snare head is mesh and it plays great.

So, is it a Toy?

Obviously, the first thing that strikes you about the HD3 is its size.

Its tiny.

Which is brilliant.

For those of us with small studios, or single rooms only, this thing is a godsend.

The advertising bumpf targets beginners, and it definitely scores in that direction. It has all the connections you could want to plug in your music and play along, and of course the fact that you can use headphones is a parental triumph.

But to me, some of the real benefits of this kit are to the professional studio owner.

Many people make their living in home based project studios, from where they supply music for TV, radio, cinema ads, stage productions, live backings, karaoke etc. and space has always been the bugbear. With this little fold-away beauty, I can now lay down my own personalised grooves , (even though I’m not the best drummer, I can always tidy the MIDI data up afterwards, the point is that it’s MY groove!), I can add fills to existing parts, I can provide my own percussion loops, in fact, It’s a very liberating tool for all aspects of rhythm, and IT FITS IN MY STUDIO!!!

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Seriously, if you have spent years, piecing together loops and fills and then copying MIDI parts, or even if you’re down with EZ Drummer or its ilk, the difference when you sit down and play it in yourself is incredible.

So the message is, yes, if you’re a beginner or you just want the ability to play quietly, maybe in an apartment  or whatever, these are the drums for you, BUT, please, all you Studio owners who didn’t think you had room, look at these again. I promise it will make all the difference to your drum programming, and in my case, it speeds the workflow up as well.

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  20 preset kits with dedicated select buttons and informative backlit LCD

  Beater-less kick with improved playing feel and low acoustic noise

  New cloth-head toms with improved playing feel and design

  Dual-trigger pads for snare and crash/ride to improve playability

  Metronome with selectable sounds and adjustable tempo

ROLAND HD3       LN48398