Audio to Alexa Mini

Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:48 am

The Alexa Mini is a great tool because you can use it in many different ways. It's obviously intended for gimbals and drones but it's small size makes it an (unexpected?) great doc camera for a lot of situations. The problem is getting audio (even scratch audio) into the camera. I like to use a sound-guy/girl and jam whenever possible but it's not always possible so I'm looking to share solutions back and forth with y'all.

INPUTS: I really wish the lemo input was mic-level; I think that would make the Remote Audio cable or the Wooden Camera A-box a solution (minus phantom power and a good way to adjust levels, of course). Right now I'm thinking the best solution would be to get a Sound Devices MixPre-D and mount it to the rods by your battery plate out the back, which could give you phantom power and give you line-level. It's too big for my tastes on the mini, but I can't think of a good smaller solution like this. I'd be very interested in some tiny little scratch audio mic that we could attach that is self powered and has line-level output. I don't think it exists; somebody please invent it!

MONITORING: There is no great way to monitor audio on the Mini. Again, I know this is not a priority for the concept but we are all going to find the best workarounds. I'm using a SmallHD 502, which has audio meters and also a headphone jack. There's a very slight delay. Obviously not super professional to be monitoring this way, but it is what it is.

Best thing would be if Arri had some way of making a great audio solution I/O box that could plug into that lemo port or wherever. People would pay handsomely for it.

Cheers everyone!
Stout Film
 
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Re: Audio to Alexa Mini

Thu Feb 18, 2016 1:38 pm

Hello and thank you for your feedback. We appreciate such feedback to improve our products.
I'll forward your comments to our ALEXA MINI product manager.

Best regards
Christoph Gschloessl
Digital Camera Service
Christoph Gschloessl
 
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Re: Audio to Alexa Mini

Sat Mar 05, 2016 12:35 am

Hi,
thanks for your feedback!

The priority for the ALEXA Mini was the form factor and weight and the pcbs have been designed to be as compact as possible.

Initially we thought that we would not be able to support audio - until we found a spot on one of the boards that was able to fit just the audio codec. We decided it was worth giving it a try as a scratch track would be very valuable in some cases. It turned out to be good, so the quality is much better than a scratch track, but in order to access it we had to place the audio lemo in front.

Unfortunately we do not have any space on the pcbs to provide an amplifier, power regulation for phantom power or an audio output - and without that we won't be able to build an audio box with the functionality you requested.
Michael Jonas
 
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Re: Audio to Alexa Mini

Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:40 pm

Hey Stout Film,

We were getting really frustrated as well with this audio on the camera. The only solution we managed to find was to use the Beachtek DXA SLR ULTRA. Not the smallest solution, but it works great! We've contacted lots of manufacturers and nothing out there that will do the trick unfortunately.

BUT

Wait until NAB as I know a great solution will be announced then (and shipping straight away) which will solve all our problems with this silly non-phantom powered audio input ;)
eatChocolate
 
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Re: Audio to Alexa Mini

Fri Mar 25, 2016 3:25 am

Thanks Everyone,
Yes totally makes sense to cut audio for form factor, now just hoping for good solutions to mount on camera. I wish there was a mic that just incorporated phantom and a pre-amp into it and went direct to the lemo on the front of camera so we could go straight in (but unlikely to get a solution like that. I picked up a used Sound Devices Mix Pre-D which works well but is big for most people's needs (very similar to the Beachtek DXA SLR ULTRA in previous post). Excited something will be released at NAB. If you back mount batteries, could be a good addition to the other side (operating blindly) to offset MVF-1 weight.
Here's another solution that I haven't tried yet, but the good guys at Gotham Sound recommended (will get the levels up, but won't be a real monitoring/mixing solution):
It's the Kortwich VCP-20 Pro, 3 items down on this page: http://www.filmtontechnik.de/en/product ... er-supply/
Looks nice and small. If anyone has tried it let us know.
Thanks!
Stout Film
 
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Re: Audio to Alexa Mini

Thu Apr 21, 2016 4:36 pm

This is where we come into game:

We are a professional manufacturer from munich, currently dipping into high end camera equipment.
To this point we made quite some useful breakoutboxes
Image

As we are currently designing the newest member with high end preamps and levelling we would be eager to get involved with you all. Since we are building this for all of you guys and gals out there in the field working with it:

Which features should an audio addition have?
*this post was edited 63 times
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Robert from the ACSE Team
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ACSE GmbH
 
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Re: Audio to Alexa Mini

Fri Apr 22, 2016 1:41 am

ACSE GmbH wrote:This is where we come into game:
Which features should an audio addition have?


That's exciting, thanks!

High quality preamp with Line level out and cable that goes right into Mini (not XLR outs that we have to then adapt to lemo 5pin).
Dial for adjusting levels
As small as possible and mounts easily/quickly to the side brackets.
Mini (1/8") headphone jack.
Runs off external/d-tap (so it doesn't add bulk by having internal battery compartment)

Not sure if most people would rather have a super small/simple 1-input option or a bigger 2-input option. For me what would set it apart from what is already out there (I use the Sound Devices Mix Pre-D) is if it could be very small.

cheers
Stout Film
 
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Re: Audio to Alexa Mini

Fri Apr 22, 2016 5:20 pm

That is exactly what we were thinking, great to see we are heading in the right direction!
*this post was edited 63 times
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Robert from the ACSE Team
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Re: Audio to Alexa Mini

Fri Apr 22, 2016 5:23 pm

Stout Film wrote:As small as possible and mounts easily/quickly to the side brackets.


So, it would be "enough" to have a 1/4" Screw mounting option, or am i am wrong?
We also would have the arri rosette as an option, but that doesnt seem to be the right versatile thing to mount on for this.
*this post was edited 63 times
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Re: Audio to Alexa Mini

Fri Apr 22, 2016 6:39 pm

yes, i believe 1/4-20 would be strong enough.
i wouldn't use the rosette, because that's often occupied by a handle.
Stout Film
 
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