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An interview from the 2016 National Association of Broadcasters Convention in Las Vegas with Jennifer Schwarzkopf of Sound Devices. Sound Devices, LLC, designs both Sound Devices audio products and Video Devices video products. Sound Devices offers portable audio mixers, digital audio recorders and related equipment for feature film, episodic television, documentary, newsgathering, live-event, and acoustical test and measurement applications. Video Devices offers digital video recorders, monitors and related products, which address a range of video productions, including fast-paced studio applications, live sports and events, as well as mobile, TV, film and documentary productions.

In this interview Jennifer talks with us about the Sound Devices PIX-LR & a new recording capability for the popular PIX-E Series of 4K Recorder/Monitors.

The PIX-LR is an optional accessory that provides the PIX-E5, PIX-E5H, and PIX-E7 monitors with XLR inputs and outputs. It also features signature Sound Devices-designed mic preamps, accurate LED metering, and dedicated transport and gain controls. The PIX-LR easily and securely mounts to the bottom of any PIX-E Series monitor via a ¼-inch 20 thread screw. Constructed from die-cast aluminum, the PIX-LR derives power from the monitor to which it is attached. It also offers two dedicated gain controls and illuminated, 23-segment LED metering.

Other features include two extremely low-noise, wide-gain XLR-3F connections for active-balanced, analog mic-level inputs (1 and 2), and two standard, 3-pin XLR-3M connections for balanced, analog outputs. Large dedicated backlit transport controls for record, stop, play, fast forward and rewind. PIX-LR also comes equipped with high-quality limiters with LED indication to prevent distortion, as well as high-pass filters for reducing unwanted low frequencies such as wind noise. Additionally, for fast level control, the PIX-LR has dedicated gain controls, which may be recessed when not in use. Inputs 1 and 2 may be linked for stereo level and pan control. The audio interface also supports 48V phantom power for condenser mics.

In a free future firmware update The PIX-E Series of Recording Monitors will receive two new features— the addition of the H.264 codec and the capability of simultaneously recording a high-quality, edit-ready Apple® ProRes file and a much smaller size H.264 MP4 file.

Universally supported for viewing on PCs, Macs, and browsers, the H.264 codec offers a good balance between compression and quality to reach low data rates and small file sizes. As a result, it is commonly used for web streaming and long duration recording. The codec also makes for faster file uploads and easier emailing of recorded files.

While the PIX-E Series has always featured the full-range of ProRes codecs—from proxy up to 4444 XQ—with these upcoming features, end users will be able to simultaneously record an H.264 MP4 file and a ProRes MOV file. While recording 4K in ProRes, the PIX-E will automatically scale the 4K to 1080p for recording H.264, thereby reducing its file size even further. Both recordings will also include audio—up to eight channels with ProRes and two channels with H.264.

These new features will be available to PIX-E owners at no cost in a future firmware update.

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