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by Allan Tépper

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Allan Tépper has been working with professional video since the early eighties, since he first learned to edit video using the open-reel 1/2” EIAJ-1 format with a Sony AV-3650 editing deck in his high school in Connecticut. Since 1994, Tépper has been consulting both end-users and manufacturers via his Florida company. Via TecnoTur, Tépper has been giving video technology seminars in several South Florida’s universities and training centers, and in a half dozen Latin American countries, in their native language. Tépper has been a freque...

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Blackmagic didn’t quite remove the Band-Aid after all…

Blackmagic didn’t quite remove the Band-Aid after all…

As I sadly discovered in Guatemala, Blackmagic didn’t quite add RGB over HDMI after all…

By Allan Tépper | September 02, 2014

In June 2014, I published an article stating that Blackmagic had finally removed the Band-Aid for original DreamColor monitor users, based upon information published in their own ReadMe and a direct statement from Blackmagic’s US president, which I quoted. In mid August, I went to Guatemala to configure a system, and discovered that RGB over HDMI wasn’t really available. After a few weeks of email exchanges, Blackmagic has finally clarified their position via the public relations department.

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Review: Plantronics accidentally enters broadcast headset market

Review: Plantronics accidentally enters broadcast headset market

When combined with a portable A>D converter, the Plantronics .Audio 326 becomes a broadcast headset.

By Allan Tépper | September 02, 2014

Plantronics is a renowned headset manufacturer for office communication, general listening, mobile telephony, and gaming, but not for broadcast or multimedia production. However, due to an unusual set of circumstances, I discovered that their completely analog Plantronics .Audio 326 headset (when combined with a portable preamp/A>D converter) transforms itself into an ultra-affordable broadcast headset for production and live streaming. Here’s my review with test recording.

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Review: RØDE NT-USB studio-grade digital microphone

Review: RØDE NT-USB studio-grade digital microphone

The NT-USB includes a pop-shield + table stand, and works with Mac, Windows, and iPad.

By Allan Tépper | August 28, 2014

The new NT-USB from RØDE is a studio-grade digital microphone that officially works with Mac, Windows, and iPad. Unofficially, it also works with iPhone and iPod Touch. Ahead is my review, including exclusive comparative audio recordings with Chilean singer Bárbara Intriago.

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Review 1: Telestream’s Switch aims to overtake & surpass QuickTime Pro

Review 1: Telestream’s Switch aims to overtake & surpass QuickTime Pro

In many ways, Switch has already surpassed QuickTime Pro…

By Allan Tépper | August 20, 2014

Back in December 2013, I published my “first look” article about the then just-announced Switch application for Mac OS from Telestream, which in many ways has already gone way beyond what the QuickTime Pro app ever did. Now that Switch is shipping, I was able to get a review license from the company and ahead you will see what I like, and what should be added to this promising audiovisual tool.

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Initial review: iRig Mic HD from IK Multimedia

Initial review: iRig Mic HD from IK Multimedia

iRig Mic HD is a handheld digital mic from IK Multimedia

By Allan Tépper | August 05, 2014

I am honored to be one of a few tech journalists who have received the iRig Mic HD from IK Multimedia for initial review. The iRig Mic HD is a handheld digital-exclusive mic, made for use with iOS (iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch), Mac and Windows and produces rich and full bodied sound recordings (and this is not a shampoo commercial). I have a lot to say about the iRig Mic HD, so let’s get started.

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RT and DirecTV Sports go beyond conventional mic flags

RT and DirecTV Sports go beyond conventional mic flags

Using a technique virtually unused in the US, networks like RT and DirecTV Sports are getting better branding on their mics.

By Allan Tépper | August 04, 2014

Most people who produce sports or news for TV know that branding is important, both on location (with signs and mic branding) and on screen (via electronic graphics). That is nothing new. However, I have recently seen how two TV networks from outside of the US are taking advantage of a device —and a technique— that grants them better branding by going beyond conventional mic flags.

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Handheld vocal microphones: a trend towards condenser electret?

Handheld vocal microphones: a trend towards condenser electret?

Have an open mind to condenser electret when considering new handheld interview microphones, together with traditional dynamics.

By Allan Tépper | August 04, 2014

With new handheld vocal microphones I am currently testing for reviews, there is a new trend toward condenser electret, which challenges the long established thinking. In traditional ENG (Electronic News Gathering), for decades there has been a preference for dynamic handheld interview mics. One of the reasons for that is because dynamics are generally much more durable. However, several factors are changing, so we must have an open mind when evaluating.

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The dawn of CFast video recording

The dawn of CFast video recording

A tiny CFast chip now rivals HDCAM SR tape, and a US$50 CFast reader now rivals an HDCAM SR deck which typically costs US$50k +

By Allan Tépper | July 31, 2014

The first CFast devices were shown at CES in 2009, but NAB 2014 was the first time I saw professional video products using it. CFast is a derivative format of CompactFlash which offers the very high bit rates required by virtually lossless intraframe 10-bit 4:2:2 códecs like ProRes 422 and DNxHD for HD, and even for 4K. The pioneers I saw using it were Átomos and Blackmagic. A tiny CFast chip now rivals an HDCAM SR tape, and a US$50 CFast reader now rivals an HDCAM SR deck which typically costs well over US$50k. Ahead are the details.

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Review: iRig Pro preamp/A>D from IK Multimedia

Review: iRig Pro preamp/A>D from IK Multimedia

Use the iRig Pro confidently as a mic preamp, an A>D converter, or both simultaneously.

By Allan Tépper | July 16, 2014

Although I have reviewed many audio preamps and A>D (analog-to-digital) converters, the iRig Pro I am covering here is truly unique for several reasons, two of which are why I purposefully excluded it from my recent roundup of five other preamp + A>D devices for iOS. Ahead you’ll learn everything I love about the iRig Pro for both audio and video, yet why I still can’t recommended the iRig Recorder app for video producers.

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Pinnacle Studio for iPad to add missing framerates & 48 kHz!

Pinnacle Studio for iPad to add missing framerates & 48 kHz!

The developer has committed to adding non-integer framerates and standard audio sampling.

By Allan Tépper | July 16, 2014

Last month, I published an article covering improvements in Pinnacle Studio for iPad, which is a video editing app which was originally an Avid product. At the same time, I made some constructive criticisms to the lack of non-integer framerates and proper 48 kHz. I am now delighted to let you know that the developer has committed to adding all of those. Ahead are the details.

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Inexpensive balanced XLR lavalier microphone test

Inexpensive balanced XLR lavalier microphone test

Can you really get a pair of balanced XLR lavalier mics for under US$100?

By Allan Tépper | July 15, 2014

If you have ever priced lavalier microphones with balanced XLR connections, you know that they typically cost upwards of US$150 each, and sometimes can cost more than double that price. However, my friend María found a package deal where she was able to receive not one, but two balanced XLR lavalier microphones for well under US$100, which means that each mic cost less than US$50. Ahead you’ll get to hear four recorded tests and make your own conclusion about the quality.

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CapicúaFM: First podcast I recorded with Bossjock Studio

CapicúaFM: First podcast I recorded with Bossjock Studio

CapicúaFM was the first podcast I recorded “live-to-drive” with Bossjock Studio, the automatic mixer, and iRig Pro

By Allan Tépper | June 25, 2014

ProVideo Coalition readers who are interested in audio production will recall my recent article about Bossjock Studio, and my review of the AT-MX351a automatic audio mixer which kills crosstalk (links ahead). Well now I recorded and published my first “live-to-drive” podcast, as opposed to post-producing everything later, as I did in the past. I also used the iRig Pro A-to-D converter. Ahead is the setup, and the experience.

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Blackmagic finally removes (part of) the Band-Aid!

Blackmagic finally removes (part of) the Band-Aid!

After several years + 241 electronic signatures, some DreamColor Monitor users can rejoice and sell their Band-Aid, but not all

By Allan Tépper | June 15, 2014

A few days ago, I received a cryptic message from an Australian reader (a countryman of Blackmagic, but apparently not a Blackmagic Design employee). It said: “Looks like Blackmagic have removed the Band-Aid. Latest software supports RGB 10bit on HDMI!”. I immediately downloaded the ReadMe for the latest update to Blackmagic’s Desktop Video Software, which also automatically updates firmware when appropriate. I had a couple of questions and contacted Blackmagic PR. Ahead are the critical details you need to know.

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Video framerates and the Tower of Babel: a translation guide

Video framerates and the Tower of Babel: a translation guide

Until manufacturers start speaking the same language, we need a cheat sheet.

By Allan Tépper | June 10, 2014

What does “24p” or “30p” mean when a manufacturer states it? How can we tell if —and when— they really mean 23.976p, 24.000p, 29.97p, or even the non-standard 30.000p? Unfortunately, each manufacturer has its own policy about this, which reminds me of the biblical story of the Tower of Babel: At the end of the story, all of the workers were speaking a different language and couldn’t understand each other. Ahead is a translation guide, including Adobe, AJA, Apple, Avid, Blackmagic, Canon, Corel/Pinnacle Systems, Datavideo, GoPro, JVC, FiLMiC Pro, NewTek/TriCaster, Panasonic, and Sony, plus an FAQ.

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Pinnacle Studio for iPad adds 25p + more improvements

Pinnacle Studio for iPad adds 25p + more improvements

Fortunately, Pinnacle Studio for iPad added several improvements, but several simple ones remain desperately missing.

By Allan Tépper | June 10, 2014

Pinnacle Studio for iPad (previously known as Avid Studio for iPad) has thankfully added missing framerates including 24 + 25, plus other improvements. In my articles in ProVideo Coalition magazine, I have covered the application since its birth from Avid, when it changed its name and owner, and when it became the first iOS video editing app to support translucent alpha channels. Ahead I’ll cover the improvements in detail, what’s critically missing, and what is simply wrong and must be fixed.

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First look: ThunderBay IV 4-bay 12TB Thunderbolt system

First look: ThunderBay IV 4-bay 12TB Thunderbolt system

Over the upcoming weeks, I’ll be reviewing this quite flexible Thunderbolt storage device.

By Allan Tépper | June 06, 2014

Long time readers know that I have reviewed several different Thunderbolt storage (and other) devices from diverse manufacturers. One of those is OWC, aka Other World Computing. I am now honored to be invited to review their new ThunderBay IV 4-bay 12TB Thunderbolt, system, which can be configured in several different ways and promises to offer quite a punch for its relatively low —and even palindromic— price of US$979. Here’s a first look.

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3 workarounds for iOS mediographers (iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch)

3 workarounds for iOS mediographers (iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch)

If you produce audio or video with an iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch, you’ll likely have found some of these limitations.

By Allan Tépper | May 31, 2014

Whether you have been using one of the audio/video production apps I have been covering (including Bossjock Studio, FiLMiC Pro, and RØDE Rec) or some others I have yet to cover, you’ll likely have encountered software limitations. This article covers three workarounds to use in the meantime, while app developers add direct support for essential features like SFTP, Gmail app, and until Apple fixes AirDrop between iOS and Mac OS.

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Bentley Motors does high-end short, shot on iPhone 5s

Bentley Motors does high-end short, shot on iPhone 5s

It lasts 4:25 including the making-of.

By Allan Tépper | May 16, 2014

Thanks to Jeff Taylor of TeleverseStudios.com, I just became aware of Bentley Motors' high-end short, which they shot completely with an iPhone 5s and FiLMiC Pro. The duration is 4 minutes, 25 seconds, including the making-of. Ahead is the video and my comments.

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Cure audio spill in multi-mic situations with an AT-MX351a automatic mixer

Cure audio spill in multi-mic situations with an AT-MX351a automatic mixer

With the AT-MX351a from Audio Technica, you can sound as good with multi-mics as with a single one.

By Allan Tépper | May 10, 2014

If you have ever been disappointed when your audio quality drops exponentially as you add more microphones with a talk show, interview or reality, due to a phenomenon called spill, bleed or “crosstalk”, and you can’t afford the time to mulitrack and fix it in post, you’ll be happy to know that there is a hardware device to solve it in real time, either live, “live on tape” or —more commonly nowadays— "live to flash memory”. Enter the AT-MX351a automatic mixer from Audio Technica. Here are my introduction and initial tests.

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RØDE’s PinMic takes lavalier microphones to a new esthetic level

RØDE’s PinMic takes lavalier microphones to a new esthetic level

The RØDE PinMic is the least obtrusive body mic short of hiding a conventional lav inside clothing.

By Allan Tépper | May 07, 2014

In addition to offering the wonderful RØDE REC application for iOS which I recently reviewed (link ahead), RØDE is primarily known as a renowned microphone manufacturer from Australia. One of its unique designs is the PinMic, the least obtrusive body mic I’ve ever seen, short of hiding a conventional lav inside clothing. With the PinMic, absolutely all components and cabling stay inside the clothes, except the microphone element itself, which connects to the rest via three tiny pins, which perforate the shirt or dress non-destructively.

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