Production

URSA Mini Pro: Blackmagic reveals new audio specs

After my 4 questions, Blackmagic finally revealed the URSA Mini Pro’s new audio specs.

After Blackmagic announced its new URSA Mini Pro camera with lower audio noise and flatter frequency response, I asked four detailed questions. They included available gain, noise specs, the possible use of the TRRS headset to record an interview track, and whether there was any audio limiter. Now I have finally received the answers, ahead I’ll share them with you.

My 4 questions

  1. Audio signal to noise specification from XLR inputs.
  2. Available audio gain in dB (decibels) from XLR inputs, for example, +60 db.
  3. Is there now an audio limiter?
  4. I see that there is a TRRS headset connection where the microphone in an “iPhone” type headset can we used for the intercom. That’s great. Is that mic input via the TRRS connector available to be recorded on a particular track when the camera operator is performing an interview? So (for example), the camera operator’s mic can be recorded (for example) on channel 1, and the lavalier of the interviewee (connected via XLR) can be on channel 2?

1: Audio signal to noise specification from XLR inputs.

Answers:

XLR MIC Preamp has E.I.N. (Equivalent Input Noise) = -128 dBV(A) or better.

XLR LINE input has a typical Noise Floor = -118 dBFS(A) or better.

XLR MIC Back Up has a typical Noise Floor = -117 dBFS(A).

2: Available audio gain in dB (decibels) from XLR inputs, for example, +60 db.

Answers:

LINE input has fixed gain to support maximum +24 dBu.

MIC Preamp Gain Range = +10 to +65 dB.

MIC Preamp PAD = -20 dB.

MIC Preamp Input Signal Range (for 0dBFS) without 20dB PAD = -50 to +5 dBu.

MIC Preamp Input Signal Range (for 0dBFS) with 20dB PAD on = -30 to +25 dBu.

3: Is there now an audio limiter?

Blackmagic responded that although there is no limiter, there is a mic backup audio channel, which can capture high audio signals (up to +24dbu) that would cause clipping on the high gain mic preamp.

This concept of a backup channel is something that I have covered in prior articles, and is sometimes called “audio bracketing”.

4: Can the microphone on the TRRS headset be used for an interviewer audio track?

The URSA Mini Pro camera has a TRRS headset (which Blackmagic calls an “iPhone microphone”) for talkback to/from from the producer or director. I asked whether the connected microphone could be routed to a particular track to be recorded as an interviewer track.

Of course, this same TRRS connector could also be connected to one like the Audio Technica ATH-AG1X which I reviewed here.

The answer was:

We don’t record it presently. Talkback is on channels 15+16 of the SDI stream so you could potentially extract this from those channels of the SDI and record it, but we don’t internally in camera at present.

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No manufacturer is specifically paying Allan Tépper or TecnoTur LLC to write this article or the mentioned books. Some of the other manufacturers listed above have contracted Tépper and/or TecnoTur LLC to carry out consulting and/or translations/localizations/transcreations. Many of the manufacturers listed above have sent Allan Tépper review units. So far, none of the manufacturers listed above is/are sponsors of the TecnoTur programs, although they are welcome to do so, and some are, may be (or may have been) sponsors of ProVideo Coalition magazine. Some links to third parties listed in this article and/or on this web page may indirectly benefit TecnoTur LLC via affiliate programs. Allan Tépper’s opinions are his own.

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Born in Connecticut, United States, Allan Tépper is an award-winning broadcaster & podcaster, bilingual consultant, multi-title author, tech journalist, translator, and language activist who has been working with professional video since the eighties. Since 1994,…

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Robert 'Bob' McGowanAOKAllan TépperGweilo66 Recent comment authors
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Gweilo66
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Gweilo66

Backup channel? Meaning? How many total recording tracks here?

Allan Tépper
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Thanks for reading and commenting. I am checking, and I’ll respond as soon as they respond.

Allan Tépper

AOK
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AOK

Why on Earth would you want to record audio from a PL line? Have you ever worked on a live production and “enjoyed” the “quality” yourself? It’s more or less landline frequency range, if that. If you want to record the interviewer, e.g. as one-man-band photog, either clip a lav on yourself (best) or just let the camera mic/externally mounted shotgun pick up your sound (not good, but useful for reference in post). As for the “backup channel,” all that means is that you can send audio from a single input to record on multiple channels (tracks), but you can… Read more »

AOK
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AOK

I just glanced at the manual, and it appears that for “backup channel,” you have the option to record xlr input 1 to either channel 1 only, or to both channel 1 and 2. Given that the camera currently does not support 4 channels (yet), using the “backup channel” method means that all of your available channels to record on will be used up by a single source… if you need to record two sources, one to each channel, you will not have any “safety net” to work with, as there is no limiter/auto setting. Choices are either: a) risk… Read more »

Robert 'Bob' McGowan
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Robert 'Bob' McGowan

I’m still trying to find out why there is a lag for the audio/video on this camera? Is this true? Others have commented and mentioned how off putting it is….does anybody here in London have one I can test out, would be appreciated