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
- Audio signal to noise specification from XLR inputs.
- Available audio gain in dB (decibels) from XLR inputs, for example, +60 db.
- Is there now an audio limiter?
- 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.
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.
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.
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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