Smartphones, and in particular the iPhone, are beginning to replace the video camera for on-the-spot interviews especially when it’s a one person gig. While the video side of the recording is well covered by the iPhone, the audio isn’t, mainly because the camera has to be six feet away from the subject rather than the the six inches preferred by a microphone. Marshall Electronics have been thinking about this problem and Don gets a world exclusive on their newest product from Perry Golstein.
Marshall have been working on a set of portable accessories for the iPhone which connects pro gear for high quality audio recordings. Brand new is a battery-powered pocket-mixer with four audio inputs, headphone monitor and an analogue output. In addition, the mixer has a digital out over USB: connect the mixer to the iPhone via Apple’s camera connector and the audio can be recorded digitally. The mixer will be available later in the year with a target price of $249. Very neat.
Interview by Don Baine, the Gadget Professor.
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Recently I purchased a Behringer Xenyx 502 Mixer. Behringer is a German audio company which makes products such as mixers, studio monitors, amplifiers, midi controllers and other audio equipment.
The Behringer Xenyx 502 is one of their lower end mixers. It is a small audio mixer that is highly portable. You can add up to five audio inputs to the mixer including Skype, musical instruments and microphones. You can control each of them separately by turning the appropriate knob. There is also an input and output for a CD or Tape Deck. You can control gain, EQ, pan, low and level for the main input. You can control the balance and level of the secondary inputs. There is a headphone input so you can hear exactly what you are recording. You can also control the levels going into your headphones. To output to your computer or recording equipment you can either use a 1/4 stereo plug or use an RCA cable with the CD and Tape deck output. I use the RCA cable since using the 1/4 stereo outputs would require a special adapter.
This is the first mixer I have purchase so I don’t have anything to compare it to. That being said so far I am happy with this mixer. It is highly portable and was fairly inexpensive at $40.00. However it does have its negative points. The first is there is no on/off switch. The only way to turn it off is to disconnect the power. When it is plugged in a bright led light comes on, which could be a problem in a dark room. A bit of masking tape can solve this problem easily. You use knobs for all the controls and I suspect that sliders would be easier to control. Despite these negatives, if you are looking for small portable mixer I would recommend taking a look at the Behringer Xenyx 502.