April 3, 2020

Audio Limited's A10 Wireless Now Creates Effortless Sound Reports With Firmware 2.90

"So, yeah...Peter. Do you have that CSV report?" 

There is a lot of non-glamorous work each department has to do while shooting a film or television show. Filling out paperwork is one of them. For production sound mixers, creating sound reports is a critical step in the day's workflow. A sound report is a detailed report that breaks down each file recorded on a given production day. Scenes, takes, notes on what microphones were used, any pick-ups, or other pertinent information is usually noted on the sound report. 

The reports are important for the post teams editing the picture and sound so they have something to reference as they are usually hired after a production is completed. Digital technology has made managing sound reports easier as they used to be written by hand. Now, production sound mixers have access to metadata that can be passed along to post to make streamline workflows even more than any piece of paper could offer. 

Audio Limited, a company that develops wireless audio, has released firmware version 2.90 for its A10 Digital Wireless and Mic2Wav utility that introduces Conform to CSV. The feature converts the MIC files recorded on an A10-TX transmitter to WAV files using a CSV sound report directly from a Sound Devices recorder. The compatible recorders include the MixPre series, 6-Series, and 8-Series mixer recorders. You may recall Sound Devices purchasing Audio Limited, so integrations are natural. 

Mic2Wav is the utility that converts the propriety format file MIC to common WAV or other formats. The reason for the propriety format file is because the audio is encrypted. It's similar to Zaxcom's MARF file system. Zaxcom's wireless is also encrypted and uses software called ZaxConvert, to convert the file into an edit-ready format.  

With the updated Audio Limited firmware, it extracts only the relevant bits of the MIC file. Everything from scene, take, tape, and more is copied from the sound report to the converted WAV file, making workflows that much easier.  

The firmware also brings updates to the A10-TX transmitter and A10-RX receiver. The receiver now has an RF overload indication. If the incoming signal is too strong, a red light will illuminate and "RF Overload" will appear on the screen. To correct the overload, you can reduce the RF power on the transmitter, increase the distance between the wireless, or apply attenuation to the antenna system. 

With the update, the A10-TX Remote companion (Apple or Android) also sees a bump in performance. The app is able to control features remotely, including record and stop, RF power, input gain, and others. The app now features a dark mode, which is a welcomed option for night shoots.

If you are an Auto Limited user, the latest wireless firmware can be found here. The update for the Mic2Wav is available here.      

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