Audio Options for the Alexa Mini

Tue May 16, 2017 8:20 am

Hi all,

I am posting this as it has been over a year and to my frustration I still haven't found the perfect audio option for the Mini. I thought I would post my research for people searching for options.

For me I am dreaming of two preamps with phantom power so that I can run an onboard Mic and a Lapel if I need. I want it to be small, rugged and easy to mount onto the camera. From the research below this is what I have found

Moze Gear's Mini Papi (picture of lite camera version) https://www.mozegear.com/mini-papi
Image
Good:
compact, rugged, lemo power input, low cut filter, led indicators, a backup track at -18db, looks like they will bring out better chassis/mount.

Bad:
One preamp so only one mic per unit. For me full size XLR input is not great, T3 input (small xlr) would be better as it means lighter smaller cables.

KORTWICH VCP-M2-mini http://www.filmtontechnik.de/kortwich-produkte/preamp/
Image
Good:
Somewhat compact, two preamps, simple, T3 and T5 (mini xlr) connectors, hirose power connector.

Bad:
Awkward design, knobs look easily knocked, mounting is only from the bottom screw.

Beachtek DXA Alexa http://beachtek.com/dxa-alexa/
Image
Good:
Two preamps, headphone/loop out monitoring, led indicators, lemo power.

Bad:
Stupidly large, heavy, expensive, weird mounting options, why so large.... have they done handheld before?

So to sum up nothing really wins. Moze Gear almost does but one pre amp means I would need a Lectrosonics to get line level out from the Lapel mic which is a lot of $$$...

Does anyone else have any options? Arri? Feel like making something?
Last edited by Michael L on Sun May 21, 2017 3:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Michael L
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Audio Options for the Alexa Mini

Wed May 17, 2017 12:29 pm

We've been using the Alexa Mini with the Video Devices Pix-E5 with LR module. The Pix-E works as a secondary backup recorder/ camera assistant monitor and the LR module allows very detailed and precise monitoring and control of audio. Great because the LR module allows for 2 full sized XLRs input, +48v power, and line level output. Also allows you to loop back the audio through the SDI, and monitor it through the Pix-E5. Hope this helps!

Darren
darren
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2016 4:31 pm

Re: Audio Options for the Alexa Mini

Fri May 19, 2017 8:20 pm

I have been using the Mini Papi and have been planning to write a review. Using a t3 could be a good improvement, but I actually really like it's form factor and sound quality. the pots could use a little work. For me, having a tiny device with 1 input that is as small as can be but a decent preamp is a great addition and they aren't too expensive. For this sort of thing I often need a scratch track or an interview married to picture, and for anything more complicated I can use a full size mixer and ideally, of course, a sound person. For doc stuff though yes I'd love to have the same small size preamp and get a shotgun and a lav straight to camera. So I feel you that 2 channels with small inputs would be ideal, but until I found out about this option I was having trouble using audio on the move with anything that felt like the beneficial form factor of the mini, so have been really happy.
Stout Film
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2015 9:08 pm

Re: Audio Options for the Alexa Mini

Sun May 21, 2017 3:17 pm

Hi Guys,

Darren, the Pixie is an interesting idea. How is it as a monitor? Brightness/sharpness? Are boot times ok? Do the audio cables get in the way?

Stout Films, thanks for the review. I think the new case design and ports will probably fix a lot of the problems you were talking about. I am definitely coming in from a doc perspective. Anything other than a doc I usually have a sound guy but for intimate no crew jobs I really wish there was a good two preamp option.

I have been talking to Laurie for Moze Gear and he was also suggesting their new p10 as a single preamp. It doesn't have headphone out and usually it runs off AAA's but he said they could modify it to run off lemo power. The p10 coupled with a ATM216 Tiny Mike from Ambient (which doesn't need full phantom power) might be the smallest/lightest option for an onboard mic. I have been debating line out lapels but they are minimum $2500 which is a lot for something I use occasionally.

I am also waiting on Kortwich as they said they are in the process or redesigning their VCP-M2 with the two preamps. Theres still hope someone will get it right...

Thanks Michael
Michael L
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Audio Options for the Alexa Mini

Mon May 22, 2017 7:51 am

Hey Michael,

The pix-e has been fine, not perfect? But totally workable. We also use an odyssey 7Q+ so that's my point of comparison. Some qualms about the pix-e is that it gets really hot in operation, like scalding hot, so gotta be careful not to hug the unit when going handheld. The peaking on it is also not as ideal when compared to the odyssey. Other than that, brightness and operations and functions are generally very good. Boot time takes a while, usually if i boot both the alexa mini and the pix-e together, the alexa will be up and running before the pix-e is up, it might take another 10 seconds before its up. With regards to the cables, we have the pix-e attached to the alexa all the time with an infinity arm, so cable snagging is not really an issue. Hope this helps!

Darren
darren
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2016 4:31 pm

Return to ALEXA Mini