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NAB Spotlight: Saramonic Talks UHF, Wireless Mixer/Receivers, and Mics

Streaming Media Producer's Anthony Burokas interviews Saramonic's Joe Nassar about (and with) Saramonic wireless mics in the Saramonic booth at NAB 2019.


Anthony Burokas: Hello there, my name is Anthony Burokas, we are here at NAB 2019 for Streaming Media Producer. I'm here with Joe in the Saramonic booth, and I have to say, I am a Saramonic user, we're using Saramonic microphones right now, I've purchased them for myself, and I'm actually really interested in some of the things that you've got going on, especially like this little mixer, which is not just a mixer, but it's a receiver, so it does exactly what we're doing here in receiving two wireless microphones, but it does more.

Joe Nassar: Yeah, actually, it's a really cool piece. Besides being, as you mentioned, a dual receiver, which is in itself revolutionary, I know there are some other dual receivers on the market, but a lot of them are wi-fi. This is a UHF system, and the difference between Wi-Fi and UHF is distance and reliability. In a trade show environment like this, Wi-Fi is crazy and almost impossible to get a real signal. With UHF we're having no problem, and that's really what you're going to want in a system, especially when you want reliability. This is a great system, besides the fact that it has the two wireless receivers on it, of course you can mount your phone right here, and it can fit larger phones as well. I have a Google Pixel XL, fits it perfectly. Sure you have to unscrew it a bit to get to that point, but it definitely fits it. As you see, also, on the top we have a little shoe mount. That's perfect for LED lights.

Anthony Burokas: You know how to add a light to it.

Joe Nassar: Or mounting your shotgun microphone. Well, that's great, but how do you get that on the phone? Well, we have two microphone inputs on the sides. As you can see right here I have a mini-XLR and a mini-plug there, as well as a mini-plug there. The mini plugs are great for microphones like this. This is the SRXM1, you can pop that on, say, if I'm doing a vlog-style thing where I'm filming people, I can be talking, I don't even have to wear one of the wireless mics. Or using something like the Saramonic V-Mic Mini, having an on camera and on device microphone like that. Very cool little microphone. Or if you want to use a professional shotgun microphone, this also provides phantom power, which is really awesome. So notch your mic up there, you have phantom power, you have all the flexibility you need. So it's four channels total. If you were to pair this with, say, two UW Mic 9 systems, you could have six wireless microphones going into your phone at once.

Anthony Burokas: That is unheard of, that is crazy. Now, I don't see a battery compartment. What is the power on this?

Joe Nassar: It's a lithium-ion battery.

Anthony Burokas: What's the runtime?

Joe Nassar: Actually we haven't got a total runtime, because we never had a point where it ran out of power. One of my shoots at least, I've gone at least six hours with this. I really need to put it through its paces, so I apologize about not having that information right off the bat.

Anthony Burokas: No, no, I saw an announcement of this during the year and I was really looking forward to coming to NAB to really see this in person, because I was like, you know, I have the beltpack receiver, but it's like, being able to clip it to a phone, being able to have those other accessories, that third mic even, it's like wow, you know, so I'm doing two, but there's literally no other way to get a third thing in. So this gives you that capability to add the third thing. Or even more.

Joe Nassar: And the fourth. And the fourth, maybe six mics, whatever you like to do, really. It's an awesome piece for the money.

Anthony Burokas: Now if somebody's not going to do that wireless, but like you were saying with vlogging, you've got a couple new vlogging direct plug-in mics, I see.

Joe Nassar: Well, here we have an iPhone, an old iPhone with a lot of fingerprints on it, as you probably see. But this is the SmartMic Plus, and the SmartMic Plus is the new on-device microphone for smartphones and tablets and anything like that. As you see we have an iPhone here. I can put it into selfie mode so I can do some vlogs and be filming a nice vlog, or if I'm using the high-quality camera, I could actually flip it the other way and just shoot a really high-quality video and get awesome audio with it. This is really good, it exceeds the sound of the internal microphone as well as it being directional. It's a huge advantage for you. I mean, we produced a video with this piece, and you can really tell the difference between the on-camera microphones as opposed to, I'm sorry. The on-camera microphones and the SmartMic Plus. It really gives you a huge boost in sound for not that much money. We have a Lightning version as I have here, a USB-C, and also a TRRS. This is a TRRS version, my old phone as you see right here, but this is cool for people who do not have either Lightning or USB-C. The TRRS version is $59, my apologies. $59 for TRRS version, and the USB-C and the Lightning versions are $75 apiece. They also come with a furry windscreen for the USB-C and the Lightning versions.

Anthony Burokas: Now, I'm looking at this now, obviously, Android with a Micro-C, you're using the headphone jack. So is this where you get to listen to the audio?

Joe Nassar: Yes, it is app-dependent. Certain apps will let you monitor in real time while other apps, they won't. It's certainly app-dependent, but playback is always going to be through that, so you don't have to unplug the microphone to listen.

Anthony Burokas: Okay, cool. For people who don't want to go wireless, but want to have multiple microphones, I saw that this thing, and I don't quite understand what I'm looking at here.

Joe Nassar: Well, this is the Smart V2M, and what you have here is, it's a portable audio interface, an audio interface for not only your computer, but for your phones with USB-C and Lightning output, so this is basically a portable audio interface that you can take with two wired lavaliers. It also goes USB-A to your computer as well, so I can literally put this in a pouch, put it in my back pocket, and go anywhere to have interviews. For people who are doing, either reporters or podcasters or vloggers who are doing lots of different interviews, it has these little mounts on the back that you can mount to your selfie stick or for your tripod or even to your belt. So if I'm trying to interview here, and I don't want to bring a wireless system, I could have my phone in my pocket.

Anthony Burokas: So, technically, like what we're doing here, this would be perfect for if wireless was just really crazy, or even like a Super Bowl. Dude, if you're on wireless at that point, it's, even UHF has to be frequency-coordinated and everything, and being on a wire just saves you a whole bunch of hassle, so this gives you the ability to have two microphones. Can you adjust the levels independently of the two channels?

Joe Nassar: You can adjust the levels of each of the microphones, so they could totally be adjusted, as well as you have a headphone output and the volume adjustments for that. It's a really cool piece, being that it's so portable and it sounds so good, and honestly, reporters, especially when they're out in the field, say, when you're in the middle of Afghanistan and you're doing a livestream back to your broadcaster, this is awesome, because they can do interviews and get really decent sound anywhere they are. Not only those guys, but just your normal average interviewer or the podcaster or this is a great little piece for the money.

Anthony Burokas: Wow, so there's a lot of really cool things going on here at the Saramonic booth for NAB 2019. My name is Anthony Burokas, here with Joe from Saramonic, here for Streaming Media Producer. Thanks for watching.

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