Intended as a professional tool for use by reporters, the iXm microphone records audio in WAV, BWF and MP2 formats to a removable SD card. Recordings can be transferred to a PC using the SD card, a USB connection, which is also used to charge the internal lithium battery or via a wireless SD card if used (see Bundle Format for more details). A battery compartment is provided for a set of non-rechargeable cells, which can be loaded to back up the internal battery; the microphone switches between the dual power supplies automatically. Comprehensive configuration facilities are offered when connected to a PC, with two applications supplied, one allowing administrative control of all functions, the other a reduced feature set, which may be configured by the administrator. This is designed to offer restricted adjustment of the microphone, including pre-set modes, for use by less technically capable staff. The recorder is available with a range of interchangeable microphone heads.
Capsules are available to Yellowtec’s own design as well as two Beyerdynamic types. The capsule is detected and DSP settings are adjusted automatically. The microphone preamplifier has two 20-bit A to D converters, level is controlled by a slow-acting gain leveller and a look-ahead peak limiter.
The microphone has a cylindrical body with two separate groups of controls. The record keypad has record and stop buttons, and three LED indicators. The yellow ‘BAT’ indicator blinks during charging until the charge is complete. The ‘REC’ LED indicates record status and flashes at start up until the microphone is ready and proceeds to check the memory card can be read, the red ‘MEM’ LED blinking during the test. When ready to record, the ‘REC’ LED flashes slowly. A short press of the stop button causes a status check; first the ‘BAT’ indicator will blink up to five times followed by the MEM indicator. Each blink stands for one hour operation time with respect to remaining power and free memory respectively. Pressing the ‘REC’ button starts the recording, further presses will set markers. The stop button ends the recording and returns the recorder to record-ready status.
On the base of the microphone there is the slot for the SD card, and two 3.5mm jack sockets, one for the balanced line input, the other for either headphones or balanced or unbalanced line output, configured with the software. The play-back keypad has four buttons, which operate differently depending on the microphone status. The buttons are labelled with symbols indicating traditional transport controls. If buttons are pressed when the device is ready to record: RWD moves the locator to the previous file, STOP plays the message of the current locator position, PLAY starts playback of audio file from locator position, FWD moves the locator to next file. When the device is playing back, RWD will jump to the previous marker when pressed briefly, RWD will cue backward when pressed and held, STOP stops playback, PLAY has no action (continues playback), FWD will jump to the next marker when pressed briefly, FWD will cue forward when pressed and held. Pressing buttons when device is recording will not cause any action.
A miniature USB socket on the base is used to connect to a PC. There are two methods of operation. ‘Flash’ mode causes the microphone to appear to the computer like an external flash drive. Files can be transferred as usual. A CD with control software and a Windows driver is supplied. The software has two parts. The password-protected ‘admin’ application configures the recorder, with settings for microphone gain, line gain, headphone level and line out level. A meter indicates microphone level. The remaining charge in both the rechargeable and dry-cell batteries is indicated, as well as the free memory and remaining recording time. Recording profiles may be set up for parameters including preferred power source, sample rate, battery type, recording format, compression bit-rate and file-name prefix. The user application offers a reduced feature set, which may be configured with the admin software.
Compatible media types:
SD, SDHC cards, formatted with 32-bit FAT.
WAV, BWAV files: 16-bit linear PCM, 44.1kHz, 48kHz.
MP2: Bit-rates from 64kbps to 192kb/s (Mono, which equates to 128-384kb/s in stereo).
Three hours per GB, 16-bit linear PCM. Up to 8 hours recording using internal battery, 15 hours with internal battery and AA cells.
Power source: Internal Lithium battery, optional 2x AA batteries. Dimensions: 255mm total length, 50mm diameter head, 38mm diameter body. Weight: 375g, without batteries.
Included accessories: SD memory card (2GB), CD with driver, user and admin software, USB power supply with changeable plugs, USB cable (type-A to USB-mini).
The microphone is also available in a bundle form which includes an iXm protective carry pouch, an iXm foam windscreen and a FlashAir wireless SD Card, which allows the stored recordings to be tranferred via WiFi to an iOs device (such as an iPhone or iPad) using the iXm Uplink app which is available from the iTunes Appstore. This also allows you to playback, save, edit or further transfer your soundclips to other destinations via GSM or WiFi.