Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Nagra introduces six-channel digital recorder
Nagra, a company known to introduce new products only when significant advances create significant user benefits, used the NAB show to announce the Nagra VI, a portable six-track digital recorder. On the digital side, the signal processing and the command structure are entirely new, while the inherited elements include time code, the integration of a hard disk and a slot for external CompactFlash memory.
The Nagra VI is based on 16/24-bit files recorded in either mono or polyphonic Broadcast Wave (BWF) file formats at sampling frequencies up to 96kHz with iXML-compatible metadata. The time code system covers all traditional SMPTE/EBU frame rates and allows 0.1 percent pull down for NTSC compatibility. The 23.976 time code rate is also supported for the modern 24P HD digital video format compatibility. The Nagra VI is clocked from a Stratum III quartz, guaranteeing a drift of less than 3ppm in a 15-year period. Additional features include a prerecording buffer, two M/S decoders, audio limiters, output dithering, chase synchronizing, word clock in /out and analogue and digital outputs.
Digital pots on the front panel give level adjustment to the four preamplifiers, while the remaining two analog inputs can be level set in the menus. Input selection, along with all other machine parameters, is selected through a menu system displayed on a sunlight-readable 3.5in color TFT screen. The display can be configured to allow important information (TC, track, etc.) to remain on-screen even when browsing the menus.
The Nagra VI uses the company’s traditional rotary main function selector as its principal control, augmented by selection switches for audio track monitoring. Inputs include six XLR jacks, four of which feature new, high-quality preamps that provide 48V phantom power and, in the dynamic position, offer a 6dB improvement in the noise floor. Two USB ports, one “host” and one "device," allow the recorder to be connected to a PC or Mac as a generic hard drive for rapid file transfer, but they also enable a multitude of external communication possibilities. Powering is achieved either using external DC or detachable battery boxes with a choice of lithium-ion sealed battery packs.
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