Sound Devices releases new firmware, utility software

Sound Devices has released version 2.34 firmware for all 7-Series digital audio recorders including 702, 702T, 722 and 744T. The upgrade, which is a free download for registered users, adds several new features that encompass the implementation of FLAC lossless data compression, MP2 and MP3 format recording and multiunit linking enhancements. The version 2.34 firmware was officially released at AES 2007.

According to Jon Tatooles, managing director of Sound Devices, “With version 2.34 firmware, all four units in the series now offer greatly enhanced recording file storage through FLAC data compression and compatibility with industry-standard MPEG formats.”

The implementation of FLAC (Free Lossless Audio, an open source format) allows for high-resolution recording using a fully recoverable data format. MPEG formats MP2 and MP3 are lossy codecs, and the resulting decompression loses some audio quality. The MPEG formats do present, however, smaller files for increased storage capacity. The FLAC codec maintains bit-accurate PCM audio data and all Broadcast Wave and iXML metadata generated by the 7-Series recorders. FLAC effectively compresses files from 2:1 to 5:1, at the minimum, doubling the capacity of CompactFlash cards. The FLAC format is significant because it maintains the superior quality of the audio recorded by the 7-Series units.

To complement the new firmware, Sound Devices also introduced its Wave Agent utility software, a Windows-only application that converts data-compressed FLAC audio files recorded on 7-Series digital audio recorders into standard Broadcast Wave files. It can be used on any computer with any digital audio workstation software supporting the WAV file format. All Broadcast Wave (BEXT) and iXML metadata is maintained. Additionally, Wave Agent converts any WAV file between monophonic and polyphonic formats.

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