Matthew Allard (who writes for dslrnewsshooter.com) sent us a note a few weeks ago about his new review of the JuicedLink Riggy Micro RM333 – which is a low-noise preamp for your audio inputs — I'd met Robert from JuicedLink at NAB and was very curious to see what Matt thought about it. Now I know!
JuicedLink Riggy Micro RM333 Review
Here is my review of the JuicedLink Riggy Micro RM333 designed primarily for use with todays HDDSLRs.
So, here are the things that I think are really cool and unique about
the Riggy-Micro RM333:
– So small and light, since it rips out the stuff that you don't need
anymore (meters, AGC Disable, headphones) with the new 5DMKIII/D800,
since they now have everything you need for quality audio (manual
control, meters visible while recording, headphones).
– Super long battery life, since you don't need to power the meter or
headphones. Features to extend battery life, such as selective power
down (when not using all the XLR inputs) and finer granularity in the
low battery indicator with the Alkaline/LithiumPolymer threshold switch.
– For the press videojournalist, the Riggy-Micro really helps lighten
your load with a small/light preamp and you won't need to carry more
spare batteries than necessary.
– Camera overload protection with Audio Output Bracketing
—- Add the RB401 (optional mount) when mounted to the bottom of your camera to attach
mics and wireless receivers.
—- So small and light, it can mount to the top of your camera on the
hot shoe. Use the RB200 kit, and add cold-shoe mounts to the preamp to
add mics or wireless receivers while the preamp is mounted in the hot
shoe. Now, with the preamp off the bottom of the camera, you can
actually cradle the DSLR for run-n-gun like a traditional DSLR, in the
palm of your left hand with your fingers manipulating the focus/zoom of
A single 9v Alkaline battery will run the device for 12 hours, a rechargeable battery about 18hours.
More details on the Riggy-Micro RM333 here:
Here are some important things to remember. First, you can't eliminate noise from electronic recording equipment (cameras, recorders, etc). The name of the game is to optimize the signal-to-noise. To do that, you want to use the principle of ‘noise figure of cascaded amplifiers', and throttle the noisy gain back in the
camera, and replace the noisy gain with clean gain from the juicedLink low-noise preamp.
If you are you using the 5DMKIII, 5DMKII, 60D etc. you'll want to throttle the gain back in the camera to 1 click above off.
Regarding the 5DMKIII, people don't understand that you can turn up the headphone volume in the camera. When the 5DMKIII and D800 first came out, Robert from JuicedLink compared their firmware for audio.
This video (somewhere) will show you how to adjust the headphone vol:
There are more tips in the User Manual you can find it online here:
As a point of reference for what you can achieve in terms of
signal-to-noise, here's a link to two MP3 files:
The first takes a NTG2 directly into a H4n (boomed 1.5ft away). To get
enough signal into the H4n, the H4n gain is at 100%. The second takes a
NTG2 into a Riggy-Assist RA333 into a 60D (gain 1 click above off), and
the Riggy-Micro RM333 5DMKIII combo will be identical. The purpose of
these clips is to compare the signal-to-noise that you can achieve
(ignore the room echo, etc). At worse, they are comparable. The
juicedLink/60D combo can generate a better signal, yielding better
signal in the signal-to-noise performance. I did this comparison because
I too often hear people saying that you need to record to an external
recorder like the H4n to get quality audio. This is not true. The
juicedLink allows you to record high quality audio directly to the
camera. Plus, you'll save time not having to sync in post, you'll get
something much smaller/lighter and longer battery life (with the
Riggy-Micro), camera overload protection with Audio Output Bracketing,
and you can quickly set levels with the Riggy front panel pots (rather
than fumbling through the menu system of the H4n).
So, you should be able to replicate the signal-to-noise performance in the clips.
The ‘noise figure of cascaded amplifiers' principle means that a low-noise preamp can fix noisy amps downstream, but you can't fix poor signal-to-noise upstream. So, you can't fix noisy mics, or poorly placed mics.
I do not have any commercial agreement with JuicedLink or Canon. The opinions and thoughts are those of my own and not of any company or organization.
(cover photo credit: snap from the video)