I had a chance to see the JuicedLINK DARling prototype at NAB and needless to say I was super excited about getting my hands on one. My wait is almost over.
Recording audio is quickly becoming the norm for most shooters to handle on their own. Fewer and fewer productions are having dedicated audio engineers so shooters are always looking for better ways to manage capturing audio while paying attention to the camera and lighting. When I am shooting I am always weighing the use of a shotgun mic on a stand vs wiring lavs on talent or going ahead and doing both.
If you are running multiple lavs and monitoring a shotgun mic or two that is a full time job. If you have to be the DP, director and producer at the same time it can be tricky to balance all at the same time while getting great results.
I have talked to countless shooters that just set up their audio to record and then more or less forget about the audio and focus on the camera and performances. They figure they will deal with it in post.
Sometimes this method works and other times you find yourself with audio you can't easily sync in post or very long audio clips that take you forever to find the spots you want to use amongst the bad free run audio.
That is where the JuicedLINK DARling comes in. DARling's name comes from the term Distributed Audio Recorder. What the DARling's do is you can record directly to the DARling instead of going wirelessly back to a receiver. This means that you can place a DARling on every performer you are filming and they each have their own dedicated recording device on their body.
This eliminates the need for an external recording device say with 6 or 8 inputs as you can run a boom mic into your external recorder and each mic is recorded more or less on its own channel inside the JuicedLINK DARling.
What is even cooler is JuicedLink has created a wireless receiver so you can get a signal into your camera as reference but also the devices can all be started and stopped remotely by the camera operator. Additionally, you can sent out a slate tone to the beggining of the take or at any point you want during the recording process.
This means that you will have a tone at the start of every recorder so you can easily sync up in post even if you don't have the hands for a clapboard or manual clap in front of the camera. Also if you are doing a long interview you can put beeps in between each question so you can easily skip to the next question in editing.
I can't wait until these start shipping as I will be adding these to my kit straight away. Will you?
In the meantime – Happy shooting!
JuicedLINK DARling Update: Wireless Control
The MCU for the wireless receiver sends a slate signal to the analog mixer that is part of the analog preamp chain before the codec. So, this gets captured by the codec ADC and recorded onto the DARling audio file. Additionally, the slate signal is split out (before the codec) to the DARling output jack. So, you can use an additional DARling on the camera, where the DARling slate output goes into the camera and is recorded on the camera's audio track. Now, when you hit the wireless transmitter slate button, all of the individual DARlings being worn by your talent as well as your camera get simultaneously slated, so you've got something to align all of your audio with your video. Additionally, you can use the slate (or a sequence of slates) to navigate within long recordings.
Not shown in the video is a new piezo buzzer addition to the DARling, which gives you audible feedback to let you know when the wireless command has been received.
There may be DARlings that you will use, where you may not want a particular one to buzz or slate. On the SD Card, the user will load a text configuration file. Every single parameter that you can think of that can be controlled in the DARling, can be specified in the Config File. This includes turning on/off the slate or buzzer function. From the front panel buttons on the recorder, the user will select which configuration to load.
Read full article at juicedLink “Little DARling Update: Wireless Control”
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(cover photo credit: snap from the video)