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President's Message
August 2003

1. Pop singer singer Rachel Farris is far from a household name, but a new spin on marketing could change that. Her independent record label is embedding mini-CDs in the lids of soft drink cups at movie theaters nationwide, 4.8 million of them, featuring not just a pair of songs but also video clips and other content viewable on computers. (The straw fits through the hole in the middle of the disc). AP 1Jl03

2. "Software for Audio Testing" is the subject of an article in Nuts and Volts. The author reviews and compares 9 programs, all having real time analysis, ranging from free to $325. He works through the procedure for testing acoustic loss through an interior door, measuring distortion, and room reverberation time (RT60). He used the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz soundcard for $80. Au03

3. Recently I purchased a mini DV camcorder on closeout, Samsung SCD67. Aside from the improved resolution of 500 lines (versus 400 for SVHS), I immediately noticed the rock steady picture and lack of noise. It has two omni mikes an inch apart, so I immediately investigated external sound. There is only a 1/8" phone jack for external mike, and no line input. It uses, like other VCRS, a brickwall compressor -- the output is linear with the input up to a threshold, then it stays the same level regardless of increasing volume. It doesn't clip, only compresses. The threshhold of compression is 2.5 mV. It records 16 bit digital audio, but the mike input gives you only 69 dBA of dynamic range (10.5 bits). Use of a dBX in the loop should work very well. The tapes run 60 and 80 minutes and the LP speed adds 50% to this. I can detect no loss of picture quality at the slower speed, however I saw some motion artifacts due to the MPEG compression scheme and I assume there would be fewer at the standard speed. Interestingly Samsung says in the manual that they do not guarantee that tapes made on another machine will play perfectly on this unit.

David Hadaway

President, Boston Audio Society


The Boston Audio Society
PO BOX 260211
Boston MA 02126

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updated 11/11/04