If what you need is a simple yet professional digital recording
microphone and you only require mono recordings, then the FlashMic fits
the bill. It combines a high-quality, Sennheiser condenser capsule with an inbuilt, broadcast-quality flash recorder.
Four versions are now available: two omnidirectionals (DRM85 & DRM85LI)
and two cardioids (DRM85-C & DRM85-CLI), with or without a line input.
Whichever version you need, FlashMic is a convenient, easy to operate and durable recorder that’s
perfect for general use mono voice recording applications, including
press and broadcast journalism, radio interviewing, podcasting,
With no messy cables, just one button press is all it takes to start
recording in either linear (PCM/WAV) or MPEG 2 formats. Simple ‘drag and drop’
file transfer at up to 70x real time to a Mac or PC for editing or
onward transmission is enabled by a ‘plug and play’ USB connection.
Two AA batteries provide more than 8 hours continuous power and, with up
to 10 seconds of pre-record buffer and 1GB of flash memory, you can be
sure that you’ll never miss a word of that important interview. With a
total capacity of 999 tracks and several hours recording to 1GB of
internal Flash memory, there is little need to worry about running out
of capacity. Holding the record button down for more than 2 seconds
locks the FlashMic in record mode for complete security during, for
instance, podium recordings, and visible warnings of low battery life
and low recording memory add further peace of mind.
Pressing the record button briefly during a recording inserts a location
marker which can be read by popular editing applications.
FlashMic Manager Software for
With AA batteries included as standard, the
FlashMic operates ‘straight out of the box’. However news organisations
will welcome the included FlashMic Manager PC/Macintosh software to
configure the FlashMic for specific applications and streamlined
workflow. With the latest version of FlashMic Manager PCM or mp2
recordings can now be converted by the to mp3 files – the
preferred workflow format for some broadcasters.
In an organisation with multiple users, every FlashMic can be given its
own name which appears in every track name recorded by that microphone.
Alongside the major recorder functions (see panel right), the 9 user
presets can be used to store a session name which also appears in the
track names. So, when FlashMic JOHN is interviewing Oasis in the morning
and the ENO in the afternoon, track file names can be preconfigured as
JOHN_OASIS_TRK001, etc., and JOHN_ENO_TRK020, etc. A Company Name,
Reporter Name and Reporter’s Notes can be stored with each preset, which
is embedded in every file along with the Date and Time stamp, providing
users with an unrivalled range of facilities for the naming and
organisation of files.
Drag and Drop File Transfer
Downloading recordings to Macintosh or PC computers is extremely
straightforward. Connecting via USB with the cable supplied, files are
transferred from the FlashMic using Windows Explorer or the Macintosh
Finder. The FlashMic mounts as a USB mass storage device, and the audio
files appear in a folder in the root directory.
All the presence of a serious broadcast
Alongside the obvious advantages of pristine
sound quality, ease-of-use, dependability and enhanced workflow,
FlashMic also brings the additional benefit of an imposing physical
presence – which, as experienced journalists know, can be invaluable in
a ‘media scrum’!
FlashMic has a built in USB port for fast transfer of recorded data to a
computer. Both USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 protocols are supported.
The headphone socket accepts a standard 3.5mm jack. The mono signal from
the A/D converter is buffered and sent to both channels of the headphone
jack. The output from the headphone socket can also be connected to the
analogue line-in on any soundcard, should external recording be
The DRM85LI and DRM85-CLI versions have the
useful addition of a line input (see picture above) so journalists can enjoy the flexibility
of being able to record a press conference feed, then switch quickly to
recording interviews or adding their own commentary to the piece. This
is achieved via a bantam TT jack input on the base of the microphone
body. An XLR to bantam jack cable is supplied which, when connected,
switches out the microphone signal, recording only the line input
The high-quality Sennheiser omnidirectional or cardioid
microphone capsule is
specially shockmounted to minimise the transference of mechanical and
handling noise through the microphone body. The omnidirectional versions
are easily the more popular because their wide polar pattern makes them
more flexible for a greater variety of recording applications. The
cardioid versions have a narrower polar
pattern and is thus more suited to interviewing in environments with
high ambient sound levels.
• General Sampling Frequency: 48kHz, 44.1kHz, 32kHz (selection by FlashMic
Manager software or on DRM85) Bit Resolution (Linear): 16 Bit Audio Formats: Linear PCM,
MPEG 1 Layer 2 (selection by FlashMic Manager software or on DRM85); 6
mode settings Bitrates (MPEG): 192, 160, 128 kbps Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz ± 1dB @ 48kHz FS Linear PCM THD + N: < 0.1% (20Hz - 20kHz) @ 48kHz FS Linear PCM Number of Channels: 1 (Mono) Microphone Capsule:
Omni-directional (DRM85 & DRM85LI); Cardioid (DRM85-C & DRM85-CLI) Record Level: Automatic Gain Control (AGC=on), Manual Gain
Filter: Switchable on/off, 12dB/octave @ 100Hz Data Storage
System: Fixed internal memory, capacity 1Gb Date/Time:
Internal real-time clock, running as long as power supply is available;
back-up supply for 1 minute to allow battery change; set/synchronized
automatically by host computer application according to host computer
clock; manual setting on DRM85 by menu item File Format: Broadcast wave file (.wav); linear PCM or MPEG1
Layer 2 compressed; date/time stamp stored in file header;
filename generated automatically by DRM85, basic text string provided
from PC software
System: FAT; mounts as a removable drive via USB mass storage device
protocol; file transfer possible with the FlashMic Manager software or
through Windows Explorer and Mac OS Finder Headphone Output: 3.5mm stereo socket, mono signal to both
channels; manual volume control by rotary switch; output may be used for
audio recording on PC; drive capability for 32Ω headphone, short circuit
Accessories: windshield, table stand Weight: 366gms / 13 oz (excluding batteries) Dimensions: Length 244mm / 9.6 inches; Diameter at widest point
(mic capsule) 50mm, 2 inches