Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter (for podcasting)

Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter

Although Apple have had a Camera Connection Kit in the past they have not had one included pass-though power that allows for more power hungry devices to work. In the past devices have either not worked or have required all equipment to be all but plugged together with the final connection being the lightning connector to the iPad, often still displaying a warning message.

The USB speed is only supported on the bigger brother iPad Pro and the adapter does not allow pass-through syncing but not only can you use connected cameras to import photos and videos but you can use it with the iPhone 6 as well, allowing you to plug in…

  • USB microphones, such as the Blue Yeti and the Samson Go Mic
  • Midi Interface
  • USB Ethernet adapter
  • Memory Sticks

For me this adapter is great, I can now throw my Samson Go Mic, stand and pop filter in a bag along with a powerpack (Anker are my choice) and I can pretty much record anywhere with my iPhone 6 Plus!

 

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Mini Pop Filter

mini pop filter

 

However good the Samson Go Mic is it still picks up ‘aspirated plosives’ such as the ‘P’ when you say ‘pop’. However due to the microphones size it does not need a large pop filter, such as a standard 13.5cm internal diameter pop filter, instead a smaller 8.cm internal diameter pop filter can be used. I elected to purchase a fixed stem rather than a flexible goose neck which again minimises the overall size of the filter. My only frustration is that the first silver piece connected to the black clamp is via a countersunk threaded bolt that has a cross-head rather than a knurled or wing nut, this reduced the flexibility of adjusting the filter on-the-go but is fine if you are only ever clamping it to the same base or point.

Note: Pop filters are not to be confused with windshields that reduce hiss from being captured and that are mainly for when you are outdoors.

 

Andoer MS-12 Mini Foldable Mic Desk Stand

Andoer MS-12 Mini Foldable Mic Desk Stand

Having bought the Samson Go Mic I realised that I had nowhere to position in on my desk, especially with the monitors being wider than the in-built clamp, soolution found was rthe Andoer MS-12 Mini Foldable Mic Desk Stand. There is not a lot to say about it other than it does what it is supposed to do, comes in at under £6 with Amazon ( http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B013U48ZZ4 ) although you can find it a little cheaper elsewhere (and I got mine with a Mic Clip as well still for less) and if nothing else makes a great fixing for a pop filter!

  • Foldable design for ease of carrying and storing.
  • Tripod design to give it exceptional strength.
  • Non-slip rubber feet to protect your desk from scratches.
  • Equipped with a 5/8″ male to 3/8″ female metal threaded screw, fits for most standard mic clip.(Mic clip is not included.)
  • With a clutch to help you lock the stand, more stable.
  • Made of high quality iron, durable and sturdy. Suitable for meetings, lectures, speaking and ect.

 

Windows Holographic

I am not a major fan of “look what’s coming” videos, they often promise lots but rarely deliver, and I have avoided getting caught up in the HoloLens promos of Microsoft. However the keynote at the Microsoft Build Developer Conference [April 29 – May 1] 2015 certainly looks impressive (as well as the demo’s of Windows 10, Cortana and Edge – Microsoft’s OS, Virtual assistant and new browser respectively)

https://youtu.be/7tRbYU2yBrE [From 4:06:00 to 4:27:00]

Andy

 

Betron YSM1000 Headphones

 

On the back of a recent post regarding Betron B850i I have the opportunity to review a pair of Betron YSM1000 (currently £20 from www.betrononline.com), a set of headphones that are packaged exquisitely:

  • Attachable clip
  • 1.2m cable
  • 8 earbuds (in red and black)
    • Small aperture buds in Small/Med/Large
    • Larger aperture buds in Small/Med/Large
    • 2 Memory Foam earbuds
  • Soft black ‘leather feel’ storage pouch, with a snap shut/open action
  • Metal Body in a black anodised finished
  • Metal ‘Y’ connector
  • Round cable, clear cover, with a twisted cable appearing under the coating
  • Metal straight 3.5mm jack

The packaging is in the form of a cube and certainly gives the appearance that they hold a quality product, you know that packaging that you actually don’t want to damage as you open it up. Upon opening the cube the headphones are p[roundly displayed set into a protective foam, the accessories are stored in the lid of the cube in a small slimline box whereby you pull out a tray of earbuds and the attachable clip.

The left/right earbuds unfortunately indicated through the use of red (right) and blue (left rings around their body that actually comp-liments the red and blue twisted cable visibly under the clear protective covering of the main cabling. The cable looks great and feels neither plastic nor too rubbery. Although not promoted as a tangle free cable I have not had those infuriating issues over the week.

The metal build of these makes for a great quality feel and the jack and earphone casing has a pronounced knurling effect that helps with gripping the jack and would reduce potential scratches on the earphones, making them look better for longer.

The memory foam earbuds are fantastic, certainly are my choice of earbud choice, reducing that annoying fall-out that you often have with earbuds. The audio quality is amazing and rating the Apple earbuds at an average 5/10 I would give the YSM1000’s 9/10. The quality puts to shame all other earbuds I have owned with the buds having an amazing  loud and rich sound than the earpods. I have noticed a little bleed over from each headphone to the other side, the left channel plays ever-so-slightly in the right channel and vice-versa but this is only noticeable if you have a the incorrect headphone in and the opposite channel plays (utilised https://youtu.be/M05w0gIDQVM and the iOS app ‘Headphone Check by Citrus Apps’), I tested on an iPhone 6 plus, a Dell PC and an Acer PC. But this was barely audible and less than the B850i’s recently reviewed (The fact the B850i’s had a mic may attribute to slightly more bleed-over).

 

Here are the specs:

  • Speaker Driver: 9.2mm
  • Nominal Impedence: 16 Ohm
  • Frequency Respoince: 18 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Sound Pressure:Level (SPL): 118 dB/+-3db

These are my definite choice of headphones, in fact I think that any future purchases would be these with the microphone (currently at time of post £25 with free delivery from www.betrononline.com ). Its worth noting that they also come with a two year warranty as well.

Betron has provided me with this product for purposes of providing a personal review.

Andy

Betron B650s Headphones


 

On the back of a recent post regarding Betron B850i I have the opportunity to review a pair of both the silver and gold versions of the B650s (currently £15 from www.betrononline.com), a similar specification to the B850i’s, and very similar traits:

  • Stated as iPhone/iPod compatible
  • Attachable clip
  • 1.2m cable
  • 7 earbuds
    • Small aperture buds in Small/Med/Large
    • Larger aperture buds in Small/Med/Large
    • Memory Foam earbuds
  • Soft black ‘velvet feel storage pouch’ (‘gold’ look for the gold version)

Where they differ:

  • Metal Body
  • Metal ‘Y’ connector
  • Round cable, clear cover, with a braid look effect under the coatinge
  • Metal straight 3.5mm jack
  • No microphone option

The packaging is appropriate and offers an external view of the headphones and variety of earbuds (Identical to the b850i’s hate those sealed packs you have to be a safe cracker to get into!). The left/right earbuds unfortunately not clearly indicated, a hard to see molded L or R on the protective sleeve as the cable comes away from the headphones. The cable looks great and feels neither plastic nor too rubbery and the storage pouch which is a good size, neither to small or big, minimises tangles. Although not promoted as a tangle free cable I have not had those infuriating issues over the week.

The metal build of these makes for a great quality feel and the jack and earphone casing has a slight knurling effect that helps with gripping the jack and would reduce potential scratches on the earphones, making them look better for longer.

The memory foam earbuds are fantastic, certainly are my choice of earbud choice, reducing that annoying fall-out that you often have with earbuds. As with the B850i’s the audio quality is great for budget headphones and rating the Apple earbuds at an average 5/10 I would give the B850i’s 7/10. With the buds having a louder and richer sound than the earpods. I have noticed a little bleed over from each headphone to the other side, the left channel plays ever-so-slightly in the right channel and vice-versa but this is only noticeable if you have a the incorrect headphone in and the opposite channel plays (utilised https://youtu.be/M05w0gIDQVM and the iOS app ‘Headphone Check by Citrus Apps’), I tested on an iPhone 6 plus, a Dell PC and an Acer PC. But this was barely audible and less than the B850i’s (The fact the B850i’s had a mic may attribute to slightly more bleed-over).

Here are the specs:

  • Speaker Driver: 10mm
  • Nominal Impedence: 16Ohm
  • Frequency Respoince: 17Hz to 20kHz
  • Sound Pressure:Level (SPL): 112 dB/+-3db
  • Total Harmonic Distortion (THD): <0.1%

Although technically no difference between them I would purchase the metal B650s model over the plastic B850i, unless I required a mic, which the B650s does not seem to offer.

Betron has provided me with this product for purposes of providing a personal review.

Andy

Betron B850i Headphones

 

I go through iPhone headphones within a year, it’s always the ‘Y’ connector that seems to go, I take the precaution of keeping it alltogether with a little heatshrink tubing. It looks awful, but does give me another 3-4 months before Siri seems to be initiated for no reason at all. So the hunt for a decent pair of headphones begins.

In the past I have purchased the Sony DREX12IPB headphones and occasionally they did not give the performance I would expect from Apple Headphones with the controls working intermittently. I was not looking for full control this time, due to using the Pebble SmartWatch, just the mic. The Betron B850i (currently £15 with microphone, £13 without –  from www.betrononline.com) has a number of features that appealed, not least the reviews by other users:

  • Stated as iPhone/iPod compatible
  • Flat Cable
  • Inline mic, that sits on the left ear
  • Attachable clip
  • 1cm longer than Apple earpods @ 1.2m
  • right angled 3.5mm jack
  • 7 earbuds
    • Small aperture buds in Small/Med/Large
    • Larger aperture buds in Small/Med/Large
    • Memory Foam earbuds
  • Soft black ‘velvet feel storage pouch’

The packaging is appropriate and offers an external view of the headphones and variety of earbuds (I hate those sealed packs you have to be a safe cracker to get into!). The left/right earbuds are clearly indicated on each earphone in white print. The cable feels neither plastic nor too rubbery and certainly drop out to tangle free once removed from the storage pouch which is a good size, neither to small or big.

The memory foam earbuds are fantastic, certainly are my choice of earbud choice, reducing that annoying fall-out that you often have with earbuds. The audio quality is great for budget headphones, I ordered mine directly from Betron UK for £15 taking two days to arrive, and I would say that if I rated the Apple earbuds at an average 5/10 I would give the B850i’s 7/10. With the buds having a louder and richer sound than the earpods. I have noticed a little bleed over from each headphone to the other side, the left channel plays ever-so-slightly in the right channel and vice-versa but this is only noticeable if you have a the incorrect headphone in and the opposite channel plays (utilised https://youtu.be/M05w0gIDQVM and the iOS app ‘Headphone Check by Citrus Apps’), I tested on an iPhone 6 plus, a Dell PC and an Acer PC.

Here are the specs:

  • Speaker Driver: 10mm
  • Nominal Impedence: 16Ohm
  • Frequency Respoince: 17Hz to 20kHz
  • Sound Pressure:Level (SPL): 112 dB/+-3db
  • Total Harmonic Distortion (THD): <0.1%

 

Andy

Veescope Live iOS Light Guide [Green Screener equiv]

IMG_0364

It turns out that Veescope has a built in Light Guide for when you are setting up your green screen built into it, that’s a saving of some £8 (wish I had realised previously!). Accessed by selecting th “edges” menu icon (the mountain range) and then select the light bulb button to the left of the ‘Key Fine Tuning’ slider. It is actually very similar in functionality to Green Screener in that you can select a chroma key colour and adjust the quality sensitivity across L/M/H.

See a guide here https://youtu.be/UeO_akBfHM0 

Andy

Green Screen

I moved on with Veescope (recent post) and tried an actually green-screen – so much easier, quicker and better results. The kit I used had:

  • Two stands
  • A crossbar
  • 3 screens
    • Black
    • White
    • Green
  • Carry bag

These are surprisingly quick to put up, less than three minutes in fact, the green-screen (creased from being folded) worked perfectly (no ironing required). The fact that the small investment in time to put up the green-screen up and down, as opposed to finding and filming against a ‘clean’ wall, is far outweighed by the quality of the final recording. I thought that it was worth of seeing how much these actually costed – only £30 (from ebay) with clamps for the material – not a fortune but I wondered if I could find a cheaper alternative…

A recent recording (when experimenting with Microsoft Mix) at home had me hanging a an old ‘blackout’ blind, that had loitered in storage, as a backdrop to hide the kitchen behind me. A spend of  £6 and an aerosol spray can of ‘Canbrush C67 by Orientus Industry’ paint later and I found myself in the garden spraying one side of the blind. It works but I soon ran out of paint, only 75% covered and about 50% of what was covered being patchy and in part pain had run (note to self: lay blind down not hang up next time).  So two things came from this:

  1. The paint was perfect for small areas or items (I have seen people use the inside of pizza boxes for small projects)
  2. buy a green screen kit

The cost of the kits are very similar but found for a smaller increase in price (£40 from ebay) gets you cotton muslin screens that have a stitched pocket for sliding the horizontal pole into, rather than needing clamps, the cloth is woven and better quality and the cheaper non-woven and can be ironed and washed (unlike the non-woven versions) and have a high tear resistance and is long-lasting. Currently at time of writing this post I am awaiting delivery.

Update: Screen arrived, great quality, glad i bought better woven screen. I have no criticism other than it would be nice to have a storage bag for the whole lot (£6 from ebay “speaker stand bag”)

 

Andy