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AES PREVIEW: HHB FlashMic DRM85, Upgraded Portadrive

HHB FlashMic

HHB (AES booth #227) has developed the FlashMic DRM85 digital recording microphone and has upgraded its Portadrive system with a higher-powered rechargeable battery and a new 80GB removable drive.

Most suitable for broadcast and press interviewing, the FlashMic combines a high-quality Sennheiser omni-directional condenser capsule with 1 GB of flash recording memory to create a convenient, durable and portable recording device that’s extremely easy to operate.

With no cables and connectors, users can record with a single button-push. Either .WAV linear or MPEG 1 layer 2 encoded files can then be transferred at up to 90x real-time via USB to Macintosh or PC computers and laptops for editing and onward transmission. A Date/Time stamp is stored along with the file, with the internal real-time clock set/synchronized automatically by the host computer.

The FlashMic is powered for more than six hours by a pair of standard AA batteries (either primary or rechargeable cells can be fitted), with the remaining battery power displayed along with time, level and status information in a backlit LCD on the microphone body. In addition, a visual low battery warning alerts the user to change batteries.

Users can operate the FlashMic straight out of the box using default settings, or create and store nine custom configurations using the FlashMic Manager software supplied. Parameters including Audio Mode (six settings with a maximum record time of more than 18 hours), AGC (Automatic Gain Control) On/Off, Record Level, Pre-Record Buffer (0 to 10 seconds) and HPF (highpass filter) On/Off can be individually adjusted to create the optimum configurations for a particular operator’s typical applications. In addition, an ‘Expert Mode’ allows all variable parameters to be accessed directly from the FlashMic body.

Operating at the industry-standard 48kHz/16-bit, FlashMic makes recordings of the very highest quality. Recordings can be played back under independent level control on headphones connected via a socket on the base of the unit.

Supplied as a standard accessory with all Portadrives, the new 71 Watt/hour NPL7 Lithium Ion rechargeable battery replaces the original 52 Watt/hour NPL50, boosting the time for which the PORTADRIVE can be continuously operated from two hours to around three. As before, the PORTADRIVE’s intelligent power safety features provide seamless changeover between external and internal battery power, with the AC adaptor supplied doubling as a charger for the battery when the PORTADRIVE is not in use. Available as an optional accessory, the new PDRDC80 80GB removable HDD caddy can record 9.5 hours of eight-channel, uncompressed, 24-bit/96kHz audio. File transfer to Mac and PC-based workstations is facilitated by the PDRDSUF FireWire/USB docking station, which, for a limited period, is being bundled free of charge with the PORTADRIVE, along with the multi-format PDRDVDBU back-up drive. A 40GB HHD caddy is supplied with the PORTADRIVE as standard.

The HHB FlashMic DRM85 is scheduled to ship in January 2006. Visit or for more information.

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