What You Need to Know About Professional Audio, Our Newest Feature
Among its many new and updated features, OpenReel Capture 2.0 delivers an optional Professional Audio setting. While OpenReel’s traditional audio capture provides quality audio recordings, Pro Audio enables more flexibility during the shoot and provides a richer audio file that can be edited in post-production. We’ve put together a short FAQ to further introduce you to this technology. Have further questions? Just reach out!
How does the new Pro Audio feature work?
The updated OpenReel Capture 2.0 utilizes tooling from Apple’s audio toolkit to allow Directors the option to turn off voice processing echo cancellation for VoIP applications. This option is available for iOS Sessions.
Why is this called “Pro” Audio?
By removing echo cancellation, a Director is able to capture raw, unprocessed audio. Voice processing echo cancellation removes the audio from the speaker that the mic picks up, while also boosting audio frequencies associated with human speech. Professional Audio, instead, provides the Director with the unfiltered, raw audio recordings. The feature uses a sample rate of 48 kHz, which is the highest sample rate that the devices support and is standard in the context of “professional audio.”
What mics will Pro Audio work with?
Currently, Pro Audio is an option when AirPods are paired with iOS devices’ mics or with dumb lav mics. Smart Lavs (powered) will be supported in future iterations.
Does this increase the bitrate for audio?
Removing the voice processing echo cancellation means that the audio data will be raw and unfiltered. The AAC encoder is set at the highest quality setting to ensure the highest possible bitrate.
How does this affect communication between the Director and the Subject?
The Director will not have to use “Hold to Speak” to talk with Subjects who are using external mics. Instead, the Subject will be able to hear the Director through their AirPods.
How does this affect Multicam shoots?
Similarly, Subjects will be able to hear each other through their AirPods. No secondary device will be necessary to ensure seamless communication.
Can we use an external mic and the built-in speaker instead of using AirPods?
No, Pro Audio is currently AirPod-dependent. If echo cancellation was disabled without connecting AirPods, the built-in speaker audio would be picked up by the external lav mic, causing the Director to hear themselves echoing back each time they spoke.
Glossary of audio terms:
- PCM (Pulse-Code Modulation) – Conventional method for converting analog audio into digital audio. This is raw “uncompressed” audio.
- AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) – Audio coding standard that achieves higher sound quality than MP3 at the same bit rate. This is “compressed” audio.
- Audio Bitrate – Number of bits that are conveyed or processed per unit of time (similar to video)
- Audio Bit Depth – Determines the number of possible amplitude values we can record. Think of it as the “granularity” of the audio signal. The higher the bit depth, the more nuanced a recording can be. OpenReel captures 16 bit audio.
- Audio Sampling Rate – Determines the range of frequencies captured in digital audio.
- WAV Audio – Uncompressed audio file format, primary for Windows machines.
- Audio Container – Audio data format with defined storage layer