By keeping only one of the both Cantar X3's mike/line input boards, Aaton Digital engineers designed a 16-track recorder with reduced dimensions and capacities with mainly:
- 4 mic inputs on TA3 connectors
- 2 line inputs on TA3 connectors
- 2 AES42 pairs inputs on Sub-D15HD connector
Unlike its competitors Sonosax, Sound Devices, Zaxcom or even AETA, Aaton Digital is the only one to have chosen TA3 connectors for analog inputs, connectors whose manufacture quality of male plugs is very uneven according to manufacturers and origin. Should an intermediate bar deporting entries be relevant even with impact on ergonomics and weight?
From Cantar X3, Cantar Mini keeps:
- the same LCD display that occupies almost the entire width and folds flat on the mixing console
- the mixing console with 10 assignable magnetic and colored straight faders
- the main selector with center jog which is moved diagonally on the right side
- fewer light push buttons
- the two outputs headphone jack 6.35 and jack mini
- the Aaton Time Code circuit on Lemo 5 points
- the Sub-D25 for 8 analog outputs
- the Mini Delta Ribbon Option connector for various control functions
- the internal SSD and recording on 2 external SD-HC / SD-XC cards
- two USB ports to connect accessories or an external drive
- the Ethernet port to extract files from the SSD
- the Wifi antenna, yet more voluminous, to communicate with any computing device
- power supply by two internal SBS batteries or external DC on XLR4M
- 12V DC output on Hirose 4 points
- an aluminum casing with a "military" look
- the hooks strap in under face
- the famous congress thread at gravity center.
Volume reduction implies the disappearance of:
- the 8 rotary encoders and their respective push buttons
- the monitoring selector with its jog
- two AES3 pairs outputs to leave only two on the Sub-D15HD
- one USB port
- the Dante
- the SDI and HDMI video connectors
- the famous blue keys replaced by two bright push buttons Shift and Ctrl allowing multiple combinations of action.
Powered by two SBS batteries, its autonomy is increased (almost doubled) while its weight drops to 2.8 kg against more than 6 kg for the X3.
Using the same graphical and ergonomic interface, in setup menus as in the different monitor screens, Aaton Digital's DNA is thus inscribed both in hardware and software and in the design that remains in line with the X3.
Use in sound bag with RF receivers raises questions. How to have easy access to these, and be able to enter menus and act on the different parameters? Involving a synergy between manufacturers, we can imagine that the wide screen of the Cantar Mini can act as an interface for such external devices.
But we have full confidence in our dressmaker and our technicians to design an intelligent, practical but nevertheless solid and protective bag, equal to the one we provide with the Cantar X3.
The Cantarem 2 (as the first) remains compatible and, a surprise never arriving alone, Aaton Digital presented the A-Box (the name B-Box is for sure already copyrighted by Bouygues Telecom), a remote control of 8 assignable rotary encoders. It can be used in the same way and/or at the same time of a Cantarem, either via a USB cable or by attaching it to the front panel of the Mini. It therefore mitigates the lack of the 8 encoders that exist on the Cantar X3.
Finally, thanks to integrated Wifi, a web-app, in Beta phase and soon available, allows metadata completion via a clear and fast graphical access interface on any computer device, pc, mac, tablet, smartphone, simply provided with a browser! No proprietary app! An idea already exploited by Sonosax for the SX-R4 +.
We are looking forward to put to the test the Cantar Mini and to find the best solutions, based on how it will be used. No doubt that sound mixers will exploit its capabilities, notwithstanding the fact that the lack of a fifth microphone input significantly limits the use for multichannel sound recordings, highly prized in cinema.
The Cantar Mini will be soon available on rental at DC Audiovisuel.
Finally, DC Audiovisuel, has composed a new Cantar X3 user manual
, in French if you please, also valid for the Cantar Mini, already available for download on our website.