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Digital audio specialist HHB is displaying the PORTADISC™, a rugged, fully-featured MiniDisc portable recorder at the 109th AES Convention, held from September 22-25 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, Booth 1411. PORTADISC™ is set to become the standard-issue audio acquisition recorder for music recording, film, radio and TV applications.

Developed in close consultation with leading sound engineers, the HHB PORTADISC™ optimizes all the advantages of the MiniDisc format including exceptional sound quality, random access and straightforward editing, using easy-to-handle, low-cost media. What’s more, the PORTADISC™ delivers these features in a robust, compact and portable package, enhanced by intuitive, well-positioned controls.

"The PORTADISC™’s sound quality is impressive," says David Beesley, President of HHB USA. "All the controls are just where they should be and it has all the features that sound engineers and broadcast journalists need for location audio acquisition."

The PORTADISC™ records on standard MiniDiscs, easily available anywhere in the world, and uses the latest ATRAC recording algorithm to ensure optimum sound quality. Sonic performance is further enhanced by high-quality balanced microphone input circuits, which also feature switchable phantom power and limiting, and can be stereo linked.

Eighty minutes of continuous stereo recording is possible on an HHB MD80 disc, or 160 minutes in mono. Power is supplied by standard AA alkaline batteries or by supplied rechargeable Nickel Metal Hydride batteries. Tests show that recording times in excess of three hours are possible before recharging is necessary. A universal 100V-240V charger is also supplied.

Connectivity is comprehensive, including balanced XLR mic/line inputs, RCA line outputs, headphone jack and both coaxial and optical S/PDIF digital I/Os. Radio journalists will be interested in the Universal Serial Bus (USB) interface for the real-time transfer of files to laptop editing systems, enabling the production of finished news pieces in the field. In addition, basic editing functions are also available on the PORTADISC™ itself, accessed via an intuitive software-controlled menu system.

Solid and sturdy, the PORTADISC™ is housed in a tough, shockproof case with a large, illuminated display, a built-in monitoring speaker and back-up microphone. A memory buffer delivers glitch-free recording on the move, and a six-second pre-record buffer ensures that sound engineers never miss the start of a take. An auto start/cut function with adjustable threshold is invaluable in environmental noise monitoring applications, particularly when used in conjunction with the PORTADISC™’s time/date stamp function. Additional features including automatic gain control, one-touch recording, lockable record level and key hold facilities all contribute to making the HHB PORTADISC™ the most highly specified audio acquisition recorder in the business.

"Just pick up a PORTADISC™ and you know it’s built to take the hard knocks," says Beesley. "Wherever you are in the world, the PORTADISC™ delivers."

The PORTADISC™ is supplied with 8 x AA NiMH batteries, AC adapter/charger, soft case, carrying strap, HHB MD80 MiniDisc and operating instructions.

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