Aaton, known for both its location sound recording systems and cameras, is to introduce a new audio product at this year's IBC in Amsterdam. The Cantar X3 (pictured) is the latest in the company's established range of recorders but has been designed "from scratch" to make it more competitive against the likes of Sound Devices, Nagra and Zaxcom.
Now branded as Aaton Digital, the company went bankrupt at the end of April 2013 but was bought by Transvideo, a specialist in video monitors, wireless video transmission and other camera accessories. Transvideo chief executive Jacques Delacoux explains that having definite plans for a new product was a key requirement in applying to the courts to buy Aaton and audio was the easier option than continuing development of a digital camera (see feature).
The Cantar X3 retains the quirky, retro look associated with Aaton's previous recorders but is based on CNC (computer numerical control) construction techniques rather than die-casting. Delacoux comments that this has speeded up production and helped to further reduce the weight of the unit.
The 240x320x90mm unit is built from avionic aluminium and offers 12 analogue inputs on XLR and multiple AES digital inputs including two AES42 (mode 2) pairs, eight AES/EBUs and connectivity to the Audinate Dante IP-based media carrier systems.
Other features of the X3 are a ten track mixer plate with magnetic linear assignable faders, recording on to an internal 256G SSD with external capability for two SD cards and an USB drive, eight full-scale analogue rotary level controllers, an improved interface menu accessed by buttons and a jog wheel, WiFi connectivity and two identical integral smart batteries on a quick release mechanism for quick changeovers while recording.
Delacoux says part of the thinking behind the design of the new machines was to "make something that people can start to really use after only three to four days training".