What is the Blackmagic Design Audio Monitor? In their words:
Blackmagic Audio Monitor gives you fantastic quality audio monitoring in an impossibly small one rack unit size! With a dual subwoofer design combined with extra wide range speakers all backed by a super powerful class A/B amplifier. Blackmagic Audio Monitor has been designed to be both an audio and video monitoring solution so you get advanced 6G-SDI in, as well as balanced XLR analog audio, balanced AES/EBU digital audio and consumer level HiFi audio inputs. Blackmagic Audio Monitor features an elegant design with big bright multi color audio meters and a built in LCD for monitoring video sources. You even get HDMI 4K output so you can connect a television for big screen video monitoring of your SDI sources!
Bob Zelin has written a brief article on his experiences installing the Blackmagic Design Audio Monitor, which costs $1,495.
I recall seeing the Blackmagic Audio Monitor at NAB2013, and my instant reaction was “boy, this is an expensive product for just an audio monitor – especially for Blackmagic.” Well, I finally got to install one for XOS Digital in Orlando, FL. in their all-SDI machine room.
XOS Digital’s extensive system is centered around a Blackmagic 72×144 HD-SDI Broadcast Videohub, that routes signals from DirecTV Satellite Receivers and Bright House Network cable receivers into their shared storage system, where virtually every college football game in the United States is recorded.
In addition, there are banks of VTR’s of every format, where college football can be digitized into the shared storage system. All of this media can be edited by numerous FCP 7 editing systems. The Blackmagic router also feeds several Evertz multiviewers, so that any source can be brought up multiple large screen plasma and LCD displays, for monitoring.
How’s the audio quality? Eeh – it’s ok. It’s not like you are listening to a set of Genelec’s or Tannoy’s (or whatever your favorite speakers are), but remember – all of this is in a 1 rack unit box – that includes the stereo speakers, the HD-SDI video display, and all the buttons, so you are not bogged down with layers of menus. The important thing is that the Audio Monitor is loud – loud enough to clearly hear your audio source, even in a very noisy machine room. This makes for a perfect complement to a QC station that has an HD-SDI monitor, a waveform monitor/vectorscope, and an audio monitor.
So, is it really worth the $1,495? Read the whole article here to find out.