Cantar-X2

Tech Specs
Overview

 

 

Aaton Cantar X2

Click here to learn more about Cantar-X3

Aaton's ergonomics applied to Digital Audio Recording gave birth to Cantar, the Stradivarius of multi-track digital sound recorders.

The operator has permanent access to mechanical faders, each devoted to only one function: nine rotary analog faders, plus six linear mixer sliders, no other recorder offers such luxury.

They are positioned so the operator's hands rest on them in a perfectly natural position, whether Cantar is on the shoulder or the cart. 'Cantar Sound' has become a reference among recordists: they have never encountered such a small machine producing such a big sound.

 

Aaton Tarkan for cantar remote controlSince its introduction four years ago, a continuous software development effort has brought to Cantar very sophisticated and unique new functionalities: AutoSlate an automatic clapstick detector/time stamper, PolyRotate able to auto-shuffle multi-monofiles into polyfiles that some Avid and FCP editors require, PDF Sound-Report a ready to print frame accurate report stored with the audio files en route the Post-Production team, and, last but not the least, Play&Record, a powerful system which can record live audio while playing-back pre-recorded music, and overdub a dialog track while the actor is still around and in the same mood.

Accompanied by CantaRem, a slim and light eight channel remote surface, Cantar will be more than ever at ease on a cart with GrandArcan, a new Mac/PC application which remotely controls Cantar and displays all of its recording, routing and monitoring parameters, plus the metadata (Scene ID, take #, comments, track-names, start-TC, duration, slate timecode, etc.), associated with each audio file.

 

A machine under permanent control

Petur Hliddal with Aaton Cantar

The Cantar interface is the easiest to use under the most technically demanding conditions:

  • It offers the largest display surface of all portable recorders, which simultaneously shows every critical recording parameter.
  • The custom designed high contrast displays remain viewable under bright light (sun, sand, sea, snow, storm), and at very low temperatures too.
  • The swiveling front panel always provides the best viewing angle for both on cart and over the shoulder work.
  • The large twelve position MainSelector eliminates diving into numerous sub-menus.
  • The unique three-crown turret gives instant access to all recording and monitoring configurations, even while wearing heavy winter gloves.
  • Nine rotary faders (analog inputs) plus six linear faders (mixdown), each entirely devoted to one specific task, are faster to handle than multi-function knobs.
  • An important consideration for those who work in deserts and on the high seas, all of the mechanical actuators (faders, sliders, selectors) are sandproof and waterproof.
  • To complement the waterproof design, all audio socketsare pointed toward Earth, the same direction that rain falls. This concept has the subsidiary advantage that no plugs are protruding from the sides; this allows third party designers to build very narrow 'Made for Cantar' carts!
  • An important consideration for those who work in deserts and on the high seas, all of the mechanical actuators (faders, sliders, selectors) are sandproof and waterproof.
  • To complement the waterproof design, all audio socketsare pointed toward Earth, the same direction that rain falls. This concept has the subsidiary advantage that no plugs are protruding from the sides; this allows third party designers to build very narrow 'Made for Cantar' carts!

 

Unsurpassed mic preamps

The fame of the Cantar Sound is based on Aatons expertise with audio signal processing. First, the five mic inputs are equipped with the highest quality impedance transformers.

Second, Aaton developed huge dynamic range three stage proprietary preamplifiers to eliminate cumbersome trims.

Third, the powerful and smooth analog limiters achieve an impossible task: they are almost transparent to background sounds.

 

Built-in 'B-Format' stereo monitoring

Cantar is the only on-location digital recorder allowing stereo monitoring of the complete Soundfield B-Format (which includes 5.1) with no extra accessories. Thanks to its on-board mixer sliders, it is easy to dynamically adjust the 'space' parameters: pattern, width and rotation. And since the gain of the Mic/Line preamplifiers can be aligned to a half dB, and then ganged to a master fader, Cantar insures total control over later B-format treatments.

Sean Penn's Into the wild with Aaton Cantar

Long recording hours

Sean Penn's "Into the Wild". Ed Tise with the explorer cart he designed for his Cantar.

The power consumption of a portable recorder is a potentially stressful issue on location. Cantar goes well beyond the two hour autonomy of other machines; with Li-Ion batteries, it can perform for up to sixteen hours.

Audio post compatibility

The Cantar 'WorkDay' file structure eliminates the dreaded disk-partition confusion and makes Post Production file handling much easier. The mixdown generated by the built-in mixer is treated separately from the primary channels and can be backed-up on tracks 1&2. Full details are in 'The Post Chain' at: http://archives.aaton.com/documentation.

Some features worth noting

  • Cantar is able to simultaneously record the same audio files on both the internal and external hard drives.
  • Save your "Cantar Configurations" in a laptop. Next time you rent a Cantar, you can load them in the new machine, allowing you to pick up where you previously left off.
  • No wait in powering-up Cantar up: a cold-start from ZERO power to 'REC' can be executed in less than five seconds.
  • The track-names (actors' name) can be entered from either a PS2 keyboard or directly with the Cantar jog.
  • While entering a 'Differential Delay' (up to 85 milliseconds) between two audio sources, you can fine tune it by listening to the tracks in left/righ ears 'double-solo'.