NAMM 2009: PAA6 Personal Audio Assistant
While digital recording devices have become a staple of Phonic’s entire product range, it is interesting to note that one of the first products that caught the wider public’s attention was the PAA1 – Personal Audio Assistant. Since the release of the PAA1 – and the subsequent release of the PAA2 and PAA3 – Phonic has made a name for itself as a reliable manufacturer of quality hand-held audio analyzers for professional and personal application.
It will come as no surprise to those who have been keeping count that a few years have past since the release of the PAA3. It may also come as no surprise that Phonic has gone on a no-holds-barred approach to creating their latest in the PAA family of audio analyzers. Both of these points considered, it is only fitting that we skip over the PAA4 and PAA5 all together and bring users the PAA6 dual channel personal audio assistant.
Phonic engineers have been quietly working on the PAA6 for a number of years and the results are nothing short of remarkable. With a large 480 by 272 pixel LCD color touch-screen encased in a sturdy acrylic shell, the PAA6 is bound to impress with just one glance. The unit offers up two high quality multi-directional microphones and incorporates 1/4” TRS phone jacks for signal input and output.
The PAA6’s built-in Graphical User Interface (GUI) is both eye-catching and aesthetically pleasing. All nine of the PAA6’s main functions (RTA, RT-60, FFT, meter, phase, polarity, scope, THD+N, LEQ) are accessible through the simple touch of an on-screen icon. A clock, calculator and battery indicator are all located within the header-bar for quick and easy access by the user.
All functions have their own user-definable parameters, which may include: range, type (dBV, dBu, Volt, etc), input source (mic or line), peak hold, weighting and response time. Functions that have been carried-over from the PAA3 have more user-definable parameters than ever before, while previously included parameters are much wider and more flexible than on previous models.
Most functions also have a ‘save’ ability, allowing users to store their readings for later use. An SD card slot is incorporated for the addition of external SD cards up to 2 gigabytes. For those who do not want to fiddle with SD cards, Phonic has kindly incorporated 100 megabytes of memory onboard. Saved readings can then be transferred to any PC or Mac computer through the USB interface.
Users can also opt to use the USB interface to operate the unit in real-time on their computer. Through the Mac and PC software, users are able to take and store measurements – just as they can with the unit – while a multitude of various calculations can be made from their saved data for various engineering purposes.
“The PAA6 has been a long time coming,” says Grant Murray, Phonic Product Marketing Specialist. “And the timing is just right. With the global economy on the way down, it is great that we can still bring sound engineers the fundamental tools of the trade at a price that will leave less of a dent in their bank accounts.”