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About mainstreetprod

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  • Location
    Middle TN
  • Interested in Sound for Picture
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    Indy film producer
  1. I have a set of "Arri" lights of the same brand name. They serve my purposes well because I don't use them everyday to make a living- I shoot a feature every two years. The light weight sheet metal they are made from doesn't affect me. The bulbs they came with, which blew in less than two hours, were replaced with brand names. If I did depend on them day to day, I would spring for the real thing, which costs 4x the money. I suspect the mic is similar- spec wise as close as they can get it, but inferior in materials and build quality. I certainly wouldn't try to hammer a nail with it. Or try to make a living with it.
  2. Exactly what I'm looking for. The AT 4053a is a good mic, but optimal at 18" or less. Need a bit more reach for wider shots.
  3. Good information Tong, I am leaning towards the MKH50 but wanted to get various opinions on the two.
  4. That would be ideal, but not in the budget. Also, already have an AT 4053 and 4073.
  5. As outlined in another thread, I'm shooting a feature this Spring and have hired a boom op and location sound mixer who will be using my equipment. About 80% of the film will be shot in a Victorian home with 11' ceilings and hardwood floors. However, there are large area rugs , the ceilings are heavily textured, and there is wallpaper everywhere. The rooms do not sound particularly "live" for a house of this type. Generally there will not be a problem with extraneous sounds. The only exception is the upstairs A/C, which is located in the attic. When shooting upstairs I might not always be able to turn it off, due to the high heat level without it. I've narrowed my choice of interior mic down to the MKH 40 and MKH 50. I know the 50 is the go to mic, but if sound rejection is not a big issue, would I be better off with the 40 since it has a wider pattern?
  6. I did decide to go with a recorder after reading hundreds of reviews, a Zoom F8. Did a quick test when it arrived yesterday and was very pleased with the lack of preamp noise. Also, the second channel "safety" recording at lower DB will be a big plus. And, I've hired a dedicated mixer so the boom guy can do his job. The mixer is just getting into location sound, but has 20+ years post experience. I plugged the Zoom into the FS7 , set it for line level and expected a low signal but was pleasantly surprised. I will only have to boost the Zoom gain in the menu by 20% or so to get it where it needs to be for a solid scratch track.
  7. First, a disclaimer: I'm not a pro sound guy. However, I've been a filmmaker since 1999, have always done my own sound and can honestly say that even my very first film had decent sound by indy film standards. That's because I understood, even back then, that one thing trumps everything else: getting the mic as close as possible. A close mic trumps an expensive mic, recorder, etc. At one foot away, your Oktava (IMHO) will sound better than a Schoeps 3 feet away. A good lavalier may not sound like a boom, but the proximity enables it to capture very clean sound as long as there is no contact with clothes or RF hits. A mic that is too far away enables background noise to take over, as you found on the film you were hired to fix. Your equipment package is not that bad for what I suspect is a minimal budget film. You have a good preamp, an $800 mixer with good specs and reviews (edit: I see you sold it) , and a mic that is legendary for it's price range. Just my uneducated opinion, but I think you would be well advised to put priority on technique over equipment. Get that mic close, eliminate sources of background noise and pay attention to room acoustics. That will take you a long way.
  8. He has an H4N, but also has an F8. I chose the boom op not based on his sound gear, but on the quality of the audio in a feature where he boomed. Saw it in a theater and it sounded great, he's also done major episodic TV. He seldom records, usually booms, that's why I picked him. I'm no longer recording in camera and looking seriously at a Zoom F8. I can buy it new, resell after the project, average cost per day probably $12. If the F4 had broadcast line level out I would buy it instead, will seldom need 8 channels.
  9. Understand completely. I haven't made up my mind on this and am looking over everything said here, I respect everyone's opinion. But from my side, you have to understand that we have no investors, I'm not spending other people's money. If I hire a mixer and gear at an extra 13K, it comes out of my pocket. And the chances of ever seeing that money again, in the world of indy film, are not good. Over the last few years, through a lot of training and effort in lighting and set design, (and thanks to advances in camera technology) I've managed to make the image on the 40 foot screen look much higher budget than it actually is. So I'm inclined to try to keep costs down in the sound dept. as well, weighing cost vs. performance. The film I shot in 2009 was on an HPX500, which had four channels but reduced to 12bit sound when using all four. The sound was OK but that was a direct to DVD project. The FS7 is 24 bit and has reasonably quiet preamps, but I understand it's not the same as an SD recorder. I'm weighing the options back and forth. My boom op has a Zoom H4n, but I assume that would not be a great improvement over in camera compared to say an SD633, correct?
  10. Way ahead of you Jim, I emailed the boom op and asked what he would charge to mix/record and include his recorder. He's willing to do both, some of the sound pros I interviewed were not willing to and I understand why. Hiring a dedicated sound mixer would be ideal, but the day rate plus gear adds up to over $13,000 on an 18 day shoot. This is close to what we've been spending on an entire film- and that includes paying all our key actors and small crew. We must be doing an OK job quality wise so far, as all 4 films have gotten DVD and digital distribution, the last got a theater release, and we have over 40 film festival awards from the last two films. My wife writes and directs and I DP. Generally we have a grip, gaffer and PA as crew, and a boom op when recording dialogue. Our indoor sets are carefully selected for good acoustics, and I always turn off AC or fridge when nearby. Every piece of audio gear I use represents hours of research picking it out, even though it may be medium priced. The weak link in the chain, so I'm told, is the camera audio section. What I'm trying to understand is that, preamps aside, how a recording from a 24 bit 48KHZ camera would sound inferior to a 24 bit 48khz recording from an SD recorder. Isn't digital digital?
  11. Looks like for $60 more I can get a similar package from B & H. May not be worth taking the chance for just 60 bucks- with my luck I would be the first to buy a knockoff.
  12. Thought I would check here before pulling the trigger on an MKH50. One Ebay seller throws in a Rycote softie and shockmount for the typical price charged at B&H, etc. for the mic alone. The mic in this photo appears more black to me than the gray color seen in Sennheiser stock photos. Anything to be concerned about here? Anyone ever seen or heard of an MKH50 knockoff or fake?