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About JWBaudio

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  • Location
    Chicago, IL
  • Interested in Sound for Picture
  • About
    Production Mixing & Sound Design for narrative, doc, & commercial.
  1. Portabrace “Silent” audio bags.

    Got some hands on time with the bag yesterday, the actual bag shown in the above video actually, and it did seem to handle a bit more quietly the many other bags, which is a +. Felt much more secure and solid than many other bags, even those that have some sort of frame built in. Dropped in a 411 I had with me and it seemed to fit well enough, but still felt a touch loose, but was secure enough that I wouldn't worry. I suspect that's a compromise between getting the receivers in and out a little easier without quickly wearing out the elastic and how tightly they actually need to grip the receivers to be secure, something to help extend the life of the bag, which to me is a key part of Portabrace (how long their bags last). Seems like a good bag to me. I only got about 5-10 minutes with it, but it seemed to have a bit less storage and organisation options than comparably sized bags. Is that something anyone else is finding?
  2. David Letterman new show

    Didn't really sound like booming from below to me when the cars passed. Probably a good boom op with a spotter booming from above, that's how I'd go about it. Letterman was probably a lav using a Rycote overcover. I've had very good results with those in the wind, and maybe something modular like the B6 with a 'very crisp' cap to compensate for the extra muffling? Interested in finding out. Anybody know who the recordist was?
  3. Hearing Follow Focus

    How prominent is it? I am surprised at it being picked up on the lavs. Proximity of boom/lavs & talent to camera? Can't help on gain staging with your rig, maybe someone who runs an F8 with similar radios could help on that. If there is NO noise, no traffic, nothing from a street, no bodies in the room, no camera fan, no movement in the scene, then I would expect to hear that high pitched whir a little, but nothing that would cause a problem. And you typically can only get that kind silence shooting on a stage, in a studio, or in a house way out in the middle of nowhere. Could just be having bad luck with noisy follow focuses that haven't been properly maintained or are 'inexpensive'. They are designed to be very quiet given their function and usual proximity to sensitive microphones, and I haven't had one pose a problem on any projects yet. More often it's the camera's cooling fan I'm hearing long before the follow focus. Could always ask them to not pull focus and just move the camera in and out. :-)
  4. BLK 24

    I actually chose to sell here in the US. Most of my 24s ended up going to someone just out of school on the west coast, looking to build a small pro level kit quick to start getting jobs and then upgrade over the next year or so. So the block wasn't as much of a concern to him. Ended up selling at about 10% off MSRP, but still much easier than dealing with international sale or reblocking. And yes, market is hugely saturated, I've been hard pressed to see anything on consignment that doesn't fall in the 'danger zone'. I've heard the same thing. I still keep a couple 27s. I hardly ever use them (about once a year), and I wouldn't use them in the city, but I've done some very remote things in MI & WI with them and didn't have any issues.
  5. Burnout, stress, depression: experiences?

    In a gig based economy there is always to take something whenever it's offered, even if that means not having an days off for a month and giving yourself ridiculously short turnarounds. The long hours aren't for everyone, even if they aren't impacting your relationships, but I've always gotten a rush from working long odd hours. And there are some perks, I've gotten to see a lot of sunrises over lakes and oceans for one, you learn where all the 24hr coffee places are, and there are some locations where it's really amazing to be there after regular hours. But again, not for everyone. I think the worst I had was a scheduling error where 2 productions changed their scheduling last minute so I ended up with a window working like 29 hours straight or something like that since it was too late for them for find another mixer to fill in. I have been particularly careful about protecting my physical health, I always insist on working from a cart when possible to keep strain on my back and shoulders low, my cart packs in smaller stackable SKB cases so I can keep loading/unloading weights low. Working in a bag, if it's going to be a long day with a fully loaded bag I keep one of those wrap-able lower back braces on hand since that's where I tend to take the most strain. For mental health, a lot of keeping my life stress free comes down to pre-production, making sure I have a plan for every shooting day and am not just going to wing it, good communication with the 1st AD all day long will help keep you informed so you can smoothly adjust to any changes. A lot of stress I noticed in my early days came from me stressing about noises on location that we couldn't eliminate and things like that, whereas now I inform inform production it's as good as we can get it, ask how much tolerance they want to give (things like traffic when they haven't remembered to close a street), and just send a quick email to post that this one will be more of a headache. I also carry a book for downtime (of which there can be an ample amount of for sound on some days). But I think mental health comes down to using ample communication and planning to reduce stress. I do try and schedule some times off. I try and give myself a week or more around Christmas, and a couple other spread through the year, and yes that sometimes means turning down a gig, and people I typically work with have always been very understanding about that. I try to schedule it so they line up right after a feature, but as long as there are some breaks spread around in my schedule all is well. I haven't noticed any consequences for talking about this openly, and I hope there never will be. It's a conversation I think we all need to be having far more often and far more in depth.
  6. Defending your Work

    I find the same thing with directors. I will make them aware of a problem and then it’s their call. I wouldn’t interrupt a take. More often than not, if we’re in the middle of a take and something arises, a director will glance my way and look for a signal if it’s become completely and unusable, if it’s ok to keep going, or if we need another take. Depending on my response the director may keep rolling or cut, but not my call to cut. I have reminded actors about jumping lines a couple times, but it wasn’t continuous, and it was only with talent I was in good standing and able to be more friendly with on longer shoots or who I’ve worked with a lot.
  7. Using Scissor Clamps to Hang Mics

    https://www.gothamsound.com/product/fleximount Best 50 bucks I've ever spent, have 5 now and they're probably one of the most used things in my kit. Great for putting a mic just about anywhere and suspension mount pops right on no problems, because yeah, again as Ty said, it always needs some sort of isolation. Other than that I've got some Cardellinis, Pony clamps, desktop stands, kick drum stands, etc. just get some options in your kit and be creative and do what works.
  8. Viviana Straps

    Yeah, same general design, material, thickness, etc. Differences are the velcro termination looks to be more of a "V" and they come with the strip to secure the Tx (which URSA doesn't, or at least when I purchased). Also, URSA use one solid and wide Poly grip whereas Viviana use two thinner double grips for their T size. And you can get a logo which I suppose could be cool? Where nobody can see it? They seem to be equally comfortable from the buzz I've been hearing on social media. URSA remind me of a cross between Neopax and those belts Location Sound (I think) used to sell that were essentially just an elastic band you would thread through a pouch.
  9. Yup, on my price sheet I do have everything itemised though, down to cables, just for my own inventory purposes, or if someone needs to rent just some breakaways for a few days. Overall through I recommend what gear we need, what that rate comes out to, and go from there with producers. Because yes, every project has different needs. Anything not part of the pre-discussed kit gets charged a la carte. Keep pricing simple, producers and UPMs have enough to worry about without trying to calculate discounts on their end. Keep it simple. Anything over two weeks for me will start getting into long term rates, but again, don't hit them with percentages, just send them clean figures in $$$
  10. Guard Bands

    No. But if the FCC does decide to send someone to oversee frequency coordination at some sort of large mass-media event, then you may run into issues, but still...it's one of those things that would be almost impossible to enforce.
  11. Used Lectrosonics buying strategy

    Thanks Larry!
  12. Used Lectrosonics buying strategy

    Believe so.
  13. Line level recorder

    I mean...it all depends on what you need. SD MixPre 3 will be the most versatile in terms of inputs, outputs, UI, interfacing with your computer (if you ever need to), and you can use pretty much any mic on the planet that has an XLR. If you wanted something with integrated mics then the PCM-D100 has always been a favourite but you're stuck with the stock mics. Nagra is good but again, stuck with the Nagra mics. I'd recommend the Sound Devices purely for it's versatility.
  14. Guard Bands

    I'm sure WSD did lobby for it. I can't imagine the signal strength coming out of those towers is going to be impacted much by a 30mW Sennheiser or even a Lectro at 50mW, most everything we do qualifies a low power. I always thought it was more an issue with them causing interference for us. But I don't have any sort of engineering bg, so if anyone want's to get into more detail to correct or expand on how we might be generating interference for the cell towers, that would be awesome! This may help clarify some things: https://www.sportsvideo.org/2017/08/07/fcc-clarifies-rf-rules-as-the-600-mhz-transition-begins-in-earnest/ And there are many other articles that get into it. But things still aren't completely settled, and there are still some clean spots, but I would suggest trying to move out as quickly as you can. The longer you hold onto 600MHz gear the more it's going to devalue, the used market is already flooded with it.
  15. ISO's vs. Mix Track

    When running 2 booms it's nice having a track where the 2 booms are mixed. But you're absolutely right, every show has different requirements and we all adjust based on what post needs. Case and point, I finished a project recently where post wanted WAV-mono files, a very rare request nowadays (for me at least) unless you're doing something like 16+ ISOs, and that's why I always like to be in touch with post early on and send them rushes if possible (esp. w/ dailies become less regular on smaller projects) to make sure my delivery is fine with them or if we need to change something we're doing on set to help them more, etc. Most of the time post seems fine with any delivery so long as everything is diligently notated, but always drop them a line, quick phone call or email before or during production makes a big difference in making sure they aren't caught off guard by anything.