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Daniel Ignacio

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About Daniel Ignacio

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  • Website URL
    https://dignacio.org/ • https://rateyourmusic.com/~dotdapple

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  • Location
    Michigan, US
  • Interests
    Music, music, music. Sometimes even movies.
  • Interested in Sound for Picture
  • About
    Production sound mixer, boom operator, and music lover in southeast Michigan. Photo by Sarah Poteracki.
  1. Portabrace “Silent” audio bags.

    Still a pretty low price for an aluminum frame, room for six receivers, and a thought-out design. My smaller Sachtler SN607 is $35 USD more expensive.
  2. Portabrace “Silent” audio bags.

    Just came across these new Portabrace bags. The AO-1SILENT (“lightweight” model) and AO-1.5SILENT look the same from the front, plus here’s the latter from the top: Video demo: Images from their newsletter announcement: PR copy excerpt:
  3. Show me your bag

    As someone starting out whose primary is a Tascam, I’m surprised to hear of a 633 owner being happy with a 701D. How’s the timecode on that thing treating you?
  4. #metoo and sexism in general

    Decided when I started out that if children needed to be wired, I would have their caretaker do it with me directing them. The risk of a misunderstanding alone makes me uncomfortable. When I first meet them, I tell actors they can apply the lav themselves with my guidance if they strongly prefer it. I usually wire at set or near makeup in plain sight, but I’ll start bringing along wardrobe or a PA to be present.
  5. How to hide a Sennheiser ME 2 on talent

    It’s both! Very cheap Audio-Technica lavs, which seem to not have a lot of reach either. It’s a university – gotta work with what they give us. At least the mixer is cool! Forgot that it has the ability to save presets/shows, which will be handy. Buying used G3s with COS-11s is high up on my list of priorities. I’m struggling to find work without lavs in my kit as it is.
  6. How to hide a Sennheiser ME 2 on talent

    Meant “excessive”… my word usage was strange. Someone – a course instructor or fellow student – has set the PreSonus StudioLive mixer we’re using to apply a crazy amount of compression, to the point where it sounds awfully unnatural. Not to mention, amounts of gating, EQing, and limiting that I suspect are inappropriate. Nobody knows how to apply a correct amount, including me, since I only get so much time to experiment with the mixer before we start taping. I would turn all the processing off, but then the lack of any compression or gating would introduce a bunch of noise from the studio and self-noise from our lavs and/or wireless. I’m watching a clip right now from one of our productions. The lav is clipped to the host’s upper breast area, on the side that his head is turned toward. Yet, the noise overpowers the voice and his voice sounds stuffy. I hardly have a full grasp on basic audio processing, but I think all I need is some alone time with the board to get it where it needs to be. It doesn’t help that the film program here has disappointing offerings for learning audio (only one [unfriendly] audio professor in the entire university!), though I hope my ESPN internship will teach me something. Bah, self-reflecting.
  7. How to hide a Sennheiser ME 2 on talent

    Indeed, but never expected anything larger than a COS-11 or B6 to hide well in such a small area. At least, from the average T-shirt collars I see, like this one: Slightly unrelated, I encounter a lot of off-axis issues with collar mounting at my school’s student television. Haven’t yet found a good place for the lav where levels stay consistent enough, even accounting for head turning for the anchors. (Their over-zealous compressor is also partially to blame for the bad sound.) Tried the collar and the sternum. The breast area is up next.
  8. How to hide a Sennheiser ME 2 on talent

    Surprised but happy that a collar solution works. My shoot with the ME 2 is over, but I’d like to practice that if I encounter it again.
  9. How to hide a Sennheiser ME 2 on talent

    Back then, I used gaffer’s tape triangles and I didn’t know any better, so that’s something I neglected to mention. This time around, I did use a rubber mount, Transpore, and Super Stick-It! which made hiding so much more easy and reliable. This shoot involved a lot of heavy button-down flannel shirts and jackets, which made hiding the mic in plackets doable. Though there was an actor playing a priest with a thinner button-down shirt that almost didn’t work – not a lot of extra cloth to tamp down over the mic – and I still can’t imagine hiding the mic on anything lighter, like T-shirts, without a noticeable bump. Do need to check out that Popp book though, for sure.
  10. Busting the frame.

    I’m listening to Jeff Wexler (hi Jeff!) on Matt Price’s podcast where he mentions busting the frame with booms and digital boom removal, something done on House of Cards and a number of other productions nowadays. I’m not yet on a lot of productions where frequently painting out booms is cheap enough, but I want to start pitching it to directors in pre-production, for occasional shots that absolutely need closer booming (quiet dialogue, reverb-y film sets) and allow for boom removal (stationary camera). When shooting scripted narrative, how often do you take opportunities to bust the frame? How happy are you and your directors with the results? Any caveats?
  11. How to hide a Sennheiser ME 2 on talent

    Hope I didn’t mislead you – I’m talking about the ME 2 and not the MKE 2. Though I am curious about the higher-end Sennheiser lavs. How do you like working with the MKE 2?
  12. Boom op-less

    Noted, along with what everyone else said. I get what you mean though. Finally got a Versa-Flex harness right before this shoot! Honestly, should have gotten it from the beginning. It transfers the weight wonderfully and helps stave off the fatigue. Still trying to figure out how to comfortably mount my bag onto the chest part of the harness though, to make glancing at levels easier. I’m only less than a year into doing production sound professionally, in a very sparse market without my own established network, so it’s the norm for me right now. The most legit production I’ve ever been on, with LA people flew in, was itself a disaster that was eventually cancelled. I wish I was in your position! I mostly have to take whatever offers I get. It’s frustratingly difficult out here, and this early in my career, I’d really much prefer to run boom or utility for a more experienced mixer. That, or get a day job to buy my dream 633 and some Lectrosonics systems to win a bit of the high-level commercial and corporate work around me. We’ve already rolled through many ruined takes with cars and airplanes abound. The director already knows how bad it is, since I give him the Sound Mixer Grimace of Disapproval™ every time, and often ask for retakes. I’ve made sure that he knows every issue I get.
  13. Boom op-less

    Roger that! I’m still trying to find my own boundaries and ways to minimize self-injury, for sure. At least, people need to stop taking my damn apple box when I need to sit! Bag and boom is still okay for me for 1-3 days, but never for anything more for narrative, ever again. Drawing the line there. I’m on the seventh day and it’s absolutely awful, for me and the sound I get. I’m going to be much more of a hard-ass about needing a boom operator for long gigs, or any production, really. I didn’t have the foresight to draw that line before, but at least we’re shooting only on weekends, not straight through. It’s an almost-no-budget shoot, so (according to the director) the ADR “studio” will be a bedroom. Gotta love independent filmmaking.
  14. Boom op-less

    I should really take some business courses! Thanks for this and your extended explanation. Wait, people have boomed and actively mixed at the same time during takes? That’s beyond crazy. I just press record and boom, then ask/fight for another take if I hear the levels clip. This also happens to be the production that let me only have one ME 2 lav with a G3 (sigh), which I posted about and you previously gave me some wisdom on. I’m willing to give them my 100%, with the director understanding that my 100% effort will only be a 75% net gain at the end of the day. (Especially with no reliable wireless.) The production is the inexperienced kind, but relaxed and not terribly rushed. It’s all shot on gimbal (they’ve decided they don’t have time for tripod setups), but they are completely understanding of the situation whenever camera tags my mic. The DP never gives me attitude and it’s good working with him. The director is laidback and fully prepared for the inevitability of ADR. We keep shooting near roads and under flight paths, and if I ask him to wait and he doesn’t want to, I make it clear they have to resort to ADR. Everyone seems to be respectful of me and my limited capabilities, as the one-man sound department. (Though the director did try to persuade me to do a scene in the rain without any waterproofing gear, which I gave a hard no.) Though I’m starting to realize that I’m actually giving 120%, if I’m this stressed despite working with kind people. Perhaps I should take it down a notch for my sake. — Off topic, but “faggy” is still offensive to me as a gay guy. We aren’t living in South Park. Pretty bummed to see that word on this forum of all places, and this made me feel unwelcome.
  15. Boom op-less

    I’m mixing a pilot for a web TV drama at the moment, as well as booming. While I’ve known for a fact that it’s always preferable to have a boom operator, I’m really feeling how it pushes my mental and physical abilities to my limits as a soundie. I’ll try to limit bag and boom jobs from here on out, for anything that takes more than a week to shoot. Which brings me to a question: Production didn’t have a boom op in the cards, and of course being a low-budget shoot, they were reluctant to pay more people. How do you usually ask for a boom op? Do you provide a lowered rate if they agree to hiring a boom op?