Tom Visser

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About Tom Visser

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  • Birthday 07/05/1972

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  • Location
    Honokaa & Honolulu, HI
  • Interested in Sound for Picture
  • About
    IATSE 665 & 695 Y-1

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  • Skype

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  1. Back when I used the Quadra, which unfortunately I had to sell to fund the purchase of some more immediately critical gear, I briefly got into the habit of being 100% wireless monitoring. It was great because it was equivalent to what I was hearing direct from my mixer and I could easily get up and do an adjustment on a microphone, wether plant or cast, and hear in real time the adjustments I was making. I can see this system being on my cart, and then hopefully a bag friendly 2 channel version where typically I'm only passing out 2 IFB anyways, for smaller television shoots.
  2. Please consider a 2-channel AES / analog input portable Tx. Regardless, as a former Quadra user, I'm confident that I WILL be purchasing this.
  3. In the conversation as it pertains to theTascam DR-70D, the newer DR-701D which I purchased for myself, supposedly has much better / quieter preamps. I too like omnis for atmospheres. Ever try Jeklin disk? It's something of a hybrid of spaced AB and coincident XY, but uses a small spacing and a physical baffle to provide separation rather than capsule polar patterns. I feel it retains the richness and depth of AB while gaining some more directivity / imaging. I've had success with mounting 4060 on the curved brim of a baseball cap, which allows for pretty unobtrusive walks through crowded spaces - I imagine it borrows somewhat from the AB / Jeklin / binaural world maybe not better than each in its own right, but remains covert and inconspicuous.
  4. I use an IFB200 in the bag and am happy with it.
  5. One man band, sounds like your mostly going to be slinging a camera around. Separate sound system seems like it will slow you down and in some cases if it's not convenient enough to wield, risks not being used at all in certain instances. If your using something like a Sony A7 series or new GH4, they both have decent XLR audio options (i own an XLR-K1M and K2M for my A7s and it does a good enough job for my one man band forays).
  6. I predominantly use an Aaton Cantar X2. My Zaxcom comes in via AES, so any limiting from the wireless side is done on the body pack. I believe in addition to the compression I listed before, I have a limiter at -1. When I say that I use compression, I'll qualify that by saying I try not to record in such a manner where compression is being used. In the event that it does get tickled, it's done in a way to be as transparent as possible. If heavy compression is active, I don't necessarily consider that good, but on the other hand, it is better than the alternative of being hard limited or clipped. I'm not sure how the Cantar handles limiting on the digital mix bus, but I'm sure something is done rather than just truncating the MSB side of the digital word. The inclusion of the clips that I attached before was basically to show that even in almost worst case over modulation, the use of Zaxcom digital delivers something that could be used if it needed to and doesn't sound crunchy like it would have with a simple analog input to an analog mixer. Most all my Zaxcom gear is older, so don't really rely on NC. This is not a choice by me, just the reality given the vintage of my wireless and the fact that I don't utilize Zaxcom recorders and have the full power of Zaxnet at my disposal (just rudimentary and rather slow remote control via my IFB200). I'm hoping to see something at NAB that might make me think of a strong investment in new wireless. (QRX / RX12 replacement with integrated Zaxnet)
  7. The comment that jumps out at me is "I've done studio recording for years". When in the studio, I'll typically track vocal at around -10dBFs into ProTools - with the SSL board can ride the fader for an extra 10dB of "gain in hand" if I need a little boost or cut here or there. Studio is a controlled environment, artist is glued to a spot in front off the pop filter or on a stool, mic on stand in the perfect position since there's no camera to deal with, and musical performance is typically fairly predictable. Since your now talking about dialogue recording with lavaliers, totally different ballgame. Now there's greater chances of being off axis or really "off mic" with head turns, the fact your dealing with spoken voice vs louder singing, when you gain up for that softer level, it does expose you to more risks from dynamic outbursts. The way that I deal with field dialogue recording is to try to shoot for -10dBFs on my mix bus, but record ISO's somewhere in the -15 to -25dBFs range. What this means in reality is that I will occasionally get peaks approaching 0dBFs on the mix bus as obtaining -10dBFs "RMS" is quite optimistic given the conditions. Some notes... 1) when I say -10dBFs "RMS" that would be the person delivering a natural level in normal conditions. If they are soft because of sensitivity of the subject matter, or moment of reflection, or are intentionally being soft, most likely it will be mixed that way too, so you don't have to force the -10dBFs technical goal in spite of the performance. 2) I personally rely heavily on Zaxcom TRX compression and like you don't use Zaxcom recorders. I have a limiter set just below digital clip, but also enable compression. I know a lot of people don't like to use compression, but for me personally, I've come to know and trust my compression settings. From memory, my settings are -9dBFs threshold, very fast attack, slow release, 3dB knee, 2:1 ratio, no makeup. In other words the mild ratio combined with soft knee provide for a very transparent compression, akin to soft tracking compression I'd give vocals in the studio, something to just take a little of the top to help level the take a bit, leaving any character compression for the mix. This means that if I'm trying to keep ISO levels at -16dBFs for example, the compression won't even be in. My mix bus will of course be a bit hotter at -10dBFs. If the interviewee suddenly gets loud, they may start tickling the compression or if extreme outburst, will be "full on" but then at 2:1, I find it really hard to detect still, and then in very extreme situations, when the limiter does kick in, even it's effect, while noticeable, isn't as severe as suddenly hitting it without compression softening it up a bit first. If I didn't have such trust in the compression of the TRX, I don't think then that it would be responsible for me to shoot for -10dBFs on the mix bus. I attached a little test clip, which shows a typical unexpected outburst. I edited so that you don't hear the first syllables, just in case there's an NDA concern, but the first hit (xx98_6) is around -3dBFs with a little spike, meaning that my TRX was in full compression and would have clipped the output otherwise. The second (xx98_7) is my mix fully clipped. The third (xx99_6) is me regaining down to avoid compression, fourth (xx99_7) is my mix (still uncompressed), and final (xx99_7_NORM) is that mix normalized to approach the level of the clipped take. SZ1798_6.wav SZ1798_7.wav SZ1799_6.wav SZ1799_7 NORM.wav SZ1799_7.wav
  8. I think a lot of people have the perception that you loose access to the "raw MS" tracks when encoded to LR, even if done at the mic. It is more than just reducing the panning for increased center correlation. Some useful post tricks would be to EQ the mid or side channels independently from each other, MS EQ tools are quite common. Another thing you can do is to use MS EQ on XY tracks too. The results are exactly as predictable when used with real MS sources, but can still be useful. There's probably some loss associated with burned in LR delivery when it comes to advanced processing so I'd always prefer MS ISO's, but for simple width control, MS or LR is really equivalent in my mind.
  9. Yup
  10. Just a little post note when handling MS, it is actually fairly easy to adjust stereo width even back down to mono with MS audio, even if the mic outputs LR rather than pre-decoded M-S, so contrary to intuition, the Sanken that only outputs stereo LR isn't really at much of a disadvantage to a "raw" M-S feed, it just changes the approach to processing, but not the overall capabilities.
  11. I prefer reels for thinner cable that don't wrap the same as star quad mic cable, like CAT-5 for stage jobs (250' or so) or also good for multi-pair, but for single strands of 100' XLR, hand wrap hands down. This sort of brings up another tangential conversation, could you benefit from a digital snake system where your just laying out a single CAT-5 for the backbone and then use a stage box or the excellent new MOTU AVB boxes for endpoints?
  12. Like others have mentioned there are lots of "sound cart" or clip shot type of apps to make playback easy. I'd definitely not rule out ProTools playback though, because I've been in too many situations where some sort of change to the playback is requested on set and it is nice to be able to quickly make and edit right on the spot. There is no single spacebar solution like you mention, but by using a combination of region layout in logical groups, some markers for quick reference, and "tab to region", you should be able to navigate very quickly through your playback session. Just make sure that in the tool bar you don't have the "tab to transient" waveform looking button pressed, otherwise the tab key will just select the next transient leading edge on your current region. alt/option tab will take you to the region start or previous region.
  13. How about white with red piping? (kidding) I'm in for one in black!
  14. Well the time has come for me to do something for my own personal camera rig and the 701D looks like the best option, so may be picking one up for me. Tom Duffy or other users, looking at the manual, it looks like channels 5/6 can only be set to record the mix or not. Confirming that you couldn't for example set it to record embedded HDMI audio 1/2 or allow it to record input 1/2 on 3.5mm while at the same time recording XLR inputs 1-4 on the other inputs. If not possible, Tom, possible to kick it up to software dept? If not possible, not that big of a deal, but would be nice to have all wav files on a single devices rather than split across 2 files (shotgun on camera and A-format ambisonics on 701D).
  15. Did any of you guys mess with MD? There was the highly compressed consumer format but a few machines aimed at pro audio had a high quality compressed format too. At this time I was firmly in the music recordings camp and did not have any inkling of the production sound community, but thought that my MD with its portability, random access, and multi-track capability was going to rule the world.