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David Waelder

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About David Waelder

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    Hero Member
  • Birthday January 1

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  • Location
    Los Angeles
  • Interested in Sound for Picture
  • About
    Production Mixer

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  1. Comtek Questions - 72 vs 216 - Old vs New

    Some years back I conducted a series of range tests of antennas for the 695 Quarterly (now Production Sound & Video). Covering all the ground of transmitting and receiving antennas required several articles starting in the Spring of 2010 and ending with tests of the Mini-Mite and Miracle Whip antennas in the Summer of 2011. In the very first article, Spring 2010, I reviewed how the tests would be conducted, measurements made and results interpreted. We made some initial tests to establish base-line expectations. At that time, I made some tests of the performance of a Lectrosonics SMQV at different power settings and with different antenna configurations. We made range tests with whip antennas with the receivers at different heights and with SNA600 antennas at varying heights and diversity spacing. Just to make things interesting, I also checked performance with antennas cut to half the recommended length mounted on the transmitter. The half-length antennas worked fine but they consistently had a penalty loss of about 1/3 range. That is, in one test a range of 562-feet at 50mW output dropped to 358-feet with the half-length whip. (The numbers are a precise measurement of measured range in that test but, as the copy explains, range experienced in a series of tests is a bit more spongy.) The Quarterly magazine can be found online at: http://www.local695.com/Quarterly/ The particular issue with the half-length test is available here: http://www.local695.com/Quarterly/695QuarterlyPDFs/695-Quarterly-2010-Spring.pdf (Those early issues, regrettably, are archived only as complete issues rather than as individual articles. But all the material is available.) David
  2. 2 in, Multiple outs

    It was exactly the ambiguity that made me choose the picture. It was taken on a location shoot in Texas about ten years ago. David
  3. 2 in, Multiple outs

    I believe you are looking for a "press bridge." That is a piece of gear designed to accomplish distribution of audio signals to multiple recipients. PSC makes a press bridge: http://www.professionalsound.com/specs/pr_bridge.htm David
  4. Sony MDR 7506 coiled cable

    Bruce Bisenz employed, I think, the best solution to the unruly cable problem. He rewired all of his headsets to incorporate a permanent yoke that "Y-d" down to a connector. He had a number of cables that he might attach to that Y-connector - straight, coiled, mono and stereo. The connector provided a weak point that could pop before a cable would be stressed to the breaking point and aging or compromised cables could be easily replaced in the field. Of course, he is handier than I with a soldering gun - an essential skill as the Sony cables employ Litz wire (or something very similar). My own solution is less elegant but has worked well for me. I simply thread a length of nylon climbing line through the coils to limit the expansion of the coiled cable. By affixing the nylon line with O-rings at each end, I provide some slack to prevent damage when coming to the end of the line. This is similar to the clever rerouting employed by Dave Pulmer and others but may be easier to undo. David
  5. Looking Into Buying Zaxcom IFB

    I ran a series of tests of transmitting antennas for the 695 Quarterly (now Production Sound & Video) a few years ago. We compared the standard telescoping antenna with the Comtek Phase Right, Comtek Mini Mite and Remote Audio Miracle Whip. Measuring distance to drop-outs and interference with clear line of sight, our experience was similar to A Few's; the antennas all had about the same range. However, the Comtek and Remote Audio units were all complete antenna systems while the telescoping whip relies on the chassis of the transmitter for ground plane. This means that the transmitter must be used on the top shelf of the cart for enough headroom to extend the whip. Because the other antennas are deployed remotely, the transmitter can be anywhere convenient. The tests were published in the Summer 2011 edition available here: http://www.local695.com/Quarterly/3-3/ A direct link to the tests: http://www.local695.com/Quarterly/3-3/3-3-testing-the-transmitting-antennas/ David
  6. BDS Battery + AC

    Yes, of course, a 220-volt circuit feeding a standard Edison outlet. Good catch. (Fat fingers) David
  7. Nagra Stories Sound-men won’t ever tell

    I assume you mean that you are using the jumper plug on the Pilot-in tuchel connector. The crystal sync signal is routed from the crystal circuit board to the pilot record head through pins in the Pilot-in connector. This is an elegant way to activate the crystal function by plugging in the jumper or deactivating it be removing the jumper. your copy seems to indicate that you are doing all this appropriately but it’s worth asking to be sure. David
  8. BDS Battery + AC

    I’ve not heard of a problem in New Mexico (You’re from NM, aren’t you?) but I was working in San Francisco once and we fried a light because some random outlets were wired 120-volt. I understand this is an occupational hazard in old San Francisco buildings. David
  9. Nagra Stories Sound-men won’t ever tell

    I’m not a service technician so i can only respond in a general way but the problem you describe is common to the portable Nagras. I’ve experienced it with the IV-L, the 4.2 and the IV-S. The good news is that, once stabilized with your finger, the operation is good. Of course, it’s a nuisance. I think that service instructions for any portable Nagra ought to be applicable to your machine. Regrettably, I don’t have those manuals but they are likely to be more easily sourced. David
  10. Sound Devices Mix Pre-3 and Mix Pre-6

    I haven’t actually investigated this issue so the following suggestion is just speculation - Wouldn’t it be possible to make interconnecting cables that would pass signal to the recorder while not passing phantom power back to your Cooper mixer? Perhaps an in-line isolation transformer? Apologies if you have already considered this and there is a reason unseen by me that makes this solution impractical. David
  11. How to hide a Sennheiser ME 2 on talent

    This has been an interesting discussion but, I think, largely irrelevant to making movies. Probably you (the OP) and everyone making suggestions has seen the movie Bull Durham. As you will recall, the characters played by Kevin Kostner and Susan Sarandon both took active roles in preparing Tim Robbins' talented but erratic pitcher for better things in the majors. Sarandon has him wearing ladies' underwear beneath his team uniform. Of course, frilly underwear doesn't confer any advantage but it does distract an overactive mind so the pitcher can work from muscle memory. Trying to find strategies to conceal a clumsy microphone choice may serve the same end. One is engaged in making active preparation to perform sound recording responsibilities in a situation where real preparation, given the limits of equipment and budget, is probably impossible. A single radio transmitter/receiver set is only minimally useful on a dramatic film. Except for the occasional Shakespearean soliloquy, dialog in films involves at least two players. A single radio set is not really useful to record two or three people. It may have some utility as a plant mike but that's a different concealment issue and the present microphone may be entirely fine. I think you need to tell the director that, except for a few special situations, you will be working only with the boom microphone. If sound cannot be successfully recorded with that rig, he will need to cover the scene in close-ups or medium shots. If that doesn't work for him, he will need to resign himself (herself?) to the necessity of looping. This is not something to lament or be anxious about. Many fine films have been recorded with a single boom microphone. Moreover, by focusing attention on that approach and not wasting time and energy on halfway radio measures, production can proceed efficiently. With limited resources, it is a perfectly reasonable way to make a movie. David
  12. Production Mix Structure

    I would like to address the matter of working for consistency so that the material can be edited smoothly. This is a concern and a good mixer will be mindful of the need to record lines that can be intercut shot to shot. However, I think consistency should be a secondary goal, not a primary focus. I believe a successful location mixer will attempt to get the best results possible in each shot and not degrade results, at least not significantly, in an effort to maintain consistency. Just because the master was lousy is no reason to do second rate work on all the close-ups. (And, I'm sure that the advice from experienced contributors like Crew and Tom Visser and the others doesn't intend that you do anything of that sort. But it's easy to take good advice and follow it too rigidly.) So, to restate, try for the best sound possible in each set-up but be aware, as you work, that consistent tone is also important. But don't hesitate to jettison an iffy miking approach if you have a chance to make a significant improvement. (The editor may throw away the sound from the compromised shots and make the assembly with the better material.) David
  13. Necessities For Every Soundbag

    Kit necessities will vary a bit according to the assignment. The one constant in my life has been a Swiss Army knife. I used to carry their "classic" model, a small knife that fits in the watch pocket of jeans and features scissors and a small screwdriver. Recently I've changed to the "Rambler." It's the same length but just a bit fatter to accommodate a functional Phillips-head screwdriver (as well as the other tools). Of course, my kit also includes Leatherman and Gerber folding tools but the little Swiss knife is always in my pocket (unless flying). David
  14. Traveling With Cart Overseas

    My first bit of advice is to use a professional freight expediting company to handle transport rather than trying to deal with the gear as excess baggage. There are a number of companies that provide this specialized service. RockIt Cargo comes well recommended (although I must caution that the last time I traveled internationally with gear was more than 15 years ago): https://www.rockitcargo.com You'll also want to research Customs issues when flying with gear. I would think that the US Virgin Islands would not present Customs issues for a US citizen but, since you may travel on an international flight, I think you would, at least, want to have copies of purchase receipts to establish that your gear was acquired in the States. Better, register the gear with Customs before leaving (you take your cases of gear with a written inventory to a Customs office and they inspect the cases and stamp your inventory). A Carnet might be good if there is any chance you will island hop to another territory. A case for your cart is ideal - I would offer to loan one but you are on the east coast so that's of limited benefit. If a case is difficult to acquire, you can arrange to have your cart crated. That's bit expensive and adds to the weight of your shipment. An alternative might be to have it "palletized." Your freight expediting company lies the cart on a pallet and "cocoon-wraps" the whole business in plastic. Take pictures of each case, both closed and open to show the gear, so you have a record of what was in each case and how it was packed. Time permitting, print a photo of the interior of each case, label the contents, and affix it to the lid or simply lay it in the case. That provides a guide for any customs or TSA official who might open a case and wonder what all those tech (and possibly ominous) devices are. It can also discourage opportunistic shrinkage by establishing what is supposed to be there. Larcenous baggage people sometimes hesitate to grab things if their presence is documented. David
  15. Equipment wishes for 2017

    From The Third Man: "Holly, I'd like to cut you in, old man. There's nobody left in Vienna I can really trust and we've always done everything together. When you make up your mind, send me a message - I'll meet you any place, any time, and when we do meet old man, it's you I want to see, not the police. Remember that, won't ya? Don't be so gloomy.After all it's not that awful. You know what the fellow said– in Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace – and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock. So long Holly." I understand that Orson Welles improvised the dialog in that second paragraph. In any event, the historical perspective expressed is a little wonky; the Swiss at that time had one of the most formidable armies in Europe and the cuckoo clock was a German product. And I think (but I'd have to check) that both Leonardo and Michelangelo were active before the ascension of the Borgias. But it's a memorable speech and it comes unbidden to the forefront of my mind whenever I hear the words "cuckoo clock." David