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Philip Perkins

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About Philip Perkins

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  • Birthday 01/01/1

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  • Interested in Sound for Picture
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    Sound of all sorts
  1. Ambient/Denecke timecode disparity

    All TC clocks can be calibrated one way or another. Ambient made this possible to do in the field with their master unit, Denecke can cal their equipment in their shop, as can other techs....
  2. Nagra Stories Sound-men won’t ever tell

    I used various mono Nagras (III, IV-L, 4.2) between 1975 and 1984. By 1984 my clients had become interested in having timecode recorded on the recorder along with audio, to allow for automated and faster syncing of sound to a video tape copy of the film shot on location, and that was really only practical with various modifications of the IV-SL. As Mike said, while the IV-S is a great machine and has 2 audio channels, it has far fewer features useful to location recordists and thus required a lot more peripheral devices to get the job done. I used IV-S recorders modified with various time-code add-ons up through the "Harvey" or "Time Code Systems" conversion--which I still have (which came out about a year or so after the Kudelski IV-STC). I started using digital recorders (DAT) as soon as they became available in the USA in "grey-market" versions (while official imports from Japan were held up by the record industry) in the late 1980s--these were non-timecode recorders that came along at a very convenient time for the overseas nature and culture docs I was working on then. They were far lighter, smaller, cheaper and had tape run-times far longer than Nagras--great for travel. Time code DATs came a bit later, were highly complex and trouble prone and grossly overpriced, in my opinion. Again, clients requested their use, in spite of generally inferior sound compared to 1/4" Nagras. In the early '90s early adopters of file-based recorders, such as Jeff Wexler, began to campaign to get acceptance of machines like the Deva II, followed a few years later by Sound Devices and other machines, as well as laptop-based recording systems like Metacorder. The industry switched to file based recording pretty quickly, as DAT seemed to become more troublesome as the machines aged and computer-based post made the delivery of audio files instead of tapes very attractive. Most younger people I work with on crews today have never been on a film or a tape-based video shoot, and have never used a Nagra or a DAT machine--the transition has been pretty widespread and complete. Nagras are still used by some music engineers for certain projects, that's pretty much all the Nagra reel to reel usage I hear about anymore (besides being a prop in a period film).
  3. Which Schoeps mics for documentaries?

    Yay MK41!
  4. Which Schoeps mics for documentaries?

    If you want modular "Colette" type Schoeps you can't go wrong with MK41 and whatever head preamp you choose. The MK4 is less useful for normal doco booming (wider pattern), I've never personally used omni type Schoeps in doc work although they are very nice mics. In my mind, the deal with the MK41 after 36+ years of using them is that they sound good on nearly all voices: gruff, smooth, sibilant and not. They also hold their value better than nearly any other piece of gear a location recordist might ever buy....
  5. Boom op-less

    I call myself and all of the rest of you "soundies". It's not a pejorative, it's just a slang-name that doesn't sound a little pretentious when, like the OP, you are working alone, by choice or not. It has nothing to do with the OP's real problem, which is that he's being overworked while being expected to over-deliver. It may be that the production is inexperienced or has low standards for production sound, it could also be that they have great audio aesthetics and no money. In any case, as was said, in this situation YOU (the "soundie") have to decide how much "sound" you can afford to give them given the circumstances. Unless the show is extremely simple, you will not get to 100%. When I was younger and more energetic I used to tell directors of indie dramas that I'd get them 85% for sure when working alone, and they'd need to fix the rest in post. A whole lot of wireless mics is not a great way to approach an low-budg drama, esp if there are many characters. Booming will work better overall, usually, and that is something that everyone will have to get used to if the sound dept. is an Army Of One. I'm all for giving newbs a chance to be in the sound dept. by trying them out on a boom, but only if they seem to get what that job is really about and have observed me or some other soundie working for awhile. Otherwise--no sale. They get what I working alone can do for them.
  6. Stolen equipment - San Francisco

    REALLY sorry to hear about this--we are not having a good week in the Bay Area. Call Chater Camera right away, ask for Jay. If their gear is not already out they can cover most of what you need (not Sonosax though...)_ 510 525 5400. PM me if you still need help...
  7. View From The Office:

    Emptying the shop in prep for an oddball concert recording gig. The location is a small museum with players in various rooms. No cabling across floors etc allowed by the museum staff--so 5 individual recorders jam synced each recording 2-4 tracks, plus the JoeCo rig for recording the few players who are near enough to exterior windows that we can cable in that way. Jam, push record, hope for the best!
  8. Lectrosonics SMWB coming soon?

    Buy them from Pinknoise in the UK then. They are happy to ship.
  9. Recording 160dB?

    So all that cheering is because the played a buzzy bass note @ 180+db?
  10. Lectrosonics SMWB coming soon?

    A Tascam DR10-C is a tiny-recorder with a pass-thru to connect to a TX. It works very well, for having to have 2 devices on the talent. I figured out a 2-strap ankle rig for this that worked pretty well.
  11. Lectrosonics SMWB coming soon?

    You won't hear any diff in audio quality between 44.1 and 48k, esp for normal location sound. Sound quality isn't the issue. The issue is handing the loaded gun of non-standard sample rate audio to the picture dept, who can merrily use it without having any idea that it isn't 48k, and then the error gets paid forward to the audio post people who then get a problematic and /or incomplete export due to there being non-48k audio files in the edit timeline. It is unlikely that by the time the export occurs (esp on a large project) that anyone involved will remember that those files from this new device are @ 44.1, which may require in a lot of detective work to discover what is missing or screwed up in the export and why. Please do not encourage editors to injest non-48k audio!!! Sorry to be cranky but I deal with exactly this issue on nearly every film I mix anymore! There are still many complaints about exports from Premiere to PT et al that are often traceable to this issue. It is not a non-issue, or at least not yet.
  12. Lectrosonics SMWB coming soon?

    Do try to make the thing record @ 48k, with an update etc.. I'd live with less battery life (when the thing is recording and not transmitting) and slightly smaller card capacity. We don't need more workarounds. Delivering 44.1k files on an otherwise 48k job (audio files and audio on camera files) is asking for trouble.
  13. Lectrosonics SMWB coming soon?

    Premiere may or not be converting that file to 48k, generally what happens is that the NLE takes whatever format you feed it and converts it on the fly during playback (thus mp4s, mp3s, 44.1 audio etc etc used in edit timelines). Thus that non-48k file often doesn't exist in any form but the original on the edit system unless it has been rendered to a new file (copy). This works fine for the picture dept. The problems start when you want to export the audio to the sound dept. for audio post. It is generally a very very (very) good idea to make sure that there is NO audio in the project to be exported that is at any sample rate other than 48k. OMF/AAF exports are very frought enough when everything is done correctly (scrambled imports, lost files, repeating files etc), breaking a bedrock rule from the get-go is not something I want the editor to do. I spend a lot of time trying to persuade editors to patrol their projects pre-export to make sure they have rendered any non-48k audio to 48k before they export. I feel like it is incumbent on me as a location soundie to deliver my files at the sample rate post will expect them to be at. Thus if I used one of these devices I would feel like I should SRC its files to 48k for delivery. I encourage Lectro to reconsider leaving 48k off this device: Tascam's DR10 series can do 48k, and the DR10L is avail in the USA.
  14. Lectrosonics SMWB coming soon?

    I'm ready to have explained to me why the recorder aspect of the new SMs uses a 44.1 kHz sample rate. Adding 44.1 audio into a 48k post project is a Bad Idea.....
  15. MixPre-6 or a second hand 552?

    The 552 sounds fine--I actually think I like the sound of it better than my 6xx stuff, but by comparison to later recorders it's a pain in the ass. You kind of need to keep the menu-guide handy to access all of its features (or listen to the slow-talking Dr. Hawking "Sven" prompts), it has no info screen of any kind. As a 5 input stereo mixer it's great, but as was said the recording feature it has was thought of at the time as a cam-hop backup: it's more or less impossible to name files on the machine. If what you really need is a recorder then get a recorder, preferably with easier to use, more modern features. If you need more inputs you can put a mixer in front of that.