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About dfisk

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    Supreme ruler of Space, Time, and Dimension
  • Birthday January 25

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  • Location
    United States
  • Interested in Sound for Picture
  • About
    Audio Product Specialist at DVeStore. Previous experience in video game sound design, television sound design, and feature film sound design. Former product specialist at Coffey Sound. Expert knowledge of microphones, recorders, and workflow.
  1. How many hours of audio do you have? I ask because for me, as someone who has done a fair amount of dialogue editing, I'd look at the cost/time to find a resolver vs. just dumping the audio into pro tools and manually cutting. If you have hundreds of hours, then obviously that's a pain, but if it's just tens of hours, it can be done if the sync isn't too bad. What can happen...and it's kind of black magic...is that you end up finding a time stretch/compression setting that magically makes it all work, and you can just process the files that way, especially if you have something like sound forge where you can batch process everything real fast, but that's more luck than anything else. When I've had to do stuff like this I've usually figured out a way to do it quickly once I get into it...most of the time.
  2. I remember when I first started at Coffey, I was in rentals in order to learn the gear, and I remember seeing a Jazz drive on the shelf and I asked Chris Silverman what it was and why we had it. It just sat there and never went out. I can't remember if we had an Orb drive, but I think I saw one or two. Wasn't the Nagra V using the Orb disk/drive...whatever it was? I think by the time I started DVD-Ram was really the standard format for turning in media. Remember when we could get DVD-Rams on a spindle in bulk for the first time? And then when computers started being able to read them natively? It was like the clouds parted and angels started singing.
  3. ATRAC....Now there's a "word" I haven't seen in a long while. When I started getting involved in production sound DAT was already the standard, but the Deva II was really starting to come in to its own. This was in 2002. DAT was definitely a step towards digital recording, but it was still linear. It was just another type of "tape". You just needed a machine that could play it and you were still good in terms of post production. The real trail blazing came when people started turning in DVD-RAM discs. I was working at Coffey Sound and when I first started a HUGE part of my job was helping post facilities sort out what to do with these discs. A lot of them would use something like a DV-40 or a Studio Deva (remember that?) to play the discs in real time, just like they would a tape. They'd come out analog of them. It took a while for them to really catch up to file based recording. There was no universal media that anyone could just go get at Best Buy and plug in via USB or SCSI or firewire or whatever. You couldn't just put a dvd-ram disc in your computer and transfer the files. IF you figured out you could take them out of the caddy...if you had the caddies that allowed you to do that, then you needed special software to read them because they were formatted in a way that computers couldn't read at the time. Nothing was simple like it is now. What I used to spend a day trying to figure out is now literally a 2 or 3 second "thing" for me to deal with.
  4. I might be sorted out, but if I need one I'll reach out again.
  5. Whoa. This looks cool, and perfect for my 16 year old son who is into this sort of stuff AND taking German for his foreign language in high school.
  6. I always recommended the first purchases should be a good quality boom pole, a good mic (w/ suspension and windscreen), and a good pair of headphones, and throw in some XLR cables for good measure. You can then rent the other stuff that you need. Establish a good relationship with a rental house. If you are renting gear for a production, especially a long term, make sure to let the rental house know. They may offer you a discount. You bill that to production as you would your own gear, but you mark it up so you make some scratch on it. If renting isn't an option for you (you don't live close to a rental house, and you just got a call for a gig tomorrow morning, and there is stuff you need), then rent from fellow local sound mixers OR plan ahead and buy only what you need, such as a small recorder and one or two wireless systems. I typically don't recommend the buy once cry once model for people just starting out, because if in a year or so you decide this isn't for you, now you have all this expensive gear that you need to unload and it might not have paid for itself. If you know what you are doing, you can get the lower cost stuff to work for you, and at this point, you aren't working on a big TV show our feature. You're doing lower budget stuff or corporate gigs. The lower cost stuff will work just fine for that, and the rental you charge production for your gear will pay that gear off faster than the expensive stuff. As you move up in the world, then you can either sell off your lower cost gear and buy better stuff, or keep the low cost gear in case there are hard times and you get a low budget thing tossed your way. On the retail side of things, I often ask people "what's your budget" when they are looking for something like a mic or wireless system, and I get the inevitable dollar amount that is usually lower than optimal. This is typical, but it shouldn't be. I always encourage people that instead of saying "I can only spend 'x' amount of money on my gear", figure out how much the gear costs that you want/need, and THEN set your budget for buying gear. If it's do-able, then go for it. If it isn't, then figure out how to get there.
  7. Congrats! I just recently rented this on Blu-Ray. Terrific movie and excellent sound all around. This must have been a heck of a tough shoot. Just like most movies I watch these days, I'm always thinking to myself "How did they handle this scene in terms of audio on production?". I was very happy with the overall mix. We could understand all the dialogue and we didn't have to play the "volume roller coaster" game, where the dialogue is really quiet and then all of a sudden THE MUSIC OR SOUND EFFECTS GET REAL LOUD AND YOU WAKE UP THE KIDS.
  8. People like me watch that opening and go "that's not the sound of rain, that's bacon", and then it's revealed it's bacon. It really is fun to see what you can get away with, though. I was on the sound design side of things for a while. When I was first starting out, and had a minimal sound library and tools at my disposal, I had to learn how to "fake" sounds like this and I was surprised at what worked and what didn't. The guy is right. You can fool people very easily. AND...people would be surprised out much natural sound is used to make "technology" sounds. The sound of the TIE fighters in star wars is actually the sound of a baby elephant.
  9. Well, you are on one of the best resources in terms of reading past posts about production sound. There is a lot of content here. In terms of videos, manufacturers and dealers have videos they make, so you can visit their websites. Often, they will be about a specific piece of equipment.
  10. Ethan, First let me say congrats on the baby! My situation was a little unique, but I'll try to talk about what we did as a family and how it worked out. I moved to LA already having a 6 month old. I was very young (22 years old). I was interning for free at a post place and my first paying gig was working as a security guard at the Delux film lab. I was working my guard shift from 3am until noon, and then interning until about 7pm, and I did that for 6 months. I have no idea how I did it. My wife did not work. We somehow got by on $8/hr during that time in LA. If my wife would have worked all of that money would have just gone into daycare, and we didn't like the idea of putting our kids in daycare anyway (that's a very personal decision, and I'm not judgy about that). I managed to get a gig at Coffey Sound (now Trew LA), and that paid a little better, but we weren't swimming in cash. During that time we added child number 2. After that I went freelance as a sound editor. As we all know, it's feast or famine in the freelance world. Long story short, I got hired as a sound designer at different places doing game sound. Had two more kids. Got hired, laid off, hired, laid off. My wife stayed home with the boys during this entire time. I eventually made the decision to seek regular full time work and I got a gig at K-Tek. Getting out of the feast/famine circle was the best decision...for me. I was tired of the stress of not knowing if I was going to be working, or knowing the hammer could come down any time, or having to move in the middle of the school year..again..and uproot my boys. I currently live in Middle Tennessee and I've been here almost 2 1/2 years. For me, getting to an area of the country that is affordable was the best decision I've ever made. The amount of stress and anxiety that I felt living in California evaporated when I moved here. Now that my boys are older (my oldest just turned 16) my wife can work full time and I work from home, so we have that extra income, which is nice. I thought about getting back into production work (I did a little of it during my freelance days), but as much as I love the people, the gear, and the work, I don't think we could have handled the long hours and the potential of me being away from home for long periods of time. With 4 kids it's really hard on my wife if I'm gone for a week for a trade show. I couldn't imagine being gone for months at a time. I now work a gig that I really like, from home, so can keep my own hours while getting done what I need to do, but it took me about 15 years to build up the street credit and ability to get to this point. I know that seems like a long time, and it is, but it doesn't seem all that long ago that I was just starting out and doing Deva II demos for people. The point of all that is, this is a very personal decision in terms of how you balance work life and home life. We all have different situations, and I've seen guys with families go through bitter divorces because of long work hours, and I've seen other guys with families thrive. One thing I'd say is that it is VERY difficult to have a baby and two working parents in an expensive area to live with expensive child care. It's not impossible, but I can tell you from experience that we had to make $20 last a week sometimes. If knew then what I know now, I would have made a very strong effort to live in a part of the country that is more affordable...but then again, I might not have made the connections I have. We all make the best decisions we can with the information we have at the time, and even if something doesn't work out in the end, you'll have hopefully learned something you can apply to future big life decisions you need to make. Every decision I've made when it comes to work is "what is best for my kids?". Sometimes I've had to set aside what I felt was my "dream" gig for something more stable, and at the time I may have thought I didn't make the right decision, but years later I can look back and see what would have happened had I gone the other way and I know I made the right decision because, again, I was always thinking "what's best for my kids?".
  11. Does anyone have a working DVD-RAM drive they aren't using? I have someone that needs one to get a bunch of old pro tools files off dvd-rams into a new session, and he doesn't have a drive.
  12. ^^^THIS...only I still like analog mixers for some reason. 16 input analog mixer with dante out. It'd probably ridiculously expensive, though, which is why I bet nobody does it.
  13. I don't think there is anything in St. Louis, but I could be wrong if there is a new place that has popped up. Your closest solution would be Second City Sound in Chicago. I know it could be too far to drive, but in terms of shipping ground shipping would be pretty quick.
  14. I worked on the Jackass video game....yes, there is a video game...just editing dialogue that was recorded on an ADR stage one guy at a time. Have back up gear. However, I'd use as much waterproof stuff as possible. It'd be nice if gear didn't just fail in the middle of crazy things happening, right? You can use the Countryman lavs that are waterproof and Lectro waterproof transmitters. My main concern would be connectors getting jacked or lav cables getting cut.
  15. The budget is $3k for all of that? Do they want to rent or buy?