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RPSharman

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About RPSharman

  • Rank
    Hero Member
  • Birthday 04/02/1969

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  • Location
    Los Angeles
  • Interested in Sound for Picture
    Not Applicable
  • About
    Production Sound Mixer - primarily features and TV.

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  1. RPSharman

    In ear monitors for production sound

    I find there to be no cable noise in my Westone UM Pro 20s, and I also turn my headphone feed way down. As I mentioned before, I use the smallest silicone tips to allow some escape for loud surprises, and to hear some ambient sound around me. It's my intent, however to try a more fitted tip when I'm stuck outside when recording a quiet scene inside.
  2. RPSharman

    In ear monitors for production sound

    I recently started using UM Pro 20 (Westone) and find them great! I use the smallest silicone tips so I am not completely isolated from the outside world, although my crew and other crew members certainly noticed I can hear them far less than before. I started by listening to takes I had recorded when I wore my Beyerdynamic DT250s. It helped me get an idea of the differences. Then I used them for the last couple of weeks of a show I had mixed for 2 seasons, so I had heard the same actors on the same sets with the same boom operator. It helped me feel confident that I knew what I was hearing. Now I won't look back. The ease of using in ears vs. big phones is truly immeasurable for me. I can wear sun hats and winter hats, as required. And my ever-thinning hair doesn't end up in a rooster tail by lunch!!
  3. RPSharman

    Noisy Environments

    Regarding recording the ambiance toward or away from the offensive noise... I have found that in situations like traffic, car noise that's visible in the shot and such will still make the track even with the mic pointed in a "quiet" direction. I feel that a more consistent and less noisy underlying ambiance, with the most obvious things like trains and cars still making that track, would be more useful. But really all I get from post is that it was useful, and I have never really asked if it would have been better pointing directly at the cars and such. I would like to know 🙂
  4. RPSharman

    Noisy Environments

    You'd be very surprised with what they can do to clean up audio. It won't be ideal, but may be good enough, which seems to be the current standard requested these days for most productions. I did a scene about 4 pages long in downtown LA at rush hour. We had a snow machine hissing away above our actors. We had busses and traffic, and even someone playing trumpet down the alley. The actors were talking so quietly that they were unable to hear each other for their cues, even though they were sat next to each other on a park bench. They were facing forward, so couldn't see when each other spoke. Everyone assumed the scene would require ADR. Myself included. But it didn't. The resulting fix was not good if you listened to the scene on headphones, but not too bad coming from TV speakers. And this was 10 years ago with even simpler tools than they have today. Your solution of getting as much recording as possible for the dialog editors to work with is smart. Have the actors speak at the highest level they can that makes sense to the scene. Get the lavs close. Maybe rent a SuperCMIT and see if that will help too. Consider running the scene wild in a quieter area directly after the scene is over, so the performances can match to some degree. And run a separate ambiance track while you're shooting. Point it in the most consistent and least noisy direction, so the sound editor can use it to smooth out the cuts. This last part only works of the ambiance makes sense to the story. If you're shooting a piece that takes place in the 1700's and you hear cars and busses, then there's obviously no point. Good luck, and remember that bad producing is not your fault. Robert
  5. Hi all, Can you please send me a private message if you’re available to record a lav (to match production sound) on the upper west side tomorrow at 4:30pm. Just you with the actor in his apartment. Probably less than an hour to get some added lines. Tell me what you’d have to have for compensation. I know this is a simple job, but you’re representing me as the producer on an $80k film we shot a few months ago, so it means a lot to me. I’d prefer someone with narrative film/TV experience who works with actors daily. Boom ops and utilities are good too. Just want someone who knows the “vibe” of dealing with a layed back but very experienced actor. Thanks, Robert
  6. RPSharman

    Rechargeable Batteries for TX

    I haven't found that yet. I have learned to be careful with all rechargeables, as they all seem to come apart if you're not careful.
  7. RPSharman

    Rechargeable Batteries for TX

    I've started using the IKEA ones, which I think are rebranded eneloops, and are working well. I tend to switch brands regularly so I know which ones are newest.
  8. RPSharman

    IFB on the cheap.

    Haha! It is a trick, but they do come up once in a while. Mine were $350. I use 216 Comteks for clients, as they too show up used from time to time, usually about $300 each. And are cheaper than IFBs new for sure. Makes a big difference when buying a lot. I've been very lucky in the used market, with timing and price. My earlier point is just making sure that whatever we use is presented well and works. Using industry standards like Comtek and Lectrosonics (and Zaxcom too, I suppose) protects sound people from being perceived as "cheap". If we make the effort to keep up the illusion, rates might stop declining. I'm not saying we should all have ponytails and skinny jeans like DPs and operators, but we can be clean and groomed and dressed in a way that sets us apart for lower paid crew members. Just my opinion.
  9. RPSharman

    How can boom ops be more diplomatic?

    You're the big fish in the small pond. Tell them you cannot insure quality if you're required to use a boom operator that you don't know. You are working locally, and they get the benefit of that, so they ought to consider bringing in someone you know. You can always ask if the focus puller is local. I have gently taken someone aside who yells "boom" during a shot and told them that nobody yells "focus" in the middle of the shot. They either say that we need to reset, cut, or go again when the take is over. Just like a focus puller can't always predict an actor's and camera's movement, neither can we. They should afford us the same respect. In terms of boom ops on set... it's a hard thing to teach. Diplomacy is a learned skill, but some people just aren't good at it and never will be. Some people are just unlikeable. I would rather have someone that everyone likes and train them to boom the way I like, than try to train a good boom op to be liked on set. In terms of egos. As department head you have every right to take DP aside and say that neither you nor your crew work for him/her. In a fluid situation you are just trying to get the best sound possible, just like they are trying to get the best picture. If there's a communication problem on set, you can discuss how to solve it together with your team and his/her team. If your director is a dick, then you just have to do the best you can and trust that it is probably equal to or better than other movies they have done if that's the kind of environment they are creating.
  10. RPSharman

    Red Helium Fan

    Here's from a colleague. No mention of long takes, but you get the idea of what's required. It's more about target temperatures. If you want long takes in a warm environment, you need to have a black shade map with a higher target temperature set. Or just don't do long takes. Treat it like film. Roll and slate and call action quickly, and cut quickly at the end. Collaboration required with ADs and everyone else! "We have an extremely helpful DP and camera team. At Prep stage i contacted the DIT and DP regarding fan speeds. The DIT asked if he could leave the cameras on 'Adaptive' and i told him that would not be possible due to my past experiences and noise testing on various films and at <rental house> in their sound testing booth with <tech> from RED. He was open to changing that idea, and with the DP copied into all emails we formulated a plan. I told him that other colleagues had used a system whereby the 'Black Shading' was mapped for various different target temperatures, thus having the ability to set the target temperature to something achievable based on each location/situation, and change it instantly along with the custom black shading map if the cameras wanted to heat up/cool down to a level unanticipated. I then contacted ex 1st AC, and now <RED technician>, to chime in and he said this was perfectly feasible and acceptable and offered to come out to one of our camera test days. <The RED tech> and his assistant arrived and helped set up the black shading maps. We then tried the 'Adaptive Preview, Quiet Record' setting which i found a little unpredictable and variable in its noise levels. We agreed that on wide exteriors where the cameras (3 of them....) would be nowhere near the dialogue we would leave the cameras in 'Adaptive'. We also agreed that whenever i needed to on exteriors and all interiors we would run the cameras fans on Manual 30% Record speed with the Preview (i.e. idle) speed at whatever the DIT needed to keep the cameras cool without fluctuating the temperatures too greatly (which is undesirable in the same way as overheating the camera or setting an unachievable target temperature). He constantly monitors the core temperature versus the target temperature and adjusts the preview fan speed to create the best workable balance. Having <RED technician> visit us and let us know what is achievable really gave everyone confidence in our workflow and i am incredibly grateful to him for that. We also agreed that if i could hear the cameras i could ask for the fan speeds to be dropped to 25% (their lowest setting), which has happened twice in small rooms so far (day 4 of shoot). I am confident that at 25% the RED HELIUM is no louder than an Alexa on 'record low'. At 30% it is slightly louder but within acceptable levels for most situations (apart from two cameras in very small rooms, and/or quiet close ups with actors at minimum focus, close to the lens). We have all been collaborating professionally and after knowing a couple of times i would not hear the cameras due to them being on long lens and asking for the fans to be turned up to 40% i have the trust of the camera dept and DIT who know i'm compromising whenever i can. We are now at a wonderful stage unprecedented in my experience with Reds - i can set the fan speed to whatever we need it to be, by asking the DIT who can manipulate the cameras instantly using an APP on his phone. I would say that the Helium is the best RED so far in terms of fan noise and if set up correctly with black shading maps for different temperatures and a camera department who are happy to collaborate the cameras will not impact the dialogue acquisition. Generally our starting point interior setting is Manual, 30% Record and 75% Preview. (BTW, 75% on a Helium is nowhere near as loud as 75% was on a Red Weapon, which sounded like a hairdryer).
  11. RPSharman

    L.A. Soundies: Mileage "zone" question

    In general (and I have worked in LA and London recently) you are expected to make your own way at your own expense for anything that's considered in the area you are supposed to be living. So if the job is in SLC and the location is "out of town", then it would be typical to add time and mileage to your daily rate. But without specific rules, it's something you need to agree on ahead of time. Nobody lives in London, but if you work in London then you're expected to get there. If you live in LA, you're expected to get to location within the 30 mile zone from LaCienega and Beverly, even if that means you're on one end of the zone and need to get to the other. It's an imperfect system, and may people elect to turn down jobs with bad commutes.
  12. RPSharman

    Phase alignment drifting

    Yep. People move. So do mics. When I mix, for example, for a few takes I may use a bit of lav and boom in the mix and all is well. Suddenly there will be a small change. The actor might duck their chin or miss a mark, or the boom op will be a few inches higher or lower for one reason or another, and suddenly that mix of lav and boom at the levels that worked before don't work any more. It's unlikely you'll be able to solve your issue clip by clip. You might just need to align and mix line by line to the edited footage, if your intent is to mix the boom and the lav together.
  13. RPSharman

    How to fix a audio track after the shoot?

    I would be surprised if there's not another recording of the audio somewhere. Call around for sure. Unfortunately I'd guess the only recording of the headset mic is the one you have. The podium mics will have her going on and off mic a lot, which might be better sounding in terms of quality, but very distracting and also not very professional. If I were the client, I wouldn't pay either. And although the camera person should have been listening, it likely wasn't their decision to not have someone responsible for the sound. If that's not the case (this isn't my area of expertise), I wouldn't hire that person again either. It's a serious mistake. Fixing this will only make it sound differently bad, unfortunately. As others have said
  14. RPSharman

    IFB on the cheap.

    Here's the thing. The OP might have a corner on the market in Idaho, and expectations might be low, but that doesn't mean professionalism shouldn't be the goal. My biggest pet peeve is listening to mixers gripe about how rates have gone down and they can't find good rental and people no longer treat the sound mixer with respect, yet people show up looking scruffy with a bunch of shit hanging out of their bag, borrow a folding chair, whatever. If, as a community, we want to increase wages and return to being seen as professionals, it's time we started to do that. Look the part! Buy a nice used UM400a for $500 and a couple of used IFBs for $350 each. It'll work great in the bag or on your cart. If you do buy an old Comtek system, buy new zipper pouches for them (including the transmitter). A nice shiny new black pouch with crisp COMTEK on the outside will make a good impression, regardless if there's a 20 year old receiver in there. Regarding any non-industry standard brands... they may work fine, but when they don't, the client will look at them and wonder what crap they're paying you rental for. If something is going wrong, and the gear is something they recognise, like Lectrosonics or Comtek, they'll consider it an anomaly and at least won't question your professionalism regarding gear. Just my opinion.
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