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About AlisonGrayson

  • Rank
    Creating waveforms and taking names.
  • Birthday 02/12/1985

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  • Location
    Portland OR
  • About
    Sound Mixer/Recordist specializing in documentary and reality. Sprinkle some MMA and general awesomeness on top.

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660 profile views
  1. Lavs made for abuse

    Yep, that placement is working pretty well for my boys too. Plus I'm not given enough access or time to do a helmet mic, even if they did keep it on. I've also seen several helmets roll off during a game, but I've yet to see pads roll off...
  2. Lavs made for abuse

    Thanks, all! Fortunately production is understanding that yes, the mics are expendables, and since they're micing players during games, they will indeed expend quicker than usual. But I have a feeling that if we keep losing mics at our current rate, that situation might change... I'm surprised to hear that the sanken cos-11s held up so well in a similar situation, as I've always considered them a pretty delicate mic. The show's primary mixer uses DPAs on the coaches and loves em, so it's nice to hear more people vouching for the brand and their prices. I've also been unrealistically biased against Sennheiser mics because of how horrendous the me2s sound, but perhaps I should get over that and give their higher end models a listen.... Off to do some more sound homework!
  3. Lavs made for abuse

    Hey all! I've been working on an Arena football reality show, and we've been putting some of my wirelesses on players during the game. The SMQVs are pretty snug in padding and gaff taped to hell, so they're holding up like champs, but as you can imagine, my lav mics are getting destroyed. The mic head is pretty tucked away inside of padding, but they're still taking on a decent brunt of impact. I've been using my B6s because they're fairly sweat proof, but between the impact and the yelling (my SMQVs' sensitivities are set to 1.5 during the games and the players still occasionally peak in unit), the diaphragms are taking a beating. I was thinking of picking up some Oscar Sound tech TL-40s because of their price point, but I was wondering if anyone could suggest some rugged mics that might hold up better in this situation. I've been shying away from my tram mics in this situation because my experience with them is that they tend to sweat out pretty quickly. Thanks!
  4. Boom operators - Cool photos

    uncropped of my profile/getting fidgety during a stupid long doc shot. Working on a month long kayaking documentary off the grid on the Green and Colorado rivers is an excellent crash course in waterproofing. No gear was harmed in the filming of this production. If anyone needs wild noise of rapids, let me know.
  5. I am a boom operator. How do i save my back?

    Agreed with all that was said, but adding- in your strengthening workouts, don't ignore your legs. There's a lot of stabilizing that goes on down there, and if your foundation is shaky, it doesn't matter how strong your shoulders or core are. ...plus you really don't want to be all disproportionate and pencil legged. And yes to yoga. I'm bad about only doing it on long stretches of shooting, but jeeze if it doesn't keep you in one piece. I boom with an ENG bag, so perhaps the body strain is a bit different, but this http://www.myyogaonline.com/poses/twists/revolved-lunge-pose-parivrtta-anjaneyasana and variations of it are really helpful for opening up your chest/shoulders while stretching your lower back.
  6. Storing Gear at Home

    Most renter's insurance will only cover hobby items, and once you make a living off of it they consider it professional...Good luck claiming that tens of thous of sound gear is just a hobby. Sometimes I'm concerned that people see me regularly lugging large pelicans in and out of my car at all hours, but I have a gear closet with a lock, a locked front door, and live with three pitbulls and two MMA coaches. I figure if anyone manages to break it and steal it without incurring serious injury, kudos to them (and of course it's all insured).
  7. chase jobs, or move markets?

    Truth, lol. I'm around town for a few more days and again in the latter half of the month. Text or PM me and we'll figure it out! And I'm getting better at saying no, slowly, very slowly, though honestly my "no's" are still vastly related to rates. I'm totally down for an audio/farming/hippie commune growing avocados. Who's in? I have a decent amount of LA and SF connections from working so frequently with out of town crews...now if only I could make enough money to summer in Portland and winter in Cali! Thanks for the advice everyone, you definitely gave me some points to chew over.
  8. chase jobs, or move markets?

    Thanks for the input! Ya, when I was thinking about playing local I did wonder if it was a faux pas, though a surprising amount of non-audio industry colleagues I talked to in Portland did it on the regular, but Portland doesn't have a ton of competition for good, non-union sound people. We're lucky that there's enough work to go around and enough niches, and the cost of living vs. value of life Portland offers is super awesome. But, gray winters, and 5 year itch, though damned if freelancing makes moving terrifying. And agreed, generally speaking the jobs I like the most and the jobs that work me hardest are the lower paying ones, but I'm in a spot where I value the experience and the challenge more than the pay. I'm also at a spot when I realize there will be an expiration date to that mentality, so I figure I should rock it out when I can physically and financially afford to.
  9. chase jobs, or move markets?

    Hey all, I'm at a split road in my career path and having no real audio mentor to turn to, I'm hoping all you beautiful veterans could give me some advice. I'm a Portland OR based non-union ENG mixer, specializing in documentary and reality style production. I manage to keep myself pretty busy in Portland's job market and I've built myself up a decent gear package, network, and a ton of experience. Currently I work in Portland approx. 50% of the time, and the other 50% is travel gigs with production companies who like working with me and don't want the hassle of hiring local. Less than 20% of my travel work is international, and the rest is domestic. Most of my work is for independent productions, though I do work as a dayplayer for larger production companies who are producing Portland episodes, and I've got some pretty decent names and networks on my resume/client list. I've been in production for seven years, but only the past 3-4 years have been focused on audio, so yes, I realize I'm pretty fresh in all this and I have plenty of room to grow, both experience wise and gear wise. Ideally I'd like to stay in the documentary/reality genera (I'm one of those sickos that likes lugging their gear up mountains, down rivers, and having to filter tap water from seedy 3rd world hotels), but I'd like to up my game and do more work for productions on larger networks like Nat Geo, Discovery/Travel and their children networks, etc, and those jobs rarely pass through my market. I just got off of a Hulu Series, and I'd really like to continue with episodic work as well. I figure my options are to: 1. Follow these networks via StaffMeUp and other sites and apply to productions as a local in markets where I'm not a local and just swallow the expense, or 2. Relocate myself to a larger market, such as LA, where the productions I'd like to work for are based. Since none of the LA production companies I'd like to work with actually produce in LA, I'm really not sure if this option would help me connect to the right people and get on the production's I'm looking for, or if those productions would just hire someone local to the production city anyway. So, sorry this is a roundabout question, but any input or experiences would be greatly appreciated!
  10. zoom h6 and other such prosumer recorders

    Thanks, all! I'm definitely leaning towards the Tascam, but I'll give the Sony a look. Since I'm getting it primarily as an alternate for guerrilla projects, the clients that I'd use it for are willing to sacrifice a little higher end quality for a non-conspicuous production profile. Different tools and compromises for different jobs
  11. zoom h6 and other such prosumer recorders

    Hey lovelies, sorry I've been lurking lately and less than vocal, buuuut What are y'all thoughts on the zoom h6? I'm thinking about it as a backup/second recording unit, primarily for those situations where I need to have a lower profile than my standard bag can provide, or where I'm expected to both record from a board feed and need to be a roaming unit at the same time. I do a lot of documentary run and gun, so these situations pop up enough that I'm willing to spend a couple hundred on making my life easier. Initially I was leaning towards the Tascam dr-100mkll, but the 4 xlr inputs on the h6 are a little tempting (though I'm pretty sure I'd just use my beloved nomad for anything over 3). I realize the zoom is well into the "prosumer" genera regarding quality of recordings and I've read a few reviews regarding preamps and noise and whatnot, but my main concerns for what I need from it are physical. The xlrs don't lock, and the control nobs don't lock either and don't have any sort of a protective covering- I'm expecting to occasionally have it in a non-audio bag and I'm concerned about controls getting tousled around. The tascam locks and most of the controls are internal, so I'm imagining it can take more of a thrashing. Has anyone used the zoom6 or have any input?
  12. Nomad fader issues

    Unfortunately with some overdue invoices and the jolly season, I'm a little strapped myself, but thanks for the heads up!
  13. Nomad fader issues

    Thanks Glenn. I'm sure you'll be hearing from me in the future for an upgrade. I'm only in the first few years of my career, and I love that the Nomad is something that can grow with me- makes it a great investment!
  14. Nomad fader issues

    Thanks guys! I now have my outbus assigned 1 to Out1, 2 to Out2, etc, and the Record Routings are set to the respected Outs, and the faders are acting how I expect them to. I'm not sure how much I'm digging the Lite set up- I'll have to re configure my set ups on jobs where I'm sending a 2 channel mixdowns to cameras and recording in unit, and the Nomad4 did this pretty effortlessly. I guess it's more incentive to save up and upgrade to 10.
  15. Nomad fader issues

    Hey all, I recently had to send my Nomad back to factory for phantom issues and the screen upgrade and since it's returned, I've been having issues with the fader nobs. They're only affecting the output levels. I often work in situations where I'm recording only in unit and not sending any audio out, so having full control on the inputs/card records is particularly important to me. I had just gotten an upgrade code so they changed it from a 4 to a Light at the factory (not sure if that may be relevant). It came back with firmware that kept freezing on me, so I downgraded it to 4.22, factory reset, and still had issues- I reverted to 3.13 (which I never had any issues with), and then tried 4.42, all with factory resets and all with the same issue. I can still adjust individual track gain in the setting menus, but faders are only affecting output levels. My fader assigns are also the way I've always had them, with fader 1 assigned with A to track 1, etc. I have no idea if there's a setting if I'm overlooking, or if something wonky may have happened at the shop. Zaxcom is still closed for an extended holiday, so I'm scrambling to get this figured out before a job on Sunday. I've posted to the Zaxcom forums as well, but any input would be appreciated! -Alison