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Chris Durfy

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Everything posted by Chris Durfy


    I've always liked and respected Don, even though I never had a chance to meet him in person. Over the years after purchasing my first Loon, I'd give him a call for parts, advice and support. He was always helpful, available and didn't hesitate to send parts and take the time tell me how to properly put them into play. I last talked to him about three weeks before his death, not knowing he was sick. We talked about sending me some parts for my Loon to the UK. I told him no rush, and to send them via USPS. A part of me hopes to still see them arrive in the post any day just as a testament to Don's values. Godspeed Don. You will be missed. -Chris
  2. URSA Straps Review

    URSA Strap – A better mousetrap aka THIGHstrap! I’ve recently had the chance to play with the full line of URSA straps. Let me bluntly say that they are a total gamechanger in the world of wireless bodypack straps. They are thinner, more breathable and simply better built. They also have some ingenious design features that take them leaps and bounds above the existing market leader in straps, Neopax. Let’s take a look at the differences: URSA vs NeoPax Material – The URSA strap is a 1 mm thick fabric that is much thinner than NP, yet still feels strong and stretchy. It can be easier to hide and is much more breathable. Costume department members and actors will be fans! They also take up a lot less space in the kit, which is an added bonus! Pouch – The pouch is sewed together with a much higher quality stitch than the Neopax, which, in my experience, are sometimes prone to come apart. Each ankle and thigh strap have an oval of nonslip gripper inside the pouch to keep the transmitter securely in place. URSA Pouch Protector straps are also available for absolute security. Nonslip – Ever had an actress hiking and pulling up her thigh strap over and over in between takes? Well URSA has applied the same nonslip strip in each pouch on the thigh strap which highly minimizes / eliminates the issue. Again, happy actors and costumers is a good thing! Cable Management – URSA has added a special cable Management pocket to effectively manage excess wire. There is a technique for using it, check out the URSA video: https://www.facebook.com/ursastraps/videos/386809564997907/ Velcro Alignment – The velcro on the URSA strap is curved and also doesn’t go edge to edge. This, again, is for actor comfort. And it also won’t threaten to ruin a pair of tights like the Neopax thigh straps, which have velcro from edge to edge, have in the past. The curved velcro also can be helpful to blend in under wardrobe without the stark lines that can telegraph through wardrobe like with the Neopax. The velcro on the thigh strap is also of a lower profile to further reduce possible snagging and bunching up. Color Coded Identification – Again, a simple design idea that allows for easy identification of which strap is which. The color also quickly identifies the pouch’s top side orientation. Strap Colors – URSA comes in three colors: Beige, Brown and Black. Brown is a welcome addition for our darker skinned actors. Strap / Pouch Sizes – The URSAs come in five sizes: Ankle, thigh and waist (small, medium & large). Each strap also has two pouch sizes available to accommodate smaller and larger transmitters. Chest Strap – Chest straps have always been a difficult beast. I’ve never come across one that really worked. They’d slip, be visible under wardrobe and cable management was difficult. URSA’s Chest Strap manages all of these problems. Like the rest of the line, it is extremely thin for hidability. Similar to the thigh straps, it has the non-slip strips to keep the strap in place. And it incorporates cable management guides along the strap to guide the microphone cable in place under the strap. URSA Case – URSA also has a nice clear pouch available to keep your straps together in a neat orderly package along with the color-coded identification chart. Availability – Until recently, you couldn’t get URSA Straps in the US, but I’m hearing reports that the hurdle has been overcome with some design changes and you should be seeing them in stock around April or May of this year! All in all, I think URSA is going take over the market for its segment of the production sound world. I for one, will be using them exclusively from now on! Find out more at http://ursastraps.com/ You can see my original blog post and loads of comparison pictures here: http://blog.chrisdurfy.com/?p=711
  3. Dialogue Mumbling: BBC's Nazi Drama SS-GB

    Hate me now, love me later!
  4. I feel like I am seeing parts of private messages between folks on the main page. Anyone else? Concerned? Cheers, -Chris
  5. Orcabags OR-32 Revision

    I’ve been playing with a new pre-release version of the Orcabags OR-32 I got from the Orca bags R&D team. I built directly out of my version 1 OR-32 and I must say, I am VERY impressed with the myriad of updates! The bag retains all of the features I really liked, like bag rigidity, accessibility and quality construction. The updated bag has addressed some early issues that I had with the OR-32, (even as serviceable and robust as it was) and dealt with ever single issue and adding some nuances and user upgrades along the way! Main TPU Loops have been moved to the frame – This means no more drooping sides when clipping cables and accessories to the bag. All small snaps have been converted to Velcro connections. Rain flap Velcro has also been added in lieu of snaps when rain flap is in use. Finally, the flap has an addition of velcro so that it can roll up into itself and stay shut. Both zippered side access points have been converted to a larger and more accessible oval opening with extra zipper heads. Side Removable accessory pouches also lose their snaps in favor of Velcro connections. Extra Zipper Heads on all four corners allow for more cable management options. Pull tabs at velcro connections allow for easier opening of bag sides. At the top front pocket they are two Velcro straps to hold a boom pole / protector. Great addition! I also wanted to confirm that CF & SD cards and 1/8” Headphones input are accessible on SD 688 when mounted properly. I used some zip ties to really lock it in after leveling with the OrcaLift mounts. Cheers Orcabags on a great revision of a great product! Pictures on my blog at: http://blog.chrisdurfy.com/?p=657 Cheers, -Chris
  6. Let's buy JW a night out!

    Who else would like to thank Jeff for all his hard work in fostering the sound community? Chip in $1, $5 or $10 and buy him a great dinner! https://www.gofundme.com/JWsound Thanks Jeff!
  7. Let's buy JW a night out!

    Too late Jeff, this one is on us! Enjoy!
  8. Venue vs. Venue 2 Breakdown

    I’ve recently had the pleasure of using the new Lectrosonics Venue 2. It’s such a huge improvement over the original Venue; something our industry already considers the proven modular workhorse. With new features such as wide-band blocks, IQ filtering, lowered noise floor, Wireless Designer with built-in frequency coordination and—one of my favorite features—menu-driven antenna power toggling, you can be sure to see the Venue 2 on sound mixer’s carts all over the world soon enough! What the new and old Venues have in common: The Venue and Venue 2 share many core similarities. Each can handle six wireless modules which can be installed without tools. Both have a built-in RF multi-coupler with loop-thru output to gang multiple units together through a common pair of antennas. Phantom power is available to run remote powered antennas. They are also both available in Wideband Low (470 - 691 MHz) and Wideband Mid (537 - 768 MHz). For the most part, every feature from the Venue has been carried over and/or improved in the new Venue 2. Front Face The front face on the new V2 is a flush surface with membrane buttons, a welcome change. It also sports a new non-glare flush-mount LCD that has brightness options and can display more information. The selector dial is now a larger wheel. New additions to the face include: Alert indicators, an IR port (for programming newer style transmitters), a USB connectivity port and a recessed reset switch. The headphone knob is now a push to open/close knob. Also of note: There are two rubber caps on either side of the face that allow BNCs to be rerouted from the back to the front of the venue. Rear Panel The V2 rear panel has all of the same elements of the original V1 with a singular and powerful addition: the ethernet port. The BNC ports have been rearranged into an over/under rather the the V1's side by side layout. Top Existing V1 users will be at home with the design of the V2. Modules are loaded in the same way and locked into place with clips, just like the V1. VRT vs VRT2 – Wideband The new VRT2s are now wide band. They allow tuning between three consecutive blocks with 3072 tunable frequencies in each module called Bands. A1, covering blocks 470, 19 and 20 (470.100 - 537.575 MHz), B1, covering blocks 21, 22 and 23, (537.600 - 614.375 MHz), C1, covering blocks 24, 25 and 26 (614.400 - 691.175 MHz). Please note: older VRTs and VRSs are not compatible with the new V2. IQ Filtering “Basically, IQ filter means Intelligent Q. The filter dynamically adjusts according to received signal strength. Let's say you are in a hi RF environment . With Venue, you would run a risk of front end overload setting your transmitters to 250 mW at close range. IQ filtering sharpens the Q of the filter and lowers sensitivity if the signal is strong. This reduces interference and allows tighter spacing. If the talent walks away, the sensitivity increases and the Q is lowered to capture more RF. Impossible to overload and automatically adaptive. At its lowest Q it's like a VRT. At its highest Q, it's like a 411 on steroids. Additionally, the tracking changes with the frequency - more resolution - LOTS MORE” - Gordon Moore Phase Switching & Noise Floor Reduction “Considerable time was spent in engineering on the diversity circuit and algorithms for the Venue 2. First, how often the phase switching takes place was reduced. In the older systems, this switching is more aggressive, meaning that even with fairly strong signals, the phase of the 2nd antenna can still tend to switch. With the Venue 2, this switching is minimized to when it is absolutely needed, i.e. the signal drops by a lot and/or the noise is increasing. Because of this, there are fewer corrections needed to keep this switching out of the audio. Then, a significant amount of tuning by ear was done to the design of the hardware and software filters and timing elements. Even though the resulting numbers appear to be better only by a small amount (up to a 1.4% reduction in distortion at 250 Hz, with 45 kHz of deviation, for instance), the improvement in subjective sound quality is more significant. Of course, users will have to judge for themselves if they can hear these improvements.“ - Karl Winkler Spectrum Scan The Spectrum Scan operates as before. It's scan speed has been improved quite a bit, especially considering it scans three times more of the spectrum with the new wide-band VRT2s. Smart Tune The SmartTune process is like that in V1. It provides a step-by-step way to set frequencies based on real world conditions. It works well for up to six channels, but any more than that will probably take longer than most people have the patience for. New LCD The new screen is 50% larger and has a much higher resolution, allowing for more information to be displayed. It is also now flush with the face of the V2. It has four settings for brightness control and sports a non-glare screen. Alert Indicators The V2 now will now report when an antenna short is detected by blinking above the hazard icon and turn off power to antennas automatically. The bi-directional arrows next to the hazard symbol let you know when the V2 is connected to a computer source through the ethernet or USB connector running Wireless Designer. Wireless Designer: Venue Control, Frequency Scanner & Coordination Wireless Designer is a great suite of tools that offers direct control of your V2's functions and marries in a built-in full spectrum frequency scanner that has easy exporting ability to it's frequency coordination program. I will explore the Wireless Designer tools in more detail in the upcoming "Road Test". Front USB Access Windows users can easily direct-connect to the V2 via Wireless Designer with standard USB "B" cable. Lectrosonics is currently working on an update to allow OSX users to use the USB connector in the front. The update should be entering a beta test period soon and should be available to Mac users in the near future. Ethernet Enabled You can connect to the V2 with both Mac and PCs via Wireless Designer. Your V2 must be wired into a router so that it is assigned it's own I.P. address. As mentioned above, this is only way, currently, to connect a Mac to the V2. Talkback Talkback is a brand new feature built into the V2. It sets up a module as a “com” channel so the person using a HH transmitter can have a direct line to the crew or production staff by depressing the button on the HH. It might come in handy for a "Voice of God" setup. IR Transmitter Control With newer transmitters that allow it, such as the LT, you can have the V2 program your settings by holding up your transmitter within a couple of feet from the IR Port. You can choose to send frequencies only, or send all settings for the transmitter. Menu-based Antenna Power Toggling Finally, we can turn on and off phantom power without having to pull the V1 out the rack after disconnecting all cables and then using a screw driver to open the unit up and then reseting the jumper pins and then reversing the process! Now, it is as simple as a toggled setting in the V2 menu, or from a screen in Wireless Designer. Walk Test Recorder Walk Test Recorder is a utility built into Wireless Designer that records the signal strength of a transmitter during a walk test on a scrolling display. You have the option of recording the audio to the computer by using the included ¼” to 1/8” adapter. The audio will sync up to scrolling display on playback so you can visually see signal strength as it references any audio problems. Pricing Venue: $1,499.00 / VRT Module: $550 Total Venue & 6 VRT modules: $4799 Venue 2: $2375 / VRT2 Module: $679 Total Venue 2 & 6 VRT2 modules: $6499 Road testing: Coming up in Part II! See pics and comparisons on the blog: http://blog.chrisdurfy.com/?p=554
  9. Venue vs. Venue 2 Breakdown

    Significant updates to the original post have just been made.
  10. First Look at the Lectrosonics Venue 2

    I'll be putting something more formal together later, but here is a first look at the Venue 2. Pretty sweet! https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.10156188512640543&type=1 -Chris
  11. First Look at the Lectrosonics Venue 2

    Ahhh, I think you have to be a member of Facebook and the Freelance Sound Mixer's Group. If you can't see it now, I will post something here in a few days. Cheers, -C
  12. I'm thinking Glenn should be offering Rado a job in the near future. ;-)
  13. 4th Annual Atlanta Sound Mixer Barbecue

    Hey all, Here is a link to the public dropbox folder for the pictures. https://www.dropbox.com/sh/qou9dn4jq0gtbzk/AAC6nlSHJJbW5VY_IDCCofATa?dl=0 Thanks to all who participated! Cheers, -Chris
  14. Going wireless with the SuperCmit 2U

    So I want to go wireless with my SuperCmit. I know the Zaxcom TRX942 can do it, but I was told that the battery life is not too good. Anyone have any experiences to share? Other viable out of the box solutions? Currently, my BoomOp has been using his SD MM-1 and Lectro SMV transmitter (which is great for when he needs to boost to 250mw mode when he is a bit further away). If we were to continue down this road with his current boom kit, we'd have to introduce the Schoeps DA42 (Digital to Analog). Anyone tried this with a wireless boom? It sure would be great to have a switch that would seamlessly switch the output of the SuperCmit between CMIT and SuperCMIT mode. Has anyone explored this option? I'm thinking a mod to the DA with something like the Lectro mute switch for referees. I'd love to hear any other thoughts? Thanks! -Chris
  15. Recording Error?

    Good point MRW.
  16. Recording Error?

    I haven't had that issue with my 260i. I have had a couple of instances where the Pix didn't seem to latch onto Dante on bootup. Using approved media. Reboot solved the problem. Good luck with your issue Richard!
  17. Sound Devices 688 + SL-6

    For those in speculation on the demise of the 788t- "The 788T is still alive and well. We continue to develop for it." Jon Tatooles
  18. 5 microphones stolen

    That sucks! Good luck on getting the kids home safely!
  19. ORCA Bags Review

    Nice bag! Here is my wishlist for V2. Bag More zips on the zippers Velcro flaps to route cable from bag through to the wireless pouches Velcro Strap to hold rain shield while rolled up Place to hang headphones Clip for to hold 2nd a NP1 under 788t in open space Harness Move battery pouch to front on harness or make it removable from back. Add places to mount wireless pouches Add place to strap a boompole onto harness? Strap Make Cushion movable on strap
  20. I posted this on my blog today. You are welcome to check out the post with all the pictures attached if you like here or read below: ---------------------------------------- I recently got a Schoeps CMR. It is a single cable solution for connecting a bodypack to a Schoeps MK series capsule. I'd like to start off by saying that if you love the sound of the Schoeps Modular MK series capsules as much as I do, and also use them for your primary plant microphones (in cars, on desks, etc.) you will LOVE what this product does! There were two ways (before the CMR) that we would use the Schoeps as a plant with the following chain of gear: Plug-on Transmitter: MK41 Capsule > GVC Swivel > Colette Cable > CMC6U Power-supply > Plug-on Transmitter A fairly straight forward process and fairly simple chain of five pieces. Bodypack Transmitter MK41 Capsule > GVC Swivel > Colette Cable > CMC6U Power-supply > Denecke P48 Box > XLR to TA-5 Cable > Lectrosonics SMV Transmitter This works, but it get's more complicated because of the need to introduce phantom power to the mic. The chain is eight pieces long. Then you add paper tape & Joe's Sticky Stuff (don't have some? GET IT! Miracle product for plants). As you can imagine, that can be a lot of different bits to grab, sometimes on a moments notice. With the Schoeps CMR and the Bodypack Transmitter: MK41 Capsule > GVC Swivel > CMR Cable > Lectrosonics Bodypack. This cuts the gack in half for bodypacks with a chain of four (or three if you prefer not to use the GVC Swivel). How does it work? Are there tiny German unicorns on a miniature hamster wheel stirring up the phantom juices to make this amazing product work? No, but that does paint a nice picture! (Bonus points for whoever actually PAINTS this picture, I'll attach it to the blog.) According to the manufacturer about the CMR: low power consumption: only about 1/20 to 1/48 that of a phantom-powered microphone So, it seems they have found a way to use the small current that the Lectrosonics bodypacks output (that can also power a Sanken CUB-01 for example) and use it to power the mk41 capsule. The Downside? Are there any downfalls? Well, like all things, the Schoeps name does not come cheap. I've seen it retail for between $659 and $770. It may sound like a lot to pay, but when you consider you don't need a expensive CMC6 to power the capsule when used as a plant, it is a pretty good deal and greatly simplifies a way to get that sweet Schoeps sound! The CMR will NOT work with the CUT1, but does work with the DZC- pad and GVC swivel. It will also not work with Zaxcom Transmitters. Also, it is a little bit bigger at the connection to the capsule than a Colette, but considering everything in the chain that it eliminates, this is negligible. Conclusion: That being said, I've already put it into play on set. The CMR worked like a charm. I'm sold! Notes: Some information about the CMR I found at Posthorn: ** For Sennheiser SK50 transmitters, the CMR must be ordered with the termination installed by Schoeps. It is only available with a 2 meter cable. We do recommend that all terminations are installed by Schoeps. Schoeps has confirmed compatibility with current and legacy Lectrosonics (TA5F) models, Audio Ltd. and Sennheiser SK 50. Other connector terminations available as a special order - exact wireless brand and model info is required. The Schoeps CMR will NOT work with known Zaxcom transmitters or the Sennheiser EW Series. The CMR also will NOT work with Colette Active accessories (e.g. CUT1, KC 5g) or the BLM 03 Cg. A DZC- pad or GVC swivel are the exceptions and can be used. THANKS! The Schoeps CMR was courtesy of Scott Bolland of Redding Audio & Christina Zofia Wittich of Gotham Sound. Many thanks!
  21. You're invited to the first ever Atlanta Audio Yard Sale! Graciously hosted by Trew Audio Atlanta! Bring your gear, accessories and expendables that you want to sell! And bring your cash to buy stuff from other Sound Folks at bargain prices! Trew Atlanta will also be open to buy new gear! Food and drinks courtesy of Trew! See you there!!! When?: September 6th from 3 to 6pm. Who: All are invited! RSVP @: https://www.facebook.com/events/857004390978432/?notif_t=plan_user_joined
  22. In less than two weeks is our two day event! Potluck BBQ on Saturday at Whit's House and the Event on Sunday (June 21 & 22nd)! Reps and gear from Sound Devices, Zaxcom, Lectrosonics, K-tek, Redding Audio (Schoeps, Rycote & Ambient) Remote Audio, Denecke PSC, TheSoundGuys & BatteriesPLUS! and a special iZotope Demonstration!!! Gotham Sound, Trew Audio, The Audio Department & Pro-Sound will also be in attendance! I just heard the news the JEFF WEXLER will be IN THE HOUSE! Get ready for LOADS of audio Swag and the BIG Raffle! See you there!
  23. Atlanta Sound Mixer Two Day Event! June 21-22nd!

    That was awesome! Thanks to all the participants, the vendors & manufactures! Special thanks to Whit & Kathy Norris for hosting the BBQ! And a shout out to our special guests Jeff Wexler and Eric Toline!
  24. Anybody using Dante with the x32 Behringer?

    Wow, serious bummer about the X32 only being able to mix 8 ISO channels! I hope that changes.