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About ninjafreddan

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    Hero Member
  • Birthday 02/09/1973

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    Music and my kids
  • Interested in Sound for Picture
  • About
    Working with ENG-sound for run and gun TV-productions and documentaries using a Sound Devices 664, TCBuddy, DPA 4017 shotgun mic and a couple of Shure UR1/UR5 wireless systems and DPA 4060 mics.

    My motto: Travel lite and work fast. :-)

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  1. ninjafreddan

    How important is a sound mixer?

    Well, if no one is giving you a printed or verbal run-down, it's your job to get that information from someone on set - preferably from the first or second AD. Be talkative whenever suitable and show the team that you represent the sound department. I don't do movies, but I do dox, reality crap and advertising. In dox and reality TV you have to step up and make sure that people get miked etc, because you only get one chance to catch the dialogue. Personally I have no problems halting a situation to get proper sound - impossible mic shadows, unable to boom, technical problems, miking someone that enters a situation etc. As long as it's not a sensitive situation where the flow shouldn't be interrupted. In advertising it's different, picture is king and sound can sometimes just be something annoying to deal with for inexperienced directors. They may lack basic understanding of sound and dialogue, they can lack sound discipline and talk through the takes giving directions to the DOP, the list goes on. One way to mark you position in the team, is to always be present outside the picture frame with the boom ready. Even if they are just trying something out, you are there with the boom just to make sure that you stay out of frame. That way you are always visible to the director and the DOP. And if they say something like, "this is a high speed take, we don't need any sound", you said, "okay, no problem, I'll stick around anyway", then you try to record some sound effects or just chill. When the team prepares for a new scene, you step up to the AD and asks if anybody needs to be miked, and when the DOP is ready to rehearse you ask for a boom position, again showing your presence. In one-camera productions, you should be able to get good sound on most locations, and when you can't, you tell the AD that you will need two minutes after the scene is done to record a wild track with the dialogue with the actors in position, or at a less noisy location close by. It's your job to be pretty persistent about recording a wild track when needed. The team can spend 20 minutes adjusting lights, props and optics - all you need is two minutes after the scene is done. When there are several cameras rolling at the same time, it can be tricky to get the boom in the proper position, so make sure to tell the AD that you will need time to get everybody miked and flag for a possible wild track after the scene is done. I'm sure you're a good sound engineer, so just stay close to the director and DOP, eavesdrop on their discussions about the scene, and be quick whenever someone needs to be miked. The better recording job you do, the less people will notice. C’est la vie. Cheers Frederick
  2. ninjafreddan

    Interesting new wireless system

    I use a couple of Shure UR5 receivers in my bag along with UR1 beltpacks and DPA 4060 lav mics. Pretty good sound quality, not that far behind Wisycom and Lectrosonics having compared them side to side. Like all Shure gear, they are robust and can take a lot of level, rock solid transmission and the range is very good. Regarding Shure's digital systems, I've used the four channel Shure ULX-D receivers quite a bit for conference sound - excellent sound quality (like a straight cable if you like) and very good range. I have the belt packs set to 10mW transmission strength and it gives me excellent coverage because it's a digital carrier. I've had presenters walk out of the hotel to smoke a cigarette and still being able to eavesdrop on them in my headphones. It's also a great system when 100+ journalists enter the press brief, each and everyone swinging a wireless handheld mic, because the receiver prompts you when there's an interference on one of the four channels - sure saved my skin on one occasion when I was monitoring the four channels on headphones but missed that one of them had occasional glitches due to interference. Fingers crossed that Shure makes a portable digital receiver, but I guess that will never happen. That's not my experience having used the Shure ULX-D system, and I don't think that Axient will be any different. Either the digital carrier is received or it's not. That's the good and bad with digital. Cheers Frederick
  3. ninjafreddan

    Alexa Mini TC sync

    Okay, then I should be fine using a straight TC cable. Thanks for the information. :-) Cheers Frederick
  4. ninjafreddan

    Alexa Mini TC sync

    Good to know, that's what I'll do if my current TC cable gets in the way of the camera configuration. Still, when working with one camera productions, I prefer having the camera set to REC-RUN and automatically slave my 664 REC to the incoming TC. That's why I want a TC cable that's not in the way. Checking the prices of the angled Ambient TC cables, they are quite pricey. Ahh well... Which audio cable did you use by the way? The Remote Audio with angled LEMO? Cheers Frederick
  5. ninjafreddan

    Alexa Mini TC sync

    Hi guys I'm going to work with an Alexa Mini next week. Reading about the need for angled cables, I'm going to order the Remote Audio sound cable. Regarding having a TC cable with angled LEMO-connection, I have found that Ambient makes TC cables with angled LEMO connections in several orientations. I plan to send the Alexa TC to a Time Code Buddy TRX - with camera set to REC-RUN. In your experience with the Alexa Mini, which TC cable would be best to buy? Which angle would be the best? http://ambient.de/en/product_custom_cat/timecode-cables/ Thanks in advance Frederick
  6. ninjafreddan

    first dpa for zaxcom

    I use a DPA 4017B along with a bunch of DPA 4060 and they work great together. 4017B has a low-cut filter at 50Hz enabled all the time to take away rumble, and if I need to take away some more low-end, I prefer doing it with the low-cut filter in my 664. But if you're micing a male interviewee with a chesty voice, the low-cut on the 4017B might come in handy. Actually I seldom use the high boost grid, because it adds a lot of high-end which might make the voice sibilant. It's good to have the option, but when the clothing is thick enough to muffle the voice too much, I experiment to mic placement. By positioning it close to the rim of the clothing. I haven't used Zamcoms in a long time, but yes, the sound blends really well between the DPA 4017B and DPA lav mics. Cheers Fred
  7. ninjafreddan

    Determining drift between two recorders

    Like Mr Teas says! Basically all digital recorders/converters need wordclock to remain in sync with other digital units. In my experience, recording without wordclock sync, the drift won't be consistent. Once, a colleague recorded a big concert with three 24-channel digital recorders. All three machines had wordclock cables connected, but machine no 3 was set to internal sync. All three machines recorded time code, still it rendered a lot of editing/realigning to get machine 3 in sync with the other two. Cheers Fred
  8. ninjafreddan

    More stuff on the CEDAR DNS 2

    I too tried it out at a broadcast trade fair this spring and was very impressed with the quality of the noise reduction. I would love to own it, but I've thought about it and it's too expensive. As a EFP-soundie I do my best to record clean multi-channel sound and send a good wireless camera feed. To my knowledge, I haven't lost any future jobs by providing sub-standard sound quality, because I make sure that every channel is usable, otherwise I fix it. Now and then, my mono camera feed is used by editors because they are lazy or thinks it's good enough. Not happy about it, but the client is always right, right? I love technology, but if I start providing a noise-reduced camera feed, the editors will use it for sure, and that will make my field work harder, knowing that my run-and-gun mono mix will be used. Too me, it's just a safety backup and logging. I think its faith will be in the hands of the rental companies, if they promote it as "the savior of location sound" and provide it once for free, the next time a production company rents gear for a TV-production, it might catch on and become the Auto-Tune of the broadcast business. The rack unit is already used in broadcast, so the big TV-network producers know how well it works. If the DNS2 would have costed around $2000, I would have considered buying it. But I'm already spoiling my clients with wireless time code etc, just to make my work-flow simpler. Time will tell Fred
  9. ninjafreddan

    Getting gigs and quality Gear

    I've bought stuff on eBay since 2000 or so, and been successful on all my purchases. * knock on wood * You have to check the rating of the seller and the latest rating history, and if the price is too good to be true, then you have to consider that a legit ebay account might have been hijacked. Also check which other items that the seller have on sale at the moment. No matter how small or cheap the item is, I always ask a couple of questions, just to get a dialogue going with the seller. On some occasions, the seller hasn't responded or answered in a strange manner - when that happens I just let it go, no matter how much I want the item. Another thing you have to consider is counterfeits. You will find Sennheiser shotgun microphones at a bargain, a friend of mine bought one against my advice - sure enough, it was a counterfeit 416 that sounded like crap. You will also find Chinese wireless systems that looks exactly like Sennheiser G3 - it just doesn't say "Sennheiser". I can only imagine how those systems and lav mics sound. In you case, starting out with your own EFP-kit, having a lot of questions, I suggest that you buy used from one of the pro stores, like Trew that you've already visited. I don't know why they tried to talk you into buying a Zoom, but you should definitely go for a 552. It's built like a tank, sounds great, the limiters sounds great, the functionality is spot-on for run-and-gun and it's analogue. If you keep the knobs clean and be gentle with the connections making sure that the cabling is nice and tidy - then it will be a great companion that will just keep on working. My advice is to get the 552, two or three G3 with DPA 4060 lav mics (or similar quality), a curled snake cable with quick-release (the pro shop will help you out with that), a sound bag (the shop will help you out), a KTEK harness (or such), a KTEK boom with built-in cable and a shotgun mic with a proper windshield. The pro shop probably has a lot of old NP1 batteries laying around, they will help you out with a good battery power system for your bag that won't cost much. The kit will cost a bit, but you will have a solid kit for your field work, because in the field you will have to put all your energy on capturing the action, the gear just has to work, right? When you need to record ISO tracks, well the 552 can output two AES/EBU feed to through the snake cable. If the camera has two AES/EBU inputs (like Sony F3 and F5), then you can send the first four channels straight to the camera - pre-fader if I'm not mistaken, but it works if you keep track of the levels with the gain knobs. And if the production has a camera with two-channel input and still want ISO-tracks, then you hire a 633 and a time code box plus cables for those occasions. Just be prepared that you will be the one setting up the time code. Do a search on JW and you will find lots of information about time code. I haven't used the Rode system, so I can't comment on its sound quality, latency or range. It looks a bit plastic to me, but if you like it, the go for it. The G3-system has been used on a lot of documentaries, because it's cheap, pretty durable and sound good. Properly set up, it will give you good range and good sound quality. You just have to use a better lav mic than the one provided in the package. The two-channel Sony URX-P03D receiver might also be a good start. Like all things in life, you just have to decide to go for it, or not, right? Good luck Fred
  10. ninjafreddan

    want music on tape?

    My half-inch Studer A80 master tape machine sounds great! 😉 Built like a tank and a furtiture in my control room. Plug-ins are not 100% "there" yet sound wise. Actually I miss the wow and flutter, at least the wow, helps gel the music and harmonies together. Do I roll much tape? Unfortunately not, that has to change... :-) Cheers Fred
  11. ninjafreddan

    Sennheiser AVX any good?

    The AVX sounds good and the range is okay. One thing to consider is the latency. As mentioned before, you can't mix it with analogue sources like a boom mic or analogue receivers. Either you have a mixer/recorder with input delay or fix it in the editing. Due to the latency, you have to have closed-back headphones and listen rather loud to "filter out" the real sound source (about 6-10dB louder). Otherwise you won't be able to properly judge the sound quality, background noise or follow the dialogue (at least not the way I want to hear the dialogue). The increased sound level can be fatiguing. The short battery time of the receiver is also a problem, but powered via USB it's not a problem anymore. All in all, I think the AVX works as advertised - a system for the camera man on the move, run'n'gun. Cheers Fred
  12. ninjafreddan

    RED fan

    Thanks for all the tips fixing the fan noise. Someone on this forum summed up the RED cameras perfectly: "It's computers with mounted optics." I've had noisy RED cameras and noisy Sony F5 cameras on location and asked the camera men to fix it. When not being able to do so, I have moved the shotgun mic closer and made sure the lavs sounded good. I'm sure it's different on a movie shoot, but for the run and gun TV stuff I work with, it's not my job fixing crappy cameras. I tell the camera man and location producer that the sound will be somewhat compromised and will need some sound editing. Then I focus on the action. Cheers Fred
  13. ninjafreddan

    Mix Assist questions, thanks to Gotham Sound!

    No, because 664 is basically an analogue mixer with digital recording. The analogue VCAs probably aren't fast enough for auto-mixing and I wonder if there's enough DSP for performing auto-mixing. I asked SD if auto-mixing could be implemented and they answered No. Cheers Fred
  14. ninjafreddan

    Mix Assist questions, thanks to Gotham Sound!

    +1 I always try to get a Yamaha QL1 or QL5 mixing console when doing conferences, just to get access to Dugan. On my last conference I sometimes had thirteen head mics open at the same time,and it sounded great thanks to Dan Dugan! :-) My EFP-work is still done on an SD664, but I'm thinking of upgrading to a 688, just to get access to the Dugan automixer - too often my wireless mono camera feed ends up being used in reality shows and documentaries. The camera feed sounds just fine, but it's annoying when three lavs are open and the video editor don't hear the resulting comb-filtering. Swinging the boom, I can't pull the knobs fast enough. Dugan auto-mixing would make the camera feed sound even better. Cheers Fred
  15. ninjafreddan


    Late to the party, but thanks John for all the good advises how to achieve good production sound. I don't work with movies or TV drama, so I learned a lot! To me it boils down to two important advises - one for the director and one for the rest of the crew. Director - Involve the sound team in the planning of the movie just like you involve the DoP, and you will save production money. Potentially a lot of money! The rest of the crew (including the actors) - Your daily work comes down to one question "How will it look?". You need to add one daily question - "How will it sound?". Why should you follow these advises? Because it will make the director happy. Happy director, happy everybody! Win-Win. Cheers Fred