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Derek H

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Everything posted by Derek H

  1. Derek H

    Microphones for recording quiet people?

    Yea, nothing wrong with those mics, and a different one will not improve the situation much. Work the hardest on the recording space. Get that AC turned off, shut off any nearby fridges, compressors, noisy lights, throw sound/furny blankets up on c-stands to deaden the space/windows. Find a new location if you have to but effort spent on the space will have the most effect. Some of the cleanest dialog I ever recorded was done in RCA studio B in Nashville. The actors were speaking verrry low at some points but the space was so dead and quiet that the dialog always cut through. Of course the schoeps 41 at hair level helped also.. Which reminds me.. you are getting that cmit as close as the frame allows, right? Improper mic placement could be what's happening here... experiment with that too.. ps.. what are you using for a preamp? A lower quality preamp/mixer will have a much higher noise floor that will cut into the ladies voices. goodluck!
  2. Derek H

    Parts Boxes

    Those clamshell cases are nice, the separate compartments are great too, though I find that they are a little overkill especially for mics that dont have many accessories. Space is at a premium in an eng bag.. I recently found these at the REI store: More expensive (about$7), but waterproof. Made out of hard clear plastic with a rubber seal and locking clamp.. designed to hold an id badge/money clip etc and keep it dry. It's just wide enough to slide a rolled up lav into, accessories can be dropped in as well. Doesn't fit a TA5f the best but it will fit. They also had a double wide version that could store several mics. I preferred to go with one case per mic.
  3. Derek H

    Ty Murray hit with wireless mic?

    Keepin it real in reality... Problem I have encountered on this kind of thing is some cast hate the mics, and think that the extra 2mm thickness the waist strap adds will make them look fat so they don't let me rig them properly... then as they run around and do all the stupid things they do on these shows I cringe as I see the pack come un-tucked, in the shot, with wires sprawling out all over the place.. then I look like the jackass.. Also some of them think they're TV pros so they take the pack off, turn it on/off, and move it willy-nilly whenever they feel like it. /end rant
  4. Derek H

    Lavs in a tie

    I like it! Just don't miss and go up the actor's nose! I heard somewhere once the idea of using fabric softener sheets (the kind you throw in the dryer) to spot-soften starchy shirts.. anybody try this/ have any luck?
  5. Derek H

    Disasters on location...

    PA's make me nervous... Recently I was in a 15-pass van being driven by a pa who was driving so recklessly I hit my head on the roof after we cruised over a speed bump like it wasn't even there. What's worse is that the producers never seem to care until its too late..
  6. Derek H

    Under the earth cave doc micing

    Sounds like good advice here. While I have no experience with this outfit, I have seen folks here recommend http://www.oceantechnologysystems.com/ for aquatic-oriented audio systems. You may find that you require cable with water-tight connectors or something like that. I'm sure they could help, may be pricey tho.. ..I would avoid the slate if possible, just another bulky item to get in your way. Surely you could synch in some other way.. Maybe use a radio to send RecRun TC from camera to remote roll your sound devices? The million dollar question: How do you plan to operate a rig whilst immersed up to your neck?? RF-wise who knows... I would guess being inside a cave with irregular walls is similar to being in open air, since there are very few parallel surfaces for waves to bounce off of... line of sight may be pretty important. Most caves I've been in sound pretty dead, leading me to believe that most waves just disperse and don't come back!
  7. Derek H

    QRX100 4 channel receiver

    Cool product! I can see this kind of device playing well in the reality world IF the cameras begin to implement 4 ch audio properly.. and assuming those particular cameras catch on in certain markets (reality etc..). As of now it's true, very few cameras provide 4ch audio in any useful sort of way for us (even fewer that would be considered game for ENG use) but I have a feeling this will change over time and 4ch sound on the tape may become standard (like it or not!). I'm picturing something like an HD full size camera with dual XLR-5pins on the rear panel and physical trim knobs and meters for each channel, AES/Line/Mic switchable and full matrix style monitoring selection. Another issue here for the mixer (poor bastard!) is trying to mix and feed four channels of camera send out of a bag.. with the current lineup of field mixers I see no elegant solution.. What do you do? mix two tracks and then use the direct outs to feed 3 and 4? seems clunky to me. The only bag-sized mixer I know of that has a true quad mix bus scenario is the Twelco and I've yet to encounter one of those here in the states. Maybe this is an opportunity for sound devices to wow us with the next gen 442? Seems like this box is made to play with equipment that doesn't exist quite yet.. but it's good to be ahead of the curve.. right? I guess we'll see. -d
  8. Derek H

    Prototype petrol bag mod: Boom pole holder

    I know home depot has them, they make a loud ratcheting sound when locking though but are nice and come in many sizes.
  9. Update: Just talked to PSC. Each hirose connector on the alpha has a 500mA breaker/fuse on it. So what this means is that I'll have to use at least two of those connectors as each ek3041 draws about 150mA. Scott, I don't see a color ring on my ek's but the base where the pins come out is white in color. I know that I'm getting a good gain structure though using mic level input on my alpha. These are old wexler units btw. My guess is there's a resistor in the XLR adapter plate. Thanks for the help folks
  10. Anybody know if there's any reason not to wire 4x wireless receivers (ek3041's) to one power connector hub on a PSC Alphamix. The alphamix has 4 female, chassis-mount hirose 4-pins to provide battery distro off of the internal NP1 battery. I'd like to just use one of those connectors to power all 4 Rx's to keep the other three connectors available. Is there any electrical reason I shouldn't do this? My plan would be to make a hirose-4p to XLR-4pin break point, and then have a 4 lead breakout off of the male XLR. Using 22awg stranded copper cable. Thanks! -d
  11. Derek H

    Recording Cell Phone Conversations

    The quick and dirty way would be to have the phone set to speaker-phone. The other side of the convo will be picked up by the boom, or lav. Overlap could be a problem though. Also they probably don't want the actor holding the phone away from their ear. But in a pinch, and the right scene, it could work..
  12. hmm, i'll be sure to ask Ron about this tomorrow.. Scott, my ek3041's seem to be mic level out only.. am I missing something? -d
  13. Well, I'm thinking ahead a bit. Could be all of the following: 2-3x transmitters for hops/ifb (using battery elims), backup recorder, 2nd mixer, etc. Also, since the hirose are expensive, and such a pain to solder, i'd like to use as few as possible. Though it's already bad enough that the 3041's use them for their ext power as well. Also just trying to keep cable mess to a minimum.
  14. I'll give him a call in the morning. ...btw these hirose connectors are pure misery to work on. thanks
  15. I'd love to but I'm on a show and they just flippy-flopped some schedule around and now I'm working Tuesday at 1pm!! Sucks but work is work. Mohundro is going to take notes for me. Hope to see you soon!
  16. Derek H

    Prototype petrol bag mod: Boom pole holder

    Curley, Is that a new-model vdb or old? If new, do you find that the collars are absolutely useless? Or am I the only one? Great idea btw, I usually use a velcro loop but using it to 'holster' the pole is usually a two hand operation and a noisy one. I use a portabrace rig but maybe I can come up with something.. -d
  17. I've cross-listed this topic on Ramps, where there is a lot of active discussion----> http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.movies.production.sound/browse_thread/thread/2c651ff19e70e022?tvc=2&fwc=2 To Philip and Jeff: Thanks for your replies. Jeff it's good to hear that I'm not the only one that hasn't found a clear answer to this question!
  18. I'll be making some new cable soon, particularly short jumpers for use in mic-to-boom, boom-to mixer connections and want to see if I can find a consensus on the best way to do solder these up. Obviously pin1-ground, pin2-hot, pin3-reverse, but I wanted to see where you all stand on the more optional connection of pin1(cable shield) to the XLR shell lug, as well as the idea of using ferrite beads and capacitors to soak up extra RF/EMI. If anyone has been implementing these kinds of "extras" into their audio cable with success I'd love to hear about it. I've heard many opinions and positions on these oft-overlooked details. Some people firmly believe that the shell should never be connected (to avoid ground loops), whereas some seem to believe that connecting the shell provides a more complete level of shielding (both Ron of PSC, and Jon Tatooles of SD were in this camp). One tech I talked to (an amp designer) thought that the ideal situation would be to connect the ground to shell but use caps and ferrite beads to ward off any ground loops that you may encounter. I get the feeling that the answer depends on the purpose of the cable as well as the connected equipment's relationship to mains ground. eg.. maybe a mic jumper should be fully shielded, whereas a 100' cable operating at line-level used for patching one panel mixer to another on AC should not have a link to the shell (ground issues)... ?? For my purposes, all of this cable will live in an OTS rig powered by batteries 99% of the time, and occasionally tethered to cameras that may be plugged into AC about 5% of the time... if that helps btw, I'll be using L-4E6S as well as some cloth Neumann hose (for shock-mount jumpers), and standard (silver-colored) Neutrik NC3FX/MX parts. Thanks, -d
  19. Derek H

    Do we need a three person crew?

    I'm new to the reality world but I agree it seems that a lot of producers in reality tv are hoping to make gold with nothing.. PA's become AC's, van drivers become grips (but are still paid a PA wage).. etc.. One of the shows I mixed on recently was trying to get by with 1 sound mixer for every 2 cameras! In some situations this worked ok (never great) but inevitably they would end up trying to shoot two separate scenes/conversations simultaneously with only one mixer.. When post reported back that the audio wasn't working they looked to me and the other mixer for an answer and solution. We told them they needed to do one of two things; hire more mixers, or use multitrack recorders and iso all the mics. Of course they took the cheaper option and rented 2 devas. The bags went from 35 to almost 50 llbs and the work load was still too much for our 2 man staff... and with the amount of havoc that dual-system audio caused in post (dealing with hvx drift and hour long rolls) it probably would have been cheaper to hire more mixers from the get go... It just seems like the growing trend is to try to do much more with less than ever and when problems crop up the solution is to throw more equipment in the mix without the staff to utilize it... good grief!
  20. Derek H

    Digital TV Still 02/17!

    I say stick to the plan... There has been enough psa about the switch to digital. I mean it's 2009 now, if we can't have flying cars then at least digital TV... -Besides even if a significant number of people will be affected by the switch (folks still employing the rabbit ears) would it really kill us to be without TV for a few weeks? Could make for an interesting social experiment if you ask me.
  21. Just bought a set of Sennheiser wireless from the Wexler ebay sale. Something that struck me as odd when I received them was that the antennas for the Blue range receivers 584-607MHz have about a 1/2" difference in length. I know that antenna length is important but is the half inch difference something to worry about or maybe there is a reason for the difference? Anyone with info on proper length for sennheiser wireless units ek3041 and sk50 I'd love to know.. I also have 'green' units. Also, should the transmitter antenna length be the same as the Rx length? Thanks for the help! -d
  22. Derek H

    What’s in (or on) your follow cart?

    Aspirin. I go with Tylenol (acetaminophen) as I've heard aspirin products are ototoxic and can cause hearing loss in the long term. I do agree that some kind of pain reliever is an essential item in the aux cart, or run bag.
  23. Derek H

    Sennheiser "Yellow" frequencies?

    Going to be using a bunch of 3041/sk50 (wexler reality package) radios pretty soon and I'm told they're all in the "yellow" frequency range. Can someone tell me what range this is in MHz so I can start coordinating. Thanks. I've never used the higher end sennheiser radio mics before... any tips/tricks I can employ or pitfalls to avoid with them? cheers, -d
  24. Derek H

    Sennheiser "Yellow" frequencies?

    Thanks guys! Thanks Mike for the freqs. I'll be listening for channel bleed.. Thinking maybe I'll throw the alphamix in the bag just in case it's intolerably bad. Not sure if Wexler would have a feasible 5ch mixer upgrade beyond the X5, maybe I'll give them a call today. -d
  25. Derek H

    Sennheiser "Yellow" frequencies?

    Thanks for the heads up. Unfortunately the production won't allow for a better mixer. Thinking of bringing my Alphamix but hate to bring gear just to save my butt when they're not paying for it... As far as the freqs go.. a jsforum member graciously informed me (via email) that the answer to my question is probably on the Sennheiser website... Well, I can't find a thing about colored frequency blocks on there. Sennheiser is pretty stingy when it comes to it's tech docs. -d