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Derek H

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Everything posted by Derek H

  1. Derek H

    On Camera Documentary Mic

    Another option that may be interesting here is the Sennheiser 8050 or the 8040. Similar wider pattern to the Schoeps, but in an even smaller package. To combat handling noise I would suggest the new rycote camera mount that uses the invision lyres, I think it's designed to fit in a hot-shoe mount. Alternatively you could get the Rycote CCA part that is designed to fit into the built in mic cradle. Not sure what you would do for wind protection.. ball gag?
  2. Derek H

    First days with the Sound Devices 552 Mixer/Recorder

    Please keep us updated on the finish blemish problem.. I wonder if this is an issue with all of the current 552's or if it's an isolated cases? Also, what's did you find to be flawed with the new Portabrace case? mxc-552
  3. Derek H

    Ugh Clothing Noise.

    You may have to convince them to give up their duck call necklaces! I just finished up a cop show and always had to ask them to take off their badge necklaces because it would constantly brush over the mic. Get rid of that and there's gotta be something that can be done under the jacket/shirt. Impossible to help too much without being there unfortunately.. Goodluck!!
  4. Derek H


    Overall a good doc, though I felt like the first 15minutes or more was almost un-watchable due to terrible editing and wacky camera work/post effects.. I'm talking about the first part where they cross cut between both of them talking about their roots in Hungary and filming the Russian invasion.. Just because you're making a doc about two of the most revered DP's in modern film-making doesn't mean you have to be extra flashy and edgy with your doc camera work.. I thought it was distracting with all those 3rd person type shots and the "crew in shot" type handhelds they kept quick cutting in and out of. So lame! Made me want to barf!! I don't care about your silly camera work, obviously its a dung-pile in comparison to theirs so why bother?? I don't need to see the backside of Vilmos's ear! Just give me talking heads and cut to the DP's actual footage for the embellishments. It was like bad history channel programming.. Thankfully it got better and I enjoyed the doc overall. Some of the films referenced I haven't seen so about halfway through the film I got a notepad and starting jotting them down. Mcabe & Mrs. Miller was one.. looks interesting. ..sorry for the rant
  5. Derek H

    RF interference on MKH50

    I second mmayer, I had the same problem recently with my 416t and a Zax stereoline Tx in the bag.. Got the same low-level sizzle corrupting the signal when the boom was in certain positions. Two things helped: Putting a Neutrik EMC on the short cable that goes to the 416, and swapping out the coily boom jumper for L-4e6s starquad. And I still hear it now and then, but not loud enough to really be a problem. I remember thinking that maybe another EMC on the male connector that mates with the mixer would solve any remaining problem but never got around to it..
  6. Derek H

    Headphones Level

    I tend to listen as low as I can and still hear a bit of the background. I use 7506. When I hear an offending sound I often do the following test: I slowly duck the hp gain down until the offending sound mostly disappears into the noise floor.. then I judge if the voice (or whatever signal) is still clear and intelligible. If it is, then I often don't worry about the noise, If the voice sounds too weak or low then I will go about trying to make things better. But I mostly work on TV where I know the audio will be run through the mill before it ever flys out the 2" tv speakers and hits the end-viewers eardrums... so it is what it is much of the time.. An interesting note: I once commented to Ron Meyer at PSC about the Alphamix having a fairly weak headphone amp.. His response was that the headphone amp on the Alpha was designed to be in spec with OSHA's guidelines for safe sound pressure levels for human exposure in the workplace.. according to him it's one of the few mixers on the market that adheres to that spec.
  7. Derek H

    Canon 7D Audio Test - Redux

    Any word on what frame rates/ sampling freq should be used when going the sound devices route? I've heard that this camera rolls at a different frame rate than the 5D. (24p?) Also has anyone devised a reliable scheme that would allow for sync without the need to clap a slate? ..and be solid for long takes? (thinking its only a matter of time before I'll see this used on a run-n-gun gig where they'll balk at the idea of having to hit a slate every time the camera speeds) ie: A lockit box/SB3 on both the sound devices and the 7D into an audio channel? Maybe you would only need one since the 744 could just take a jam and hold code on its own..?
  8. Derek H

    First days with the Sound Devices 552 Mixer/Recorder

    I'm also considering picking up a 552 next year. (Or maybe a 442 for cheap!) I second Scott's whole wishlist of revision features. I can see Rec Run functionality being especially useful for some shoots. Full TC gen would be nice but it's also nice that it's the same size as the 442 and even lighter.. I imagine adding more and more hardware would probably compromise those qualities.. Hopefully the mixer having a USB port will mean that the end-user will be able to update the firmware on their own so that frequent trips back to Wisconsin aren't necessary.. (no offense.. I love that place) I'm also curious to see how much can and will be added to the 552's functionality via firmware updates.
  9. Derek H

    battery charging knowledge anyone?

    I like this question, something about it stirs up some good DIY juices.. So how might one make a charging system where you have a special cable that comes out of the bag and connects to a charger? Would it just be another tap off of the + and - ? would some kind of filtering be necessary to make sure the gear doesn't get fried? I like the idea of burying the battery in the bag and just connecting a power cable at the end of the day to recharge. May also be good for a camera hops situation where the external battery for the receivers is buried in some kind of bag and you don't want to pry the battery out every night.. May be more trouble than it's worth but just curious..
  10. Derek H

    New York Film Academy's Sound Package...

    Columbia College Chicago. I'm not familiar with other schools but I'd venture to say that this school has some of the best production sound courses (and gear) in the country. Gear I regularly used when I was a student there: Zaxcom Deva IV recorders (they have 2), Lectro 211/411 wireless, Sound Devices 744t, 702t, 722, 302, 442, mm1, Denecke TC slates, K-Tek poles, Sennheiser mics 416, mkh60, Schoeps CMC641's with all trimmings (GVC, Cut1, active cable), Full Rycote Zeppelins, Petrol bags and harnesses, duplex cable systems, and an entire wall of various cable. Also on hand but rarely used: Playback speakers/mackie mixer, Nagra IV's and STC's, the Nagra V hdd recorder (weird machine), Nagra Ares BB field recorders, various minidisk and dat decks, Fostex PD-4, PD-6.. Since I was there they've expanded gear and are now outfitted for full cart-based production with rackmount comteks, Lectro Venues, video assist, SD 788, Sanken Cos-11, Magliner carts, surely other stuff. For all that gear there's only 2-3 actual courses in location sound. A lot is covered in the classes and students are given access to checkout the sound gear incrementally over each course. The first course starts out with the 1/4" Nagra and graduates up to a 2 track sound devices, there are out of class recording assignments and maybe at this point you are required to be a utility sound on a student film.. not sure on that one. By the end of the second class you have access to mostly everything. Also, the students in this class are required to mix a certain number of student productions that are shooting during the semester. The classes feed off of each other for crew. The students that are there for their "easy A" won't do much outside of the requirements, but a few students really dig it (like myself, who originally decided on Columbia College for their audio engineering program anyway) and end up working in location sound long after the semester ends (at least on film school shoots). Also the program coordinator regularly brings in guest speakers, usually local professional mixers, to lead discussions of location sound for film production. They're starting to branch out and also bring in ENG and doc mixers to talk to the classes. So they're not all horrible.
  11. Derek H

    Wind protection

    Not happy with your Rycote stuff? If so why not exactly? ..just curious I currently only have the softie which I find adequate 90% of the time (even in Chicago). But sometimes I wish I had the full zepp..
  12. Derek H

    Sennheiser 418 and other MS stereo rigs

    How does the Sanken CSS-5 compare to the 418 in self noise? Anyone used this mic? Good for nature?
  13. Just rented one of these to try out against my 416t.. Used in a fairly live room, bare laminate floor, little on walls except papers, assorted office furniture. Room size approx 30ftx12ft. Noticed the extra reach right away, magically seemed to suck in good levels from almost twice the distance of the 416t.. Also noticed the bizarre absence of proximity effect. Which is strange at first since you're so familiar with the pronounced increase in bass response every inch closer the 416 gets. Also noticed that when a/b'ing the 20/80Hz cut on my mixer i noticed no difference with the cs-3e. Subject's voice was not the best test voice.. naturally thin and sort of nasally. The mic did not help it much though I doubt the 416 would have done better.. maybe would have thickened the voice a bit for the real close shot. Also comb-filtering/phase issues with the highly reflective indoor space seemed less of a nuisance with the Sanken, whereas I've noticed the 416 get pretty whacked out in the same space earlier. Also.. I didn't notice the reportedly higher self-noise with the CS-3e.. self noise seemed similar to my 416 (which is an old t-power affair that is probably overdue for a shop visit if that skews the comparo at all...). That is to say the noise level was perfectly adequate for the shooting environment and probably 90% of spaces I record in. Any suggestions or tips for using this mic in a doc environment are welcome and appreciated. Cheers! -d
  14. Derek H

    Gun tests and a nice feature of the 788T...

    From what I've heard all the gunfire in the big heist scene of M. Mann's Heat is the actual location recordings. M Mann apparently 86'd all the sound design after it was finished in favor of the raw unadulterated location sound. Props to him and to the mixer of that film (Lee Orloff?), that scene sounds fricken great! ..all those reflections off the buildings, you can't easily replicate that in post... It's always fun when you get a day to experiment. Thanks for posting your findings.
  15. It wasn't the first thing I noticed, but yes the reduced weight is appreciated!
  16. Derek H

    Aluminum foil to prevent RF Bleed

    Yikes! Scott, was this with a new model zax transmitter or old? I have an older model (black case) and it definitely gets pretty hot, could it just be a burn mark?
  17. Derek H

    Aluminum foil to prevent RF Bleed

    In my current rig I wrapped the internal plastic board piece from my Portabrace RM-multi bag in tin foil and slid the piece back in its pocket. I did this because my M72 comtek Tx was getting blown out of the water when the zaxcom (stereoline, black) was transmitting. With the filter antennae clipped to the front most pocket It seemed to help(foil separating the zax tx and the comtek tx), but I think the filter antennae is what really solved the problem.. With RF who knows, it's all trial and error. I'd feel a little weird about showing up for a job with some of my gear wrapped in tin-foil in plain sight.. though you could go all-out and throw a cb radio in the bag, along with a police scanner and ditch your versaflex for some chicken wire and duct-tape. But if it works..
  18. Hello, Maybe some of you have had this happen to one of your older 416's.. The pins are loose and wiggle around when you touch them. They're so loose that even when the mic is plugged in the pins shift slightly causing loud taps in the audio.. At least, I think this is what's happening. When booming I hear this when doing a fast swivel move with the mic. Anyone have a fix for this or is a tune-up from Sennheiser in order? I've taken the case off my 416 once before but didn't know how fragile the internals are and closed it back up promptly. Can anybody speak for what the turn around time is like when sending Senn gear back to Connecticut for work? Thanks! - d P.S. I've tried taping around the XLR/mic seam.. I still get tapping sounds.
  19. I had a similar working situation recently, the initial rig was x5 with 5 wireless and boom (had to patch). I wasn't the sound sup so I had no say.. After the first week they were crapping themselves when they realized that 5 stupid girls all talking on top of each other makes for a pretty useless 2 channel mix. The scene that broke the camels back was in a bowling alley with all 5 cast in "reality mode", that is unscripted, random, lets just see what they do naturally mode. 2 cameras and just myself with the above kit.. needless to say it wasn't pretty. Looking back on it I should have just boomed from the A cameras perspective. The end result could have convinced the production to just hire another mixer. Instead they chose to rent Deva's and from there on out we tracked the piss out of everything. Post was still unhappy because it doubled their workload. Maybe tripled since they seem to have never heard of double system before (compounded by hvx200 drifting)... Sorry for rant.. just struck a nerve.. Best of luck with your show!
  20. ..or convince production to hire another mixer? Unlikely I know, but it would solve your problem.
  21. Derek H

    How to cooler your bag(recorder)???

    95 degrees and humidity sounds like a good stress test to me, and this was in a bag rig? never thought about the orange being used to contrast with parts.. pretty clever I still want black!
  22. Derek H

    How to cooler your bag(recorder)???

    I agree on different strokes.. I'm not out to judge. But for me, I'd rather my rig not share the color scheme of my nephew's new Nerf gun. Just a thought..
  23. Derek H

    How to cooler your bag(recorder)???

    Is all this necessary? Has anyone ever experienced a sound devices product breaking down due to temperature extremes? They are supposedly designed for a wide temp operating range. I mean what if you're shooting in Africa in 40+ weather, will sound devices not work? I can't imagine they would design such a piece of gear. Does it auto shut-down at certain temps? I've heard that some components are designed to run warm.. hard drives come to mind. If I were in the market for a 788 I'd definitely go with the solid state version (as much for shock proof reasons than anything) and probably not think twice about temp. Hopefully Portabrace and Petrol are listening in.. Could be a good opportunity to design a new bag incorporating breathable mesh or vents of some sort purpose built for this kind of thing. Those orange pillows that petrol puts in to pad everything can't be good for heat disapation. And by the way Petrol.. Please start making your gear in black or gray!! I hate the blue/orange color scheme! To the point where I actively look for other bags just to avoid it.. call me fickle but it's true. Portabrace too.. Give us black!! I generally prefer Porta's modular design with the mixer/rm bags, Petrols always seem bulky and over designed to me. Haven't had a chance to look at Kata's stuff.
  24. Derek H

    Do Neutrik EMC-XLR connector's really help?

    Thanks for the advice Jason, Indeed RF induction is at its worst when the 416 (t-power) is close to the filtered antenna, but occasionally I'll notice the same hiss finding its way in while I'm booming with the mic 4-10ft away.. which leads me to believe it's getting into the signal somewhere in the coily cable either inside the pole or from pole to mixer. Re-routing this cable in the bag to avoid proximity to the antenna has helped a little but I'll still hear it now and then, mostly in very quiet rooms. Annoying! Thinking I will try EMC's on the jumper cable male end as well. I've also tried adding ferrite chokes in various places on the jumper cable with little results. The chokes did help alleviate some of the noise I was getting on my wireless channels due to DC switching noise from adding the Zax to the pool. I put one on every DC plug and noticed an improvement. (thanks to Skylor at Trew for the idea). Still had to add a big ass cap to the zax's line in the end tho..
  25. Derek H

    Do Neutrik EMC-XLR connector's really help?

    I recently put one on the mic end of my pole.. It's hard to say what it does. I can say this: I've been using a first gen Zax stereoline transmitter in my bag a lot lately (5 days a week) and I've been struggling with sizzle and hiss from the zax getting into my boom channel (worst when the 416 is close to the transmitter) and I noticed that it was significantly reduced when I added the EMC connector. I'm thinking now of swapping out for EMC's on the rest of that path to the mixer (coiled shorty). Maybe I'll just try one on the male plug that connects to the mixer, same theory as adding a noise gate at the end of the chain. Stupid zax transmitter spills RF like crazy.. even with filter antennae.. Very annoying, I guess that's why it's been discontinued. I emailed Schoeps about this once, as they advocate the EMC cables somewhere on their site. It went like this: Q: I have another related question.. Must the EMC connectors be present at all connection points or will a single EMC connector at some point in the path from mic to preamp be as effective (for example, the female XLR connector found on the end of an internally cabled boom pole). A: Concerning the EMC cables: To reach best possible results (first of all best possible hum and RF noise protection) you should use EMC cables only. Any mix with "old style" cables may lead to worse performance. Not exactly the most informative answer.. One thing I can say is the EMC connector hasn't done anything to hurt the signal quality. Though ferrite beads are known to suck off high end.. I doubt it is an audible amount. I think for the real acid test you would have to get a known EMI/RF noise maker (a ballast or dimmer maybe) and A/B two different cables. I just haven't had time to try it.