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The Smyles Comm-biner Walkie Talkie audio interface

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Reality sound mixers (and camera ops), check this out!

No more survelllance tube blocking one ear!

Announcing a new product available at Location Sound Corp: http://www.locationsound.com/tony-smyles-comm-biner-walkie-audio-interface-1854

Professional Sound Services: http://www.pro-sound.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=SSMYLESCOMM&Store_Code=PSS

And at Trew Audio: http://www.trewaudio.com/consignment/mixer_acc/

Or contact me at comm-biner@tsmyles.net for more info.

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Looks interesting. Just curious, is audio to the surveillance muted when sound is ported to the headphones? I would have concerns of both bleed, and cast hearing potentially sensitive info.

Also, how about when you're off cans and someone needs to radio you?

Ear pluggage isn't really an issue with an inexpensive molded earpiece.

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Looks interesting. Just curious, is audio to the surveillance muted when sound is ported to the headphones? I would have concerns of both bleed, and cast hearing potentially sensitive info.

Also, how about when you're off cans and someone needs to radio you?

Ear pluggage isn't really an issue with an inexpensive molded earpiece.

The WT audio is only heard in the headphones. There's no "backward bleed" if that's what you mean (?).

When you're off cans you unplug the WT mini plug from the Comm-biner and just plug it into the regular transducer and curly tube that's included.

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Very cool product, this would certainly be a useful tool out in the field.

 

I suggest you ask the folks at LSC to do a spelling/grammar check on that page tho.

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Very cool product, this would certainly be a useful tool out in the field.

 

I suggest you ask the folks at LSC to do a spelling/grammar check on that page tho.

The page just went up. I caught one typo right off the bat. Now that we're wrapped, I'll have to sit down and read it carefully.

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I too had a home-brew project on the back burner - a pain in my side these last couple years on all the reality stuff I've been working on.  One request, some way to integrate a boomset so I can talk on coms too.

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I too had a home-brew project on the back burner - a pain in my side these last couple years on all the reality stuff I've been working on.  One request, some way to integrate a boomset so I can talk on coms too.

Are you thinking about a headset with mic, like an aviation headset? Because my unit does have the standard clip on mic with switch.

Something like a headset with boom would be do-able but I'd probably make up a custon cable for that.

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I wish I'd had this on a few jobs over the years.  Great idea.  Does anyone have one yet--can report on how well it works?

 

philp

Hey Phillip,

You can check with Val at Location Sound. He's sent out a couple of units to evaluate. Also Rich Topham, Jr at Professional Sound in New York (who will also be selling them) loaned 2 out to a couple of reality guys (...or was going to).

I had one of my floor audio mixers on "Hardcore Pawn" try out the prototype and he liked it.

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Are you thinking about a headset with mic, like an aviation headset? Because my unit does have the standard clip on mic with switch.

Something like a headset with boom would be do-able but I'd probably make up a custon cable for that.

Ideally, yes, an XLR input would be great and a PTT button on the body of the unit to key coms talkback.

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On the cart I've used the Rolls stereo mini-mix VI to be able to combine

3 inputs.  Mixing corporate meetings it's program, com and usually pfl

or phone patch (away audio) if used.

 

12 - 16 volts DC   Do note center pin is negative, not positive.

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Ideally, yes, an XLR input would be great and a PTT button on the body of the unit to key coms talkback.

So... kind of like an RTS headset (XLR, if memory serves me correctly). I'll have to look into that as an option.

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I finally got so tired of having an ear piece inside my headphones, i have a surveillance headset on my bench being wired to run the walkie through a return input on my nomad. I plan on testing it out on friday, the next reality day i have booked.

This looks like a nice interface box, more capable than my simple solution.

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I finally got so tired of having an ear piece inside my headphones, i have a surveillance headset on my bench being wired to run the walkie through a return input on my nomad. I plan on testing it out on friday, the next reality day i have booked.

This looks like a nice interface box, more capable than my simple solution.

 

Though your simple solution may offer a more robust option, as you can easily set up your HP to monitor that return without recording it. No extra accessories, etc. Also, you can have the boomset/mic that was requested further above, so that you can talk to coms more easily though your technique, than to having to modify this new piece of equipment. Please let us know how that works out for you!

 

Nonetheless. It's a great solution! Thanks Smyles!

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Though your simple solution may offer a more robust option, as you can easily set up your HP to monitor that return without recording it. No extra accessories, etc. Also, you can have the boomset/mic that was requested further above, so that you can talk to coms more easily though your technique, than to having to modify this new piece of equipment. Please let us know how that works out for you!

Nonetheless. It's a great solution! Thanks Smyles!

Routing to my hp only, no outputs or card tracks is my plan. I used a surveillance set because it seemed like the easiest way to keep the ptt mic for the walkie. I never thought about using it as a com Mic outside of the walkie.

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I just got a cheap surveillance and cut it and put a TA3. Run it in to my 788 and into my headphone mix. When Walking away from my bag I ask for a regular surveillance and all I do is plug that into the walkie. It was easy and cheap.

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I just got a cheap surveillance and cut it and put a TA3. Run it in to my 788 and into my headphone mix. When Walking away from my bag I ask for a regular surveillance and all I do is plug that into the walkie. It was easy and cheap.

That works... unless you need all 8 ins on the 788, as I often do.

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Reality sound mixers (and camera ops), check this out!

No more survelllance tube blocking one ear!

Announcing a new product available at Location Sound Corp:

http://www.locationsound.com/the-smyles-comm-biner-walkie-audio-interface-1801?filter_name=comm-biner

Or contact me at comm-biner@tsmyles.net for more info.

The Location Sound link has changed to http://www.locationsound.com/tony-smyles-comm-biner-walkie-audio-interface-1854

The Professional Sound link is http://www.pro-sound.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=SSMYLESCOMM&Store_Code=PSS

The Trew Audio link is http://www.trewaudio.com/consignment/mixer_acc/

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I ordered one of these last week and it should be coming soon I think. I've often thought something like this would be handy. I'll report back with some real-world usage soon.

Production Sound Mixing for Television, Film, and Commercials.

www.matthewfreed.com

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An update on my Comm-biner that I didn't think of initially:

Our new show runner asked me about the Comm-biner. He has to listen to 2 walkies (shooters/audio on 1 channel and producers on another) and the surveillance tubes were driving him nuts... plus he has his own IEMs, like me.

I made up a custom y cable and connected the Comm-biner "backwards" (walkie audio into the PGM input) so now he can use his IEMs to monitor crew in one ear and producers in the other (he says the intelligibility is much better, of course)... and he can plug an R1 IFB into the "WT" input and also get the audio in mono. He bought one and is crazy about it!.... of course, I am sitting next to him, so maybe he thought he had to say that.......

But there's a variation on the application.

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On the set of Bachelor In Paradise with Gabe Schller, Doc Barrow, Daniel Kuffel and Tony Smyles (.... why didn't someone TELL me my hair looked like this???)

 

Thanks guys for supporting the Smyles Comm-biner!

For those who asked about a modified version.... stand by!

post-201-0-73762900-1408961934_thumb.jpg

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- A review of the Smyles Comm-biner by Chris Devlin -
with thanks to Nathan Parkinson and the folks at Wendy's Broadcast Services in Manchester, England.
 

I was excited to try out the Smyles 'comm-biner' as more and more often I was finding it problematic to juggle monitoring the production sound being sent from the mixing desk alongside the radio communications from the walkie-talkie system used by production, without being lumbered with a weight of cables and two sets of headphones.

 

As a boom op or sound assistant working on set, the main attraction of the small, light silver box is that you can use whatever style headphones you prefer, whether it be a set of HD25s or a little mono earpiece, to listen into both transmissions instead of having to swap earpieces or having a different earpiece for each system. This minimises the gubbings around your neck and attached to your belt, which is a massive plus when working in small, cramped locations and still provides you with the ability to transmit messages out using the W/T’s covert microphone.

It’s a simple idea and just as simple to use. As the two inputs are ‘combined’, there is no need for various switches on the box which could be accidentally knocked, the only switching system included is a choice between receiving the signal in stereo or mono and this takes a jewellery screwdriver to operate, so there’s no risk of it being accidentally altered. It’s operation is straightforward enough that you could happily distribute the ‘comm-biner’ boxes amongst other departments, such as ADs or script supervisors, who may need to monitor production sound as well as being in the loop on the walkie-talkie system. Also, I was pleased to find no discernable loss of quality or level in either system once they had been run through the ‘comm-biner’.

 

However, as the box only combines the two systems, it still means that you are carrying two receivers (your W/T and production sound) and as a result, two sets of cable going from each into the ‘comm-biner’. It is here that the greatest weakness of the system lies. As I found, working in quite small locations, the excess cables will have a tendency to get caught on things and damaged and then the system goes down. I wouldn’t necessarily consider this a negative against the ‘comm-biner’ itself, more a general risk that comes with operating two receiving systems and that it can be protected quite easily by fitting and securing the ‘comm-biner’, both receivers and their respectivecables into a pouch or something similar. This may sound cumbersome but it will certainly protect the cables and connections. As someone operating on set, the benefit of being able to monitor everything through one earpiece certainly makes up for having another pouch on the belt.

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Im curious how this works, does anyone know whats inside? Is it a glorified adapter or are there components inside providing isolation between the headphone inputs such as transformers?

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