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Philip Perkins

Mix Assist questions, thanks to Gotham Sound!

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I want to thank Gotham Sound for the huge amount of effort they put into their mix assist demo--it was really informative and dealt very honestly with the issues of this technology (and also for including both SD and Zax as well as the Yamaha as a control).  I listened to all the demos with headphones and pretty much agreed with their conclusions.  My overarching thought was that with a little room treatment (of the unseen parts of the room) and perhaps the removal of the fan and some small directives to the talent, the scene could have been covered by a good pro boom op, (or 2) and would have ended up sounding far more natural and cinematic.  Yes, the boom op(s) would have to memorize the script and there would need to be rehearsals.  I guess this all is the point though, right?  That these kinds of things: pro boom ops, room treatment, BG noise abatement, talent directives and rehearsals are no long a part, or so much of a part of filmmaking?   The Dugan algo worked as advertised, but the mix would never fly as a final in even an indie production--if there were iso tracks a FAR better mix could be made of the scene in post.  I understand that how well the auto mixers work is very dependent on how much and well the operator tweaks it to the scene, but isn't this kind of opportunity to tweak exactly what the soundie will NOT get in many situations where this system would be used (ie unscripted etc)?  I guess I wonder what would be a better use of my time in such a live/unscripted/no take 2 situation: tweaking the automixer or doing extra work on getting good lav placement, treating the room, dealing with BG noise etc...figuring that there would be not much time avail at all?   Are folks finding this kind of thing being required or requested by producers these days?

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Very interesting.  On monday i will use the dugan on my 688  for the second time on a tv show. I have also used many times the 788 or studer vista's one. In my opinion it is good to adjust the levels, to provide a better mix, after the automix.

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In certain situations, the Dugan Automixer in the Yamaha QL and CL has allowed me to create better mixes than would be possible without it.

I think the biggest takeaway from the Gotham video is that these auto mixers are just another tool for our tool belt.  They are not a "cure-all" for every situation, and they won't fix poor room treatment or bad mic positioning.  I'm sure that everybody on these message boards does everything in their power to record the best sound that we possibly can, and if someone can make their mix better by using an auto mixer, then more power to them.

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been using Dugan Automixers since 1998 and I'm a huge fan but I see it as a tool to mix live. A good post engineer will get more ascetically pleasing results with ISOs rather than using the Dugan generated mix but that's not what it is designed for. It's designed to give you the gain of one mic (the correct one at all times) instead of multiple open mics. It also really shines in sound reinforcement applications involving lavs, TV townhall meetings, etc.

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Very good comparison!  Since I have a Nomad I'm glad it was later included in the files.  Just listening on my laptop I think the Nomad held its own.  There were some obvious trim issues on some of the characters but overall to my ear it worked pretty well.  As has been noted, its a tool and it needs to be tweaked to work effectively as do all the algorithms.

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On 2016-06-07 at 3:09 AM, Werner Althaus said:

been using Dugan Automixers since 1998 and I'm a huge fan but I see it as a tool to mix live. A good post engineer will get more ascetically pleasing results with ISOs rather than using the Dugan generated mix but that's not what it is designed for. It's designed to give you the gain of one mic (the correct one at all times) instead of multiple open mics. It also really shines in sound reinforcement applications involving lavs, TV townhall meetings, etc.

+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

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2 hours ago, mikewest said:

Is Dugan available for the 664?

mike

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

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