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4 tracks...6 Radios and 1 Boom

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Hey Guys, I'm a UK based sound recordist and I've got a TV pilot to shoot.

I have a Sound Devices 744T and 442 mixer. 

I need to use 6 radio packs and a boom for this job and would welcome any work-arounds or maybe you've done the same thing.

There's no budget to hire in any more gear so I'm thinking I'll have to "double up" on some channels.

Waddayathink???

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I think if they don't have the budget, then they don't get the gear. I also believe if you only own a 744T/442 combo, and you're being brought on to mix a show requiring 6 wires and boom (presumably you booming with a bag), then you might be a bit over your head.

My suggestion is to make things work the best way you can with the gear you have and the knowledge you have. They will get what they pay for, and you won't look foolish trying to do too much with too little.

Very best of luck with your shoot, and keep a smile on.

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Does the 442 have an option like the 302 (i think) of using the monitor/headphone return as a 2 track input also using a stereo mini jack? Aside from that it looks challenging specially if you are mixing live and booming :) Not sure if this would work as Ive not used the gear but (what  kind of wireless mics?) 4 mics into the 422, the output from the 442 via  XLR to TAF connectors into the 744 and the other 2 wireless mics (maybe on those with most dialogue) into the remaining XLR mic sockets on the 744. But you still mixing a lot (4 to 2) at least. |I am a cheapskate bodge it dude although on this even I might walk away. Good luck! BTW come back and let us know how it went, we all like a good laugh here. 

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4 mics into the 422, the output from the 442 via  XLR to TAF connectors into the 744 and the other 2 wireless mics (maybe on those with most dialogue) into the remaining XLR mic sockets on the 744.

I thought about that, too, but what about the boom? Where would that go?

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Not trying to be willfully dense but are we certain that all of these inputs, the six radio mikes and the boom, must all operate at the same time?

Even if the mikes are working in different scenes, it's certainly more convenient to assign each a track. Otherwise one is constantly patching and re-patching, a nuisance but possible. But if the general expectation that everything has to work all at the same time is correct, then the resources are simply inadequate to the task. This is best addressed by encouraging the director to adjust accordingly and capture all the lines in close/medium shots so they may be boomed and that audio slipped into the wider shots. 

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Per the idea about if all the mics work all the time, in the old days we used to sometimes patch a 3 or 4 input mixer (feeding a mono recorder) on the fly.  It took some rehearsal but it was doable.  The 442 does not have the 2 extra "return" inputs like the 302.  It does have a "mix" port though so you could hook up a 302, 442 or 552 very easily to the mix bus of the 442.  That doesn't solve your split iso issue, but maybe this job should get done with just a mono or a "split" 2 channel mix?  (Gasp!)  On another forum I described to the OP how you could end up with 4 iso on the 744 by combining a few things: 744 ch1 is boom (using a 744 pre), 744 ch2 is a mono mix of radios 5-6 via a 2-chan RX Emergency or a 302 or other mixer, radios 1-4 go through the 442, get mixed to 2 channels (pick your split per scene) and go to 744 chs 3-4.  Monitor on the 744, which has a lot of choices for monitoring, what combines with what.  Or.....rent something that will do the job more rightly?

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It might also be worth telling producers that a pilot is their only chance to make a good first impression. Renting the proper gear is a smart investment, otherwise the money is thrown away. Do you want to invest £15k or throw away £10k?

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daniel   

Perfect your radio technique and just run an XLR from the boom to bag without plugging it in, or even go 'wireless' :-) As you wont have the luxury of isos you will have to mix at least 3 mics and (unless you've got a boom op) the scenes with 4 or more wires are going to be tricky to boom and mix well. Put your most important 3 on the first 3 of of 744 and mix the other 3 or 4 into the 4th.  If you do have a boom op, you could send boom (and or radio/s) from 442 direct outs to camera (if capable) for maximum isos. I think you could also have a scratch (sum) mix from 744 on 1 camera track too.

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Sry, Im new here...iso(s) meaning isolated tracks rather than mixed? As an aside it would be quite nice to have a glossary on the forum that people could add to. There are a few acronyms that people bandy around here that are somewhat recondite and doing a search for them sometimes yields 200 results which all look wrong. Maybe Ill just ask when confused and free myself from the shame of looking like a twit.

7 hours ago, Constantin said:


I thought about that, too, but what about the boom? Where would that go?

:) I might have some suggestions but the guy controlling the budget may not like them...

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31 minutes ago, TommygunZA said:

Sry, Im new here...iso(s) meaning isolated tracks rather than mixed?

Correct. Most often, isos are recorded of each microphone pre-fader, so that the adjustments you to do create the mix track do not affect these recordings. Post gets all of the isolated tracks as well as the mix track you create on set, so they can choose what to use. 

-Mike

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If there is not enough budget to get the gear that's necessary, well, then they'll have to cope with what they can pay. The good thing is that a boom will, on a halfway decently planned and executed shoot, get them at least 80% of what's possible, at less than half the cost of a full-blown "wire everybody" setup. If the show really needs 6 wireless and a boom on iso tracks, well they need to pay for the gear. Chances are high, especially on low budget projects, that overlaps and impro scenes make on-the-fly mixing impossible. - At least someone in post will make a fuss about "missing iso tracks", and that fuss will fall back onto *you*, not onto those who didn't pay for the gear that would have been needed.

You will have a boom op, will you?

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daniel   

Low budget, so probably no boom op, 6 wires (for safety?), so commit yourself to the boom (both hands) and you can't juggle the lack of I/Ps on 744442 combo, then rent F8 or buy (and sell afterwards). The rental is like the cost of 1 RM and if your booming the bag is going to be a lot lighter. 

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Hey Guys, thanks for all your input here. It's really cool to get different options and opinions, all of which make sense. Don't get me wrong, I'm no novice but this kind of TV shoot is something new to me. (6 lavs......doh!!)  

I shall deffo enlist the aid of a boom op and suggest to the production manager we need a 788T or at least a Zoom F8. 

Thanks again guys; this is a cool forum.    I shall report back with how I got on and will indeed keep smiling!!

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Hey Guys, a development..........my boom op has bought himself the same kit as me. He has a 744t and a 442. I reckon we can link these and we're good to go. Waddayathink?

 

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daniel   

With a boom op you hands are free to twiddle all the faders and start both machines, why not. Boom or mix to both recorders for sync, sticks and idents?

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Using C.link you'd only have to press REC on one machine. Unfortunately only the newer 788 firmware versions will automatically enter corresponding metadata into both machines, but at least your files will be sample-accurately synced and TC stamped. Record to multiple mono files (what's called "WAV mono" in the menu) and have WaveAgent auto-assemble them into poly files if post wants that. Do charge properly for the gear. They pay for lights and for cameras (and chances are high that they have more than one camera) so a halfway decent sound budget should be there too.

Assuming everything goes through the 442s first, out of their line outputs into the 744Ts, you can actually record 7 isos and a mix.

Four units of that size, plus at least 3 dual-channel receivers (what kind will you be using?) or 6 mono receivers, IFB transmitter, battery compartment, stuff... I'd prefer a cart setup for this. See if you can go wireless on the boom too.

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