afewmoreyears

DUGAN for the 633!! Firmware update 4.50!!

79 posts in this topic

Jon, sorry if it read that way, my sincere apologies... but "NOT"  is my way of saying NOT... nothing more... no anger, defensiveness or anything like that, as John says, only my opinion... on a Forum of opinions... thats what we're doing here correct...?   

 

We have more chipping away at the stone to worry about than the advent/release and use of an auto mix system for a mix track... back to the subject at hand.

 

 

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Chipping away at the stone. That is a good allegory.

 

Unfortunately, this particular automix capability, on this device, really is just that, chipping away at the stone, again, and for a fair sized piece of a type of production sound work, that (not everyone presently on this thread may be or have been immersed in)

I feel the opinions expressed here that are negating this, or minimizing it anyway, may not be seeing it on the whole. If its no biggie for you, wont affect you or your clients, good for YOU. Honestly. Im happy for you. But, if indeed we want to support each other, stick together, look after each other, this is a good opportunity. We have incredible manufactures of our equipment that listen closely to us.

This IS something worth mentioning TO those, and ideally FROM those that are held in high regard and have been around the block.

More times than I, i should add.

 

To those that disagree with my views on this, i respect your opinion, but...respectfully disagree with your disagreement. Lol.

This will replace full rate, sound mixer shifts going forward NO question.

 

Maybe not YOURS, but many others.

 

 

 

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We all have loyal clients that understand the importance of who we are and what we do. No one is debating that. But I do see the advent of a "sound pa" for some jobs, and 4-6 $600/day mixers turning into a single sup and a number of eager "sound pa's" willing to bust their buns for a low rate in order to further themselves.

*Snip*

There are already plenty of sounds sups out there that hire legions of young ignorant types, sending them out on jobs with their gear, taking the rental and skimming their rates. It is not unheard of, and it can easily get worse.



I have absolutely seen this happening and getting more prevalent. Thanks for sharing this Jon.

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Automix is far from a self serve kiosk at McDonalds.

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No one is saying that we will not have to adapt to changes in technology.  That was kind of my point.  If a sound PA can run automixed recordings, well, what else can you bring to the party that they can't that will be seen as a value add?   Thinking that a sound PA with an automixer can  replace everything you can or COULD do is narrow and backwards-looking thinking.  Everyone here has had to adapt to lots of changes in the working situation already, the older they are the larger the number and the more consequential they have been.  Figure out how to ride the wave.
And....Dan perfected the automatic audio mixer decades ago.  It's been avail as an insert box for analog boards with insert points for 20 years easy, and as add-on boards for digital mixers like Yamaha for several years.  The 688 got it, when, like a year ago?  The 788 (much used in reality work) has had automix for along time.  Zax has had it's version of automix in Nomad and Maxx for years as well.  So where are these "sound PAs" using any of that gear?

 

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Mix assisting shitty mic signals is going to be shit. "Bag" mixers have a valuable skill in the ability to provide solid and clean mic signals and monitoring under very challenging conditions. It's very easy to tell when a broadcast is using self shooters or inexperienced sound people. There has been many a debate here about mixing verse recording, but it's the elements that matter in the end.

I won't pretend to be able to mix properly with rotary faders with ad libs or large cast narrative. If there's a tool that can deliver a better mix, then that's great. As mentioned before, more of an issue for post with less work to do for reality or bag-based work, where finesse in the mix is perhaps less of a requirement or where time is a consideration.

Like the Cedar NR tool, mix assist is a tool to provide a better mix of the elements for immediate broadcast of for broadcast with limited time or resources to sweeten and remix the element. But the elements need to be good, and that's the same all around.

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The 688 got it, when, like a year ago?  The 788 (much used in reality work) has had automix for along time.  Zax has had it's version of automix in Nomad and Maxx for years as well.  So where are these "sound PAs" using any of that gear?

 

 

 

 

The 633 is now the premiere, highly respected, most affordable, and has the shortest learning curve of those you mentioned. Thats why, this it is different. Sound pa's wont be using zaxcom automixer... obviously

Thinking that a sound PA with an automixer can  replace everything you can or COULD do is narrow and backwards-looking thinking. 

 

 

 

Did someone post this opinion and delete it from the thread? Because if that is what you are interpreting from my posts, this is all you..

Please clarify who and what is narrow and backwards-looking thinking.

 

 

 

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What is narrow and backwards-looking is believing that such a  simple add-on to the 633 is going to cost a lot of mixers work.  This is another tool in our quivers, not an "extinction event" as proposed.   If you or anyone else is so sure that this minor new feature, already available in several other recorders, is going to damage your career then I would suggest acquiring more skills and as much experience as you can  so you can leave behind the sort of job that might have producers naive enough to believe that the sort of multi-character gig that would benefit from automixing can be done by an amateur.  And I still haven't seen or heard of there being any more "sound PAs" than there already were, using the 633 or the other machines capable of automixing.  The danger to work for sound folks comes from one-man-band type crews and the overall simplification and dumbing down of shoots to what that one-person crew can do.

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Over the years I've seen production cut corners with sound and eventually it comes back to bite them.maybe not straight away but you only need one reshoot to blow budget and confidence.
Times do change I have to fight more often than not to get a boom op on TVCs, but usually if I can justify there being enough dialog I get one , ..... As a audio post guy for many years having isos is really the way to go for many technical reasons not just level balance.
A show in town used a sound sup with ZFRs .....once..... the sound guys are all back working on the next reality blockbuster
I understand where your coming from but I'm not hanging up my tools quite yet.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Cheaper wireless and that Røde stuff is much more a Job Killer than Automixer in my opinion.

As a 633 user I was not familiar at all with this feature and now I tried it out: You need proper signals, proper gain and the knowledge which channels have to be in Automix and which not. And everytime you have to judge by listening if that mix makes sense or not.

Otherwise your mix will probably end up in a horrible mess. It's rather a tool. So I think that "Automix" is the wrong word for it.

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What is narrow and backwards-looking is believing that such a  simple add-on to the 633 is going to cost a lot of mixers work.  This is another tool in our quivers, not an "extinction event" as proposed.  

 Wow Ok. That clarified things. There you have it. A continuation of a skewed interpretation, caricaturing this point, a valid one you seemingly refuse to spend time considering on the whole, insisting on taking it to some extreme version, actively trying to minimize, invalidate and shout it out.  Extinction event!!?" Really? This is what you are interpreting. Not impressed. Is this how you receive, perceive and feedback all information you dont agree with? My god man.

 

 

 

 

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If you or anyone else is so sure that this minor new feature, already available in several other recorders, is going to damage your career then I would suggest acquiring more skills and as much experience as you can  so you can leave behind the sort of job that might have producers naive enough to believe that the sort of multi-character gig that would benefit from automixing can be done by an amateur. 
 

Pretty pompous. And by the way its not just producers...

 

 

 

I And I still haven't seen or heard of there being any more "sound PAs" than there already were, using the 633 or the other machines capable of automixing. 

 

And this permits you your minimizing technique because YOU havent seen or heard of it YET?

 

 

IThe danger to work for sound folks comes from one-man-band type crews and the overall simplification and dumbing down of shoots to what that one-person crew can do.

 

 

 

Ok, my proposition threatens YOUR strongly held belief that the REAL danger to sound shifts for sound folk is one man band crews. Well, this new tool for the quiver adds to that scenario .

 

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31 minutes ago, fieldmixer said:

 

Pretty pompous. And by the way its not just producers...

 

 

 

 

And this permits you your minimizing technique because YOU havent seen or heard of it YET?

 

 

 

 

 

Ok, my proposition threatens YOUR strongly held belief that the REAL danger to sound shifts for sound folk is one man band crews. Well, this new tool for your quiver adds to that scenario doesn't it.

Here we go....  I do not need to stand up for Phillip here, but...

  Why are you so defensive Field..., it's just an exchange of information, no need to get overly snarky, we're all brothers here... (sisters too)..   Phillip does not share your opinion on this matter, nor do I... but it's just opinions, we can agree to disagree.. but try to be reasonably polite here...  Mr Perkins is an esteemed member of this community and has been for both years and 8608 posts... he is always polite as far as I can remember, me, less so... but I am trying... take a step back and try to simply voice your opinion on a subject, not ram it down someones throat... I do not say that not in an angry way, but an informative way..

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I don't think Dugan or MixAssist will under-cut the necessity for sound mixers and good production sound. Dugan or MixAssist doesn't change the routine for good production sound IMHO. They will not replace the collaboration between 1st Assistant Sound and DoP. They will not replace the overlapping cues, if a second boom isn't there for off camera dialogue. They will not replace the balance between dialogue and SFX (imagine a cue when a bottle touching the hard surface). They will not turn off the fridges in a restaurant. And the story goes on...

Today technology tend to blur our craft. Look what they did technology in post production; opened new fields and gave more freedom. Post production colleagues turned the technology into their side. It's our hand to turn technologies like DNS, Dugan and MixAssist into our side for better recordings. One thing is for sure: Our market will change; as everything in all industries.

My favorite quote from Rupert Neve

"The shift from laquer disk to multitrack tape gave engineers the ability to create better sound quality and reliability in their recordings, but they aren't always BETTER recordings".

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I suspect that those who envision the demise of our profession due to automix have little real world experience with the feature and (as Mungo offered) are being mislead by the name.

It's a helpful tool in the right hands and yet another way to screw up sound in the wrong ones. 

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Let's all be happy it was a free upgrade a non advertised feature

 

Thanks sound devices

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A Dugan like algorithm will be "taught" to better distinguish dialogue from rustle, speech from clanks, human voice from clatter.

A Cedar like algorithm will be "taught" to better remove the undesireable.

Ambitious actors will have sub-cutaneous DPA like mics fitted in their nose, wired through to a medical implant Lemo like plug socket.

Tiny self scanning, frequency agile, self recording radio links, become common place.

The producer will turn up with a wrist worn device that has all the necessary stuff built in, with on, off, record, buttons (with 15 minute pre-record), and an algorithm will monitor for anything requiring human judgement, alert the human, and playback on voice command.

'Actually I used to kind of like it when we had a mixer on set' .......:)

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Here we go....  I do not need to stand up for Phillip here, but...   Why are you so defensive Field..., it's just an exchange of information, no need to get overly snarky, we're all brothers here... (sisters too)..   Phillip does not share your opinion on this matter, nor do I... but it's just opinions, we can agree to disagree.. but try to be reasonably polite here...  Mr Perkins is an esteemed member of this community and has been for both years and 8608 posts... he is always polite as far as I can remember, me, less so... but I am trying... take a step back and try to simply voice your opinion on a subject, not ram it down someones throat... I do not say that not in an angry way, but an informative way..  

 

Well, you are right, i feel it. i take responsibly for some defensiveness to Philip's ... comments. "Narrow and backwards looking" was what likely got me going. but i stand behind my point and still clearly read his posts as i described above.  I have indeed used the dugan algorithm on the 688 and wow, in the type of scenarios i described, its remarkable.

Its a nice bonus tool for scripted drama but for a lot of other type productions, it, does the job of "mixing" for post, for scratch, for field producers, VERY well.

 

For many, there is lots of "paid shifts" that are often purely for mixing to field producers.

 

Anyhow. Ive made my point. Those that get it, get it, those that dont-wont aren't getting that kind work on their calendar and i guess dont care.

 

 

 

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On 2/27/2017 at 1:07 PM, John Blankenship said:

...and (as Mungo offered) are being mislead by the name.

I also agree with Mungo. Misleading unfortunate name.

To me, Dan Dugan's Automix is just another tool I've added to layers and layers of tools. Some of these tools have pots and faders and switches, others don't. Those other, more complicated tools took years to get. Those are the tools I get called back for. Sansattitude® was the most difficult to get, and I'm constantly updating the firmware. 

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Can someone point out the advantages/differences between Sound Devices' Automix and the Dugan product?

From my standpoint the auto mix might be a real timesaver for rough edit if sent to the camera giving a much better mix than just a scratch track. I can't see any impact on crew size or ability.

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@rodpaul This is a interesting read about the different options (Mix Assist and Dan Dugan): https://soundandpicture.com/2016/09/a-perfect-mix-sound-devices-and-dan-dugan/ quoting Jon Tatooles from SD: "It (MixAssist) may be better suited for tougher applications where you need it to be a little more aggressive. The MixAssist algorithm attenuates microphones in a different way than the Dugan algorithm. Whereas Dan’s algorithm is super smooth, MixAssist may have more noticeable transitions. " , but because of this more aggressive way of attenuating inputs, the noise floor is also lower in certain situations

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A Dugan like algorithm will be "taught" to better distinguish dialogue from rustle, speech from clanks, human voice from clatter.

A Cedar like algorithm will be "taught" to better remove the undesireable.

Ambitious actors will have sub-cutaneous DPA like mics fitted in their nose, wired through to a medical implant Lemo like plug socket.

Tiny self scanning, frequency agile, self recording radio links, become common place.

The producer will turn up with a wrist worn device that has all the necessary stuff built in, with on, off, record, buttons (with 15 minute pre-record), and an algorithm will monitor for anything requiring human judgement, alert the human, and playback on voice command.

If you only knew, there are already some news anchors with implanted mics.  No clothing noise.  Has made life easier in some cases.

YMMV

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Thanks, guys, very helpful.

Not sure about the implanted mics, sometimes I think people i see speaking on television lately have something more sinister implanted. But as long as there are lavs to be placed outside the body there will be a sound dept. Always in awe of the ingenuity I see to make them work, and despite my old school preference for the  shotgun sound, I find my engineer in final mix often liking the lavs better.

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On 2/26/2017 at 4:53 AM, fieldmixer said:

  I expected the reactionary; No it wont!

An open mind will observe that there is a certain amount of denial there. There are and will be MANY, situations where what I relate will come to pass.

 

Here is a more precise example to visualise.

 

Situ: largish "factual" show that used to necessitate 3-5 "sound mixers", (along with a sound supervisor of course) running, gunning, following around and mixing. The work of mixing. This will absolutely facilitate the hiring of what i labled "soundPA's" over what used to fill a percentage of my calendar. Absolutely. Its clear as day.

 

There will always be the sound supervisor, yes, there HAS to be because indeed, it is complicated. But soon, sooner than anyone will like,

Those 3-5 mixers at 600/day will be going going gone.

Honestly, dont shoot the messenger ok?

And shooting holes in the message wont help either.

 

And, an even WORSE byproduct, will be the influx, of the lets call them

"sound machine operating PAs'", credits will be in their cv, their availability to production will increase,

 The professional sound person, as a respected trade, will as a result, in my opinion, diminish some. And lets be honest, its a trade that historically, on the whole, has had its difficulties crystallizing that respect.

On the whole.

 

 

 

 


Sure many will try,  and many of those who try will end up butchering the production, they will learn very quickly that dugan automix is nothing more than a feature that 'professionals' 'may' use to enhance the final feed to camera on reality.   There is a million and one other things it doesn't do, the main one being it doesn't give the operator an experienced ear.  I completely disagree,  I think each time technology is released many people worry this will render operators useless, but it won't and never will, sure some productions will do it, but they were probably already doing it. 

I remember when HDRx mode on the red camera was released, there was a similar thread over on the red forum how this feature negates many of the skills a DP has....  laughable at best.

The hacks that would be willing to hire sound PA's to mix any show will remain hacks and many of us would have never worked for such hacks in the first place.

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I don't see how this will replace anyone doing field work, from what I understand the automix only affects the LR mix tracks, in many cases that is nothing more than a guide track to camera.  I could maybe see this decreasing some work in the post audio world, as automixed location sound may be clean enough for the editors to do the  final "mix" themselves in smaller productions. 

 

The iso's are what matter at the end of the day, and those would be crap unless there is a trained professional or crew who knows what they are doing. Everything from, getting clean lav and boom tracks , signal flow and operation of the equipment, managing all the wireless of talent and camera feeds, IFBs, Timecode, battery management, boom operating, the list goes on...if that all is not done right, there are gonna be problems. Give a random PA a kit with this feature and the sound will be bad no matter how nicely it 'automixed'. 

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