Jump to content
alek roslik

A-Box by Wooden Camera

Recommended Posts

These days I am running into a Red or Arri Mini owners who bought the camera, but not a proper audio interface for it. Because of this I am considering purchasing a Wooden Camera A-Box wired for the Mini and adapter cables from that to the newer DSMC2 style Red camera audio input. Having this in my kit could save the day. and perhaps be a rental item. Any thoughts on this?

 

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure, but otoh it may set a precedent that we're all supposed to and expected have those.

I usually tell production in the hiring process to make sure the camera rental house send one out with the camera if they would like sound recorded on camera. Never been a problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Too late!  The precedent already exists--at least much of the time.  If the cam dept shows up w/ no cables etc., it is an unfortunate truth (in my world anyhow) that the audio dept will be blamed for not being prepared.  I talk ahead of the job to any AC who will talk to me, but there are always a few who aren't reachable for whatever reason.  Around here the chief current culprit re: weird-ass cables is the Alexa Mini, closely followed (as usual) by whatever RED camera is currently in fashion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't see this as a big problem. With the popularity of the Alexa Mini, having a audio cable for it at hand seems like a no brainer to me. even if rental sends one along it's good to have a personal one as reserve - it's like 80EUR. 

I have one to mini jack, because i find it unlikely that I'll ever want to feed it directly from a mixer. most of the time it is dual system with scratch track for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i think if you are sending a scratch to the mini, you need to have your own cables.  you can't rely on production to even know what you are talking about when you ask for the A box, and camera rental house will not always have enough to go around. and then you will be left holding the proverbial bag

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1 thing about the Arri Mini is the uniquely sized Lemo audio input, and that there is no headphone output.

If I'm going to buy the supply the input device  I want to be able to monitor it.  Every mini I have worked with had either the A-Box  or input cables supplied  by the rental house.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The A-Box seems pretty well made; I've plugged into them a few times and they do what they're supposed to do.

However, there are different A-Box models for different cameras since different cameras want different cables. And I'm 95-percent sure you can't switch the output cables on the A-Box. So you'd be looking at $200 for RED, $200 for ARRI mini, $200 when RED changes their mind about audio i/o again... Not backbreaking, but not a cup of coffee (even a fancy East Bay cup of coffee). Also, I work a fair number of RED gigs where there aren't any rods on the camera, or even a clear place (or strong hesitation) to mount more gak.

So I have adapter cables; we can get through the day.

But that said, I've convinced a couple people to buy A-Boxes. Wooden's stuff in general seems pretty decent...

  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, and a $200 is small money for an Arri accessory!  And the rental houses can charge for it!  However, many of my Mini-user clients want to mount them on gimbels or other rigs, and get very shirty about weight and bulk.  So far skipping the ABox and XLRs and using a bespoke adapter cable (to the audio RX of your choice) has been an easier sell (esp if TC can be Mozegear or Tentacle or ERX or nothing).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks All!

If I get an A-box I could also have adapters made to input into different camera types. I am thinking about getting an A-box for the mini with adapter cabling for the new Red camera DSMC2 body type. That would cover the two main culprits for about $400. Not cheap, but maybe I could get a rental, hardy har har.

One of my biggest concerns is precedent. Though I am already running into many a lacking camera package, AC's that do not bring cabling or uncommunicative productions that will not answer my camera audio interfacing questions, I wonder if I am not doing a disservice to other sound operators by supporting an undue expectation that they should have gear in their kits that should come with the camera. That is why I am viewing this as a possible rental item: it would say YES I am prepared for your production and this level of preparedness is worth something.

 

Thanks,

alek

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If your clientele will use this thing and maybe pay you some rental then why not?  For a lot of us the camera rental house is on the job before we are, so they will have grabbed that rental (if they aren't throwing it in for free).    The problems for me re: this kind of thing come from owner-operators, not rental houses--the owners are much less likely to have complete and together packages that include non-picture related accessories.  If you work a lot with that sort of shooter then the ABox or etc is good self-defense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're not renting it to them, I wouldn't provide it.  Where does your responsibility end? Mine is at the end of an XLR.  Beyond that, they are paying extra.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel like the ABox is a luxury version of an adaptor cable. If you use an adapter cable from the A Box to the camera you'd be giving up that luxury and then you might as well just provide an adapter cable to begin with.
I don't include a scratch, but if requested I will ask them which camera they have and charge according to the adapter needs. I would not feel threatened by someone else using the A Box. It's just a fancier way of getting the job done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My 2c...

If they want a link/scratch track I charge for it. I just picked up an Alexa mini cable for my own peace of mind. I see the cable as part of the link hire.

Personally I would stick with cables as it is easier to build into the camera, while the A-box needs cam dept to rig it on.

nick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The A-Box provides some stress release I guess. As I said, I'm not about to buy one (got my adapter cables), but Phil's self-defense argument makes sense. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, this opens up another question. I consider the link/scratch track to camera part of the price of my Basic Kit rental. Are most of you all charging extra for that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, alek roslik said:

Ah, this opens up another question. I consider the link/scratch track to camera part of the price of my Basic Kit rental. Are most of you all charging extra for that?

I think most people will consider a standard XLR cable to camera included and a wireless hop as extra (personally I'd be tempted to throw in a G3 as a free hop if they can't pay for it and that allows me to be independent from the camera since I dislike having a cable link to camera). 

But generally I don't see this as a hard rule thing - If production pays proper rates I'm not going to argue that an Alexa cable that costs me 80EUR to buy and I'll likely use for quite a while will be another 5EUR per day rental - just feels cheap to me. If I'm faced with a production where they try to skimp on rates on every corner I'll definitely list every extra item and charge for it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think most people will consider a standard XLR cable to camera included and a wireless hop as extra (personally I'd be tempted to throw in a G3 as a free hop if they can't pay for it and that allows me to be independent from the camera since I dislike having a cable link to camera). 

You mean this in doco-type situations, right? In my work, I never include a scratch or even a cable to camera, because there is never going to be a cable.
If production wants a scratch, of course they'll have to pay for it and of course the appropriate camera end is included then

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, Constantin said:

You mean this in doco-type situations, right? 

well, personally I like a hop with scratch to camera whenever possible, along with TC sync, because there's usually no slating.

I know that most people here work on projects where it's considered unnecessary or even dangerous (scratch might get used), but since I'm often involved in post I'm not worried about that, and chances are that one out of ten or twenty something goes wrong with timecode and then I'm glad I have the scratch track (and plural eyes) as alternative to sync things up.

I guess on bigger productions people have the slate as backup, so scratch is unnecessary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally, I keep cables for all the cameras.  Currently I only keep 1 cable for the mini, and I request that if there is a b cam it has an A box.  I'll probably add a second cable though since most of my work recently has been 2 mini's.  I don't charge for specific cables, I include them as part of my timecode package which is an add-on to my base package for any TC capable camera.  I charge for a TC option which includes a TC slate and 1 ERX (with cables), then I charge a per additional camera fee.  So far it's worked well for me and more than covered the cost of the dozen cables I have to keep.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×