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AussiesoundieTom

Advice on sound kit R4+/SD/Zax/Zoom

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Heyo fellas

Looking for advice on my first sound kit to own, rather than using rented equipment or uni equipment.

I have been currently using a variety of recorder/mixers, basically anything i can get my hands on to get uni work done and indi shoots (Zoom f8/744t/CantarX2). 

Looking for opinions as in my currently level its hard to find a variety of Pros to chat to in my state.

My needs will more than likely be run and gun Booming/recording/mixing on my own with the rare chance to find a set with the gracious unicorn that is the paid boom operator. 

I have currently been tossing between a Zaxcom Maxx, Sonosax R4+ or Zoom f8. +shotgun mic (ntg3) +2x wireless(cheaper sennheiser if Zax or R4+. Lectro if i go Zoom f8)

kinda stumped on where to go.

Cheers for any advice that i can get.

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First you have to decide how many channels you are going to need. 

If it's not more than 3 or 4 you could get one of the new Sound Devices MixPres and put the extra cash toward better mics and better wireless. 

-Mike

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I would recommend against buying anything at all at this point, except, perhaps, a good boom mic. You are still at uni, apparently, you don't know which kinds of jobs you'll be doing, nor do you know what those jobs will require. I know a few sound students who intended to become sound mixers, but ended up something else entirely. All that gear would be wasted.

Furthermore, I'd suggest you start as a utility or 2nd boom or whatever to even learn this job in real life.

Buying gear at this point is simply a waste of time and money

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VAS   
22 minutes ago, Constantin said:

I would recommend against buying anything at all at this point, except, perhaps, a good boom mic. You are still at uni, apparently, you don't know which kinds of jobs you'll be doing, nor do you know what those jobs will require. I know a few sound students who intended to become sound mixers, but ended up something else entirely. All that gear would be wasted.

Furthermore, I'd suggest you start as a utility or 2nd boom or whatever to even learn this job in real life.

Buying gear at this point is simply a waste of time and money

+1

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At this point i am graduating uni at the end of the year, the climate around here is you hire a freelance soundie to cover your needs. I have worked on as many sets as i can get my hands on over the last 3 years and think i have a fair understanding of what i will be walking into. The sound community is extremely small and the education for it is even smaller. I expect to be doing a lot of indi shorts/features/corporate stuff or to be honest anything that will pay their sound guy.

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I disagree with the above comments. I think it's well worth getting some kit, aim for decent used stuff 

- the Sonosax is maybe overkill to start with - the other 2 recorders will likely be a useful back up ( or Renter ) for a good while if you do upgrade -  I would also look at a 633 it covers 90% of my gigs,  as does 3 wires and a boom.  IFB  you can start with a couple and add as you go - G3s are great - get the best boom you can afford ( ie a step up from the Rode ) you'll never regret it

 

 

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Nate C   

Tom if you're not already a part of the Australian Sound Recordists and Boom Ops FB page, join up. They also have a sales group. There's often second hand gear on there at great to fair prices.

If I was in your boat I'd probably go Maxx or 633, Second hand Lectro's and the best boom mic you can afford. I'd also get a good boom pole, instead of cheating out, as it is one of the most important bits of gear and you'll be using it for many years to come.

Best of luck once you have finished uni.

Cheers Nate.

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I don't understand why sound guys rent their recorder. I'm a camera man and it's nearly impossible to own a camera as its project dependent but the sound guy uses 95% of the time the same mic, same boom, same wireless and the same mixer/recorder.

You'll do 2 features (or work 1 year) and you get your invested cash back on the equipment rent. 

I would buy the best recorder wich covers my needs for the next 2 years. 

Pat 

 

 

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Hi Tom  You're welcome to call me on 0418 100 860 to have a chat  right now or anytime over the weekend.  Email is info@soundequip.com.au  We're the Sonosax distributor in Australia, but although they're amazing, just don't go there yet.  I' was a freelancer for decades until I got into this.  More that happy to discuss pros and cons of different equipment.  Also just be careful of buying stuff second-hand even if it looks like a great deal, it might be / it might not.  Start small and build out, see where the work leads you.  But be sure not to go to one shop and let them tell you what they sell and that's what you need.  You're starting a career, first and foremost you need to be able to eat and put a roof over your head.  John

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Bash   

The Mix Pre's will not grow with you, dont have proper TC, etc...

633 is a good basic all rounder

Sonosax is a stunning machine, which has the ability to grow with you (extra IPs bolt on, fader panel coming, etc..)

Maxx is... an interesting machine!!

All of that siad - if you have a limited budget, and I say say this often to starter uppers, buy the kit that you will use the most, first.

Buy a boom mic and a boom first - you will use it every day.

Buy radio mics next, get second hand, quality stuff, not G3s

Then but a mixer recorder. By the time you do this you will know what you want. If you cant afford the one that you want then sell your grandmother or wait. Do not buy a compromise on the mixer/recorder - you will be beholden to what you paid for it for so long that you will delay buying the one that you wanted and will then regret that.

 

Good luck, and enjoy every day at work. I still do ;-)

 

Kindest, sb

 

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PM sent. 

I will have a 788 with CL8 plus a 552 for sale in the next couple of weeks. 

These will be in the For Sale section on this site too. 

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JonG   

I'm going to echo what @Constantin said. Although you think you have a handle on things, the truth is that until this is what you've been doing on a full time basis to make your living, you find you really don't know what you thought you did at uni or even on a basic indie level. The best training you can get is to work for someone else, and from there you can not only grow, but also develope connections to better jobs, and you can save money in the meantime and get the right gear, not just what you can afford while at uni. So ask around and try to utility or second boom for an established mixer. This is the correct way of doing things. If you go out on your own, you're doing it the hard way and you're going to do yourself and your business a disservice without even knowing it. 

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Perhaps network with other mixers and see what they are using.... always good to know who has compatibile/ backup gear in ace of disaster........

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On 29/06/2017 at 1:18 AM, AussiesoundieTom said:

Heyo fellas

Looking for advice on my first sound kit to own, rather than using rented equipment or uni equipment.

I have been currently using a variety of recorder/mixers, basically anything i can get my hands on to get uni work done and indi shoots (Zoom f8/744t/CantarX2). 

Looking for opinions as in my currently level its hard to find a variety of Pros to chat to in my state.

My needs will more than likely be run and gun Booming/recording/mixing on my own with the rare chance to find a set with the gracious unicorn that is the paid boom operator. 

I have currently been tossing between a Zaxcom Maxx, Sonosax R4+ or Zoom f8. +shotgun mic (ntg3) +2x wireless(cheaper sennheiser if Zax or R4+. Lectro if i go Zoom f8)

kinda stumped on where to go.

Cheers for any advice that i can get.

You're stll welcome to give me a call Tom. Have a chat, pluses and minuses or each, how to start to accumulate tools of trade and eat as well, sans BS from some suppliers.  John  0418 100 860

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I actually started with an SD 302 and Zaxcom ZFR 100 with stereo adapter to record the 302.  Worked great though wasn't thrilled that the ZFR cut off anything above 17Khz and was compressed (well what did I expect...)  But then invested in mics, Schoeps 641, ntg3, DPA 4060 stereo kit, 2 x DPA 4088's, Rode Newsshooter Wireless Kit, Rode Filmmaker Kit, DPA 4017b...and finally last year found a mint used Zaxcom Maxx.  I went through the same process of SD 633 or Zax Maxx and chose the Maxx because 1) price was really good, 2) I wanted cleanest pres possible, 3) wanted 4 XLR inputs.  The SD was superior in User Interface, powering options, two card slots, but only 3 XLR inputs.  I wanted to record subtle nature as well as interviews and music (I know awesome nature and other recordings have been made with the 633, but to me it was important to have cleaner pres).  I didn't want to invest into a new battery platform so I bought IDX V-Mount batteries with D-Tap, and got a D-Tap to hirose cable as primary power to the Maxx.  Combining that with the internal 6 AA battery sled gives backup, and lasts about 18 hours (91Wh / 5W = 18.2 hours runtime).  The great thing about having your own great recorder is not only can you go out on your own time and record stuff, you can also do audio only podcasts, location recording for non-video related work.  But most of all, you spend enough time with it to know it inside and out.  I would love someday to get Zax wireless but with this gobbling of frequencies I'd like that all to shake out, in the meantime I'm safe with 2.4Ghz, and haven't really had any issues with it on jobs yet...  For a streaming client who wanted 5 live wireless mics, I rented two Lectro 411 kits and ran them off batteries, what a mistake, they last about an hour on batteries while I get 8+ hours off 2AA's with the Rode kits...so had to swap out the CEO during the QA...so pro level wireless mics are meant to use with power distribution systems, lesson learned.  So moral of the story, figure out your clientele and use-spectrum and get what most closely matches it.

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IronFilm   
On 6/29/2017 at 2:56 PM, Nate C said:

Tom if you're not already a part of the Australian Sound Recordists and Boom Ops FB page, join up. They also have a sales group. There's often second hand gear on there at great to fair prices.

I think that main group might be set to secret? As I can't find it! Although I've been a member of the sales group for quite a while now, almost bought something from there a few times. 

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aginzo   
On 6/30/2017 at 6:31 PM, Patrick Tresch said:

I don't understand why sound guys rent their recorder. I'm a camera man and it's nearly impossible to own a camera as its project dependent but the sound guy uses 95% of the time the same mic, same boom, same wireless and the same mixer/recorder.

You'll do 2 features (or work 1 year) and you get your invested cash back on the equipment rent. 

I would buy the best recorder wich covers my needs for the next 2 years. 

Pat 

 

 

In the US, it's much more cost effective to own your own gear and most productions have no idea what they need. You have to do some serious detective work in some of these cases and then sometimes you get to set and they want something you didn't know about and then have to rent that one piece but you make a lot less money from rented gear. I have rented gear fewer times on one hand in a span of 23 years because most of the time rental gear is crap or they don't have really what you need. Plus, having your own gear it's all setup the way you like it and generally, you make little to no changes in the setup as far as settings go. However, yes buying the best recorder that will work for you for a few years is most recommended. That's why I'm glad I got my Nomad as I don't see myself ever going past that many channels. I'm lucky if I get a job using 3 or more these days. However, starting out get what you can afford and work up to a better machine and gear. Worked for me. 

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There are many arenas to sound concerning film and television.  They do not all involve being on set and owning "gear".  Listen to what JonG said above, get out there and see what sound positions you land out of school.  If people ask you to do production sound for a project, remember what your favorite gear is to use and then locate a place to rent it.  If they ask what you own, just say you own it, then charge for the rental.  If this helps, even the best pro sound mixers do not own all of the gear they use for a full fledged production.  

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