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Joe Dunlap

Boom rigged to fisher dolly

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Hey everyone,

 

     Today I was doing a walk and talk down a narrow hallway where it would have been really tough to get a good consistent placement with the boom so we rigged it up to the dolly and it seemed to work pretty well. The talent was speaking direct to camera so his distance from the camera didn’t change much. (I know the schoeps cmc641 would have been a better choice than the 416 but it was a last minute shoot so I didn’t have access to it so quickly) 

 

We also wanted consistent light on him so we rigged up a 4x frame and a rolly stand to the dolly as well. 

 

Just curious if this is typical of walk and talks if you have a dolly available. 

 

Also, does anyone else get complaints about the size and weight of the RX200? I love the box and it’s saved me several times but I’ve been told by several DPs they’d rather just have a tentacle sync box and not worry about scratch audio.😕👎🏼

 

 

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I think I've been able to sell this sort of idea maybe twice in 43 years doing sound.  I like the idea of scratch audio going to camera (as a sync ref, for on-set instant playback) but many camera types find this idea abhorrent.  And they get to decide what goes on the camera, ultimately.  Yes, they like dinky TC boxes.  If they like Tentacle then they'll love Moze QBit XL.

 

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Find out if anyone actually wants scratch audio. In my TV world, nobody wants it. If the director or the producer want it, they get to fight it out with the camera department. 

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1 hour ago, Philip Perkins said:

I think I've been able to sell this sort of idea maybe twice in 43 years doing sound.  I like the idea of scratch audio going to camera (as a sync ref, for on-set instant playback) but many camera types find this idea abhorrent.  And they get to decide what goes on the camera, ultimately.  Yes, they like dinky TC boxes.  If they like Tentacle then they'll love Moze QBit XL.

 

Thanks Phillip, I'll definitely look more into the moze box. That is true about on set playback. This DP has a paralinx that sends video along with audio wirelessly to video village and the client actually commented on how it was nice to be able to listen to the scratch audio on playback. 

 

Thanks for chiming in Constantin. I wish Zaxcom had a camera hop the size of their little transmitters that I could sneak on.  I just did a day on a short film with an Alexa SXT but we didn't have any of the cabling to get BNC or 4 pin lemo to 5 pin lemo in for TC or 5 pin XLR in for scratch audio. That is going to be a pain to sync up. 

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For a walk and talk particularly in the acoustics of a corridor I would use lavs.

 

Here in NZ a scratch track is always required by post and not decided by the DP

 

Additionally time code is a usual requirement and not decided by the DP

The size of t/c boxes has reduced but as I own 4 Denecke units already

the last thing I am willing to do is buy a 5th unit to please the camera department

that often do not even know the menu in the camera for setting t/c and audio!

 

mike

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4 hours ago, mikewest said:

For a walk and talk particularly in the acoustics of a corridor I would use lavs.

 

Here in NZ a scratch track is always required by post and not decided by the DP

 

Additionally time code is a usual requirement and not decided by the DP

The size of t/c boxes has reduced but as I own 4 Denecke units already

the last thing I am willing to do is buy a 5th unit to please the camera department

that often do not even know the menu in the camera for setting t/c and audio!

 

mike

Thanks for the tip Mike! I’ll try using lavs in addition to the boom next time so I can compare. This hallway happened to be carpeted so even though it still sounded like a hallway, it wasn’t super reflective like most hospital hallways. (It was an administrative building).  I do a lot of commercial work in hospitals and the hvac noise is always there. There’s not really an option to turn it off. Sometimes it’s tough to tell which is worse, a directional mic overhead closer to the vents but pointing away from the vent or an Omni lav closer to their mouth but picking up everything. 

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5 hours ago, Joe Dunlap said:

Thanks for the tip Mike! I’ll try using lavs in addition to the boom next time so I can compare. This hallway happened to be carpeted so even though it still sounded like a hallway, it wasn’t super reflective like most hospital hallways. (It was an administrative building).  I do a lot of commercial work in hospitals and the hvac noise is always there. There’s not really an option to turn it off. Sometimes it’s tough to tell which is worse, a directional mic overhead closer to the vents but pointing away from the vent or an Omni lav closer to their mouth but picking up everything. 

Hi Joe, curious if you do a lot of work in hospitals whether you run into any issues with using wireless? I'm about to shoot something in a hospital and our team (producers) assumes we will not be able to use wireless mics due to concerns about interfering with any frequencies that may or may not be at work within the environment, like for hospital machinery. It's a maternity ward, not a radiology lab. What experiences can you share in this regard? Thanks! kat

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@sonicfruit Since there is no way to tell from one hospital to another what the RF environment would be like, my position would be to explain to the producers that they should not expect to be able to use lavs all the time, but you can do a scan with your receivers or an RF Explorer if you have one, if no one at the hospital has any information to share. 

 

I used lavs at Ceder Sinai in Los Angeles without any problems (that I was aware of). I actually wanted to boom but the “producer” was one of those “why don’t you go ahead and lav ‘em up now” types that isn’t aware that he’s always stepping on people’s toes ;)

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2 minutes ago, sonicfruit said:

Hi Joe, curious if you do a lot of work in hospitals whether you run into any issues with using wireless? I'm about to shoot something in a hospital and our team (producers) assumes we will not be able to use wireless mics due to concerns about interfering with any frequencies that may or may not be at work within the environment, like for hospital machinery. It's a maternity ward, not a radiology lab. What experiences can you share in this regard? Thanks! kat

Hey Kat,

 

     Thanks for messaging. Here in Cincinnati, OH I have never run into any issue when I use my friends Zaxcom Wireless Lav system but there have been 2 times in the past 50+ shoots where my Sony UWP-D11 Lavs were acting very strange. On that same shoot the Zaxcom worked instantly. No matter how many times I scanned for channels on the Sonys the signal would sound like there was an aggressive noise gate on. Very strange and frustrating. I probably should look into it a little more but I've never been told that I shouldn't use wireless in the hospitals. For most of these shoots I'm always sending wireless audio and timecode from my Maxx to RX200 on camera, and that's never once dropped out on me since I've had my Maxx repaired. I guess if I was dealing with producers who were hesitant about using wireless I'd contact the hospital and check in to see if they have a tech person that you could talk to about that. Depending on your budget for the shoot Zaxcoms ZFR 400 https://zaxcom.com/products/zfr400/ might be a good solution if they tell you not to use wireless systems. Or for a lot less money about $200 Zoom makes the F1 that I've thought about grabbing one or two of just to keep in my bag as an absolute last resort. They are just miniature field recorders that you place on your talent. It's not ideal to not be able to monitor what you're recording but if you're kind of planning on that being a backup to the boom then it might be useful.   I wish I had more specific tips for you. 

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"curious if you do a lot of work in hospitals whether you run into any issues with using wireless?"

 

I believe that hospitals are often built with chicken-wire, or something similar, in the walls. The intent is to minimize any stray radiation from portable x-ray machines. Limiting the range and performance of radio systems is an unintended consequence of shielding patients from spurious radiation.

 

Not that any of this knowledge helps but sometimes knowing the cause helps keep the crazy to a minimum.

 

David 

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20 hours ago, Joe Dunlap said:

Hey Kat,

 

     Thanks for messaging. Here in Cincinnati, OH I have never run into any issue when I use my friends Zaxcom Wireless Lav system but there have been 2 times in the past 50+ shoots where my Sony UWP-D11 Lavs were acting very strange. On that same shoot the Zaxcom worked instantly. No matter how many times I scanned for channels on the Sonys the signal would sound like there was an aggressive noise gate on. Very strange and frustrating. I probably should look into it a little more but I've never been told that I shouldn't use wireless in the hospitals. For most of these shoots I'm always sending wireless audio and timecode from my Maxx to RX200 on camera, and that's never once dropped out on me since I've had my Maxx repaired. I guess if I was dealing with producers who were hesitant about using wireless I'd contact the hospital and check in to see if they have a tech person that you could talk to about that. Depending on your budget for the shoot Zaxcoms ZFR 400 https://zaxcom.com/products/zfr400/ might be a good solution if they tell you not to use wireless systems. Or for a lot less money about $200 Zoom makes the F1 that I've thought about grabbing one or two of just to keep in my bag as an absolute last resort. They are just miniature field recorders that you place on your talent. It's not ideal to not be able to monitor what you're recording but if you're kind of planning on that being a backup to the boom then it might be useful.   I wish I had more specific tips for you. 

 

If you're using Zaxcom wireless and are issued a "No RF" edict, you don't need to have another recorder on hand.  Just go into the transmitter's extended menu and set "TX Disable" to "Record Only Mode" which turns off the RF and allows it to operate as just a recorder.

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1 hour ago, John Blankenship said:

 

If you're using Zaxcom wireless and are issued a "No RF" edict, you don't need to have another recorder on hand.  Just go into the transmitter's extended menu and set "TX Disable" to "Record Only Mode" which turns off the RF and allows it to operate as just a recorder.

Thanks John, I forgot about that option. They seem to have thought of everything. I’m interested to see when the start releasing the rest of the qrx 300 series stuff. 

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5 hours ago, Joe Dunlap said:

Thanks John, I forgot about that option. They seem to have thought of everything. I’m interested to see when the start releasing the rest of the qrx 300 series stuff. 

 

The QRX300 is a specialty item designed to receive an extra-narrow bandwidth single channel.  Read the page on their web site to learn more about it.

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20 minutes ago, John Blankenship said:

 

The QRX300 is a specialty item designed to receive an extra-narrow bandwidth single channel.  Read the page on their web site to learn more about it.

 

I was talking about the 335 that they’ve talked about releasing but haven’t yet. 

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On 5/2/2018 at 1:39 AM, Joe Dunlap said:

I do a lot of commercial work in hospitals and the hvac noise is always there. There’s not really an option to turn it off.

 

Yeah I did a shoot recently in Auckland  City Hospital and I was told that if the air conditioning gets switched off then also the electricity to the entire floor gets switched off??? (which obviously isn't an option when you have sick people relying upon that!)

Dunno if I believed them however... but that is what I got told! So guess it wasn't an option to kill the air conditioning :-/ ah well

On 5/2/2018 at 7:21 AM, Joe Dunlap said:

Depending on your budget for the shoot Zaxcoms ZFR 400 https://zaxcom.com/products/zfr400/ might be a good solution if they tell you not to use wireless systems. Or for a lot less money about $200 Zoom makes the F1 that I've thought about grabbing one or two of just to keep in my bag as an absolute last resort. 

I'd prefer the Tascam DR10L over the Zoom F1, not only is it sometimes cheaper but also it is much smaller too!

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Since we're talking about hospitals, a thing to consider is nursing schools as locations for narrative work. At least in Finland, they have a lot of the necessary equipment and the right look to be believable, but since they are training environments without actual patient care taking place, they can be much more flexible and controllable.

As for RF in an actual hospital environment, an SMWB or an Audio Ltd A10 could be super useful as well as Zaxcom gear. A DR10 could be nice as a backup solution, especially if one already has lavs wired for G3s.

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5 hours ago, Ilari Sivil said:

Since we're talking about hospitals, a thing to consider is nursing schools as locations for narrative work. At least in Finland, they have a lot of the necessary equipment and the right look to be believable, but since they are training environments without actual patient care taking place, they can be much more flexible and controllable.

As for RF in an actual hospital environment, an SMWB or an Audio Ltd A10 could be super useful as well as Zaxcom gear. A DR10 could be nice as a backup solution, especially if one already has lavs wired for G3s.

That’s a really good thought llari. That’s funny because I’m actually on a shoot today at a hospital training facility. It’s nice to not have to worry about being in the way of patients and also overall less noise than most hospitals. Still no luck on getting them to turn off the hvac though. 

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On 5/1/2018 at 4:27 AM, Joe Dunlap said:

 

 

I wish Zaxcom had a camera hop the size of their little transmitters that I could sneak on. 

What about the ERX receivers?  TC and scratch audio in a smallish lightweight box that weighs little with 2 lithiums in it.

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22 hours ago, Marc Hoppe said:

What about the ERX receivers?  TC and scratch audio in a smallish lightweight box that weighs little with 2 lithiums in it.

I do use those when I’m using a nomad but the transmitter in my Maxx doesn’t communicate with the ERX receivers so that is a real bummer. I love the rx200 but I do understand why DPs think it’s a little bulky for any sort of moving shot on a ronin or easy rig. 

 

At one of these events I snuck a schoeps mk41 on the gooseneck of a podium right under their podium mic, put the maxx under the podium and sent it over the rx200 to the Nomad in the back of the room grabbing a board feed and several Lavs. So it’s been very versatile and functional for me. 

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Right on, I think the lack of Zaxnet is what's kept me from getting a Maxx, despite the fact that I have an IFB200. 

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Wonder how far away a Maxx V2.0 might be? It would likely have Zaxnet I'd bet 

However probably is nowhere near soon happening, as they've only just recently started shipping the Deva 24, will take a while before Zaxcom gets another new recorder model into production.

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