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yizhye20

Student film equipment setup questions.

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Hello everyone. Finally got a chance to post my question here. I am an international student.  Wish my English is not confusing. 

 

 

Here is the case. I am a DP/tech (I do not know the name for that department, like equipment choosing) direction. There are some questions about the sound equipment decision about my senior film. The film will contain a decent amount of dialogues and some moving scene. I have some concerns about what to choose to pick up sound for those scenes. My professor told me the easiest way to improve the film quality is by improving the sound. I got some equipment already and always happy to purchase new stuff.

 

I got 4 pairs of G3 and an AVX. I do think the AVX has a better sound quality but not so sure yet. There is no XLR plug-on for the AVX and the G3 plug on does not have 48V.  So what if I want to go wireless on for my boom mic there seems no good solution at the moments.  Zaxcom had been on my wishlist for a while but I am not sure if the wireless system will eat up all my budget. please let me know if there is any good suggestion for the wireless XLR plug on based on my situation. Also based on the action scene, Lav mics sometimes pick up a really weird sound like the body movement. Wonder if there is a better way or a special tool to prevent the movement. I got a pair of B6 and some B3. They should be small enough and I do believe they been taped well by the Rycote undercover.  Thank you so much. Do wish there is a way to pick up the sound by those lovely lavaliers.

 

The other questions are about indoor sound pick up. CMIT 5U has already been my all-time choice. It sounds so good but the length of it with the super shield is kind of long. It might not fit some of my indoor locations. I also have a pair of KM184. I bought them separately. So they are not well matched. I was planned to use them for some room tones. I check some previous discussion about KM184 as a boom mic and it seems not good at all. So I might still need a mic for the narrow indoor situation. Also if there is any trick or advise for Steadicam shoot sound pick up please let me know. 

 

Thank you so much for any suggests or advise.  

 

 

 

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Just a thought and not direct answers, but don't forget that there is a really good rental shop in Atlanta, Trew Audio.  No need, by rule, to buy all the pro tools that you need for one shoot.  They not only have everything that you could need for rent, they also have guys that know the drill and that will happily answer your questions and serve your needs.  Give 'em a call.

 

D.

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not sure if I understood you correctly, but why not let the sound person choose the equipment after you've discussed the script and location with him?

 

If you *are* the sound person, then I'd suggest reading up and testing testing testing, like:

 

8 hours ago, yizhye20 said:

I got 4 pairs of G3 and an AVX. I do think the AVX has a better sound quality but not so sure yet.

 

well, do a side by side and you'll find out (let us know 😉

 

 

8 hours ago, yizhye20 said:

There is no XLR plug-on for the AVX and the G3 plug on does not have 48V.  So what if I want to go wireless on for my boom mic there seems no good solution at the moments. 

 

use a cable?

 

 

8 hours ago, yizhye20 said:

Zaxcom had been on my wishlist for a while but I am not sure if the wireless system will eat up all my budget.

 

 

 

do some budget calculations?

 

8 hours ago, yizhye20 said:

Also based on the action scene, Lav mics sometimes pick up a really weird sound like the body movement. Wonder if there is a better way or a special tool to prevent the movement.

 

that's mainly a question of experience (I myself suck at this)

 

8 hours ago, yizhye20 said:

The other questions are about indoor sound pick up. CMIT 5U has already been my all-time choice. It sounds so good but the length of it with the super shield is kind of long. It might not fit some of my indoor locations.

 

why would you want to use a super shield indoors? a simple foam should be enough

 

8 hours ago, yizhye20 said:

I also have a pair of KM184. I bought them separately. So they are not well matched. I was planned to use them for some room tones. I check some previous discussion about KM184 as a boom mic and it seems not good at all. So I might still need a mic for the narrow indoor situation.

 

seems like two different things to me:

for stereo atmos, have them checked and make some tests if you like the sound.

for booming, it wouldn't be my first choice but if in a pinch a KM184 (with a CMIT as alternative) should cover most scenes just fine. if you have the money, try a MK41 and a MKH50.

 

just some loose thoughts, but as said, make tests before hand, evaluate and improve what needs improving (usually it's room treatment and booming technique : -).

chris

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The Sony UWP series butt-plug transmitter has 48v Phantom Power and about the same price as the non-powered 100 series Sennheiser.

I wouldn't use the AVX system if it's mic is in close proximity to other low latency systems (like the G3). The AVX has a whopping 19ms delay.

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8 hours ago, Rick Reineke said:

The Sony UWP series butt-plug transmitter has 48v Phantom Power and about the same price as the non-powered 100 series Sennheiser.

I wouldn't use the AVX system if it's mic is in close proximity to other low latency systems (like the G3). The AVX has a whopping 19ms delay.

That is so important info.  Thank you

11 hours ago, chrismedr said:

not sure if I understood you correctly, but why not let the sound person choose the equipment after you've discussed the script and location with him?

 

If you *are* the sound person, then I'd suggest reading up and testing testing testing, like:

 

 

well, do a side by side and you'll find out (let us know 😉

 

 

 

use a cable?

 

 

 

do some budget calculations?

 

 

that's mainly a question of experience (I myself suck at this)

 

 

why would you want to use a super shield indoors? a simple foam should be enough

 

 

seems like two different things to me:

for stereo atmos, have them checked and make some tests if you like the sound.

for booming, it wouldn't be my first choice but if in a pinch a KM184 (with a CMIT as alternative) should cover most scenes just fine. if you have the money, try a MK41 and a MKH50.

 

just some loose thoughts, but as said, make tests before hand, evaluate and improve what needs improving (usually it's room treatment and booming technique : -).

chris

Trying to answer all the concerns

1) My sound guy is not into the production equipment, that is why I am kinda asking those questions. He is really good with post sound design.  

2) The G3 with the cable is not powering up my CMIT

3) I can afford one zaxcom wireless system. The recorder with the receiver  is still a little bit too much for me right now.

4) The form would work but the mic still might be in the frame for some shots. even just with the form

 

 

12 hours ago, ShubiSnax said:

The Sennheiser SKP 300 G3 has 48v phantom power.

For real? I might need another cable. Mine is not working at all.

12 hours ago, tourtelot said:

Just a thought and not direct answers, but don't forget that there is a really good rental shop in Atlanta, Trew Audio.  No need, by rule, to buy all the pro tools that you need for one shoot.  They not only have everything that you could need for rent, they also have guys that know the drill and that will happily answer your questions and serve your needs.  Give 'em a call.

 

D.

Thank you. will be there after my trip to LA. 

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13 minutes ago, yizhye20 said:

For real? I might need another cable. Mine is not working at all.

You probably have the Sennheiser SKP 100, which does not supply phantom power. The 300 does.

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Just now, ShubiSnax said:

You probably have the Sennheiser SKP 100, which does not supply phantom power. The 300 does.

got it. Yes, I am with the SKP 100. Still, don't know should I buy the 300 or the new G4 which can receive two channels at the same time with only one receiver.

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4 hours ago, yizhye20 said:

1) My sound guy is not into the production equipment, that is why I am kinda asking those questions.

Well he isn't a location sound recordist then if he "is not into the production equipment" and is making you figure it out instead, perhaps you should find someone else who actually cares! As there are plenty of ways for things to go wrong, and this shows he doesn't care or have the passion for this, which is stirring up a recipe for disaster. 

 

3 hours ago, yizhye20 said:

the new G4 which can receive two channels at the same time with only one receiver.

No, the G4 can't do that. 
Perhaps you are thinking of the Sony UWP range? 
They have this (I'd personally highly recommend Sony's wireless over the G3/G4):
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1409423-REG/sony_2_channel_portable_receiver_with.html


Or if you mean specifically Sennheiser, they have dual receivers (but I strongly doubt that is what you meant, as you said "G4"):
https://en-us.sennheiser.com/2-channel-receiver-wireless-microphone-ek-6042

Otherwise go with the likes of the Lectrosonics SRc, or any of the other pro brands has their options as well (Zaxcom/AudioLtd/Wisycom/etc).

4 hours ago, yizhye20 said:

For real? I might need another cable. Mine is not working at all.

Do note that he is not referring to the bodypack transmitter. But rather this one: 

image.png

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7 hours ago, IronFilm said:

Well he isn't a location sound recordist then if he "is not into the production equipment" and is making you figure it out instead, perhaps you should find someone else who actually cares! As there are plenty of ways for things to go wrong, and this shows he doesn't care or have the passion for this, which is stirring up a recipe for disaster. 
 

 

Let's not forget this is a student film: I'm sure the 'post sound student' does care, as does the director/producer asking for help. What they don't have is experience. As it is, I'm very much in favour of a post sound person doing production sound as they'll learn much about the filmmaking process and their own chosen part in it - as much as I'm in favour of EVERY dept (dir, prod, DP, costume, makeup etc etc) knowing something of what we do for the same reason. What I would suggest is try to supplement the production sound dept with another person: preferably one with quite a bit more Prod sound experience (who's maybe boomed or even '3rd-ed' a lot and wants an opportunity to practice their recording skills). Trying drama as a one man band is risky at best and if your recordist is really just starting out on the production path they're going to have a LOT of trouble and learn less than they would within a team.

 

Best, Jez

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Yes, the G4 EK100 is a single audio channel receiver and can be used with only one transmitter at a time (though multiple receivers can be used.. for instance, an audio hop to more than one cam. All of the SKP100 transmitters (including the G4), cannot power a mic.

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5 hours ago, The Immoral Mr Teas said:

Let's not forget this is a student film

Ah yes, my bad, I missed the part this thread is about a student film. Well, you take what you can get then!

 

But also, I feel a student shouldn't be spending so much on gear. Especially in an area they're not planning on specialising in! Stick instead with the gear the uni is offering you. 

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Sure, but the whole idea of a film school used to be that outside the industry (for better or worse) one could get their hands on tens of thousands of £$€ worth of equipment and practice (the trade, the art, the theory - whatever) with technical and sympathetic help.

 

It shocked me also a little that it sounded like a 'final - graduate' project might be being talked about rather than a first year / early project - but I don't expect my industry to have changed so drastically without expecting the education side to have not have done so too. In fact I know it has since I've friends in said education. Sadly their own remits (money, numbers, results) make our best intentions to prepare talented folk to join the industry often seem even worse than our own (just making money).

 

Back to money, it takes a great investment to bring a student from one side of the world to another - enough, in fact, that investment in some nice mic is possible. What possibly isn't going on is the human side, which is definitely the problem of the school (what happened to last year's graduates - are they starting careers and still in touch?) but also perhaps the problem of potential collaborators (being "starting out" professionals in the area who might see a reason to offer their services to the students - perhaps at some price with a Zoom and budget radios). I would never say it was a fault of the students themselves.

 

Still, the OP has had some good advice, first from Chris but also from everyone else, on equipment but also production strategy.

 

My own is to perhaps (ask the school and) seek out a former student to lead the prod sound dept - and use some of the budget to pay for their time/ invested equipment. But even better, spread a wider net within the existing students and pool together a sound department of interested people. It depends how financially important (rather than experience/educationally important) the success of the film will be. It could be the difference between 'pass/fail' - especially back home - which would be a very hard lesson into the commercial world of film production.

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Not to restate the obvious, but like any craft, you choose the right tools for the job, and hire the right people. You have a post guy doing location sound. You should have a location sound person doing your location sound. 

 

I think you should sell all the gear you have acquired and just hire a professional who already has experience and equipment. That way you don’t have to worry about it, and it’ll cost you less than trying to buy all the gear you’ll need to make a movie, and you’ll have the right person for the job. 

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