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judykarp

Simultaneous Translation

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Last week I did a documentary job where the production required a simultaneous translation into English, of three subjects speaking Korean in both interview and verite situations.  Obviously, the translator needed to hear the Korean.   The director, producer and cameraperson had to hear the translator's English translation.  In addition, the production wanted (if possible) a scratch track for editing.  I set up a system, one that I've used many times in the past, sending the translator, who was in another room, a mixed track of the 3 subjects from my SD633 via an old lectro 195 wireless with a headphone jack. I had her speak (softly) into a wireless which I sent to a free iso track on my SD633 and output that sound as an iso to a comtek transmitter.  I provided comteks for the 3 people that needed to hear the English translation.

 

Obviously, this system is cumbersome,  complicated, and not very elegant, but it does work.  As I was wrangling equipment and changing batteries it occurred to me that in the age of Blue Tooth, small digital consumer devices,cell phone, etc. there must be an easier way.  I'd like to hear how others have solved this problem.  Thanks, Judy

   

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I suppose you could replace your translator feed with a box from JK Audio attached to a phone and then dial in the translator (so they wouldn't need to be on site) but you still need to accommodate extra boxes in your kit, PLUS the issues of an always on cellphone call.

 

In a similar situation, I would have probably done the same thing you did.

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I agree with Shastapete.

Introducing cellphones and/or other consumer devices only makes things more cumbersome and complicated. Bluetooth is only able to pair one device at a time AFAIK. But even if there’s an app that could get around that -

- what happens with compatibility with different brands of phones...? Try getting 5 people to install and figure out how to run said app. Then what happens when you get phone calls, texts etc

And don’t forget - you get rental on Comteks and other IFBs.

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I too have done a fair amount of this, including translators and listeners who are not onsite.  I like oldschool methods for this, ie a mixer with various aux mixes.  You can bring FaceTime into the setup  but it is important to control the audio on both ends of the call, re: feedback (like remote people use an earbud etc).

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Thanks.  I was looking for an "easier"  and more compact way without giving up control...Guess I was dreaming.

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Maybe loose 1 box by having the 3 feeds from comtek replaced by 3 RX, tuned into the same TX the translator is on (and you are receiving at 633). I imagine the specifics of the other variables would make this more or less possible/worthwhile.

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When I've needed to do this in the past I do pretty much the same thing.  Mic the translator, interviewer, and interviewee, then have two separate IFB feeds.  I use the same transmitter and IFB's I use for boom ops for the translator. 

I wonder how long it will be until the translator is replaced by everyone wearing a pair of google pixel buds doing the translation live in their ears.  The accuracy still isn't as good as a professional translator, but the technology is very promising.

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