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Bob K

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About Bob K

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    Location sound mixer
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  1. I ultimately discovered what happened with the audio recorded on the Alexa Mini, so thought I should share with everyone who joined the discussion here. In summary, we recorded several interviews using a body mic and a boom mic on separate channels, and after the shoot I got a call from the editor in L.A. telling me that the discreet audio channels I'd sent to the camera were mixed together. How that might have happened was a mystery, and we tried on various explanations here. The answer came when I reviewed the recording of the phone call from the editor. (I should have done that sooner.) He mentioned he'd found just two tracks of audio on the camera cards, "A1 and A2, and that's it. And, there's five tracks of audio, but only two are recorded. I brought it in mono, so it's like AR (?) stereo left and right, but it's my mix left and my mix right." "I brought it in mono." That statement somehow didn't register at the time. Apparently, he summed the two discreet audio tracks together when transferring the files from the camera cards to the NLE. Then, I suppose, wiped the camera cards? So, it wasn't the camera menu, or the A-Box, or a malfunctioning mini-Lemo on the camera. It was post-production.
  2. I did two days with another Mini (with A-box) this week, and was careful to test whether I was recording discrete tracks on the camera. No problems. So, perhaps the summed-to-mono issue with the first Mini was due an older board in the camera (as nichreich mentions), or perhaps there was some still-unknown or unnoticed feature in the camera's menu that was set incorrectly, or perhaps it happened in post.
  3. nickreich, Yes, I'm starting to wonder if it happened in post production as well. I'm working with another Mini (with A-box) tomorrow, so I'll do some tests to be sure it's recording discreet channels. edward chick, Do you know if the Mini has "unity" mode, and where to set it? Johnny Karlsson and IronFilm, You both have the same issue, and I can only think it may be in your Lemo connector. What brand of adapter cable are you using? I know those tiny Lemos are difficult to solder, and if two wires are touching inside the connector that would explain some things. I'm not sure, however, why you would see audio on a track where the level is pulled all the way down. I'm confident in the Wooden Camera A-box's quality, but then it comes with the camera package, so who knows if it's been damaged or modified?
  4. OK, thanks for clarifying. I doubt that's the explanation though. I know it's a small Lemo connector, but I'd be surprised if that kind of a problem got past Arri's engineers.
  5. nickreich, When you say you're "not aware of a menu setting that could do this," by "this" do you mean sum two channels to mono? The camera had a passive Wooden Camera A-box, most definitely. There was no external recorder, so it must have been recording to an in-camera card. I couldn't tell you what type. The only external device was a video monitor connected by HD-SDI. I tried and failed to upload a pic of the camera's relevant menu page in this reply. That menu page shows that for each channel there is a choice of manual, manual+Limiter, or Auto. "Auto" meaning automatic leveling I assume. We set each channel to manual, and I sent line level and set a good level (-10) on the camera. I don't know what we could have missed. Daniel, I don't know if the Mini has an engineer's menu, and I don't know how old or new this particular camera was. It was a one-day shoot for me.
  6. That would be the same thing I experienced. There must be a menu setting that prevents that. As to audio quality, it does record 24 bit, 48 kHz audio.
  7. I worked with an Alexa Mini for the first time recently, sending two discreet channels of audio to the A-box. I had the ARRI operating manual and the audio menu seemed simple. But, I allowed the AC to read the menu while I told her what the settings should be. I was overconfident. I later heard from the editor that we recorded the two discreet channels summed together on the camera's track 1, and the same two channels summed together on track 2. My independently-recorded backup files had each mic recorded on its own track, so problem solved. But, I would still like to know what was set wrong in the camera's menu. I've never heard of such a thing before, and wouldn't know how to obtain that result if I wanted it. Does anyone know?
  8. Bingo. The "flat rate" changed to a 10-hr rate, and the new indemnification provision is exactly what I suggested: "Each party agrees to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the other party from and against all reasonable claims of loss, cost, or damage (including reasonable outside attorneys’ fees) to the extent arising out of its breach of this Agreement, and/or its negligence or willful misconduct." Thanks Jim, Phillip, RP and everyone who shared your experiences and knowledge.
  9. I'm just now busy striking out the Indemnification provision (in my first post) and the references to "flat rate" (we had agreed to a 10-hr rate including gear, not a 24-hr rate). I'm going to write in the 10-hr rate and OT rate. I've decided I can live with the "termination without cause" provision, after receiving some perspective here. I'll suggest an alternate Indemnification provision (recommended by NOLO): “Each party agrees to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the other party from and against all reasonable claims of loss, cost, or damage (including reasonable outside attorneys’ fees) to the extent arising out of its breach of this Agreement, and/or its negligence or willful misconduct.” I'll follow Jim's prescription for a polite "how do you want to proceed?" approach. After receiving the "production book" over the weekend, I realize that the shoot involves an interaction between a wealthy person and a wealthy corporation in what looks perhaps like some kind of endorsement, maybe. I've done many shoots of that nature, but this one is mysterious and deliberately secret. So, even RP's interpretation of the Indemnification clause is a concern. It begins to appear that Philip's interpretation of the overly broad Indemnification clause may be correct in this case. I've just noticed a second paragraph in the Indemnification provision, and ask for any thoughts about either striking it out or leaving it in. The shoot is in a safe location and there is little chance of personal injury. My only concern would be theft of my equipment, either in the parking garage or while at lunch, and that's not very likely either. "Contractor voluntarily and knowingly assumes all risks of loss, damage or injury to himself or personal property by participating in the production of the Program or being otherwise present on the surrounding premises or location."
  10. Thanks, JW. I agree completely. I find sound is the most mysterious aspect of production for some people—usually those not wearing headphones—yet they can be adamant micro-managers. I've learned to just say no, politely, in spite of a natural inclination to accommodation.
  11. Thanks, Jim. Good information and very helpful. I'm planning to wait till Monday, and by then I should have their "production book" too, to provide some more information. I've done probably over 1,000 contract jobs so far—sound, camera and editing—and I don't have any problem walking away from jobs with red flags. They are few and far between, but I find that when I notice red flags and do the job anyway, bad things happen.
  12. Here’s some information Jim linked from NOLO about indemnification: "In a mutual indemnification, both parties agree to compensate the other party for losses arising out of the agreement to the extent those losses are caused by the indemnifying party’s breach of the contract. In a one-way indemnification, only one party provides this indemnity in favor of the other party." And, "make sure your obligations are limited to your own mistakes or misconduct... the term 'to the extent arising out of' effectively provides this limitation." This is exactly what concerns me about this company's indemnification. It doesn’t limit my liability to my mistakes, misconduct or breach of contract. There is some reassurance from NOLO, noting that “indemnification provisions are generally enforceable... except “indemnifications that require a party to indemnify another party for any claim irrespective of fault (‘broad form’ or ‘no fault’ indemnities). “Those have been found to violate public policy.” So, this company’s indemnification provision is probably not enforceable. This is NOLO’s example of what a “basic mutual indemnification provision” should look like— “Each party agrees to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the other party from and against all reasonable claims of loss, cost, or damage (including reasonable outside attorneys’ fees) to the extent arising out of its breach of this Agreement, and/or its negligence or willful misconduct.” That sounds like something I could sign. But, there's another clause in the deal memo to consider: "Contractor agrees to provide first class work. Contractor has the skills, physical fitness, resources, expertise, and experience necessary and appropriate to provide the services and perform all of his obligations under this Agreement in a prompt, competent, efficient, and effective manner." So, where is the line, exactly, between "prompt, competent, efficient and effective" service, and breach of contract? If one of my wireless mics has some RF hits, is that a breach of contract? And, there’s one more troubling clause in the memo that no one has yet commented about. It’s a one-day shoot, and the deal memo says “this Agreement may be terminated at any time by Producer without cause.” Does that give the producer carte blanche to say, at the end of the day, “thanks Bob, you did great work, and by the way I’m terminating our agreement and we’re not paying you?”
  13. Philip and Jim, the first contact came last Tuesday, the PC booked me on Thursday, and I received the deal memo Friday night. A "production book" is coming yet this weekend. The shoot is on Tuesday. So, yes, it's last minute, perhaps intentionally. I'm asked to sign and return the deal memo by Monday. Philip, I like the advice in your first paragraph. It's always good to be polite. Much better than the "bite me!" response that was my first instinct. RP, that's an interesting interpretation. Perhaps their language is just a clumsy way of saying that. But, "indemnify" also means "compensate," and it appears their language could be interpreted more broadly.
  14. I don't know of any insurance I could buy that would indemnify a client’s wrongdoing in which I have no part.
  15. Philip, I've blacked out the parts of the (pdf) deal memo I don't accept, including the "flat rate." I suppose I'll have to hand-write in the 10-hour rate and OT rate. Would you sign and date the redacted document, or send it back unsigned?
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