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  • Location
    Little Rock, AR
  • About
    I own a production company in Little Rock, Arkansas. While I mostly serve as a DP, I often pick-up the audio bag and love to run sound. Most of the time this happens for out of town clients, who will bring in their own shooters, but are in need of a sound guy. I started in the business 20 years ago running sound and have ways tried to say current with the new gear. While I am a DP I believe that sound and picture go hand in hand to make a good production.
  • Interested in Sound for Picture
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  1. So I am in the process of testing out some gear to upgrade my kit. Some of the tests we did over the weekend actually surprised us and was curious about other peoples experience with the A20s or even thoughts of the Zaxcom. I currently run a Sound Devices 688 with 400 series Lectros. Over the last week we have been testing out the SD A20 RX and A20 Tx and A10 Tx, plus the Zaxcom MRX414 with the RX4 Interface and the ZMT4s. The plan is to eventually change the mixer out to a 888 or a Zaxcom Nova, depending on the route we go with the receivers. We were surprised while testing the A20 in several different powers and modulation modes, that the range was lacking compared to the Zaxcom. The ZMT4s were clear with no hits for a good 200 feet more than the A20s even with the A20s set to LR modulation and 40 output. However, with both systems we only tested with the factory whip antennas, not an external antenna system. I have honestly never used a external antenna system like the bow tie or a sharkfin etc. I see most people with the newer Sound Devices mixers are using bow ties or some sort of external antenna. So are the A20s more designed to be used with external antennas? The tests were are first done with both systems on a in the bag together. Then we did the test with each system separately and the other system turned off, close to the same result each time. The LR modulation added a slight increase in the pickup distance to the A20, but not much. The Zaxcom was set to 50 output power each time. Thoughts, or any experience on this? Overall I thought both systems sounded great. We can see pros and cons to each one. I love the battery life on the ZMTs, but the user interface is much easier to use on the A20 Receiver. I realize that when we do upgrade to a newer mixer most of the receiver work will move over to the mixer interface which will help even out that issue. We also like the huge wide band of the A20s compared to the Zaxcom. The Zaxcom was pickuping up a lot of signals in my area that don't show up on my Lector Scans, so I am a little nervous that the tuning bands are not as wide on the Zaxcom. I travel over most of the southeastern US. Here in my home base of Little Rock, Arkansas I am fine on blocks 19, 21 and 22, but it is getting harder to find open space when traveling to say Kentucky or Florida areas. I would like to say I would stay with Lecto, but I feel they are lagging behind in tech and with Sound Devices now owning their own wireless system, will they still be able to compete down the road. Let me know you thoughts.
  2. Since you are from 3.5 to Lemo, I take it you are using a G3 or G4 for a camera hop. If so just remember that the Mini will require a Line Level feed, so adjust the Receiver, TX and Mixer output accordingly. The cable looks correct, but I typically require camera department to get the A-Box.
  3. On most of my shoots all the crew has to be vaccinated and boosted. However, masks went away on everything but medical and state jobs earlier this year I am based in Arkansas, but work all over the South. We were lucky and our state never shut down business during the pandemic, so we had a bunch of work come to us from New York and LA since it was not allowed at that point and time. With that said I still typically wear a mask when micing-up talent, just because we are in very close proximity and as a curtesy to the talent. Yes, I have had covid, and no, I did not get it from or on a shoot. Plus the rule is, if you don't feel well, find someone to cover you, or let production know ahead of time. Test or get tested if you don't feel well.
  4. This has been my experience as well. I have used the B6s for years and have several types of sensitivity models. I never had this problem until a couple years ago when I started working with a Director who likes to have people yelling on many of his spots. I ran into this same issue with the B6s overloading and have slowly started switching to DPAs. A friend let me barrow his DPAs on the next shoot and I did not have that issue when someone yells. So I decided to buy a few DPAs for this purpose.
  5. Yes. I am possibly looking to move completely to Zaxcom. The Nova and how it seems to work would really work well for more of my jobs, especailly since I am not doing Reality shows anymore. Looking for a lighter setup than the 688 and Lectos, camera hops, IFB etc. Getting too old to lug the around all the time. Now I just need to actually test a system out, which is hard when there are no audio shops around and no-one has a Zaxcom system in the areas.
  6. Just curious what kind of battery life people are getting out the the A20 TX. I have heard 4 hours on a few videos, but that is not acceptable run time to me, if that is the case. Looking at upgrading everything soon.
  7. We currently own and operate a Sound Devices 688 with older Lecto UCR411s. We have not upgraded our mixer because when we got the 688 seems like it was 6 months later that the 833 and 888 and Scorpio camera out, which put kind of sucked. We have not wanted to upgrade the wireless due to the fact that the spectrums we all changing, luckily we are in bands the were not affected, but can defiantly tell there is more frequency congestion now. Now that things are moving more to digital on the wireless side we are considering doing a full or partial upgrade. We mostly do commercials, docs and some tv show work, not many films, but lots of bag work. What would you upgrade to? Looking at possibly switching to Zaxcom Nova and the in slot wireless they offer, or keeping the 688 and just changing over the wireless, I am not familiar enough with the 888 to know if it offers that much more than the 688 for our needs. We like the idea of the slot receivers, though it is not super necessary. I also like the Lectro DCR822, but it seems really pricey when it is only two channel compared to some on the newer four channel options. Any word on a Lectro 4 channel option coming out? We are based out of Little Rock Arkansas and work all over the region. With that said the closest place to go and put your hands on new gear is Nashville, and we don't get over that way very often. What would you do??? Thanks for reading my ramblings.
  8. Yes it is the screws securing the lyres. It is made to be able to move the Lyres for short shotguns, but the screw easily come loose. I put Loctite on them and used it on Friday, so far so good.
  9. Thank you for the info guys. I bought the Rycote Invison, since I needed something in stock and available for a shoot all last week. The Rycote Invison worked fine and will be a good backup in the future. However the screws kept coming loose on the mounts so I will have the put some Loctite on those. So I plan on getting a Cinela in the next few days and see how I like it.
  10. What is your goto shock mount or suspension for your boom. Researching some new options since they don't make the mount I have used for years anymore and in need of a new one. I typically use Schoeps CMC641 and or the 5 for most shoots.
  11. The only time I can get rental rate in when there is a national spot in the area I am working on. Most of the time I can only get around $250 for tv shows and regional spots. I up the rental rate $50 if they want a few comteks. Trust me I would charge the 3% if they would pay it, but in this area they won't. Heck most of the TV shows that come here complain about my current prices. That is why I have a backup mixer, because if something happens with my 688 I could not afford to rent from a rental house and pay for the shipping on top of that. The closest rental house is Trew in Nashville, 6 hours away.
  12. I get about six or seven jobs a year through them. Here there is a lot of New York and LA production companies that come in needing a second shooter or sound, mostly sound. Most of these jobs are for crime docs and shows that you would see on the ID and Discovery channel. Most are sit down interview type jobs and are really easy. I have always been paid on time, and the pay is usually what I would consider good for TV work. Plus a lot of the time I rent out my lighting and grip gear to them as well.
  13. I think you said everything you needed in this statement. They have no idea what they are really doing. Inexperienced camera guys if they say they have no time for a tripod. Very inexperienced director and or producers. They obviously have never been through a full post process with professional editors. I typically screen my potenial jobs pretty hard as most of my audio work comes from people from out of town. I am to the point I don't want to, and won't work with inexperience crews anymore. They either want it done right or they don't. I will always try to work with them the best I can but you just have to make them aware of the situation and what it will entail on the post side. It is silly to not do something right the first time when it costs more to do it a second time, months down the road.
  14. Living in Arkansas I was able to be on block 21for the last 15 years, so I was never in the 600 area. I know that was not an option for some people around the country as there was too much congestion in Block 21. However now that people have moved out of the 600MHZ I have more congestion in block 21 than before. I am going to start to upgrade my wireless over the next year to a wide band system to get a little more flexibility.
  15. When I am shooting I usually use a shot list and do the best to stick to it. If things get behind for whatever reason, we might look at cutting a few things, but this is mostly commercial production. When I work with other companies it is a mixed bag of having a plan, or it goes out the window as the day goes on. There is one company I work with mixing audio that never has a set plan and it is always interesting figuring out what we are doing. Back in July I worked a commercial shoot for USAA insurance. There were like 90 people on set that day, we had storyboards, shot boards, shot list, treatments all given to us the day before. That all went out the window after the first shot of the day.
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