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Werner Althaus

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About Werner Althaus

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    Hero Member

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  • Location
    Lincoln, NE
  • Interested in Sound for Picture
  • About
    Audio supervisor for statewide Public TV network

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  1. Werner Althaus

    360 Video dialog panning convention

    I've done a few 360 video mixes uaing Audio Ease 360pan suite, usually music or outdoor ambiences and the occasional presentation where talent is always visible. I'm gearing up to mix a slew of 360 videos that'll feature on-location interviews (usually a lav on the subject, the interviewer standing "behind" the camera to be painted out). I have the 360 panning sorted out but I am curious about the panning convention when the video cuts away from the subject while he/ she is still talking, making the interview audio effectively non-diegetic. If the cutaway happens mid-sentence do I leave the point-source panning in place or dissolve into non-headtracking audio like what a Narrator would be? If we cut to the subject on camera mid sentence, do I dissolve from non-headtracking to headtracking pan? I'm also still on the fence whether to use Audioeases' "spatial blur" or a zero order (w channel only) bus to deal with this. IMO the spatial blur on HOA panners sounds phasey when monitored binaurally compared to a straight W-channel routing.
  2. Werner Althaus

    Audio Limited A10 for talent.

    Hi, Constantin Thanks for your comments, very useful. Regarding the hiss on speech, is there any way to describe it more specifically? Is it a data compression artifact, pre/post ringing, does this vary with the type of boom mic you use? I'd like a copy of those files. Regarding soundquality, to my ears our old 5000 series sennheiser analog system from the mid 90s still sounds the best, companding notwithstanding, just my opinion. My guess is that, as in all things related to digital audio, the quality of the analog front end matters at least as much, if not more than the AD/DA circuitry and digital transmission modes. .
  3. Werner Althaus

    New Zoom H3-VR Recorder mic combo..

    I just grabbed a quick screenshot of their live video with meters moving, so a bug maybe? Doesn't really matter, I was just unsure whether this is a legit B-format channel order that I hadn't heard of. Thanks.
  4. Werner Althaus

    New Zoom H3-VR Recorder mic combo..

    A typo in the display? I wonder if the channel order in the 4channel file matches Ambix ACN or the display.
  5. Werner Althaus

    New Zoom H3-VR Recorder mic combo..

    I was asked about this unit by some in-house emerging media producers recently so I'm following this discussion with some interest. First off I have to ask (maybe I'm ignorant) about the B-format channel order displayed in Zoom's promotional videos, I have never heard of a channel order WYXZ, can someone enlighten me? I believe this unit should be regarded as a replacement for the H2n, geared towards VR/360 shooters who work without audio support. As such I can see it being an upgrade. In close proximity to the sound source it'll probably gets you something that "moves" with head rotation and you get an actual track 3 waveform, bingo, mission accomplished. If you want things like timecode, better capsules , proper windprotection, additional tracks for Boom and lavs so you can actually record dialog, hire an audio guy. One thing I'd find useful here (and in the F8) would be binaural monitoring via Bluetooth. Looking forward to some reports from the field.
  6. Werner Althaus

    Neil Young talks about analog vs. digital

    Good point. I love old Neil and his approach to music, recording and all but I've been trying to make the same point in discussions numerous times, the idea that digital audio is different (and inferior for some esoteric reason) because electrical signals get converted into abstract things like zeros and ones falls apart when you consider that a tapehead is also nothing but a converter, call it a ACF converter (AC to Flux) converting electrical signal into storable information via magnetically orienting oxide particles. Even the stylus of a cutting lathe is a converter ,AC to mechanical, so are microphones and speakers and at every conversion process the original is encoded into a different physical state ( sorry, I'm no physicist, so excuse my lingo). Then there are our ears and brains, the ultimate conversion device, incoming mechanical signals passing through impedance conversion from air and bone to fluid, then decoded into electricity / sampled by a limited number of detectors (1,200 to 1,800 detectable frequencies) to ultimately be (up) converted again in our brain by comparison to previous data. The idea of "universal wholeness" vs "fragmented sameness" is a charming one though. BTW, are people still using the CLASP system (that device which lets you record digitally straight off the playbackhead during the recording process)? I thought it was a great idea.
  7. Werner Althaus

    Abisonic Microphones

    Yep, 360 cameras are cheap and they'll use every camera they can get their hands on, lol. As far as cameras in each others' shot, nobody seems to care, I was actually told not to worry about hiding mic cables or even dress them to look neat, in fact I was told not to. We only had one ambi mic for this , a Calrec Soundfield MK IV, and DPA 4060s, now we have an additional Sennheiser ambeo. But many times there are 3 to 5 cameras. I'm not sure I'd use multiple Ambi mics because of the recorders and cabling involved. Truth be told, the clients seem more interested in exaggerated spatial audio, something that the spot mics are really helpful with. Here's the Calrec plus spot mics https://www.facebook.com/netnebraska/videos/1969744153051575/ Here is the Ambeo with a spot mic on the organ, one camera only this time. .https://www.facebook.com/netnebraska/videos/2164905490202106/
  8. Werner Althaus

    Abisonic Microphones

    I don't know if I'd go as far as saying that the Sennheiser Ambeo won't work for music. In most of my music recordings for VR/ 360 video I had to use spotmics in addition to the ambisonic mic, since most of those were multi-camera shoots and the useful signal from the Ambisonic mic is reduced to the Omni mono W-channel when not on the main camera. The spot mics give the spatial cues independent from the camera being used via 360 panning so their timbre is of primary importance, the ambi mic's X,Y,Z channels only come into play when the co-located main camera is being used. I know that G'audio offers the option to virtually move the ambisonic mic around but I haven't tried that yet. For what I need from the ambi mic the Sennheiser Ambeo does just fine when used with spotmics. But yeah, it doesn't compare to our MK IV. And yes, the EQ (correction filter) needed is dependent on the mic used , so a Zoom F8 user with the newest firmware is better off using the Sennheiser since the Ambeo plug in is integrated in the recorder.
  9. Werner Althaus

    Abisonic Microphones

    I agree with this and would like to add that the Zoom F8 firmware upgrade includes the Sennheiser Ambeo software. IMO that is a very good package and it does matter. My main Ambisonic mic is a Calrec Soundfield MK IV and it does sound far superior to any other Ambisonic mics but requires AC power. The Sennheiser Ambeo is a decent alternative, it's sensitivity makes it a good match to the so-so micpres on the Zoom, unlike the tetramic . Then there is the correction filter that matches the capsule dimensions of the Sennheiser mic. This does matter, I found out when decoding the MK IV with the Ambeo plugin vs the Soundfield plug in. As far as Rode is concerned, is that even shipping yet?
  10. Werner Althaus

    Best Shotgun Mic for Singing Guitarist on Location

    IMO the 416 mic exhibits such a forward presence that it should be "EQed" by carefully placing it just slightly off axis the singers voice. You can really tame the edginess by simply moving off axis slightly. I also find that certain female voices (sopranos for sure) create what sounds like intermod distortion naturally. I use multiple Schoeps MK 41 capsules across the lip of the stage for opera and you can really hear it in the sopranos, some microphones tend to exaggerate this, just like sibilance. Matching the mic's character to the voice would be ideal but may not be practical. A Neumann 191 would be lovely of course, so would the recommended Schoeps. One thing I would have ready would be a wireless with 1/4" TS plug, ready to plug in , should the guitar have a pickup system. Take the dry quaky under saddle piezo and run it through some IR reverb (MacDSP Revolver even comes with an IR of an acoustic guitar) and it'll sound pretty natural.
  11. Werner Althaus

    How to fix a audio track after the shoot?

    This reminds me of my first freelance gig in the US some 20+ years ago. We were shooting political ads all day on a soundstage in Austin , TX. I was feeding linelevel audio to the machine room via tielines. On the other end the tapeOP took my feed into a betacam deck. At the start of the shoot I sent 0 VU tone at line level and stated so VERY CLEARLY. The tapeOP lined up his VU meter to zero and during the course of the day I repeatedly inquired about the sound quality only to be told it sounded "fine". It was my first day and I wasn't going to second-guess the experienced tapeOP, BIG MISTAKE, he had set the inputs to mic-level and lined up tone to zero VU by barely opening up the input trim. He either didn't listen or he was deaf, it sounded just like the OP's recording. We had to reshoot the entire day. I couldn't believe I was even hired back or even worked again in that town but the takeaway for me was 3 things: 1: Always monitor what's being recorded yourself at least once. 2: Never assume it sounds good because someone tells you it does or "the meters look good" 3: If the meter shows reference level ( 0 VU, -20 dBfs or whatever) in manual mode with the trim not somewhere in the middle of the scale something is most likely wrong.
  12. Werner Althaus

    Soundfield/Ambisonics delivery workflow

    The Zoom F8 firmware upgrade to 4.x is indeed a great simplifier in the field. IIRC it is basically the Sennheiser Ambeo plugin integrated. The reason this might matter is that my experiments with Surroundzone2 and the Ambeo plugin using the Ambeo mic as well as a Calrec Soundfield MK4 reveal possible compatibility issues, and I'm not talking channel order (WXYZ vs WYZX) or normalization. The Calrec steers beautifully with the Souroundzone2, the Ambeo mic recording decoded to Ambix and steered within the Ambeo plugin will also sound good but decoded to FuMa and then steered in surroundzone2 will sound somewhat phasey, maybe due to different correction filtering compensating for a different 4 capsule array dimensions (Ambeo-mic capsules are way smaller than Calrec). So the F8 decoding to B-Format will probably work best for the Ambeo mic. others not so much. I'd stick with recording and delivering both the proper B-format (ask) and the raw A format if possible. I would like to hear more about how you guys get the videographers to commit to 0 degrees.
  13. Werner Althaus

    Buy a new wireless

    I was responding to wbrock001, trying to address his post directed at me regarding quality. But the more I read the more I'm convinced I should just refrain from posting in any thread regarding Zaxcom on this forum because the discussion seems to always turn negative. The fact that you interpret my posts as "being pleased" with my decision speaks volumes to my inability to make my point effectively. I am far from pleased with my decision, it wasn't what I wanted to do personally. But it doesn't matter anyway since I'm cast as the guy who dismisses Zaxcom, oh well. I think I'll live.
  14. Werner Althaus

    Buy a new wireless

    FWIW, I have been using dpa lavs for over 15 years but when buying more lavs for our unit I still buy MKE-2 gold because I feel they work better for what we do. I'm not saying I'm correct about this or that my opinion should be the last word for others, I'm saying that the MKE-2s have proven themselves and there's no upside to trying something else at this point. They (like a lot of our other gear we stick with, SD mixers, Sennheiser shotguns, etc.) have been to places like Antarctica, South America, Africa, etc. and have always come through under difficult conditions. BTW, got a set of Sankens on order now so we'll see how that goes. I love dpa's but that doesn't make them the better mics for us. Anyway, I posted my viewpoint with the intention to reinforce the notion that needs vary a great deal among different users and that the OP should look at what it is he really needs when comparing brands. For myself I believe that I have spent enough time researching this topic to know and understand exactly what I would be missing in a Zaxcom system. I honestly have a hard time understanding why it seems anything but plausible that the features offered by Zaxcom do not matter all that much to some when compared to the tried and true performance of what is a known entity. Nowhere have I dissed or dismissed Zaxcom, quite the contrary but I know what we need and what we don't need to do our job at this time. In the past I have successfully argued to purchase top-of-the-line wireless (Sennheiser 5000 series) because at that time there was nothing out there to match it in terms of reliability and sound quality. I succeeded because I could prove a need. Same goes for many other purchases where the better product warranted retraining and additional expense. But the truth about these wireless is (as some have pointed out) that they are all good enough to get excellent results and if our results suffer it won't be because of the wireless we used. I doubt that the "leap" (remember, I wanted to make that leap....for other reasons) would result in an improved product. Improved workflow for dual system shoots, added control and future-proofing, yes but I didn't see that alone being a good enough reason .....at this point. And one more thing regarding priorities...Yes, retaining institutional quality standards throughout the years has always been a much bigger priority for me than being an early adopter of state-of-the-art technology. When the two go hand in hand I'm all for it but in this case I feel they are on a collision course. Note that I said "I feel", not "I know"
  15. Werner Althaus

    Buy a new wireless

    I believe the answer is "yes", you don't need a Zaxcom Mixer/ recorder. The QRX 235 receiver has Zaxnet capabilities.