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Werner Althaus

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Everything posted by Werner Althaus

  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.
  16. Werner Althaus

    Buy a new wireless

    I knew that my post had a good chance to be interpreted as a "rather lengthy dismissal of Zaxcom" when I gave it a final read-through before submitting it but I felt it might still provide insight that could be useful for anyone going either the Zax route or decide otherwise. That was my only intention because I personally find it very useful to know why someone decides for or against any piece of gear. Anyway, IMO I didn't dismiss Zaxcom, quite the contrary, I spend a lot of time with sales reps as well as manuals and "how to" videos by Thomas Popp and others and really feel that it is the most advanced system on the market. But when I went through my laundry list of "must haves" vs "nice to haves" it just became hard to justify what I (and others in my unit) deemed a steep parallel learning curve. Others on this forum have hinted at this as well. This type of things happen sometimes, I always have to justify a purchase for how it fits into the bigger picture, no matter whether it's an EFP rig or a $250.000 audio console. I might find a piece of gear I really would like to pursue for various reasons but during a group discussion it becomes obvious that the majority of improvements offered aren't really all that helpful in our work and workflow. I wanted our next shotgun purchase to be a Schoeps, maybe even a SuperCMIT but after much discussion another MKH 60 ended up being a better addition to our arsenal for reasons that have nothing to do with whether the Schoeps is a great mic or not. I wanted to expand our dual system capabilities but in the end the decision was made to invest in more single system capabilities. Just like I wanted to create content in 5.1 years ago but was reminded that we'd never be able to afford the infrastructure to put it on the air. I should mention that we shoot single camera documentary style. 95% of what we do is single system, one videographer, one audio engineer and one producer. Our audio engineers also do their own post whenever possible so they are "confronted" with their own field work. So when I get their feedback I keep that in mind. So to answer your question, the reason I struggled with this decision is simple. I wanted for us to adopt state-of-the -art equipment and modify some of our workflows.. I would have loved to be in the field with a Zaxcom rig like that but it would have served my personal preferences and desires more than what's good for the company at this point. And I would have considered it "the next level" because with the challenges the industry faces regarding spectrum I feel that Zaxcom is currently way out front addressing these issues BUT it turns out that we do not currently need to confront that issue at the expense of having gear we know and trust. Just like we do not need gear that prevents ADC clipping by virtue of clever math or gear that is fully controllable via Zaxnet...it would be awesome to have but the downside, whether real or perceived outweighs the benefits for us...at this point. That is based in what we do and where and how we do it.I really hope this makes sense to you. The last thing I want to do is be antagonistic about this stuff, I was just trying to offer a different perspective for the benefit of the discussion.
  17. Werner Althaus

    Buy a new wireless

    Since I was in maybe a somewhat similar situation as the OP I want to explain my reasons for shying away from a very intriguing integrated concept called Zaxcom. I'm not trying to convince anyone of anything but instead explain why there are more than one possible answers to the Zax vs Lectro debate. I was looking for a complete ENG package (1 mixer/recorder and 2 wireless) for out of the bag EFP work, to be issued to one operator in our unit. After lots of research and discussions with knowledgeable people regarding Zaxcom I felt certain that it would be the perfect solution for us, the integration and feature set is amazing and the sound quality is rated as topnotch but then I went back and actually made a list of things that we need our mixers and wireless to do, not the 'that would be cool" features that for someone working in a different environment might be game changers. Then I watched videos showing how to actually do these cool things on a Zaxcom setup and that's when I came back to earth, so to speak. I don't doubt that it's intuitive to many users but to me it felt like a risk to go into battle with such a changed "user interface". Call me stupid and ignorant but I am not seeing the upside to go there at this time, YMMV. What I found was that much of what Zaxcom offers is very cool, revolutionary in fact, but not essential to what we do at my place of employment. I watched Glenns and Thomas'videos and while very informative I found myself thinking "that's not a problem for us" or "we don't have any use for that" I don't really need a built in recorder inside my transmitter since I have never been in a situation where range was an issue with our Lectros. They've been bulletproof. I don't need Neverclip because I have never had a single instance of running out of headroom with my 442/552/664 mixers and Lectros digital Hybrid wireless and neither have any of the operators in our unit. I don't need 5 different modulations, in fact I don't want them, I want 1 mode of transmission that works every time. I don't need wideband, I don't need narrow channel spacing, I don't need remote mic gain, never had a problem getting clean, high quality audio without it, I don't need 137 dB of dynamic range, I don't need Zaxnet synching and controlling my gear, in short, I don't need anything other than a mixer and wireless combination where the mics act as close to wired mics as possible w/o the cable. It's got to be fast and sound good and free of distortion, including the unexpected level changes, screams, laughter, metal gates closing nearby during an interview and whatnot, never had a problem with distortion, clipping, limiter artifacts, etc. With our current gear, in the type of scenarios we find ourselves in, it's nearly impossible to get unwanted distortion if your gain staging is appropriate. You can doubt that and maybe your experience is different but "never clip" seems like a solution in search of a problem to me and by that I mean just me, it may be great for everybody else on the planet but I never felt it necessary. I need a system where the operator (or a producer borrowing the gear) calls me from the field and I can troubleshoot his problem in minutes w/o walking him/ her through a set of menus. Our experience with our current gear tells me that we don't need to expand our capabilities that way, we just need more of what we already have and know. I hope my comments are seen for what they are, opinions based in internet research vs decades of experience with certain gear, I struggled with the decision and really wanted to go to the next level but could justify it in the end. Next time around I might go the other way but for now it felt like the right choice to stick with simple and bulletproof based in personal experience. I'm sure there's plenty to disagree with and outright dismiss as ramblings of obscure origins but maybe it gives a useful perspective regarding the most important question when purchasing gear "What does it actually need to do?" Merry Christmas.
  18. Werner Althaus

    Buy a new wireless

    This is exactly my impression after spending considerable time researching our next purchase of wireless and a mixer/ recorder to be used by a staff used to Lectro/ SD gear. I believe it comes down to the operator.
  19. Werner Althaus

    Super CMIT and wireless phase issues

    I hope this my question is viewed in context, not having had the chance to demo a Supercmit, I'm not trying to doubt the mic or the company (consider me a fan of Schoeps mics, having used them for over 20 years, they are irreplacable in much of the work I do) but I don't understand the fundamental approach that Schoeps is apparently using here. I'm far from an expert on these issues but to me it doesn't seem like a good idea to have a mic with processing that isn't phase-coherent across its entire spectrum. Isn't that the problem with using excessive amounts of EQ, phase shift? How hard would it be to have a phase coherent output across the entire spectrum? I'd rather use a mic with a greater latency but phase coherent than a mic that messes with phase vs frequency. I know, if it sounds good that's all that matters, use your ears and so forth but I'd like to understand.
  20. Werner Althaus

    Berlin terror attack

    +2. I used to live less than 2 miles from there and spent many a days hanging out at Breitscheitplatz listening to the street musicians. This was during the 80s and it seems like a long gone era during which the world seemed a lot simpler.....from our sheltered viewpoints.
  21. Werner Althaus

    Super CMIT and wireless phase issues

    Interesting discussion, with regards to latency being a problem in mixing I'm curious about a situation where the digital latency of the lav exceeds the natural delay of a boom vs lav. If I understand Jeff correctly, in an environment free of "digital latency" the boom signal being delayed against the lav is never a problem in mixing, it can even be beneficial but what if the boom rides the frameline being almost equidistant to the source and the lav has 8ms of latency for example? Can "hearing the boom first" be a problem? Regarding microphones that have different phase at various frequencies , any of the old 2 capsule systems by AKG (D 224E for example) employed "electro-acoustical" phase correction at the cross-over point, why would the Schoeps not digitally correct phase across the entire spectrum?
  22. Werner Althaus

    Waves Broadcast and Production

    Yeah, I used RX 3 as plug in and use RX5 advanced as standalone (due to the improved workflow) and those automatic, learning and self-configuring options are definitely great but I noticed that in RX 3 spectral repair was not happening for me the way I expected. However, in RX 5 spectral repair works great and I can get there fast. Hence my suspicion that it could make a difference if I run standalone vs plug in but I haven't tested spectral repair as a plug in yet, had no reason to until this question popped into my head.
  23. Werner Althaus

    Waves Broadcast and Production

    Not to derail the thread too much but I do have a question for other RX users. I had RX 3 and really found it not very useful at all. Tasks that apparently worked like magic on the Youtube demos eluded me. When we bought RX 5 advanced I was skeptical but quickly learned that it was doing pretty much what I wanted it to do. I used RX 3 as plug-ins in audio suite and RX 5 as stand-alone. Am I imagining things or is the processing quality of the RX 5 advancedstand alone mode vastly superior to the plug in version?
  24. Werner Althaus

    Waves Broadcast and Production

    Used an earlier version of RX in the past and didn't care for it but RX 5 is fantastic. We fired waves also:). Once Izotope figured out the workflow to make RX available in Protools as a standalone application (RX connect and monitor) it became a wonderful tool to use.
  25. Werner Althaus

    donate for recount

    I suggest first and foremost to oppose anyone who's trying to "normalize" the situation in print, TV radio and the internet, it's not normal, it's unprecedented in a bad way. Then there are many things one might suggest or do, all constitutional, btw. Jill Stein is pursuing a recount and people are supporting the effort, all perfectly legal. Members of the electoral college could be persuaded to become "faithless electors", others suggest entire laundry lists on how to resist legally, Michael Moore and Robert Reich come to mind. I almost lost it a few days ago when Mark Shields on the PBS Newshour suggested that Dems should not adopt the Republican strategy of total obstructionism from back in 2009, it didn't work.......say what??? It worked perfectly for their twisted agenda, and it's exactly what Dems need to do, grow a set and start fighting. And since you mentioned the constitution, I'd suggest that anyone who took an oath to defend the constitution of the United States in any way take a hard look at what that means here and now. Does that answer your question?