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Everything posted by Grant

  1. It has taken me a while to realize that my iPhone is going to be the defacto point of origin for location guest IFB going forwards. (our days of RJ-11/14 related paraphernalia seem to be over….. not seeing much ‘bakelite’ product out their either!!) I am including photos of the so-called ‘emergency IFB’ cable distributed by Audio Implements. (I make sure that every crew assigned to live shots has this within quick reach, so we can break off a faulty hard-wired IFB setup, and move the guest/correspondent earpiece assembly to their mobile phone). If I understand correctly, in this Audio Implements cable, L/R channels are summed, in order to bring the lower iPhone output to a workable level (compared with say a powered amplifier box). This cable is finished with the 2 prongs that seat it into the button amp/in-ear assembly. Does anyone know if I can buy cable assemblies that do the same summing from the 3.5 mm plug end, but bring it out to say XLR? With this assembly, I could then send out the call to multiple guests - we had 4 in a side-by-side live shot today. One more thing to ask - what are the relative merits of having active (9v) local amplification (in this case Remote Audio amplifiers with vol control for each guest), vs a driven/amplified signal as it exits the iPhone, then split/distributed to a set of passive volume control units? In the latter configuration, I see 2 advantages - there’s another 4 x 9 volt batteries I am not dealing with, and if the guests are struggling to hear the control room, I can start to work on that issue from my position at the mixer bag (boosting the common signal to all of them). Stay calm! - Grant
  2. IronFilm, thanks again for the detailed gear list. A question on this - on the configuration of Hi-Q LiOn battery, MX Powersled, and Battery Bud II. Does the output from the 14.4 Li-ON battery go first to the Battery Bud II, or to the MX Powersled? I can only see a single Hirose connector on the Powersled, suggesting that it takes power in there, and thereby running the MixPre 6 II. If that's the case, then I don't see where the Battery Bud II will take power in. I suspect power needs to be regulated down to 7.2 V DC before being fed to the Battery Bud II, as I cannot find any specs that suggests it does this voltage regulation (apart from the separate issue of 5.0 V DC at the supplied USB port) - Grant.
  3. Thanks all for the prolific information! I was down the wrong path immediately - with the 12 volts issue. Thank you again!
  4. I am curious to know if anyone has wrangled either of the following : 1. running a Sound Devices mixer with batteries based on the Canon BP series (BP-955 and the heftier BP-975) instead of the Sony L-series batteries specified in the power accessories listed by Sound Devices? Nominally, the output looks very similar (7.2 V DC for Sony, 7.4 V for Canon). The reason I ask is that I have a lot of the Canon batteries on the shelf, rarely doing anything. May as well use'm if possible. 2. (this is the curly one) - Is there any way to be providing 12 - 14 volts to receivers at the audio bag? I have excellent DWR-series dual channel receivers for Sony slot-in camera applications. I have the appropriate break-out bracket the delivers audio via XLR instead of the multipin connector in the receiver base. The 12 volt DC issue is a hassle, but I would like to get these into the audio bag and available if possible. (it gives me another 4 wireless systems as a backup if needed).
  5. Grant

    Gps tracker

    ... my comment on gear insurance, and why I never continued with it after our 2011 house fire : The Hartford pulled stunts after our personal and biz losses that made my jaw drop. The most outrageous : they claimed that my 5 digit serial numbers for destroyed cameras did not match their records (all amongst the highest individual valued items covered in the policy). That part of the claim was therefore denied. They either deliberately altered the records, or serial number data got corrupted over the aprox 15 years of continuous coverage with them. Either way, it must be classified as fraud. Appealed - no success. (the only way forwards would have been to lawyer up. Not feasible while homeless, of course). I am now 'self insured'. Never again, I say. Your view on gear insurance my go under a sudden re-evalution... if you ever actually need it! (I will take a moment to evaluate how much I have saved, no premium payments since 2011 - I would guess around $25,000. Hooray!). Just my experience, of course....
  6. It's a longer story than needs to post here, but bottom line is : I need to fabricate a cable that brings battery power into the USB-C power port on this new mixer. Q : does anyone know the acceptable range of DC input voltages? The only power arrangement I can fabricate here, while waiting on shipments, will put aprox 14.4 volts into the port, way higher than the 5 V DC that comes with the wall power supply. (as everyone probably knows, the mixer/recorder will give aprox 60 mins run time with the standard 4xAA power module). Standing by with cable cutters and soldering iron! Grant.
  7. Thanks Trey. I think my usual setups will be pretty minimalist. The most common setup will be collecting 2 channels of sound and send them out to 2, or 3 cameras.
  8. Thanks to everyone for the recommendations on a good choice of recorder/mixer. The discussion was not only very helpful, it prompted me to learn a bit more about feature sets. About to place the order, and a bit short on time to unpack and be ready for the next event. I would like to know people's experience with choice of mixer bag, and if there's one that they feel is current best of breed. I am a generalist when it comes to sound - so can expect to be using the mixer/recorder indoors/outdoors/variety of situations. Cheers!
  9. Thanks all! The 302 is already gone (at a shockingly low price I might add). I would prefer to keep just one audio mixer, and since I've decided that a file recording function is important, the 302 is where it needs to be now, with a new owner. The MixPre seems really good, but I see that there are quite a few models to dig thru 6, 6M, 6 II. I'll look for some comparison information (YT?) and follow up. Much appreciated all, Grant.
  10. Hello all, I would like to move from a fairly old Sound Devices 3 channel mixer to a 4 channel-capable recorder/mixer. I'm not so concerned about price as I am simplicity/shallow learning curve. I would like to have a field unit that can be handed off to a fellow professional without too much time spent delving into feature sets, etc. 4 clean channels, mic/line capability, L/R channel outputs, XLR connectors on both sides, and with the option to hand off files shortly after we wrap. That's about it. I see a few models that are contenders, but they're all made by companies whose gear I have never seen up close. Recommendations? Thanks in advance.
  11. I have just unpacked and am testing this this mixer. The quick start guide is very brief. 2 questions : 1. It looks like when phantom power is applied, it is necessarily done across ALL possible inputs at once, is that so? (in this case, I will want to avoid connecting a receiver output directly to the mixer's inputs) 2. I'm not yet able to monitor the final mix out, only the prefade mics. I'm missing something in the monitoring section, but have not discovered it yet. Once out of PFL mode, headphones and metering go back to silence, despite having mics open and a proven signal leaving via main outs (master L and R). 20 years of experience with compact field mixers, so I'm in adaptation mode today! Thanks - Grant.
  12. Thanks everyone. I've settled on the Canare L-4E5C, with OD = 4.8 mm. Should work fine, plenty of colors available. The reason for the cable outer jacket being a certain color is that it's very quickly recognizable for fast work, repeated setups. Even with the cable partly covered by other gear, we'll know exactly which one to go for. Cheers - Grant.
  13. Is anyone aware of low diameter, light weight audio cable (similar to Canare L2-E5) that is available in an array of colors? Application is for field audio kits - I'm building multiple cable sets, and want audio cables coded by color-for-length, so that crew members can quickly adapt to each setup. I'm finding color variety with 'standard' diameter cable, such as the quad L4-E5C, but in the smaller-dimensioned cable, black only. Thanks - Grant.
  14. Thanks to Rob for a creative solution. Cheers! - Grant.
  15. Good morning everyone. I am missing a single foam windscreen for one our ECM-77B lav mics. I've just learned that the only official way to replace it is by buying a pack of 12. I would like to see if others are interested in splitting the purchase. Ideally you'd be in the DC area, but it's not essential - the postage on a few of these to you in regular mail is going to be minimal. Let me know if you are interested (grant@gpi.tv) and how many you'd like - we can work out arrangements. With 2 of these mics in house, I can see no point buying in more than one as needed and 2 spares. Sony has forced me to form a buying cartel. Cheers, and wow, stay warm out there today! Grant.
  16. Thank you everyone for a huge and comprehensive set of ideas! I am efforting local rentals in lav and shotgun configurations (will try the DPA-4080 and Sanken CS3-e), and will record some tests. If I can rent in a Cedar DNS-2 for tests here inside the Capitol, I would like to run that as part of the testing matrix also. The noise level in here varies a lot, so a proper test might take several shifts to complete - the worst acoustic environments here will track with a lot of people or equipment moving through. The rest of the time, it's just a big, taxpayer-funded echo chamber. Grant. Friday PM - Russell Rotunda. The finish line for the week is in sight!
  17. Thanks gents. This is single camera, and the formula is one person (guest can be a member of Congress or a correspondent) delivering straight to the lens. We're fixed on live lines, so moving will never be an option (we frequently get little warning that someone is about to be on air). The CS3e sounds like a reasonable choice. I will rent one in for a day, and put it up against a Sennh. 416, my 'standard' shotgun in the gear list. I was thinking that there might be a lav mic with a fairly tight pickup pattern, perhaps with a reduced sensitivity, in which case the mic would be placed higher on the lapel. By the way, there's no expectation that we're hiding lav mics in these shots. The crewing is minimal, and in peak times, talent can be rotating in out of the position quickly. I appreciate all the feedback. Grant.
  18. Good evening everyone, I almost hesitate to add to a topic that has been so roundly discussed, but in this case, my environment is the same, over and over, and the micing happens to be identical.... I would like to determine best micing practices and equipment for the specific and fixed live indoor locations around the House and Senate sides of the US Capitol, including the office buildings that adjoin them. I can pretty safely say that these circumstances never vary : Guest is always looking into the lens - no concerns about head-to-mic relationship varying while on air (ie : a close pickup pattern on chosen mic not likely to be an issue) All shots are live to air - there'll be no post processing - in fact I don't think there's any actual recording of the segments these days The acoustics range all the way up to 'brutally reverberant' - we're talking rotundas that are open to 2 or 3 floors, also looking down block-long empty corridors, and every surface is marble - horizontal and vertical. Echo chamber extremus. The very worst thing that can happen during an on air location segment is a cleaning crew pushing a plastic cart with hard wheels - it would be hard to create a more distracting set of sounds - and it goes on and on, as the video crew frantically waves - invariably, to no avail. No wait, there is a horrible acoustic competitor - a gaggle of sugar-laden school children on tour! I see no reason to lean more towards booming, or to lav micing. Whichever is used, it's essential for the crew to jump in and affix, then dress IFB for the guest. Whether adjusting a boom mic or lav, it will be about the same amount of work. I do note however that a Senator cannot walk off and rip the head off a Sonotrim mic, when the mic is in fact an overhead boom. (I remember each time we pass in the corridor, ahem. She has no idea....). I think that's the entire spec. In terms of optimizing results to a closely repeatable set of acoustic conditions, there's one other thing that I am curious about - if one really wanted to see what is possible, is this a candidate project environment for adding a 2nd mic, off guest, and phase-reversing then mixing it with the talent mic (we'd need to mix down to a single audio channel before delivery down HD-SDI lines)? It would at least be an interesting experiment. If employed, I would have to satisfy myself that it worked simply and reliably - live is live. I have never attempted this technique, but have always been curious about it's power to improve audio.
  19. John, Alen, Nick, Philip, Rick, Daniel and Few More Years, Thank you all for a well-rounded set of commentaries. 2 ideas that have stuck with me - the physical issues that will sporadically arise with crews running in and out of the shared location (lots of wheeled carts on the move, larger diam cable to cross), and the idea that any issue within the umbilical requires taking the whole unit off line for repairs. My modified approach, which will still accomplish speedier setups and fewer discrete parts, will be to run one cct for power and another for signals. Thanks again, will post some photos when done. Grant.
  20. Thanks Eric, that's a great point. Part of the power train was to send 12 volts DC to the camera. I think that means lifting the ground on that circuit, since there will be at least 2 of the cables connecting to the camera body (video and audio). If after successful testing, I still ran into an issue on a location one day, I could always ignore the power-thru-umbillical cct and simply run a separate line out. Grant.
  21. Hello all, I'm about to fabricate an expanded and this time consistently color-coded set of audio cables (length matching jacket color). The primary use is live location work around the US Capitol - lots of hallways, rotundas, etc. This time, while making up individual XLR-terminated audio cables, I am also going to take an 'umbillical approach' between fiber interconnect box, camera position and correspondent position (which is up to 25 feet from camera, but rarely more than 12 feet away from the lens). Traditionally, the signals between these 3 locations include mic audio, phone audio (IFB), and HD-SDI signals, using mini-RG59 cables. I would like to experiment, cautiously, with including power into the umbillical - distributing final power to the correspondent position for USB devices (5v DC) and IFB components (9v DC @ aprox 200mA). Can anyone predict if this can be done without risk of audio interference, and if so, would it be best to send out the power first @ 120 volts (say via 18/3 cable, minimal current), stepping it down at the end of the umbillical, OR first doing low voltage conversion and then distributing power via low voltage wiring? If a mockup shows a clean and reliable set of signals, I will bring all cables inside a common Techflex housing. The back story : US networks have now stripped almost ALL DC live crews down to single operator, so that this proposed equipment refinement will make life a little easier (one cable set instead of 2) - faster plug'n play, less taping down to the marble floors, and less entanglement with other live crew's cable runs, etc. I am proposing to use Canare L-4E5C both inside the Techflex/umbillical environment and outside of it. Grant.
  22. Thanks everyone... The DP was struggling to set to a very specific shutter speed periodically, to get a quick shot of a cheap digital clock (to show the time running out for 'contestants'). Would swapping out shutter speeds lead to this issue? The digital clock would not record properly until the camera hit a shutter setting of... I think it was 1/32. I observed that getting the F55 down to that setting and back up again was an onerous task, requiring a couple of minutes per go. There's this bloody lag in the camera's menus - I don't know how many of the menus are subject to this - but setting things like shutter leads to 'overshoot'. (right off, when I hooked up, I noticed that audio metering was suffering a processing lag). No fun at all. I think we hit the 'clock shot' about 4 or 5 times over 7 hours. Looks like it might have caused us more grief than we first knew. (I may be off base here, as frame rate and shutter speed should not really have any relationship to each other). Grant.
  23. Thanks Philip. I appreciate this. I have not done a lot of production work in large teams for the last few years, and now I have had the chance to see that record-and-send-wireless-hop is the new standard. My task now will be to determine whether a conventional mixer and umbillical link has any place going forwards. It may be possible to add an outboard recorder to the compact 322 mixer that supports time code, but it may be better to just move to an integrated platform such as the Zoom F8. Time to dig in and learn what is out there... Grant.
  24. I was cabled up to a Sony F55 today, and realized near the end of a long day that despite hearing a consistent and good return monitoring signal, movement in the camera's audio meters had ceased at some point in the last hour. We confirmed via last clip playback that the camera had stopped recording audio, even while continuing to allow for a good return path (to a Sound Devices 322 mixer). How could this be possible, and has anyone else encountered this deadly malfunction? We went through trouble shooting, even as other crews were breaking down, and used another available camera to verify that everything in my audio package was normal. I have had little prior experience connected to the F55, but this was the last of a number of observations during the day that did not make me a fan of this machine. I feel sorry for the DP, who has a perplexing problem to solve. Note to self - negotiate to see the meters even when everyone is busy, tired, distracted, etc. Up until today, I could not have imagined that a cabled monitoring return could allow for a false indication that a signal was being recorded. Another lesson on the board, and an anxiety producing one at that. Looking forward to hearing if others have experienced this issue. Grant.
  25. Hi everyone, I have just installed and started operating a Sony refurb kit, and have added the DWT-P01 'cube' transmitter. My tests for distance and non-line of sight at 10mW are impressive. Clearly the best wireless set that I now own. I am wondering if anyone has found a better level of impact protection for the DWT-P01 than the stock slip-on cover provides? The standard cover is quite thin and looks like it will be quite unlikely to save this transmitter in the event a correspondent (or myself) drops it to the ground from waist-height. I would regard it as providing dust protection only - a commonsense assessment. I'm curious about something else - does anyone know if there's any compatibility between components of this (DWX) system and the components of the Sony UWP system? It would be a cost-effective way to build out some capability and risk management (transmitters) if this interchangeability did exist. I sigh every time I have to attempt a firmware update (or for that matter any other type of information gathering) from Sony and other similar sites. I could not for the life of me determine if this kit had current firmware installed; eventually found out that it did not. I had a contact at Sony who kindly sent me the current updater files, and at the end of this long trail, I discover that only PC owners can install them. (As a Mac user, as soon as you see 'Wizard' you know it's game over). I am guessing that staying with earlier firmware will be fine, but it's a loop I would have liked to close if possible. Cheers - Grant. www.gpi.tv
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