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Glen Trew

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About Glen Trew

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    Hero Member
  • Birthday January 1

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  • Location
    Nashville and Los Angeles
  • Interested in Sound for Picture
    Yes
  • About
    TV/Film sound mixer since 1976. Still at it.

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  1. Hi Bud. I downloaded the AES paper your link references, and it seems to be in conflict with your except about grounding pin 1 to shell. Can you post the excerpt in detail? After all, it's only been 7 years. Glen
  2. I've heard this rationale before, and while it's an interesting theory, I don't think it has value in the real world... First, for the talent to be shocked by holding a microphone with accidental voltage potential, they would have to be grounded to complete the circuit, such as standing barefoot on a wet surface, or possibly by touching a metal part of a set that was inadvertently grounded. Even in that case, most microphones have pin-1 grounded to the body of the mic, and those that don't, ground the body through a low value resistor. So, when the XLR is plugged into the mic, an annoying shock is just as likely with or without pin-1 grounded to the XLR shell. This mantra around production trucks (which I recall being to ground the male end only) is sometimes known as "_uck the Truck". But there is a big difference: Sensible grounding schemes are easy in permanent installations like a studio or production truck, as those XLR cables connect one device to another, and it never changes. But XLR cables used in production sound can be used very differently from day to day, and even differently in the same day from location to location. We use them for extensions, for line devices, for microphones, and reverse the direction with gender bender adapters. This is why, when making 3-pin audio XLR cables that we use in location sound, the odds are much more in our favor by always grounding pin-1 to the shell.
  3. Gives new thought to the term "bucket list".
  4. The right angle exit atomically gives some degree of strain relief...not that it's sufficient, but it does mean that an actual strain relief doesn't have to be as strong as one with a straight exit. Beyond that, the Conxall/Switcraft strain relief occurs by the cap squeezing against the wire when it's tightened; there is a ridge inside the cap for this purpose. When the wire is within certain diameters, it should be very effective. With the Remote Audio connectors, in addition to being a 90-degree exit, the strain relief is the metal end cap squeezing against the sides of the cable where it exits, which also requires the wire to be of sufficient diameter. If purchased with a cable assembly, a miniature zip tie is also used on the inside to further prevent any pull against the conductors -- very effective. It's true that the commonly used Neutrik and Switchcraft XLRs don't fully enclose the back of the connector with metal shielding, but they still give more than the shaved down right angle modifications with plastic cap. With line level signals this is of no concern. With mic level signals it can be a factor, particularly on the end of a boom pole, and particularly when a digital transmitter is mounted at the mic end of a pole.
  5. Here is some info and comparison photo of the new Conxall (Switchcraft's Korean made economy brand)... Conxall is Switchcraft's economy brand, made in South Korea. These Switchcraft part numbers all begin with AAA. They have both straight (regular) and low-profile (right angle) types. The right angle type are of interest here because of how compact we work, especially when working with a bag. The Conxall brand: Right angle (low profile) type are plastic from half way up the body to the back where the cable exits. This means no shielding around the solder connections, which could be a problem for in induction into mic-level signals, particularly on the mic end of a boom pole. Has has a cool system for indexing (the angle at which the cable exits), which gives almost limitless angle possibilities. Can be re-indexed. Serviceable. The strain relief system is not bad if the proper diameter cable is used. Predicted to eventually have optional colored backs for color coding. Changing the color code will require re-soldering. Male version slightly taller than the Remote Audio brand. Best feature: Inexpensive. The Remote Audio brand: All metal brass shell construction for complete shielding. Very strong (will not be bent oblong). Lowest profile. Female uses standard Switchcraft contacts insert for ultimate grounding to the shell. Color coded with buttons, easily changed. Completely serviceable and re-indexable. Has four index positions. More expensive. The photo below shows the Conxall brand on the left and right. The Remote Audio connectors are the two in the middle with colored buttons.
  6. Samples are on there way to me. The "AAA" part numbers are all from the Switchcraft's Korean brand Conxall. This brand also makes economy versions of straight XLR connectors. I'm told that while they are lower quality, the straight XLR connectors are suitable for permanent installations where there is no trauma and nothing moves, which is the opposite of how the work of location sound mixers would be described! But I'm holding out judgement until I get some to evaluate.
  7. These are the "Conxall" Korean-made, economy brand owned by Switchcraft. I have some on order to check them out. Not as well made as Swtchcraft...sort of an equivalent to the Rean economy brand of Neutrik. The most robust ones I know of are the Remote Audio brand, but if these compare favorably with their low price, I'll switch in a heartbeat! We'll see soon...
  8. Speaking of Nagra finds... The Trew Audio Atlanta store has an outstanding Nagra IV-L for sale on consignment. It is officially listed as "very good condition", which matches our protocol for that description, but considering its age, and compared to others I've seen, I consider it to be in excellent condition. Even the 7-inch lid is in great shape. I can't vouch for it's operation (I haven't powered it up), but I visually inspected it inside and out. It looks great and the action feels right. I bet it would take very little for us to dial in the tensions, which nearly all need after sitting unused for a while. Time sensitive notice: Now that I've seen it, I'm considering recommending a higher price (seriously). https://www.trewaudio.com/product/nagra-iv-l-recorder/
  9. All true, if we know exactly what the source (actor) levels are going to be, which we never do, even with rehearsals. Therefore, we set the trim (which controls the iso track level) lower than we think we'll need, to allow for the occasional surprise peak, which means the iso tracks will usually be low, then making it up in the mix with the fader and our ears.
  10. If the analog input module levels are aligned with the recorder iso track levels, and any links in the chain in between (i.e. proper gain structure), then the possibility of one distorting while the other is largely unused is not a concern, whether or not it's a Zoom or Sonosax device. Of course, riding gain in an attempt to keep levels at or near maximum would not only be way too risky, but also in poor taste with regards to natural dynamics, so no one is suggesting riding gain to keep all levels near 0dBfs. But what seems to be happening more often - recording levels pointlessly low - is because of some being needlessly uncomfortable with peaks going much past -20dBfs or -10dBfs, because of the incorrect assumption that it's starting to sound bad. Then there's the opposite problem I've seen with some who mix and record with their peak meters often pegging at full scale, with the assumption that there's useable headroom beyond zero, like was sometimes the case in the analog days. But that is a problem now because, with digital, if the meters are calibrated correctly, there is nothing useable beyond full scale. The assumption should be that a professional user knows their recording chain and will have all the links properly align and configured.
  11. Yes, peak meters are all that matters for recording original tracks. Still, the reference levels (typically -20dBfs for 24-bit digital original tracks) are there to align with 0 on a VU meter.
  12. Yes. Send it to the Nashville store to my attention. We have replacement screens to do the repair.
  13. Here's the deal (in my opinion, experience, and observation): Prefader iso tracks, when done properly, will be, on average, at least 6dB lower. There are good reasons for this: 1) An important benefit of prefader iso tracks is to guard against surprise peaks that distort the postfader mix. To accomplish this, the iso track 0VU reference is aligned with the mixer's prefader 0VU reference (typically -20dBfs). The input trim of a mixer normally falls into a position so that normal level dialog results in the fader knob being between "unity" (usually "0" on the fader's scale) and the top throw of the fader (usually +12dB), which makes the fader knob hover around +6 on the fader scale most of the time. These settings allow an additional 6dB of "reach" when the dialog level gets lower, and up to 14dB of gain reduction with the fader before the mix track goes past max, which would finally happen at exactly the same time the iso track reaches maximum. Some mixing boards like the Sonosax SX-8D and SX-ST have a +12 fader feature that essentially lowers the average iso track by even another 12dB. Fully utilizing the "never clip" feature of Zaxcom devices will lower the average iso track levels even more. When the aid of compressor/limiters are factored into the post fader mix, even lower levels can result in the prefader iso tracks. The third factor is the reluctance of many sound mixers to record in the area between -20dBfs and 0dBfs, which can reduce the iso track levels by another 10dB-20dB, at which point the post production people of a very legitimate complaint. Solutions: 1) Make sure the mixer's prefader levels are aligned evenly with the recorder's iso tracks (typically -20 to -20). Once that's done, the only adjustment that should be necessary is the input trim on the mixer and then riding gain on the fader for the mix. 2) Don't be afraid to use the mixer's and the recorder's dynamic range. In fact, be afraid to not use it. The audio quality does not degrade when going into the "yellow" and then degrade further when going into the "red" (technically, it actually improves). The perfect recording should have the highest peak reach 0dBfs. 3) Get familiar with how the use of compressor/limiters affect the relationship between the postfader mix and prefader iso tack levels. Putting all this into practice will keep "The Calls" from postproduction to a minimum, and understanding the process will allow you to stand your ground and solve such issues when the calls do come in.
  14. Sorry I'm just now noticing this question... The Uniflex-4080 was not officially been discontinued, but there was a period where replacement wire screens (the interference tubes of the 4080 mic) were not available, so production stopped. But now DPA supplies us with the replacement screens for repairs. As of now we have just one UniFlex4080 left in stock from the most recent run. It's at the Nashville Trew Audio store, and available to the first who wants it! The next run is planned for January. Since there is just one for now, best to call 800-241-8994, and ask for the Nashville sales department. PS: This microphone in stock is terminated with the TA5 connector
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