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Rob Beal

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About Rob Beal

  • Rank
    Hero Member
  • Birthday 10/07/1979

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  • Location
    Toronto, Canada
  • Interested in Sound for Picture
  • About
    Location sound mixer in Toronto, Canada.

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  1. I put all of those under a general "materials and supplies" expense, as per my accountant's instructions. They're all expendables that get used up as you run your business (even lavs... they break and need to be replaced fairly often). Only big-ticket gear purchases get classified as assets that need to be depreciated.
  2. This is something I've developed a keen interest in as well, and have teamed up with some great post-production colleagues up here in Toronto to establish effective workflows. Right now it's still a lot of experimentation, and as you noted there has not been a lot of (good) narrative work done. For that side of things, almost all of the magic is done in post from mono recordings and sound design. The only effective examples I've seen so far have been in the horror genre, since it lends itself well to immersing the viewer in a tense environment. Spatial audio becomes even more important than ever, to ensure that the viewer is looking in the right direction at the right time. It's actually pretty fun to play around with. The short piece "Help" by Justin Lin and Google Spotlight is a pretty cool example too of how live-action blockbusters could be done in VR. I can't imagine anyone would want to watch something more than 5 or 10 minutes long though, at least until the wearable tech vastly improves. Aside from narrative work, there's some fun to be had in recording "immersive experiences" for sports, music, or travel fans. Imagine being in the locker room before a big game. This adds a bit of interest for us to record too, since you can play with the mix between ambisonic recordings and spot (lav) recordings of key people like the coach addressing the players. Finding that sweet spot in the mix that puts the viewer in the middle of the excitement but also maintains clear, consistent dialogue is a tricky challenge, but a good one! Of course, that's all up to the post team, our job is still limited to recording the best sounds possible and delivering it to them. But more than ever before, communcation between the production sound mixer and post-production team is of paramount importance during pre-production, to agree on a workflow that works for each project.
  3. Wow, that's an unexpected surprise! Had a pleasure dealing with Tyler since the day he started, I always looked forward to chatting with him at the shop and he definitely provided great service on many occasions throughout the years. All the best Tyler!
  4. The Presonus works great with Boom Recorder, it's an extremely simple setup. In the bright sunlight though it was extremely hard to see which buttons on the board were lit up and which were dark. I wouldn't use it again for an outdoor show just for this reason alone. The sub-mixes are a bit counter-intuitive for reality setups too (or at least our setup). We were sending up to 4 different mono sub-mixes to 4 different cameras using a Lectro D4 transmitter, and the assignment buttons get a bit convoluted when you're in the thick of things and multiple mixes are changing on the fly. In the future, I think I'll switch to a Yamaha board for multi-cam reality stuff.
  5. Just got a bunch of work in Vegas, so I'll be in town this year! My first time attending, will definitely hit up the JWS dinner. Looking forward to it.
  6. In the Mayan highlands in Guatemala:
  7. Just got back from doing a reality show in the mountains of Guatemala. Spent two months watching sunsets like this from my "office"! City life seems so boring now -Rob
  8. I know you're joking with the Virgin Galactic quip, but even that rhetorical situation just further demonstrates the flaw in your line of thinking. If someone wanted sound recorded on a multi-million dollar space flight, they should be paying full rate or MORE to get a professional who will do a great job in a stressful environment without worrying about how "cool" the experience is. What if they hired an overeager rookie who botched the sound? Same goes for trekking through mountain ranges. We are supposed to be professionals and these "life experience" jobs often put us in more challenging conditions than normal. To do it for $150 completely devalues everything we work for in our careers. It's not a vacation, it's a job, and it's pretty troublesome that so many people apparently don't even think twice about compromising the true value of their career. Maybe that's a bit harsh, but a couple people offered excellent advice here. If you want to see any of these "life experience" places, make some money and go there yourself! Maybe someday producers won't expect to hire a sound op for $150 then! (wishful thinking, I know). -Rob Beal
  9. Also, the actual iPhone is just a piece of hardware, don't forget about all the profits they make on all the digital stuff you buy AFTER buying the phone (apps, music, tv/movies, etc). They could probably eliminate all the profits from the actual phone sales and still be very profitable as a company.
  10. That looks excellent, I've been toying with the idea of building a very similar box but I would gladly buy that instead! Would it be possible to order a 50MHz version rather than wideband? -Rob
  11. Wow that's a small pic... trying to upload from my cellphone:
  12. Shooting in a medieval Basque town in northern Spain. That's France across the bay.
  13. Agreed! A total whiz and a good friend. He's helped me make many improvements to my gear over the years!
  14. In the final model the project box may end up being even bigger as we've run out of space inside, but the good thing is it weighs next to nothing so a simple clip would attach it to the side of your bag easily.
  15. Simon, both channels have an L/C/R switch for panning so they can be assigned to the Left, Right, or both channels in whatever combination I want. I'm not that great at electronics either so I've been working on this with Harry Quan here in Toronto, Canada. We've gone through a couple models over the past year trying to get it just right, but this is still essentially just a prototype. I'm still having some issues with RF interference sneaking into the system. It works well enough for me, but until we solve that final problem I wouldn't say it's ready for "public" use. Hopefully when work slows down for the winter we can re-design the box with some added components to make it rock solid. At that point I'd be happy to share! Jason, everything in this bag is powered from a 7.2V Swit battery. No BDS, just a custom cable array with an in-line master switch. The power requirements of the fader box are negligible so it doesn't affect battery life in any noticeable way. The amps are built from scratch... I believe using simple transistors, but I could be wrong on that one, as we did balance the inputs in an attempt to reduce the RF interference so that might mean they are transformers now? I'll have to check.
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