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SeanMAC

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Everything posted by SeanMAC

  1. SeanMAC

    IFB on the cheap.

    Hey y'all! Wanted to share something that I came up with (I'm sure I'm not the first to do this) this week. I'm a mixer in Idaho, and generally I don't really get requests for IFB/listen in etc, but every now and then it'll come up that a client would like to listen in on a scene or shot. Now, seeing how rare these requests are, and that not having it has never lost me work, I've never felt the need to drop $1-2k on a full IFB set (Comtek and the like). So instead I decided to do what you see below. Coming out of my 633, is an XLRF to 3.5mm. Then I have a Female to Female 3.5mm barrel connector. Then that connects to a 5 way headphone splitter. Going off that I have five 6-foot 3.5mm cables. Then on the end of each of those is a 3.5mm Female to Female barrel connector. The volume can be adjusted through the 633, so I set it at a volume that's comfortable and leave it there. Anyone that wants to listen in can just grab a cable and plug in their headphones (or a set of cheapies I keep with my). Sound quality is great even after going through a bunch of cheap connections. Clients can listen, the 6 foot cables can be replaced with longer ones should they get on my nerves, and all in I spent 8 dollars. Hope you guys are at least entertained by this! Thanks everyone for reading.
  2. SeanMAC

    How can boom ops be more diplomatic?

    I've been a boom op for a couple years, and I have a couple diplomacy tricks that I'll share and hopefully someone can get something out of it. First, I always introduce myself to the DP, and make a joke about how I'm the guy that you'll be yelling at everyday. This isn't a joke as much as it is a test. I can tell just by their reaction pretty much everything I need to know about them in terms of the job. Second, I'll become friends with the ACs, A1st, B1st, 2nd's, Village runner, the whole team. Some will gel easier than others, just have someone that's always got eyes on monitor on a first name basis with you. Obviously this is easier on long shoots, single days etc are trickier, which is where the next trick comes in. Third, keep pieces of candy on you. Crafty, from home, whatever (I find the bite size Snickers and Twix bars are a big hit). Between adjustments where no one is doing much but waiting (makeup flyins etc) toss a piece to your friends. This is just a nice thing to do as a person, but it also helps add some brownie points for you. I have overhead (we hear everything) "That boom op is so dope he literally always has candy." And "Can he be the sound guy on every shoot?" Hopefully those give someone a bit of help, or some ideas. I have countless more, but they're more situation specific. Be kind, calm, self deprecating, and funny when you can. When a 1st gets reprimanded/yelled at for a soft take, try to cheer em up with a joke, (about yourself and how you're gonna dust the talents eyebrows with your mic on the next take). And always keep a jar of peanut butter for the set dog. Thanks y'all!
  3. SeanMAC

    IFB on the cheap.

    Appreciate everyone's advice and input, especially afewmoreyears, I know veeeery little about older Comtek systems. Basically, I split my time between Idaho and LA, and when I'm down there working, it's 10-15 Comteks and Zaxcom ERXs and the lot (even some earwig fun from time to time). But up here, it's Idaho, land of the potatoes, and if you worked here (and trust me, we would have met if you did haha) you would never bother spending more than $50 on a listen in system. This is just a handy little thing I whipped up in my spare time, and hopefully everyone working in LA/Atlanta/Chicago got a good laugh (or painful groan) from the simplicity of it. And should you ever find that a P.A. bugging you about "how many wires on the day" knocks off your Comtek TX and breaks it on the floor, now you'll have one more quick fix in your arsenal to tide over the troublesome producers until said P.A. goes out and picks up a new one for you (and a diet soda of your choosing, of course.) Really though, it is great to have everyones thoughts and advice, and if I was working literally in any other state I would take Derek and afewmoreyears advice and pick up a legitimate set of older Comtek 72s right away. But, there's maybe 2 other working sound mixers within 200 miles of me, and they both use Zooms slung around their neck, so I feel pretty confident in my gear offerings for now haha. Cheers fellas, and may the flightpath gods bring you favor and good fortune.
  4. SeanMAC

    IFB on the cheap.

    Chris! Thanks so much for the idea, the thought hadn't even crossed my mind that they make headphone amps with more inputs than maybe 2. I'll give this a try soon, Thanks again!
  5. SeanMAC

    NFL Boom ops

    Hey y'all! Idaho sound mixer here. I wanted to see if anyone on here has ever been, or knows anything about being the sideline boom ops during NFL games. What are your assignments, how do you deliver/send files/audio, any insight you can give would be fantastic. Being from Idaho, I would never even see a posting about the job, let alone take one. Thanks!
  6. SeanMAC

    NFL Boom ops

    Hey thanks so much for all the information! I gained curiosity about it when I started seeing more and more booms on the sideline. Anyone from NFL Films have any stories to share about how NFL Mic'd up is done? I read that mics are hidden inside the centers shoulderpad? Any info on the models and technique? Super interested in anything you guys have to share. Thanks y'all!
  7. SeanMAC

    Podcast Microphones

    Hey y'all! I'm a mixer from Idaho, and I've noticed there's quite a few podcasts coming out of my area, but most have limited audio quality (aka cheapo USB mics). I would love to be able to offer these various groups my services to show them how good of quality they can get with the right equipment. However, my mic collection is generally just production oriented (shotguns and lavs). What mics do you guys find work best for podcasts? I'd love to also have them work as table mics for live events etc, but I'm just interested in hearing everyone's thoughts. Any input is greatly appreciated! Thanks again!
  8. SeanMAC

    Experience in Russia

    I've got a doc shoot in Russia coming up in November, and having never been there, I come to you, fellow soundies for your expertise. What is your knowledge and experience that you can share? I'm particularly interested in the wireless spectrum over there (whether I'll be in need of buying new blocks, I've heard the upper range is best). I'm also interested in anything you can share about the country and what I should expect. We will mainly be in Western Russia. Thank you for any and all input, it is greatly appreciated.
  9. SeanMAC

    Necessities For Every Soundbag

    What do you all think are the necessities of a sound bag? Regardless of mixer brand etc, I'm talking what are the things you carry in your kit that have saved you in a pinch? Cables, attenuators, converters, rubber bands, altoids (true story), whatever it is! What's in your bag of audio solutions?
  10. SeanMAC

    Lectro UCR411a vs. LR

    Can anyone explain why the 411 is that much more expensive? Still a bit confused on this. I understand the technology but I think I might be missing critical info on manufacturing costs and such. My feeling is that it has to do with the front end filters, but I'm sure there's more to it. Why the jump in price?
  11. SeanMAC

    Frequency Coordination

    For multiple wireless systems, what is your protocol? How do you space your frequencies? What anomalies have you found?
  12. SeanMAC

    Camera Hops

    Let's talk about it! What setups do y'all use? What cameras have give you the most headaches? Timecode/scratch/mix? How do you tackle it?
  13. SeanMAC

    Multi camera question

    I might've missed it somewhere in here, but the big multicam shows often times use 1-2 Fisher 7's. Basically a boom you can sit on (similar to a dolly) that has a telescoping arm. YouTube Fisher 7 and you can see one in action (an operator attached a GoPro to the arm so you get some neat perspectives. That is why blocking is so critical in those shows. The boom ops need to know where they can be, and where they need to be. They are some of the best in the business. It's a very elegant skill.
  14. SeanMAC

    Reality TV Gear Setup/Worflow

    Doc Justice that would be excellent to get your take on everything. Allow me a few days to compose a coherent set of questions for you and I'll get in touch for sure.
  15. Hello fellow soundies! I'm looking down the barrel of a reality tv gig, and want to know any and all experiences. More specifically, what sort of gear setup you had (as it is of course wireless intensive), and the workflow (ISOs/mix/lockits etc). And generally wondering if there's anything in particular on reality tv that sound crew is responsible for (such as doing commercial work we're generally in charge of/expected to provide smart slates). Anything and everything, let's hear it!
  16. SeanMAC

    Reality TV Gear Setup/Worflow

    Thank you guys so much for your replies! I really do appreciate the insight and advice. My main thing is that I know I'll probably need an antenna/distro setup for my wireless, because I don't see regular whips getting me by with 3+ cameras running about. Any words on that side of things? Gear/setup you've seen/worked with that helped boost range and eliminate dropouts? I've found a bit on the forums here but just curious if y'all had anything to add.
  17. SeanMAC

    Rental Rates

    I've been working as a production mixer for a couple years and am starting to work with bigger companies and more established productions. I'm looking to my fellow, more experienced mixers to help me with building a sort of formula for what I should be charging for gear (for true productions with an actual budget backed by a network). Wireless systems, camera hops, lockits and the like. What do y'all use as sort of a baseline? Is it a percentage of the actual value of the item? What items do you sort of bundle together? Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this. Any input is greatly appreciated.
  18. SeanMAC

    Rental Rates

    Bash and Waelder, thank you for bringing up that thought, I was so wrapped up in this plan I hadn't even considered that something unforeseen could happen (talent getting injured etc). I thought I had a bit more clairvoyance than that, but apparently not at the present moment haha. Thank you! Now, another question for you gents and gals. How have you (or others you know of) faired in taking a loan out for equipment etc? Did you go the small business loan route? Some other way? Borrowing from friends for sure, I'm just curious as to your experiences and thoughts. Also I'm wondering if any local bank/credit union would take into account that I'd be working on a TV show etc. Not a big deal (even an annoyance in LA) but here, it's the coolest thing this side of Christmas. Obviously the institution will have its policies, credit check and so on, just wondering if it holds any weight whatsoever. What say you on the subject? Or on anything related/similar situations? Thanks again y'all.
  19. SeanMAC

    Rental Rates

    Great stuff you guys (and gals)! Thank you again for the feedback, although I'm sad that I didn't check back in time to get the chance to read the deleted post? Not sure what happened there. I absolutely agree though, we should all push against that "day rate and done" type of deal. Not good for anyone. I have another inquiry for you fine folks. For long term rentals when production will end up paying the price of the unit and then some in rental fees, has anyone ever heard of them just buying the unit outright? I ask because of this. Show is coming up, will shoot for 6-7 months. Even renting 1 wireless system at $25/day (which I think we would agree for the most part is on the mid-low end, over 7 months it would have been cheaper for them to just buy it. So, to get to my point. Say I wanted to upgrade my wireless systems. What say you all on the proposition of "Production buys the units outright and then I rent/buy them back from them? Has anything close to this scenario ever happened? I know some people just buy units on credit pretending they owned them already and use the rental fee to pay the purchase fee, but I'm curious to hear your guys thoughts on this. I've mostly convinced myself that it's wishful thinking, but then again I know producers and if I could guarantee I would save them a few thousand out the gate guaranteed AND I get new gear, what would stop that? Please, relent all insight/wisdom/tough love upon me. I am prepared for it all. Again, I'm so appreciative of all your responses, it is incredibly helpful to have such a cool and knowledgeable community to draw upon when I have questions such as this.
  20. SeanMAC

    Rental Rates

    I really appreciate the feedback! Wasn't expecting this great of information. Another note, would you think it appropriate to charge a premium if the location is several hundred miles from any rental house that would have anything like it? And I mean the closest place that rents any sort of pro audio gear (SDevices, smart slates, lectro/zax) is well over 500 miles away. Any special treatment with this situation or just go about it as you said, value it according to time of shoot and budget, referenced against the rental houses etc? Again, thank you so much for your replies.
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