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Tom Visser

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Everything posted by Tom Visser

  1. I think the technology did not deliver yet. It was so distracting for me that I could not get into the performances of any of the actors where it was applied. The opening shot was of such poor quality, it may have perhaps set the tone for me for the rest of the film. It looked like some cheap prosumer electronic gimbal was used or something. (I later learned of the 3-camera challenge they had). I had to stop watching a little bit before midpoint.
  2. sounds problematic - what seems like it might work in theory will likely haver a lot of issues in the real world. do you ever work with a boom op? having a boom ISO might seem like a good idea, but when using IFB for operators, in addition to hearing their boom it is also important for PL private line and him switching back and forth from boom to wires will mean that he will be off coms for some amount of time. I don't boom a lot, but personally I'd rather hear the mix, so that I know how to better handle hand offs from wires to boom or vice versa. I personally would set up both transmitters to the split mix output, so you can dynamically adjust the Tx feeds on the fly, but not sure how easy or possible that is on the Zoom. FWIW, you IFB system would now be more expensive than your mixer / recorder - maybe time to step up to a more capable mixer... just a thought.
  3. Such sad news, thank you for your team's contribution to the arts and movie making business. I didn't know Don personally but have much admiration for his life's work and what I know of him as a quality person.
  4. for me I use a 2:1 ratio with fast speed and attack, threshold of -9 and 3dB knee. With such a low ratio, it provides a very transparent vocal leveling when levels get hot. Is it better to not use compression for location mixing? perhaps yes, but this theoretical question is sort of unrelated to the reality of the fact that whenever your levels do get within 10dB of clipping (and use "gain in hand" to increase gain on the mix buss), would you rather have a signal very close to clipping or a signal that is gently rounded off? The answer to the theory is of course, it is better to not use compression in production mixing, BUT... a bit of transparent compression is better than clipping the mix buss.
  5. as someone who has been close by and at the front end of an M2 barrel, pretty sure your system wasn't louder than the real thing. I actually am all for loud guns, sort of annoys me when gunfire levels is just hanging out, sounding cool, letting dialogue go by intelligibly. Maybe we should have less guns in movies, but when we do, all for them being loud as F.
  6. That’s the NATO rotary wing plug. There’s really no predictable standard though without verbal confirmation form someone first though. If a tour company, often times they are custom built after factory delivery. I’ve had the NATO plug short out and attenuate the pilot’s feed on an Army UH-60, which obviously was an issue. There’s also the possibility of “general aviation” plugs - looks like a pair of phono jacks but not 1/4”. Some newer frames use the airbus connector which is just an XLR5. Sometimes you get plain Jane 1/4” connectors. In other words, bring an extra lavaliers to tape into the inside of either your or and extra set of aviation headset as a last resort.
  7. For podcast work, it seems to me that the Rodecaster is an incredible value and purpose built to make a podcaster’s life easy.
  8. go with the 8060, you'll love it. lots of good mics, true, but 8060 sound great, as good as anything else out there, probably has the lowest noise floor of its competitors (could be wrong, but not aware of anything quieter), has a very sensitive output, so not too dependent on lots of preamp gain, which can be an additional source of noise, and is an RF condenser design, so good for humid applications.
  9. I don't think the Tascam will synch word clock from HDMI embedded timecode. I'm pretty sure it is just a timestamp like most other devices that read LTC without having Genlock capabilities. Also do cameras have genlock, or using cameras that have the unique ability to regen synch from the timecode source? (Arri for example). If not, then you basically have all devices free-running / drifting during takes and only the beginning of takes guaranteed to be timestamped accurately. I'm pretty sure that there is some combination of boxes that would work to get LTC from embedded HDMI. Probably looking at something that converts to HDMI to SDI and then some sort of LTC de-embedder from there. Wouldn't be cheap though, would be cheaper to buy or rent a different recorder quite frankly.
  10. Using wireless designer, can this unit also coordinate M2R channels? If so, would one do that from the built in scan or sync import scan from M2R? addressing the AES question again, for those that would need AES, I think that also means for the majority, that they wouldn't need Dante, so an AES module that entirely replaces the 2x RJ45 jacks for Dante would suffice for me. In order to use AES for cast channels though, I would either need to be able to remote control the transmitter in order to properly modulate the signal (like the two existing digital wireless companies, one from NJ and the other from Japan) or allow digital gain to be added in the box.
  11. digital mixer as in going digital input via Dante and analog mixer to analog XLR inputs? if so, might be hearing SRC working in the Dante DSP chip, which may be more limited and rudimentary than SRC done by more sophisticated processors. Try switching the digital sample rate if possible.
  12. I'm on FCPX, but I'm not am editor and just edit my own little projects. Once I started working on 4K and adding noise reduction, my maxed out retina 15" MBP just took a shit and became super slow to render. I think that I must invest in one of the eGPU options out there if I keep on working on similar projects. Blackmagic makes a fanless /noiseless unit with the Vega 54 GPU, which should help immensely with render times for minis and MBPs. By the way Philip, was discovering a little bit more about Chris Marker and discovered you were on post for one of the docs on him, was it a good doc and worth checking out?
  13. DWT transmitters are fully digital and are only compatible with the DWX receivers, which come in Sony slot format (have adapters available with battery shoe, headphone outputs, output connectors, AES...) or the rack units. Sound quality is very good and one of the few systems that offer full remote control over a secondary RF network.
  14. your experience parallels a lot of my own, learning from a lot of mistakes. this place is exactly for people like you, tapping into the knowledge of others to help steer you right, I know I've benefited much more from Jeff's gift than I've given. COS-11D are great. I'm also a big fan of Countryman B3... I feel like they are more rugged, or maybe I just am more apt to mistreat them and put them in harms way since they are a lot cheaper... from water, to rodeos, to dirt. Maybe B3s aren't quite as sweet as the COS-11D in general, but lavaliers really can't be rated on a scale of best. each mic has an application and sometimes I've gotten best results from an ancient beat up ECM-50 vs a pristine DPA.
  15. For your bag now, not going to diss the 6060 (one of my next purchases) or Schoeps, but there some valid reasons to go 416 or 416 + 50 and for mics, good to upgrade from stock, but COS-11 have some advantages in the trenches and are cheaper to boot. Some day when you graduate to higher end jobs and at least move past Sennheiser G, then consider the more top notch gear, but now balance will be perfectly served by more "standard" fare.
  16. I've never noticed this phenomenon nor had post ever bring up the subject to me, although I suspect it could have simply been missed, as most of my recordings with my VI were classical music or simple dialogue, where a minor slip could sneak by. I've always used pre-record on my VI, do you think that this could affect the file record start issue? So if pre-record were enabled that it would round to a nearest whole unit of time in the pre-record buffer? I've since replaced my VI with an X2, so it has sat unused for many years now (for sale if anyone interested), but I do miss the very flexible monitoring capabilities of the VI.
  17. WC not necessary, really anything, DB-9, BNC, TA3, TA5, existing XLR output switchable analog / digital, not a dealbreaker or anything, but digital outputs would be sweeter deal
  18. I love the digital hybrid backwards compatibility. Although a little heavy for 4 channels, once you take into account antenna and power distro, this is actually a very "baggable" solution too, not only cart use. Very interested!
  19. If anyone has a line of communication with Cinela, what might be smart is to sell this with a cable that is the special sennheiser 19mm thread on connector on both the mic side and exit side, that way a filter module and / or XLR module could be used outside of the rig.
  20. Shooting requires careful study and constant purposeful adjustments. The composition, sensitivities, iris, focus, and an open eye to what is happening outside of the frame. In fact, I’d say without working with a producer or director, you will often loose content because you are too “into the eyepiece” to see the big picture - or as a sound crew, I can often direct camera to shift attention to something or to get ready for something to happen. Recording sound also requires great attention and if not an understanding of acoustics, at least the practical experience of what will cause issues and field expedient solutions. You can certainly do both jobs well in easy environments, but as you face challenges your chances of doing both jobs competently dwindles very quickly and given that the quality for documentary footage (the image) has been raised and keeps going up, even your success as a single cameraman alone faces challenges. I’m getting off of a doc where they are using Optimos, fair amount of lighting, lots of negative fill, and really pushing the “cinema” aesthetic. My bit of advice, when you have a choice, choose quiet outdoor locations. If you are going to shoot inside, shoot in quiet good sounding (not reverberant) spaces. Your NTG3 will do just fine. If you can’t do this, then you need to hire a sound mixer or figure out how to deploy wireless mics really well. If you can’t do that, then put on a wide lens and put the camera in the face of the mouth movers and pray signal to noise ratio is adequate. Refusing to do all of this is knowingly missing the most important aspect of verbal storytelling, which is the story itself. If you instead just focusing on the supporting image it does not make you a documentarian, but a foolish guy with a camera. Be a master of the craft and work without compromise. I understand the solo artist thing - no criticism at all, but if you can’t succeed now with what you got, then focus perhaps on the non-verbal aspect of storytelling or shoot a sizzle to go sell the project to investors and get the resources you need to do it better.
  21. Its more just habit and past experience more than anything. I suppose I could change my recorder over to external clock reference. The source is the Cantar X2 which I've done drift tests in the past with up to 3 ACD-301 slates and it seemed to hold synch for at least 16 hours or so or the life of my batteries.
  22. with the new Lockit or Nano-Lockit, is there a workflow that allows a Lockit to be continuously jammed from an external timecode source and then in turn wirelessly keep other Lockits in synch? In the quick start guide for the Nano, method "2B" specifies synching from an external source. I was wondering if it just one time jams from that source or will the unit continuously jam from that source as long as connected
  23. not sure exactly what you mean by addition digital ins on word clock... the AES inputs are on DB25 and have SRC, so do not necessarily need to be locked to clock. You only have 8 recording tracks, period. What you can do is combine as many inputs as you want onto a recording track though, so you could for example record mic 1 and line 1 on track 1, then use the gain pots to mix the 2 inputs (or more) to a single recording track. The digital inputs can also be combined with analog inputs, but obviously there is no gain pot for the digital inputs, so gain can't be adjusted nor can they be muted on the Cantar while rolling. One thing to note, you do not have to assign the mix track to a record track for it to be active. So for example, you could assign digital 1 to 6 to tracks 1 to 6, then mic 1 to track 7 and mic 2 to track 8. The only problem is that you would never be able to bring tracks 7 and 8 into the mix unless you are using the Cantarem which has 8 faders (other than mixing with the trims). There are digital direct outputs of the first 6 recording tracks as well as an assignable digital output. For analog outputs there is a balanced output on XLR5 and a foldback output on unbalanced TA3. Any of the outputs, wether digital or analog, can be assigned to the mix output OR can be a matrix output of some sort (including inputs that are not being recorded, if you want a communications feed for example). So in this way you could record 8 ISOs, then send the output to a 2-track recorder to record the mix. In my case I have a Zaxcom IFB200 hooked up to the AES output and in this way could record 8 ISOs and deliver a separately recorded 2 channel mix if it was really necessary, but generally use the Cantar on jobs where 6 sources cover it. I own the Cantar, love it, don't want to replace it with anything else, but when it comes to the Cantar, I think logic dictates that I would never really recommend it to anyone else. You have to know why you want to use it and not be talked out of using it by common sense. From a value perspective, it just never really makes sense, unless you are getting a really good deal on it. I like that I can take it into the rain. I can honestly say it is the most reliable recorder I've used, beating out every Sound Devices or Zaxcom unit I've driven... not to say I think those are unreliable, just statistically, the % failure rate I've had with the Cantar is lower - but not zero. Shit happens, even to Cantar. I like that it is impossible to wash out the meters with sunlight. I mean literally impossible - you can try, but with the sun in our solar system on the planet earth, you can't do it, you'll blind yourself before the meters are not readable. I like that there is a menu system that allows lots of flexibility, but once your rolling, the things that you would want to adjust while rolling, are done with tactile buttons, faders, and pots. You can adjust this by touch and don't need to read a screen, unless you are adjusting limiter or filter parameters (or panning - panning in ENG/reality situations is not easy with Cantar - I do it myself, as I work a fair amount of unscripted, but you have to become adept at holding a boom pole, while pressing a button with a pinky, and then spinning an encoder with your other hand). Nothing with the Cantar was really designed with "plain logic". Shit is confusing sometimes. I still have to break out the manual occasionally when doing something I haven't done before or done in awhile. Its very "French" I guess, not being an expert on the French. I can say, though, after years of using it, that I develop a muscle memory and I personally find the operation very easy. Its just the first time you try to turn it on, you can't. you look at the manual, figure it out, then after practicing for awhile, it becomes second nature. Same thing goes with pretty much every other function of the unit. I would compare it to flying an airplane versus driving a car. The average person can't jump into a cockpit, figure out how to start the motor and do all the other pre-flight stuff - but after training and experience, you become expert on it, and if you need to do some sort of emergency maneuver, good training and experience will pay off. Pretty much anybody with any level of training can jump into any car and figure out how to get going. I'd say that is the Sound Devices approach. There's something to be said for that approach, but if you go Cantar, throw out any ideas of it being a "logical" journey. by the way, as far as updating for modern age, one thing I did was forget the idea of accessing the HDD via 6-pin firewire and replaced the internal HDD with a PATA CF card reader. I then put a 128GB SanDisk CF card in it, formatted for 120GB (Cantar won't recognize more). This has been 100% reliable for me and if I ever needed to replace with main volume, its just a card swap away. Sometimes when I need to backup content to my main storage RAID, I pull the main card and just use a card reader, rather than the antique firewire connection. I have also purchased an IDE to CFAST caddy. I haven't bother to try to install it, but the logic is that if there was some reason for me to go CFAST, I could - haven't seen that reason yet. DVDRAM is obviously worthless today. If you do buy a unit, make sure it has the CF removable media bay OR you know where to buy one... as that is the card you will deliver on a daily basis.
  24. There's no phantom on the Mini. Only does line level input.
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