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Philip Perkins

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Everything posted by Philip Perkins

  1. I do a lot of live recording and even some live FOH style mixing in DAWs. You do have to manage your latency, for the live stuff I use mostly just the lightweight plugs that came with the DAW. Real plug-in work like NR, DeClick, heavy duty comps, big reverbs etc DO result in latency, which the DAW compensates for within itself. But you are right to be concerned about sync issues re: recording with cameras, even if you have your clocking very together (not at all a given with nearly all ADACs and digital mixers not operating on an accurate external clock). I'm sure you'll do your testing about this, I'd be very curious to hear what you find!
  2. Yes but we managed our levels very well, as low as we could get to read, actually, but the content of that signal is really pernicious and audible as bleed at nearly any level. Below a decent level the readers, even with reshapers in line, could not reliably recover the TC well enough for it to be synced to/from in a fast-working telecine suite. That was the most expensive post work per-hour in those days, with all the adults in attendance in the suite, so panic over TC sync was always in the air and the blame fingers were always primed and ready (to point at the sound dept.). We also discovered that several popular brands/types of 1/4" tape stock would record TC in the center track that had just enough micro-dropouts that the TC would read fine on the recorder but not be recoverable in fast wind on an Otari MTR12 or Nagra T-Audio! I DON'T MISS THIS.
  3. Bouke...TC DID bleed, sometimes at any level. It wasn't just a head stack issue, it was also a cable+connector+chassis+other electronics and routing issue as well. A great many things had to be done really well to avoid TC bleed, especially on the way IN to the recording device. We spent SO many hours chasing TC gremlins in audio post studios and on multicam video shoots.
  4. In mixes at that time we could be running several analog machines in sync at once via LTC, including multiple VTRs, multitrack tape decks, 2 and 4 track tape decks as well as devices like CD players or outboard signal processors that were synced to or triggered by LTC. Making an analog machine run in dead sync to LTC required extremely sophisticated electro-mechanical designs, and the setting up of synchronizers that could talk to all these machines was a highly fraught task requiring a lot of time. LTC continued to be a major factor in audio post operations well into the early digital era, including DTRS tape decks and the early versions of ProTools, WaveFrame, Dyaxis, Sadie, etc etc. Facilities were often judged in part on how seamlessly all these devices could work together during a mix. In the Bay Area the patron saints and ascended masters of this were Bob Berke and Kelly Quan.
  5. LTC on analog audio and video equipment was very much an "intended workflow", and was a pain in the ass. It did bleed, and when recorded the edges of the LTC word would get rounded off so recovering usable TC from an analog recording was a serious challenge. Since this TC was absolutely vital to the synchronization process a great deal of effort was put into the recording and playback of LTC on the machines of that time. I used to include instructions and suggestions for telecine operators syncing my 1/4" CTTC audio recordings, as well as my phone number in big letters on the outside of the tape box. It seemed that about 1 in 6 jobs would have some sort of issue with my tapes, usually (it would turn out) inflicted by the post-syncers on themselves. Since post-syncing usually occurred on the graveyard shift I got used to late-night or early AM phone calls, sometimes resulting in me having to go down to the post facility to coach the operator.
  6. My tests and anecdotal experience with SM Lectros is pretty much what Louis got. The Eneloops are ok for low key kinds of jobs (interviews etc) with defined time frames, but for live shows w/o breaks or doco I went back to Lithium AAs. The cost is always an interesting conversation with the filmmakers....
  7. The "scratch" track, AKA "reference track" is an audio feed sent to cameras from the sound dept so that A: playbacks with sound can happen immediately on-set (without syncing up the audio recordings) and B: so there is a reference for the editor to "eye-match" or auto-sync by audio waveform to in the audio syncing phase of post. A timecode-based autosync is perferred and has fewer issues, but many productions that do not use any form of timecode in the field rely on audio-match syncing (ie "Pluraleyes" and the Premiere onboard version of same) to sync their field audio with dailies picture. Thus having both a "scratch track" and providing timecode to a camera (from a TC generator that has been jam-synced to the TC generator in the audio recorder) is a very reliable method for making post syncing possible and straightforward.
  8. Interesting idea. If Sony, Arri and RED adopt this then I guess it's what we'll do. If producers get sold on it as a new cheaper+more efficient workflow component then ditto. Until then this is pretty speculative, since this sort of change to established methods doesn't generally come from users like us, they are invented by the big manufacturers of gear and then sold to filmmakers through advertising and demos to their senior tech advisers. Standing by for more info!
  9. As a side note, I think it is important to bill equipment by type or category. IE a client wants a wireless package with a certain number of channels, possibly for a certain price. It's my call what I give them--I don't work for people who specify brands and models of gear I will be operating.
  10. It's worth it to ask if they want them? On many low-end small-cam jobs they don't understand or use TC as it would come from a Lockit etc..
  11. DT480. Just remembering them brings back the headaches they gave me.
  12. Very tempted but never went for it. The size was very appealing for doco work.
  13. Thanks for doing a real test. There is a long tradition of location soundies doing their own gear tests, no matter how "cowboy" they are so that they then really KNOW what their gear does. Well done.
  14. You should ask him if that's his motivational speech? What he said is kind of what I meant above. It's also bullshit.
  15. I think there will be a change in what "acceptable" production sound is to allow this technology (and the attendant savings) to happen. Many older sound people mourn the advent of the "all -lavs-all-the-time" approach to production sound, vs. what could be done with skilled boom ops, location treatment, set discipline and rehearsals: the "all-lav" sound is now accepted and probably preferred by many. Whatever "AI production sound" ends up sounding like will probably be another step away from naturalness and real-location audio perspective, many of us won't like it, but it will gradually become the accepted norm just as "all-lav" did. Sorry.
  16. There is a new version of the Neutrik box that also will take mic level signals (ie has pres), but much more expensive. There are alternatives that do this 2 i/o thing from several other co.s too.
  17. I use Neutrik NA2-IO-DLINE. It has mostly just worked, no issues, ditto with the Audinate AVIO 2 in or 2 out adapters--all powered by the network. But only 2 channels....
  18. I haven't been on Really Big Music Multicam shows lately, the ones I'm doing rely totally on TC sync with cameras (cameras deriving sync from ext TC with no genlock used), so the accuracy of the TC they get vs the audio recording is important, as is the audio WC being locked to the TC. That's why I usually want to be the show masterclock, since my rig can make very accurate WC and TC that are locked together. This works well for most shoots I do. For bigger stuff the conversation with the FOH people about possibly supplementing their rig with an external box that has a super accurate clock, can make WC, TC and Dante can be delicate if they don't have this together already.
  19. Actually we posties generally don't let the production people know about sync issues much, esp in concert work, we just fix them if we can and move on. We don't have time for discussion about what's already done unless there is a huge disaster in progress. These jobs are usually one-off, not a series where you can build a relationship, exchange test files and dial things in over a few tries. We usually proceed from the point where everyone assumes that what's delivered to post is in perfect sync from beginning to end, and then fix what needs fixing (since "perfect sync" in a live performance video often doesn't LOOK perfect even if it is numerically correct TC-wise!). There are always many places to pull sync up in a live show, but assuming that puts me in the uncomfortable position of adding work to someone else's gig without their permission. Thanks for the info that Dante clock is consistent within the network--the issue seems to be getting the network in sync with a TC generator for the cameras to begin with.
  20. As was said, I'd be tempted to just set my phone down on a powered speaker playing the lines off a laptop and call it a day. You can take a feed from the laptop to your rig for dailies. For playback you might consider "QLAB" which will allow you to trigger the lines separately with a spacebar (or other) hit. The free version of QLAB will only output via the computer's headphone jack but that would be fine for this.
  21. I think Brainstorm has a pretty sexy box for this too (https://brainstormtime.com/products/dante-dxd-firmware-update/), that has a boffo clock, makes TC, WC, Dante etc etc, and is also Mighty Expensive. I get the argument re: lightweight snakes for stage boxes etc w/ Dante, but 1000' runs don't happen much for me any more. And in truth, if some FOH people are talking a Dante feed for me they are also probably saying "why do we need him?" to each other, and I'll be bumped off the job forthwith with them recording the output of their board however, themselves.
  22. I am old school enough I guess that if I was to get on a multicam concert gig where I was expected to be the source of TC for cameras (via sync boxes with accurate clocks), I would want to know how to align whatever I was using as the master TC generator to make that TC, as well as word clock for devices I'm using that need to do their own ADC (ie feeds not coming from FOH, like audience etc mics). I guess the answer might be that this is an "in for a nickel, in for a dollar" sort of deal, where said TC generator/masterclock for audio etc would have to be a Dante device also, so that everyone and everything was on the same clock. I don't like it--too much of a rig like this is out of my control: I'd rather start with the analog sources pre-FOH (like analog splits) and be completely independent of what they are doing, but that is an increasingly unpopular idea with FOH folks I've been finding. And anything Dante is pretty damn expensive.
  23. We have the same issues that actors, extras and all production crew have. A main attraction of AI to producers is the reduction in the number of shoots days required for a project
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