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Philip Perkins

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Everything posted by Philip Perkins

  1. Please tell us what is on your current (Cantar) disk. Which format etc is the most popular? thanks Philip Perkins
  2. Similar to yours, plus on smaller shoots and docs the prevalence of "Joker" HMIs, which only work in flicker-free mode (whine) and have fans in the heads. The only solution is to take some diffusion out of the light and back it away, which no one ever wants to do. Philip Perkins
  3. Looks good enough to eat. God, I hope it isn't absurdly expensive. Philip Perkins
  4. In my area, there are so few boom jobs that that position really isn't a stepping stone to becoming a mixer. Most jobs in sound are one-person deals, so one learns to boom for oneself. When I need a boom op, the last thing I want is a newbie--the idea that PA can be drafted into working the boom while I sit back at the panel always struck me as a very odd notion. When I did low-budget dramatic films and the above was the proposed solution to having a boom op, I would usually tell them that I would do the whole job myself, and they would have to settle for what I could do alone. I was very fortunate to work for 10 years+ with Gary Dowling, and what was really great is that he had more big-job experience that I did and advised me in many subtle and not-so subtle ways about how to navigate the set, the job and the problems. There isn't a union structure for production sound around here, so, like you Jeff, I declared myself a Mixer one day and then set about proving it to everyone else. That still seems to be the way, just about everywhere, now. Philip Perkins
  5. I see Cooper has a new console coming--306, that is quite small and would suit me very well, if I can afford it. Anyone know anything about it? I think it might even be smaller than a 106. I'm hoping that Cooper decides to add at least one pair's worth of digital out to it. Philip Perkins
  6. The bag thing has been ok for me with the P2--most of what I need to do can be done on the front. In a heavy combat style shoot the small size and metal body of the 744 would be a plus. That said, I took the previous Tascam/Casio machines (DATs) all around the world in horrible conditions, and even drowned them a couple of times, and they kept working even after all the paint had been worn off them. With no moving parts I think the Tascam will prove to be very rugged and relatively non-temp and moisture sensitive. I will agree, the P2 is not a pretty machine. But so far it has sounded good and worked very well and has been VERY cost-effective. If enough people buy them maybe SD will finally make a TC-enabled 722. Philip Perkins
  7. How important is it for a coach to have been a player? Not vital, but would have to help in understanding what the boom op is up against. Most of us around here (SF) still do a lot of one-person sound crew jobs, so we are still booming ourselves often enough to understand all the issues. Philip Perkins
  8. Re the XLR ins--I found that with the front volume control turned all the way down and the 20 DB pad plugged in that I can use the XLRs as a 2nd line in @ +4. This has been cool since I can now have 2 sets of line ins hooked up (backup to mix and split tracks) and just change by switching from mic to line w/o repatching. On my P2 the CF button folds back sideways after you have either inserted or removed the card. Are you leaving yours sticking out? Or are you finding that even the folded back release button is getting bumped? The headphone amp has been fine for me--I just turn it up. I'm using Sony V6 type headphones. What media are you delivering your files on, and are you delivering to telecine or to video edit systems? thanks Philip Perkins
  9. That's a great line. I guess my only hesitation about using it would be that you are kind of saying that they aren't experienced enough to have noticed whatever audio interference happened and understand its ramifications. I generally am very specific about why I'm asking, as in "that truck that went by stepped on the line "xxxx"", or "I screwed up and did or didn't do X during that shot" (that they wouldn't have heard). It IS important to weigh what else is going on on the set, what the general mood is etc: sometimes it's better not to interrupt the flow no matter how bad it was. Philip Perkins
  10. I emailed Abel about this box, and found that it won't do 23.976 code. I can see it working well for your A-Minima shoot, but @ $1000 I'd want it to be able to work in other situations down the line. But for what you are doing it seems like a slick box. Philip Perkins
  11. Well, believe it, man, because me and my guys have done it many many times. Docs, TV shows etc., and for longer than 30 min. >>>>The notion of full frequency audio from a boom is somewhat old school. Intitially we rip a ton of low end out of them (If we don't someone else will). Then almost all of the dialogue goes thru an auto-normalling process that is rarely hand tuned, moreover it is usually a preset that the last guy setup. Clothes rustle, what I call mechanical noise, and concealment are the last barriers for the lavalier. Tom Holman is creating a filtering scheme that simulates placement of microphones based on an intial setup and places in the optimum micing position virtually. This kind of theory already is in every Lectrosonic 400 digital link. There is no audio coming from the transmitter just error offsets so the DSP can create the sound based on a prediction. The ability to create warm sounding track from less than pristine source after the fact is upon us. With this knowledge, what is truly the job description? I do audio post about 50% of the time. I really appreciate it when production sound people do NOT "rip out a ton of low end" on location. I often get audio, even from interviews, in which this has happened and its hard to make it sound full and natural again. There is no reason to roll off a lot of low end except to eliminate a little boom+wind rumble. I have no idea what "auto-normalling process " you are talking about. If you mean "normalling" as in "normalisation" as in maximizing the level of digital files--no, we never do that. If you mean that we level the audio so it plays naturally thru a scene, yes, but that process is anything but "auto"--that is a great deal of the art of a re-recording mixer. As for the anti rustle software, I'll believe it when I hear it. In my experience, that kind of deus ex machina stuff always follows Berger's Law (re: Mark Berger, Academy Award winning re-rec mixer of Amadeus and etc etc): those things work the best when I need them the least. What is the job description: Production Sound Mixer, same as it was. The job is to capture what is happening on the set the best you can and not get into a lot of EQ and DSP-based signal processing, since you don't know how the track will be used in the final product. If there can be great anti rustle software, bring it, but let's use it in post where the choice can be made to use or not, and if so how much. >>>>As for bucking the producers, AGAIN!!! I find that the post producers are more and more savvy about what the results are from the production side. Intelligibility is the key. Storytelling has nothing to do with shreiking high's and strident mids. I'm not trying to demean the position (or striving for sonic nirvana) I just feel that the over all performance of the team in aquiring the most USEABLE track is our job description. Technology has runaway with the definition of quality, operators must justify their usefulness in different ways and that can be very subjective (ie. does he play cool music, or is he the husband of our Post Supervisor). We are in total agreement about the job being getting usable tracks. We differ on what that means, apparently. When I cut location sound into a film, I almost always go for the boom sound first, and that's what goes unto the film 9 times out of 10. The lav mic sound takes a lot more work to sound decent, and never tells as much of "the story" of a scene as the boom mic does since it doesn't hear the environment as well. I think that how an actor's voice bounces around a room IS part of the story, and helps put us in the scene. Most of the guys I talk to who are doing a lot of split-track lav work look at it as a backup to the mix they are doing on the set, a mix that is based on what their boom ops are delivering. In post, we are under huge time pressures all the time, and if I can make a production mixer's mix track work most of the time, with an occasional assist from their splits, then that guy is going to get a big recommend from me. Reconstructing a complex scene with a lot of angles and coverage from a pile of split tracks is REALLY time consuming, MUCH harder to update as the new cuts come in and doesn't end up sounding as good in the end. Philip Perkins
  12. I don't think it makes any sense either, except that Aaton is largely a camera company with a single audio product, and it is French. Draw your own conclusions. The upside is that the camera people are very smart about TC issues. Call Abel. Why did you decide on that TC generator, as opposed to Denecke or Ambient etc? Philip Perkins
  13. Well, that seems to be the arguement all right--feeds and flexibility vs. sound and who knows, reliability? Have the Yamahas been stressed enough on nasty locations to know that they won't die at an inopportune time? Wolf seemed to indicate he thought they were pretty tough. And I guess if one is really paranoid, they are cheap enough that you buy two and keep one on standby. Did you consider the outboard mic pre route? (I know some a classical music recordist who does this.) I know--really too fussy for film work on location. How about this? Do you figure you will need all 8 tracks of your recorder....how much of the time? In other words, how much of the time will your rig be essentially recording one or two tracks, and how often will it be important to have 4 or more? I guess you are figuring on needing the the full platter a lot of the time, and/or your clients are specing the job this way now. I am in agreement that if you need to routinely run as complex a setup as you describe then the instant recall of all those routings will rock. I ask this this way since I figure that Jeff W also works on pretty big movies, and gets along with what a 208 can do, also with an 8 track recorder. Yes, I think I can add up how many Yamaha 01v96s could be bought for the price of a 208. (8 or 9 I think.) In my world, as in yours I suspect, we have to try to make this big techno shift without getting a whole lot more (or maybe nothing more) in rentals for the gear, thus we consider the Yamahas and pine futiley after the 208s and new Sonosax boards. sorry for the ramble--I really have not been able to find what I want that I can afford. Tell us about how you will power, connect and encart your Yamaha. Philip Perkins
  14. Also--everyone who has posted about the "German Vacation" for their Schoeps mics has said that they came back practically like new mics. That's pretty impressive when you consider the current prices for new Schoeps mics. Philip Perkins
  15. I'd call Abel Cine Tech in LA or NY and ask them. They've always been very helpful to me about Aaton code and InDaw etc issues. http://www.abelcine.com/. They sell BOTH the Cantar and the Aaton camera gear. Philip Perkins
  16. An additional caveat w/ the P2--the mic pres do not have a whole lot of gain, and are not as quiet as those found in higher-end portable mixers. For most FX and dialog they've been fine, about like the pres built into most portable recorders I've had. For quiet ambiences or even detailed music in a quiet room you should probably use the P2 with a mixer or an outboard mic pre. Philip Perkins
  17. My initial experiences w/ portable digital boards were negative, they kind of seemed like Mackies with a lot more routing etc. etc. I went back to (small, high quality) analog mixers and was instantly much happier about the sound, and worked out the routing the old-fashioned way. Now I'm reconsidering the digital boards (Yamaha) and the cheaper hybrids (Mackie Onyx), while still not being very happy with their size, weight and power consumption. I'm willing to give the sound another shot. Are there any other contenders? I can deal with the mixer doing less especially if could be smaller and use less power. Philip Perkins
  18. Could I ask you to elaborate on this ( staying analog until the recorder)? I'm still looking for a new location board that fills my needs at a price I can justify, and have looked long and hard at the digital boards as being a lot of bang for buck. I find something off-putting about the digital boards, but many on RAMPS seem to have embraced them. I guess I'm mostly talking about Yamaha. thanks Philip Perkins
  19. It happened to everybody sooner or later. With the 7" reel cover the space between the lid and the reel was very narrow. If your hinges got bent from setting the machine down a little briskly too many times...... I took one of mine apart in a hotel room one (all) night to shim some bent hinges out--it required taking most of the boards out of the machine to get at the hinge bolts. Of course, you COULD do that with a Nagra. Any such action I ever took with a DAT ended disastrously... Philip Perkins
  20. Every time I see one of your pix with the 4.2 and the Sela I just shake my head in wonder at how good those films sounded, and how no one seems to remember that we used to record almost everything to a single track, usually with a single camera. I'm having fun with the digital toys and all, but kind of miss the concentration and simplicity of that way of working while trying to mind lots of tracks and wirelesses and camera feeds and various monitor mixes. Film sound used to be a very separate discipline, now production sound seems more like the way video audio was when I started--lots and lots of gear, but less concentration on the picture and voices immediately at hand, since we are "covered" so many ways at once. So are the tracks ultimately any better the way we do it now? Not sure, given everything. Philip Perkins
  21. Do you have DAs etc for distro of feeds or does the 208 take care of all of that? Can your mac mini do wireless internet? Do you use your keyboard to type in metadata info on the Deva? 10" wheels sound like a great idea. I finally gave up on pneumatic tires on my cart (magliner) after too many inopportune flats. I have the tires with the squishy goo in them now and they've worked great, but only 8", and not as much of a load as you have. thanks Philip Perkins
  22. After quite a bit of looking around I sent mine to Redding Audio, who I think are the importers now. (www.reddingaudio.com). I wasn't able to find anyone else, and the dealers recommended that I go this way. They send the mic back to Schoeps in Germany, but they send a batch every couple of weeks it seems, it's a regular thing with them. Philip Perkins
  23. And...? Do a real comparison between the sound of an actor wearing a lav mic buried in a costume and the same actor on an over head boom mic on a normal, not horrendously noisy movie set. I think you will choose the boom mic every time, for every possible reason, mostly that it sounds more natural, more intelligible and more like something you'd want to listen to for a long period of time. The reasons to use a lav mic on an actor have nothing to do with sound and sound aesthetics and everything to do with picture making and production expediency. As sound mixers, it is our job to stick up for the overall quality of the audio that will be passed to the viewer of the show, and sometimes to save producers from themselves when they want to be expedient to the point that they will be disappointed in post. I have boomed whole reels of HD and many other types of video--HD reels are only 32 min long in camcorders actually, as opposed to 120+ in DVCAM cameras, if that's what we need to do to get good audio for a scene then that's what we do. In a dramatic film the takes are never even close to that long, so the length of the shot re: booming is a non-issue. In many types of filmmaking today it is expected that the mixer will have anyone that the camera can see who talks on a wireless on a split track. While this is sometimes true, a mixer would be a fool to not have a boom op following the shot as best they can, not only for the qualitative reasons stated above but as a bail out when (inevitably) an actor's lav is hit or moved as part of the action. Philip Perkins CAS
  24. I went with the 12" PB w/superdrive, for size and power suck reasons. The primary use for the PB was to be Metacorder, but I use it all the time now on jobs without Metacorder. Playback, burning files from other NL recorders, on the spot conversions of BWFs to QTs for FCP editors, etc etc . The PB goes on almost every job now, no matter how small, whether Metacorder comes along or not. My cart set up gets re-scrummed for practically every job, so the flexibility and all-in-oneness of the PB is very important. That said, I wish it didn't draw so much power. For a quick location audio app. I like Audacity. Peak I wasn't too crazy about. I have ProTools 7 but really only ever use it in the studio, since I don't like lugging the MBox around. Philip Perkins
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