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Everything posted by MatthewFreedAudio

  1. I mixed a feature last summer where we had two extremely rare WWII airplanes. One of the airplanes was a P38 Lightning and I believe there are only 6 still flying in the entire world. We did a handful of shots for bombing runs, bullets, actors, etc. The AD, DP, and director kept shouting directions through all the shots. This was understandable and I knew we were getting some additional fly overs for camera and sound. Time came for those fly overs and by this point all of the producers were around, friends family, neighbors, stray dogs, neighbor's cat, etc. I gave a stern announcement to everyone that absolute quiet was needed (because the AD seemed to think all planes sound the same so we didn't need the sound). We never did get a full take of approach, fly over, and exit without EVERYONE hooting and hollering about how exciting it was! I also did the post audio editing for this movie and I barely squeaked out enough audio from the different takes to make it work. But, if they had used about one more second of planes in the visuals we would have needed to hire the planes again just to record audio (which I would have loved to do!).
  2. The answer is yes, PluralEyes can confuse takes and sync incorrectly. I recently did both production sound and post editing/mixing on a project where PluralEyes was used. It was a multicam RED shoot and I sent solid guide tracks to both cameras for dailies and syncing. I found at least a dozen takes where PluralEyes picked the wrong take for the video. In the end I simply checked with the video editor regarding which take was used and I pulled it from the source files. It was a hassle because after I found the first few incorrect files I began second guessing a lot of other clips. It definitely added time to the audio editing process. So, again, something where time is saved in the video side of things it adds more time on to audio!
  3. I'm on a shoot with the F3 right now. Line level in, headphone jack is as expected with these cameras. Typical audio quality and fine for broadcast when good microphones and a mixer is used. And skill. One big downside is the complete lack of hash marks or numerical indicators for the audio input level so you really do not know where -20 is. The Z7U has a status button that will give you more accurate meters for initially setting your input level. But no such luck on the F3 (that I have found). Perhaps someone can correct me if I am wrong and there is a menu with more accurate meters.
  4. On features I typically hand off CF cards at the end of the day. I always have about 6 or 8 cards on set but typically only go through one or two per day, at most. I then get these back immediately after transfer or the next day at the latest. I always have a conversation with the DIT/DMT day one on what the file structure is on the cards and which file(s) they need to pull from. I walk them through the process just in case they aren't familiar with it (and yes, they should not be a DIT/DMT if they don't know how to transfer audio files but you never know these days...) A PDF sound report is then posted/emailed to the appropriate people. I typically use Sound Devices recorders so the cards are all FAT32 formatted with the show name/daily folder. I always carry a multicard reader in my kit in case theirs craps out, gets lost, etc. In addition to the CF cards I also back up to an external drive via my laptop, just in case. I have had two instances (that I'm aware of) with corrupt files. One was from the internal drive of my 744t and one was on a CF card, but in both cases the other medium was fine. So, the backup was well worth the few minutes at the end of the day.
  5. The 900S definitely chews through any alkaline, rechargeable, even lithium batteries. I power mine off a NP1 with a cup. It lasts all day long without ever needing a new battery.
  6. Some things to consider (which you may have already thought of) -The added weight of even the lightest transmitters on the market will feel like a brick to a rider. The actual weight of the transmitter is negligible but the perceived weight will be far more, especially on his or her body. -If you were to place the transmitter in their jersey pocket the heat and friction generated against their salty, sweaty skin will be be a deal breaker. The rider will rip that thing off and throw it at you after 10 miles. -The cyclist will be going 20-35 miles per hour on average. Wind noise will be something to consider. A fuzzy lav windjammer will be helpful. -Battery life is an obvious issue and has been addressed by other folks. -Think about placing the lav and transmitter on the bike itself. The rider will be hunched over the handle bars the vast majority of the time so placing the lav in the middle of the top bar near where a cyclometer would sit will get you any talking, breathing, ambient noise, etc. The transmitter could be strapped to one of the tubes, but again, weight and aerodynamics being a consideration. One down side in particular to putting it on the bike is that when a rider blows a tire they may swap out bikes and not just the wheel or tire. So, your transmitter will be going wherever that bike goes. If they have more than one bike you could use additional transmitters on the backup cycles. -Using a long shotgun from a chase vehicle is also a great idea. Depending on how close you can get to the cyclist you may be able to get everything you need that way. -Consider that occasionally cyclists crash at moderately high speeds. Think about the safest place for both the rider and your gear.
  7. I came on a reality show as the 2nd unit sound mixer a couple weeks ago and the primary sound mixer had a nice solution for his QRX100's on the camera. He (Jeff Deeth in Minneapolis) simply had the QRX100 powered by a NPL7S battery. We were working with Sony Z1U cameras so the receiver and battery had to be slipped in to a hip pouch rather than in a straddle bag. But, I can easily see how you could put the QRX100 on one side of the pouch and the battery/cup on the other and you would be running for days without having to recharge the battery. Yes, it is nice to get power from the camera for the receivers but Jeff's setup was a great work-around for the QRX100's. One thing I am wondering about with the QRX100... I know it can receive 2, 3 or even 4 channels of audio. Could it be used with up to 4 mono 900LT transmitters? Or, in order to get 4 channels do those have to be two stereo pairs coming from a couple 900AA with the stereo adapters, for example?
  8. Just an update... I received my 900LT and 900S back from Zaxcom earlier this week and they successfully tracked down the issue. Evidently there was a bad DSP board in my receiver so they swapped it out with a new board. I eagerly tested out the unit once it was back in my possession and it worked perfectly (finally!) I was thrilled and VERY happy to have it back. For what it's worth, I'm definitely looking at buying quite a few more units now that I have this first one running properly. Many thanks to the folks at Zaxcom for sorting out the issue and working with me via phone and email to trouble shoot the issue!
  9. I frequently do audio for RED camera shoots and I have never had an issue with my 744t timecode cables. I have both a LEMO-BNC and a LEMO-XLR TC cable and they both work fine. I frequently send a wireless TC signal via a cheap Sony wireless TX and RX. The Tx is in my bag and then I have one receiver on the back of my slate and a matching receiver strapped to the camera. The camera can power down/power up whenever they want and they are instantly jammed the moment it's back up. I also send a wireless scratch audio track if the 744t is the master audio. If the RED is master audio, which rarely it is, then I send either a wireless stereo signal or whip out the ol' ENG cable. I have found an unusually high number of RED shoots where the camera operators/owners, or whomever lined up that camera, failed to include the audio cables or a TC cable. So, I carry a spare set with my gear just in case. I'm able to either charge a little extra for the use of the cables or, at the very least, it's good karma.
  10. Thanks for that note about the Sennheiser compatibility, Glenn. I'll ship out the the unit today and hopefully it can get resolved.
  11. I received 3 new antennas last week and promptly put them on the 900LT and the 900S. Over the weekend I did a couple gigs but still had quite a few dropouts between the Tx and Rx. One dropout came during a sit-down interview with the person roughly 8 feet away from me, clear line of sight from the Tx to the Rx and no other wireless units powered on in our vicinity (that I'm aware of). After Eric and quite a few people on here suggested the problem might be with an improperly wired Sanken COS-11D I'm really wondering if that it's. I have 3 Sanken COS-11D lavs; two were purchased and wired for Sennheiser 2000 transmitters and 1 was purchased for the 900LT. I did another multi-meter test this morning and had the same readings for all three mics. When simultaneously touching one lead to all three pins inside the LEMO connector and the other lead to the outer casing (not the threaded part but the keyed part) the numbers go from 1 (just the lead on the 3 pins) to scrolling numbers (when the second lead is pressed against the shell). I hope that description all makes sense! Any suggestions on other things I can test out? I may end up sending in the lav, the transmitter, receiver, and even XLR cable in to Zaxcom for them to check out but I want to eliminate as many possibilities as I can on my end before doing that.
  12. Eric at Zaxcom did have me check the Sanken COS-11D with a meter to make sure it was wired correctly. It was. I have 3 Sanken's all wired with LEMO connectors and all of the mics seemed to be wired correctly. Just an FYI on that. I have high hopes for the new antennas that it will dramatically help the range/reliability issue. I have a lot of respect for the folks at Zaxcom and their products which is why I have been pulling my hair out over the range issue on this mic. So...hopefully...things are being resolved.
  13. I just got off the phone with Eric at Zaxcom and he was EXTREMELY helpful in trouble shooting the units. Evidently the antennas were cut to the wrong length; about a 1/4" too short (I assume a simple, little mistake somewhere along the lines). So, keeping our fingers crossed, this is the only reason for the issues I was having. Out of all the things I tried, different cables, different lavs, various locations, settings, frequencies, gear on, gear off, etc, I never once thought to double check the length of the antennas. I just assumed. (this is the part where I now stick my tail between my legs and walk off sheepeshly). So, Eric is sending me a few new antennas and they will promptly be put to the test.
  14. I recently bought a 900LT and a 900M and I live in Minnesota (just for point of reference). I've had nothing but lousy range and lack of reliability from the units. I first picked up a Tx and Rx in block 19 but had it switched to block 24 after thinking perhaps it was a block issue in my area; I also had the receiver changed to a 900S. Every time I go in to a new location I scan for open frequencies and check the spacing with any other wireless I may be running. I've tried numerous different scenarios with the Zaxcom. Putting it on a 20 foot cable to get it away from my 442 and 744t, tried it with no other wireless powered up, scanned for open frequencies and did a manual check of the frequencies using the receiver, and even tried not having the receiver plugged in to anything. It still couldn't keep a lock on the Tx. Here are some examples of my experience with the 900LT and the 900S so far: I placed the 900LT on the back of an actor and under a light jacket. They walked about 20 feet away from me, turned around, and the Rx lost the signal for a moment. Good thing it wasn't while we were rolling otherwise I'd be out of a job! I mixed a sit-down interview last week where I placed the Tx on the left hip of the interviewee, they sat in the chair which was roughly 15-20 feet away, and there were signal dropouts and RF hits constantly. Only the boom was usable. I placed the Tx in the top left breast pocked of a jacket on an actor and he started the scene less than 100 feet from me with a clear line of sight between the Tx and Rx. During the scene the actor progressively got closer and closer to me. At the top of the scene the signal was cutting in an out and I missed nearly all of the dialogue. It didn't get stable and solid until the actor was about 30 feet away. I mixed a Pepsi commercial last week at a mansion just west of Minneapolis. At one point the actor with the 900LT walked behind a wall and wasn't more than 15 feet away from my receiver but the Tx and Rx couldn't lock on to each other to save their lives. The wall was nothing more than wood and sheetrock!!! More often than not the 900LT and 900S lose signal. I don't care how good the audio quality is or how many bells and whistles the Zaxcom units have. If that signal isn't getting to the receiver and it makes the work flow more cumbersome and unreliable they are completely useless in the field. The long and short of it: the 900LT is a damn joke of a transmitter! I have a pair of Sennheiser 2000 that get double the range and very rarely take RF hits. I do love the sound quality of the Zaxcom but who cares how good the signal is if the signal isn't getting to the mixer more than half the time?! Sure, it's great that it can record to the microSD card, but what am I supposed to do, hand off the CF cards from my 744t and a handful of microSD cards to a DIT and say "by the way, I lost signal on my $3500 wireless unit 28 times today, here are the time code spots where they all happened, good luck!" I did a shoot for a major network show in December using Lectro SMQV and 411's. The talent was 3 stories up on the other side of a brick apartment building and I was still picking up their signal as if they were standing next to me. The Zaxcom can't make it more than 50-75 feet away with a clear line of sight before I lose the signal.
  15. The boxy sound of a standard Whisper Room definitely concerns me. Anyone have better luck when lining the inside with Auralex Foam? I share offices with this particular production company and sometimes we'll have 3 or 4 VO's to do in a day, plus editing. Other days we don't have any. But, we definitely need it on-site rather than renting out another studio or using a mobile rig. How about the other brands? VocalBooth.com, GK Acoustics, etc. They're all about the same price range but perhaps one performs dramatically better?
  16. I work with a production company in Minneapolis and they want to purchase a voice over booth for their new office. I'll be the one doing the recording so I certainly have a vested interest in this thing. Our current office has a massive (overly constructed) VO booth that I built and it works quite well. But, we're moving to new offices for the next 12-18 months before buying a new building. So, in the mean time we need a very good VO booth that is easy to setup and then torn down and transported a year from now. We can't do a build-out in the new office space for various reasons. I'm thinking either the double walled Whisper Room, something by GK Acoustics, Industrial Acoustics, or similar. The prices for the new booths are about $10-$13,000 for a 6x6, double wall, with ventilation, window, and door. So....my question.... Does anyone have or use one of these rooms on a regular basis and can offer words of wisdom on how well they actually work? I've heard the Whisper Rooms sound boxy and don't cut out that much noise. Is that the case? To reduce the boxy sound I'm thinking a bunch of acoustic foam added to the inside. How much do they really cut down on outside noise bleeding in? We will be in a fairly small and somewhat quiet office environment with only 3-4 people working in the area of the VO booth. If anyone knows of one of these booths for sale anywhere in the country and has some experience with them I would love to hear about it!
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