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Everything posted by BAB414

  1. UPDATE: Interesting and unexpected turn of events So it's been a crazy week, please excuse me for not getting back to this sooner. After my first 2 non-kids days, they shifted the schedule around a bit and I was unable to do the first 2 kids days. They called a sound mixer off their list, and had me call him and vet him (I know, not my job) and basically brief him on what to expect and how to prepare for it, including a lot of what was advised to me here. He did those two days and both he and the AD said everything was great. Then I hear that they fired their family-friend, the DP (who was far from qualified but I will not get into that) and that the schedule was now up in the air, so I should take work if I get it. I knew this was true because there were a couple new names on the email and the DP's name was not there, nor was his AC, on the email. So I'm on a different job and I get a call for work. I see if the feature's day-player mixer dude wants to fill in for me on this unrelated gig, and I'm surprised to find out that he's booked on the feature he was filling in for me for. I didn't even know they were shooting, though I did warn them I would likely be unavailable. I immediately get a call from the AD but I ignore the call. He's calls me back later that night and we talk and he tells me that the 2 days with my replacement went well, the mixer was very easygoing and basically went with the flow, and that the director and producer are (paraphrasing:) "OK with sub-par sound". In so many words, they let me go, I think because I was probably stressing out this director-in-training by trying to do things the right way, which was any way but how she was approaching things, and because since everyone knows it's a learning process for her, they don't care as much that things are perfect. I also think she probably listened to playback and thought it was fine without knowing what to listen for. Finally, I get the impression that they realized that this kind of production was a little below me, and that their replacement was more at home on this kind of shoot. Although I regret not getting a chance to have a go at stashing mics with the kids and trying out all your excellent ideas, I have to say that I am very relieved and that this is perhaps the best case scenario as I no longer have to stress about this, I'm free to work on other, better, projects that I was passing up on, and that my name won't be on a project with (potentially) poor sound. What's best of all is that I didn't have to quit, and that I'm still on good terms with the AD and producer. Also, this was not in vein, as I'm sure your advice will come in handy in the future.
  2. How does one politely remind the producer that additional fees apply when additional gear is required, while on set? I had a director demanding comteks and I explained that for the amount production was paying me, I couldn't bring them, and I felt like a jerk.
  3. I know it sounds ridiculous, and please correct me if I'm wrong, but it's my understanding that this camera only sends TC out whilst in the menu and not while recording. I've used this camera as a master with a sync box to my 552.
  4. Available for download here: http://www.sounddevices.com/news/
  5. BAB414

    Audacity 2.0

    Reaper is also a very elegant, intuitive program.
  6. How about Sanken CUB-1's? I'm concerned that using a PZM or a boundary mic will only make the kids want to touch it, if it's right in front of them. I'm definitely going with googly eyes (after discussing with the director). Great idea. Yes, because I want to get the best sound I can for these people, and because if I'm investing in more gear, I want to make sure it satisfies my needs on future gigs. Considering the stress, they're really not paying me enough. I have an H4n as a backup that I could use for 2 mics, while using the 552 recorder for another 2. Operating in this way makes me nervous and could confuse post. Still, a consideration. Actually, on the last film I directed, we had our own phrase, which may be something some of you have used: "throwing on the red filter." Just tell your DP (and make sure your sound guy is listening) to throw on the red filter and you're rolling on a "rehearsal". Rich, at this point, the only way I'll walk out is if it becomes impossible to get anything useable and production refuses to compromise. Other than that, I plan on giving it all I got. I do agree, however, that knowing when to quit can be a very useful tool, one that I have not yet used. I'll do all I can to fight to be downstairs with talent. If I can't see the scene, I'll talk to them about getting a monitor. Hopefully they'll give up and just let me in the damn room. More updates to come.
  7. This recorder is super cheap. Will it deliver on quality and functionality? Any users?
  8. UPDATE: Hey everyone, thanks so much for your advice and support. After reading your numerous helpful responses, i pressed the AD to talk to the producers and the director and explain that their production sound is in danger. The AD sent me this in an email: "I spoke with [Director] about planted mics not cutting it and she has opened up to both having the boom in the room and having people upstairs and is kind of warming up to having people actually in the room. We'll see how it goes Monday." While not the best response, this is something. Definitely a little more hopeful than before. I spoke to him again today, and it will be only one camera, no lights, the DP is a close family friend who have known the kids (ages 5 and 8 ) all their lives and they feel completely comfortable around him. It still seems that she wants the kids to be in the dark about us making a movie (which still boggles my mind), but we'll be doing a "test" next week to see if this is really feasible or not (and I'm hoping she and the producers will see that things need to change). If I can't be in the room, I'm definitely laving the mom, putting a mic on the camera, and I'll try talking the director into having a prop that I can rig a lav into as some of you have suggested, putting some of the responsibility on her. If I can also put a boom up on a c-stand and know the general area the kids are going to be in (i.e. if it's a dinner scene) I might throw a cardioid up there, or hand something from the ceiling. Right now, it sounds like she wants me upstairs, which means, depending on how many mics I have playing, I'll need several hundred feet of cable, due to the layout of the house. I'll try to be downstairs in another room, but if I do end up being upstairs, is there anything I need to know about long cable runs? I've never run more than 50 feet of cable for a mic before. Also, I'm running on a 552, so I have a decent number of inputs, but as of right now I don't know what I'll do about track assignment. I don't imagine anyone can help (yet) since there's really not enough info yet, but I'll keep you guys updated of course. In the event that this all goes wrong and she's not having what I'm doing, I think getting out of the gig is definitely the right thing to do. I don't care about the money. What attracted me about the job in the first place (and I reluctantly admit this) is that the woman's husband is a successful filmmaker, and her producer is a family friend who has produced her husband's films for a while now. I agree that generally, quitting a job will hurt me less in the long run than recording bad sound for an entire film, but I fear that backing out of the job could really upset this producer, who could potentially open some doors for me. According to the AD, this producer understands my concerns, and, as some of you suggested, this lady, who has made a couple of shorts in the past, doesn't know what she's doing or what good sound is supposed to sound like. I have a feeling the producer knows this, and just wants to see what happens on our "test" day with the kids. However, after being on set for 2 days now, it definitely does not feel like a "real" movie. Everyone is a lot more lax about everything than I am, running around trying to be a "professional" as the DP said, and I'm beginning to wonder if sub-par audio is all they are really asking for. Today, for example, we shot behind a stupidly noisy factory/construction site. There was no location scout I knew about, but the producer said last time they were there, they weren't having those sound problems. I told him they probably have to ADR/foley the scene and he seemed to understand. I'll keep you updated on what happens next with the kids. Thanks for the advice, and thanks for listening!
  9. I could really use some advice here. I interviewed to mix a feature, where about half the scenes take place between a mother and her two small children. All three of them have lines, the children are the woman's real children and are non-actors, and the mother is the director. At the interview, we talked about my gear, schedule, budget, etc, and the four producers basically told me that laving the kids would probably not be an option. I told them that sounded reasonable as long as I can boom and/or stash mics. They said OK. I got the job and I show up on set the first day, and the first thing the director tells me is that I can't boom the kids, because they don't want the kids to feel intimidated, and because they want to get a lot "improv" when the kids don't know that we're rolling. This is when I find out they are her real kids, and this is when I learn that the kids are not actors. This is also when I learn that THE KIDS ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO REALIZE THEY ARE BEING FILMED, EVER. How do you even begin to make a movie like this? How do you not tell your sound mixer this before he accepts the job? I don't understand how the kids won't see the 5d (yes, 5d feature) and not put two and two together. Don't get me wrong, I love the opportunity to stash mics (actually one of my favorite things do to as a mixer), but since the kids don't know we're making a movie, I can't get a blocking rehearsal to inform my decisions, and I don't have enough gear, the right combination of gear, and enough tracks to be able to stash mics everywhere and know that I'll be getting usable sound. They saw my gear list, which includes: a 416, 2 ck93's, a ck91, and 3 g3's, all going to a 552. Even though I wouldn't call it a micro-budget, it's pretty much clear that additional rentals are out of the question. I told the assistant producer(/AD) and he said we'd talk about it. It should also be mentioned that this is a very small "intimate" shoot with very minimal crew. Can someone please tell me how I should approach this from a technical standpoint and also from a political standpoint? As always, your expertise is very much appreciated. SEE UPDATE BELOW - REPLY #44 SEE UPDATE BELOW - REPLY #71
  10. I own all three and operate in NYC and for the most part, in my experience, I've had about equal luck with all of them.
  11. BAB414

    744t obsolete?

    Same here. I'm doing a low budget feature soon and the 744 would be ideal. Let me know if you're selling!
  12. While this improved 744 would be a great machine, would SD ever be able to sell that at a competitive price? A 744t costs $4100 - add 2 pres and faders ("cannibalize" the current 744) and now you're looking at a price beginning to approach that of a 788, or at the very least, a 6 track Nomad...(btw, not trying to make this another SD vs. Zax post)
  13. http://ca.movies.yahoo.com/blogs/oscars/watch-sacha-baron-cohen-dictator-spill-kim-jong-005534744.html
  14. I have several AKG blue line mic capsules and power modules and I'm running into an issue with my ck93 hypercardioid capsule. It loosened up, and when I screw it back together (see the 3 pieces in the pictures below) the signal becomes either very weak and hissy, or highly distorted noise. Wiring/soldering are not my forte, but I am led to believe that the three pieces are misaligned with one another. Does anyone know if this could be the case, and if so, what is the proper way to align/fix everything? Or could it be something else? I had the same problem with another 93 capsule and I somehow miraculously managed to get it to work again. I'm not having the same luck with this one (I'll also note that the middle piece in the one I fixed was red, while this one is yellow - I don't know if this signifies anything). The three pieces pictured below are (and please excuse the focus): the chassis/outer tip of the mic with the one peg inside, the yellow inner piece (which contains smaller pieces and what looks like a small circuit board on the front, it sits in the bayonet mount), and the ring which the yellow piece fits into, which is threaded to screw into the chassis, and has three holes, at least one of which is for the tiny grub/set screw. Thank you in advance for your expertise! -Ben
  15. +1 to that. Local 52 here, looking to do anything sound-wise in the tri-state area.
  16. Thanks again everyone. You're all right in saying that the FOH mixer was doing his job and that it's completely on me to check everything I'm relying on, and that I should always have a plan B. I admit that I made a rookie mistake, but I'm glad I was able to learn from it and will be sure to incorporate your excellent advice on the next gig. My job is 100% my responsibility and I take full responsibility for the flaws in my recording. A splitter would have been a really good way to go. I never did touch his gear, but I see now that it would have been completely uncalled for if I had (union rules, putting someone else's job in jeopardy, and how would I like it if someone touched my gear?) Senator, while I appreciate your response, with all due respect and IMHO the part about my attitude is neither constructive nor do I believe it to be accurate, at least in this context. I know I'm young and have so much to learn, and much, much less experience than the majority of members of this forum, which is why I turn to you for advice and to see if anyone has run into the same problems. I'm not just posting my story to bitch and moan about it, I'm just trying to give you context. For this gig, I wasn't given nearly enough prep time to devise a plan B or some kind of completely independent system, which is why I was literally depending on the FOH mixer's mics, cables, and entire signal flow up to his board (I know, not preferable), as per the producer's request, who has done other gigs as part of this series before, just like this. That's all I meant by being vulnerable to any errors he might make or caused by his gear (really, the venue's gear). (Yes, this only reinforces the idea of having a plan B or using a splitter, or coming up with any way I can make myself independent and safe). And thanks for the info on inserts. I learned my lesson. Thank you all for your help. Cheers
  17. Hey guys, Thank you SO much for all the insightful responses. I can't tell you how helpful this has been. I want to clear up one thing about me watching his meters as opposed to listening to my levels...he was sending me post-fade signals as opposed to pre-fade because he didn't know how or if he even could switch them to pre-fade. That's why when his faders were down (because he wanted the speakers down, right after laving the talent) I was watching his input levels. I ironically even verified with him that I shouldn't be hearing anything at the moment and he confirmed. If his outputs were set to pre-fade, I would have known right away that there was a problem. Am I right in assuming that in this situation you would always prefer to receive pre-fade as opposed to post-fade? I was pulling from his direct outs, not from his insert outs. Can you please explain how I can screw up his sound if I'm getting a feed from his inserts? I really don't know the first thing about inserts. Thanks, Ben
  18. Hey all, I've been reading posts on this site religiously for over a year but this is only my second post. I wanted to share a little story that happened yesterday on a gig to seek some advice to make sure something like this doesn't happen again. I apologize for all the text so the short version is: I was getting a feed from a house mixer for a live event, whose careless mistake completely ruined the first 7 or so minutes of my recording, though in retrospect, I should have double-checked the connections on his side, despite the extreme carelessness of his mistake. I felt like a jerk, but I held a grudge against the house mixer for the rest of the night. Did I mess up and how could this be avoided in the future? If I am downstream from someone else who might make an error, what kind of precautions (technical, political...) can I take to save my recording and my reputation? The Long Version: I've been doing production sound for a little over four years, with a strong background in narrative, but lately I've been doing a lot of interviews, live events, etc. Yesterday's gig was one of the easiest: a live-audience interview that was being taped. It was part of a series of celebrity interviews with a pretty big actor from the 80's and a big client. I was solely responsible for recording the sound (2 lavs and a handheld mic) which was being mixed and handled by the house guy on his own board in the booth. The house mixer, who was very nice, said he usually gives guys a mono out for everything, but I told him it was important to me to isolate everything as much as possible for my purposes. His mixer had direct outs, inserts, and line outs for each channel, so we tried the direct outs, which sounded a little dirty and a little low to me after testing each mic. I thought maybe there was a pad on them or something so I asked if we could try the line outs, and he graciously repatched the cables for me. It sounded worse than before so I told him I'd prefer to go back to what we had with the direct outs. He again repatched the cables and we waited for the event to begin. After he laved the talent, I saw the levels on his meters bouncing, and was completely confident everything would be fine. It was quite a shock to me that once the interview began, sound was coming out of the house speakers, but I was receiving absolutely nothing from the board. The producer/shooter saw he wasn't getting any signal from me and he started freaking out too. I immediately told the house mixer that I wasn't getting anything. He abruptly ran out of the booth, leaving me alone with his gear for a solid 5 minutes while I recorded nothingness. The first question that came to my mind is: Is it OK to mess around with this guy's equipment to try to save my own ass? I do not know the answer to this. It's a sort of ethical dilemma, but my reputation was on the line. If I knew what the problem was, I probably would have fiddled with his gear, but I also didn't want to mess up the live sound for the event. Finally, the guy returns and sits down at his board as if nothing was wrong. I anxiously reminded him that I was getting NOTHING. He repeatedly told me that this was impossible because nothing had changed. After fiddling around with the connections for another 2 minutes, he realized that I was plugged into the wrong direct outs, which belonged to 2 adjacent unused channels from his board. AKA - When he plugged me back into the direct outs, they were the wrong direct outs. He repatched me to the correct ones and I had signal. I sat there with a grudge for the next 2 hours, knowing that I had an incomplete recording of an interview I would only have one chance at. I knew that the producer/shooter had a shotgun going into his camera as a backup, but it almost didn't matter for me. I felt like I had failed. And I think I did, because even though I did not make the mistake, something as rudimentary as plugging cables into the correct outputs cost ME my recording. I didn't think I would have to watch this guy to make sure he was plugging my cables into the correct outputs (the same set of outputs from which he was unplugging them to begin with) but that little stupid mistake screwed me. Is it really on me to check on that kind of stuff (I assume yes, since it's my cable and it's going to my mixer)? Furthermore, is it on me to make sure that this guy is doing his job to the best of his abilities so that I get the best recording possible? What can I do in the future to prevent myself from being so vulnerable to careless errors caused by others (doing sound or anything else), that may not even be under my control? Outside of using my own lavs and sending HIM the signal, how could I have made sure that nothing this guy did could have messed me up? Generally, how would I explain what happened to a producer without playing the blame game but still saving my ass? In the end, I explained what happened to the producer and he was surprisingly really laid back about it and told me not to worry despite my excessive apologies. The house mixer ditched immediately afterwards without a single word, and that really felt uncool. Did I mess up? Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, Ben
  19. Hey, first post here. I'm in the market for an 8 track recorder and just started reading up about this one, even though I would absolutely love a SD 788t. Does anyone know if the control surface/recorder software allows for pre-fade/post-fade switching, like the CL-9 would? I imagine it would HAVE TO, but I can't find any info on this. It would be nice to have 8 pre-fade iso's and a L+R mono.
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