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Jim Feeley

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Everything posted by Jim Feeley

  1. This looks potentially useful to me: That picture (and another of the mic attached to a laptop) is part of this DPA PR article: https://www.dpamicrophones.com/news/gene-martin-calls-on-dpa-4097-micro-shotgun-for-sales,-rentals-and-field-production This quote from Gene Martin is promising: “The commercial was shot as a series of video chats from mobile devices and laptops, so we needed something where the actors could be walking around with their phones and not have a large recording device with them,” says Martin. “The client was happy with the video from the devices but was looking to drastically improve the audio. It just so happened that, right at the start of this project, the DPA 4097 Micro Shotgun was introduced. I was originally going to use the DPA 4060 because its higher sensitivity would benefit us being able to have the mic further from actors’ faces. Then, the 4097 was introduced and it was the perfect little microphone for this application; everything from the design to the sound was exactly what we needed.” Interesting. I'd love to hear some second and third opinions. Has anyone here used a 4097? If so, how did you use it and what did you think of it? Bonus points for sharing experiences using it in a manner similar to how Gene Martin used them. Thanks!
  2. And yet, you commented! Wait. Let me translate that into Nolanese. @#%^*(&. ?( ______________%&^P{}>:K I kid. Ya, I'm mostly done with this. But I find it interesting that general-interest media such as The Guardian, are noticing and discussing. And for me, it really does get in the way of his films. But at least having Nolan take credit/blame for this lets people know that the sound department didn't screw up... Some of my non-film/video friends have also commented on Nolan's sound... I don't recall them mentioning that in other mainstream (e.g., non mumblecore) films, because of the consistent high quality of sound departments' work.
  3. In case you're not tired of the topic, here's a column from today's issue of The Guardian, prompted (I guess), by Nolan's new book. ==== Tenet up: listen, Christopher Nolan, we just can't hear a word you're saying The Tenet director has dismissed critics of his poor sound mixing by blaming us for being too conservative. Why must he keep toying with our perception of sound? We’re all aware of the impossible situation that film currently finds itself in. Screens started shutting in the summer. This is because the big new movies have all been postponed. This is because movie studios are nervous about losses. And this is because Tenet, the great bellwether of cinema in 2020, underperformed theatrically. But perhaps an alternate dimension exists where cinema is still thriving. The Eternals is breaking box-office records. No Time to Die is still showing to packed houses. Pre-sales for Dune are through the roof. And it’s all because people flocked to Tenet in their droves. What separates that dimension from this? That version’s Tenet had a better sound mix. People saw it, they understood it, they didn’t immediately tell all their friends that it was frustrating and incomprehensible, and as a result it gave Hollywood the confidence to spring back into action. It’s hard to be anything other than completely perplexed by Tenet’s sound mix, where almost every scrap of dialogue that isn’t being screamed by Kenneth Branagh is smothered under a thick blanket of soupy noise. Don’t get me wrong, it might still be a good film – I’m looking forward to watching it at home with the subtitles on to find out – but a movie where you have to try to lip-read several complicated theories about the nature of time isn’t exactly accessible to a mass audience. Nevertheless, Christopher Nolan is bullish on the matter. The topic of his sound mixes comes up in the new book The Nolan Variations, and he claims that his peers have called him up to complain about it. ==== Rest of the column, a five-minute read (at the most): https://www.theguardian.com/film/2020/nov/16/tenet-up-listen-christopher-nolan-interstellar-sound-mixing
  4. Ya, Down Home and Arhoolie are less than two miles (~ three kilometers) from my house. Les Blank worked in a room up the stairs by the back racks (his Steenbeck sat unused in the back corner because it was too difficult to move down the stairs). Several times while browsing at Down Home, I'd like the record/CD the clerks were spinning and I'd end up buying that. Such a great place. Whenever any of you are in the San Francisco East Bay (e.g., Oakland, Berkeley, etc), it's worth swinging by Down Home for a visit. https://www.downhomemusic.com
  5. The SFO Museum does fantastic work. I have friends who are curators at two of the big-deal museums out here (SFMOMA and De Young) and they consider the SFOM people true colleagues who do good work. Because they do! 18ish months ago, SFOM had a great exhibition on Chris Strachwitz and Arhoolie Records. I just stumbled upon it and was SO glad that I was early for my flight and got to absorb the exhibit. They had his Magnecord tape recorder and explained how that recorder was crucial to his work. Also had lots of other cool artifacts: https://www.sfomuseum.org/exhibitions/down-home-music-story-arhoolie-records I have pix of that exhibit somewhere. But google points me to some here: https://arhoolie.org/sfo-museum-exhibit/ SO ANYWAY, based on that, I'd guess the surf music exhibit is really well curated and does much more than just say, "Golly, those guitars sure had lots of reverb." Thanks for the heads up Izen! Come on out for a visit.
  6. Oh; that book. Yes, it's a real book. But um, as you've probably already seen: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hidden_Messages_in_Water
  7. I remember liking Allen & Heath's 1604-sized mixers. And I regularly work on their digital Qu-16 and Qu-24 mixers and like them. So perhaps there current small analog Zed line is worth checking out. Looks like a couple of 16 and 18-channel versions are rack-mountable. https://www.allen-heath.com/key-series/zed-series/
  8. Thanks everyone! I'll keep an eye (and an ear or two) on the Cat6 stuff. But for now, I'm heading over to Audiopile! Jim
  9. I'm looking for a new XLR analog snake. Maybe up to an 8x4, but a basic four-channel snake would see more everyday use. I think I want a small junction box at the input/XLRF/stage end rather than a fan. Leaning towards 30 meters / 100 feet, maybe just half that distance (still thinking). Not thinking of DIYing; my soldering skills are still OK (and improving because of some hobbies), but I don't know if I'd get everything right on a snake. Not really a fan of Whirlwind (are they better these days?), definitely not a fan of Hosa. Considering a Cat-5/6 system. Is that a good idea? What are the real-world advantages of a simple traditional XLR snake running over something like multi-channel star quad such as: http://www.canare.com/ProductItemDisplay.aspx?productItemID=55 Who's making solid four-channel snakes (either fanned or boxed)? Markertek/Sescom? Remote Audio? What are people's experiences with shielded Cat-5/6 systems such as the ETS InstaSnake and Radial's Catapult? There was a discussion here about InstaSnake, but most of it took place 10 years ago: https://jwsoundgroup.net/index.php?/topic/5054-instasnake-from-ets/&y Any updated experiences? Are the Cat 5 systems holding up in the field? Looks like phantom power works over ethernet cable. Is that working out in the real world? Any drawbacks to using a simple Cat 5 audio snake? Any brands that are especially reliable? Thanks! Jim
  10. Here are some of Glen Trew's thoughts from several years ago; don't know if he still feels the same way (but he does and can of course chime in if needed). From an article on Trew Audio: "Part of what made the Schoeps MK41 so desirable for film and video dialog recording was the “soft edge” when transitioning from on-axis to off-axis. The Sennheiser MKH50 goes from the on-axis sound to the off-axis sound more abruptly, resulting in a surprising off axis sound if it’s being worked by someone accustomed to the Schoeps MK41. Anyway, the long and short of it is that, if you are wanting a Sennheiser alternative that behaves more like the Schoeps MK41, then the Sennheiser MKH40 – and now also the MKH8040 – is the way to go, in our opinion." That's a quote from this article: THE SENNHEISER MKH8000 SERIES https://www.trewaudio.com/reviews/sennheiser-mkh8000-series/
  11. I, like probably a lot of us, got an email from Tentacle saying the first batch of Track E recorders are just about ready: https://tentaclesync.com/track-e?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=TRACK+E+-+Release But unless you're using 3.5mm connectors, you'll need an adapter (they say they'll have some available, IIRC). And I wonder about the quality of their A/D. And looks like you'll be leaning on their setup software to control the thing. Probably none of those will be an issue for the intended users, though. Congrats to them for getting their recorder just about out the door. Who here is thinking of buying a couple of these?
  12. IIRC, Glen Trew (and probably others) has said that the 8040 is closer to the MK41. I'm on Team Schoeps and they're what I own. But when wearing my producer hat, I've hired mixers who are on Team Sennheiser and the resulting tracks have been great. Though I think most commonly, those guys are rolling MKH50s for sit-downs.
  13. If the kit shows up, how much time do you have to set it up (if they rented the audio kit from a camera house or place like VER, there's a good chance that it won't be ready to go)? Have you worked with that exact equipment, particularly the mic and mixer/recorder, before? What does straight to camera mean for them? You holding some sort of mic in your hand and a cable going to the camera? Who's responsible for making sure the camera's audio levels and everything else are set correctly? Probably you. Also, do the producers really have their act together? Based on the info you provide, I'm not so sure... If these are good friends and they're OK with delays and sound issues, then maybe go for it. Otherwise, geez, this might not be an opportunity you want to take... Sorry to be pessimistic, but the chances seem slim that this gig will have some sort of upside and won't sully your reputation. Your experience with live sound will be super valuable and you will be able to get up to speed quickly, but not with unknown/unarrived equipment tomorrow morning. Or so it seems to me...
  14. Sounds like a fun project, but good isolation would be a really really big benefit. The Countryman A3 does a good job isolating/reducing podium noise (IIRC, they have a couple/few podium mics with the same feature). There's a bit of info here... Also includes the frequency responses for the various polar-pattern options (ie- omni vs cardioid): https://countryman.com/product/a3-podium-microphone/ As for EQ, maybe take a peek at what Countryman, DPA, Shure, etc publish for their podium mics and borrow?
  15. You could try one of the automated "AI" speech-to-text services. You can get transcripts back in minutes. Like, upload an hour of video, have the transcript back in 15 minutes (I haven't really timed it carefully, but let's say 4X faster than realtime). I do this a fair amount when wearing my producer/journalist hat. The service right for you depends on your workflow, budget, and need for accuracy. Lots of the services are pretty decent right now, but proper names can be a challenge, though it's not like 10 years ago when I was working on a film about Sophie Tucker and the automated transcription tech we tried transcribed her name as "soviet trucker." Cracked me up, but wasn't helpful for searches... Anyway: I'm hanging with Transcriptive these days, but that's just me and my current work: https://transcriptive.com Temi is good. And you can get up to 45min transcribed for free as a trial: https://www.temi.com Also check out Rev and Trint; I haven't used their automated versions, but people I know are happy with them: https://trint.com https://www.rev.com/automated-transcription I know that's a lot of links. But quick looks at the websites will help you figure out which service is worth a shot. Or send a file to a couple and choose what works for you. And let me know what you end up doing. I'm always up for feedback on this topic... The tech is changing quickly.
  16. As Rado mentions, check out the Piece-A-Fur from Bubblebees and cut to the size you want: https://www.bubblebeeindustries.com/collections/lav-covers-tape-and-fur/products/the-piece-a-fur-1 Or maybe you'd like one of the slip-on lav windscreens from various companies... There's been a big increase in the number of good lav tools in the last few years. Dozens here, and inexpensive enough to try a bunch of options https://www.trewaudio.com/product-category/expendables/expendables-lavalier-accessories/
  17. The Stickies Advanced stick better than the original stickies. Scroll about half-way down here for more: https://rycote.com/microphone-windshield-shock-mount/lavalier-solutions/ But there's also Bubblebee's, URSA's, Super Stick It... I haven't used those. Any thoughts there?
  18. And the generic and other alternative Moleskin-like products I've tried don't adhere as well; the adhesive is inferior. At least IME.
  19. Undercovers can be OK and useful, but I agree that they're not as impressive as Overcovers. I don't use them much at all, but a couple things I've noticed: The material can get compressed and have less volume if it's stored too tightly. It doesn't need it's own case or special handling, but don't store it between two heavy books...OK, duh, but you get the idea. If the ones you got were stored in a compressed fashion, maybe they're too flat. I kind of do a little tent with Undercovers so there's a bit more material over the lav element. Mainly, I don't press everything tight around the lav (but do on the Sticky or other tape). But I like other under-clothing mounts more (Moleskin sleeping bags, Hush lavs, plastic concealers, etc). OTOH, perhaps Rycote's changed the fabric? Speaking of B6 mics, these both look interesting, though I haven't tried either: https://lmcsound.com/product/countryman-mounts/c-mount-b6/ https://www.bubblebeeindustries.com/collections/lav-covers-tape-and-fur/products/the-lav-concealer-for-countryman-b6
  20. I'm slipping into producer mode, and I don't know what sort of relationship you have with the producer, director, and rest of the crew. But on an indie narrative, I'm thinking timing the fully-going fire and the camera, and multiple takes, coverage, and all that might not run smooth as silk. And if that's the case, I think a "real" fire might make it hard to get an edit with good continuity because of inconsistent flame size and such. With a good gas fire, even an off-the-shelf one, you all can sync the flame height to the shot (and possibly have more-consistent and not surprising sound issues). Looks like you've said this above. But assuming the gas isn't too loud, it looks gas looks like it could be a win-win for you and picture. Let us know how it goes. Good luck!
  21. You know, I think Henri's and Mungo's suggestions were out of stock when I needed something. I recall looking for one of those Rode i-XLR things and not finding one. Also, we had our iPhone on sticks and even without handheld movement, I taped the cable to the tripod handle for some strain relief; handheld, I'd probably want to tape the cable to the back of the iPhone case. So if you can make a solution like Henri's or Mungo's work (and really: the iPhone 11 Pro battery lasts quite a while), maybe you could attach the adapter to the waist (or somewhere) of the camera operator. And me, I'd choose cable over bluetooth, especially if the distance between devices will vary. But I haven't tried using it in a production environment, and JK Audio makes cool stuff. But that just might be me; is bluetooth working for others? That's enough from me. Please report back on what you end up doing. Good luck!
  22. Is that back on? Oh look: Three weeks ago from an Oklahoma TV station: Filming expected to resume for ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ in Pawhuska I read the book earlier this year. Liked it a lot. Highly recommended. From the author's website: Killers of the Flower Moon "In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe. Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. Her relatives were shot and poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more members of the tribe began to die under mysterious circumstances."
  23. I've used this cable to get audio into an iPhone 11 Pro and out to Facebook Live and YouTube Live (though mostly to Facebook): https://www.belkin.com/us/p/P-F8J212/ The Belkin site seems wonky right now so... https://www.apple.com/shop/product/HLJV2ZM/A/belkin-35-mm-audio-charge-rockstar See picture below. Typically feeding from a FOH mixer, sometimes from my bag (and sometimes from the FOH to my bag after a long cable run (so I can have some control), and then into the Belkin adaptor). A couple of things: Belkin tech support knows very little about this device. When I contacted them to make sure it could feed audio into a phone, they said it could not. They're a consumer-products company, so I ignored them and bought it. Of course it moves audio in; it's designed to work with the iPhone earbuds and their integrated microphone. (And it looks like other support people there now know that). You want to connect to it via a 3.5mm TRRS plug, not TRS. Ya, that's obvious, but just to be sure. I have not used this device to simultaneously charge and feed audio into an iPhone, though it's designed to do that. So test that, of course. But you know, the iPhone 11 Pro has pretty damn good battery life, even when streaming. I've done a couple hours, I think (this was in the early days of the pandemic when standard SDI/HDMI --> USB/Thunderbolt converters were sold out everywhere, so we had to phone it in. 😀). Facebook Live's phone/app interface doesn't show audio levels. Same with some of the other little apps. At least, we couldn't find them. So during prep (ha!), have someone listen to the live cast via another phone (and perhaps also a laptop)... maybe one via cellular and one via WiFi... to check levels/distortion, etc. This is all memory from several months ago. Some painful memories, too. Maybe a couple dozen streams via iPhone 11. We've moved on to regular cameras (well, more regular) and streaming via a computer. Still a PITA... Hope this helps a little!
  24. That's fantastic Olle! And the old classic is always worth another look:
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