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David Silberberg

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About David Silberberg

  • Birthday January 1

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  • Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
  • Interests
    Music, Film-making, and Sound
  • About
    Location Sound Mixer in the SF Bay Area.

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  1. Ok history buffs, gear geeks, collectors and curators: there's an antique on eBay right now that I've been tripping on. It's Vega model 01-0003-03 wireless lav mic from the early 1960's. It appears to be in good shape. It's one of the very earliest wireless lav mic systems commercially available- and the first to be patented. I won't buy it- I've got too little space for it and it should be in a museum or proper collection. Here's some details to enjoy: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Vega-Electronics-Wireless-Microphone-System-Model-01-0003-03/153610399560?hash=item23c3e4af48:g:5LgAAOSwNnxc4vvl Also here is a page from Ray Litke's patent for the device: Litke patent drawing p.2.tiff Also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_A._Litke Also here's a YouTube link to Jackie Kennedy giving a White House tour to ABC News in 1962. She is wearing this type of mic- with a neck loop antennae- though it may possibly be a different brand. If you look for it, you can see that her pearl necklace is concealing the black wire of the neck loop antennae. You can also hear quite a bit of clothes rustle during "walk and talk" sequences. But even with the noisy Kinescope soundtrack and clothes rustle you can hear her audio is quite good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-ZyLJvXQQo
  2. I can tell from this video that your dad HW had some charm and it was working on Neil Young. There is a point in the video where Neil Young is turning away, maybe thinking about walking away from the camera. Your dad pulled him right back with a few words, and resisting the reflex to flee the interview, Neil Young stays and engages the questions seriously. Really cool video. Thanks for sharing this. I like Neil's analogue-to-digital signal path explanantion too.
  3. You'll be happy with the Schoeps mk41, and it will be easier to boom a group of people (booming overhead) and keep them fairly on mic. But that's not impossible to do with a 416. You have to watch people and try to tell who's going to speak next. Look for situations where you can position your mic in such away as to quickly cue to the next person speaking. With the mk41 you can boom a circle of people from overhead with the mic positioned straight down in a default position, panning the boom gently and angling the mic to cue to the next person speaking. When that person stops talking you go back to the default then cue the next person speaking. There's always the risk that you will make the wrong cue. If you have a person on camera who you are following throughout the scene- wire that person with the lav, so you don't have to boom them in group situations. The distances you mention-- I'm not really sure what you mean, but 3 feet is kind of far mic placement for an interview. Keep the 416. When your Schoeps picks up too much moisture on a rainy day your 416 will still be working.
  4. quote the FCC: Bidding in the auction closed on March 30, 2017, repurposing 84 megahertz of spectrum – 70 megahertz for licensed use and another 14 megahertz for wireless microphones and unlicensed use. The auction yielded $19.8 billion in revenue, including $10.05 billion for winning broadcast bidders and more than $7 billion to be deposited to the U.S. Treasury for deficit reduction. The federal budget of the USA for 2015 was $3.8 trillion. I got out my calculator and figured out that $7 billion is about .185% of $3.8 trillion. ( Can somebody please check my math ? ) They sold off the 600MHz band of the public airwaves for a paltry .185% of one year's annual budget. Amazing.
  5. In your spare time, find out who works at your local tv or radio station and find a way to meet them, let them know you're willing to help. There may be a cameraman or producer who needs assistance. Tripods are heavy! so carry it for them. Find a way to get on the crew and when you're there, let them know you're into sound. As for learning in your spare time- read equipment manuals- you can find manuals on the manufacturer's websites. Also study camera manuals- cameras are sound recorders!
  6. Recording on the Sony fs7-- you can do that- but you will likely have clipping/distortion on loud sounds somewhere in your project... maybe on that great emotional scene that you can never redo and get the same energy... Why be disappointed? Get a quality field mixer to be a front end for the camera. Or breakdown and buy a good mixer/recorder to go with your fs7. Hard to beat the value of an SD633. A used 744t or 552 can be had for way less than $2k...
  7. so I'm wondering sallymon, how did your shoot go? did they have a media check in area and assign frequencies? at Super Bowl 50 they were very good about this and put stickers on my antennas to show I'd been checked in. Also , do tell, how big was the crowd?
  8. Producers don't see the many hours of prep time needed to develop your service and the investment in gear and maintaining " readiness" to respond with good service. OTOH we don't see the myriad of problems that producers face in organizing and paying for a shoot. So it's tough. As far as seeing yourself as an investor-- I have my doubts about that, just because there's no potential that you're going to get a profit that is more than your standard rates. I mean that would be extremely rare. I just read about the investors in the Jersey Boys musical making big profits and it's made the news because it so rarely happens that people make money investing in theater. It's best to negotiate a deal to get paid right away for the work you do. If there's something on the back end- well "I'll believe it when I see it."
  9. I tried that approach once negotiating with a reality show that was shooting here in town. I wanted to get paid for my prep time , but the producer figured at that point it was easier to get someone else. And they did.The crazy thing is that I had worked for them 6 mos. previously with my gear and no issues and everybody was happy. So loyalty didn't mean a whole lot. It was about the money. Competition is a normal part of the business and a big rental company will push the little guys out of the way. But the little guys are the ones who actually operate the gear- so stick together little guys!
  10. Last week I used my SD 633 as a digital front end for an impromptu ADR session. A cameraman friend of mine called me and asked if I could record some wild lines for an actress from Germany and I said sure, ok, she can come over to my house and we'll record those wild lines in a few minutes, but then I get an email from the German post house listing all the tech requirements for an ADR looping session and a link to the video clip with the scene to ADR and uh oh "I think I may be in over my head." I'm not running a big audio post house- I don't even have ProTools. I may have to find her to a real post house. Then I looked again and saw what they wanted delivered was an OMF file and I thought maybe I can do this with Final Cut Pro 6, which I do have on my Imac. So I set the 633 for AES out to feed the audio interface on my computer ( Motu Traveler) and then used the 'Voice Over" tool in FCP to record takes. It worked perfectly. Set up the 633 for mono output and when I clicked the record button in the 'voice over' window FCP played back the video clip just where the actress needed it so she could sync up to it. I created a new track for each take. Did 5 or 6 takes and done... Exported the OMF file from final cut, which is only about 40MB because it contains the few seconds of the actual ADR'd lines. Tested it by opening the OMF file in Audio Desk ( kind of jr. version of Digital Performer) all the takes we did lined up each on it's own track. Sounded good too. I'm so impressed with the 633. I kind of doubted that I'd ever need AES output, but now I see that the 633 makes a great front end for a computer recording session. I also rolled the 633 to make a back-up .wav file. Pretty cool little machine.
  11. I'm still using paper . On doc-style shoots I use a little wire bound notebook and have developed my own shorthand hand. Later I decode my scrawled shorthand notes and re-write them onto a sound report page. I take a photo of the sound report with my phone before turning it in. Sometimes the producer takes a photo and declines the paper. I don't enter a lot of digital notes into the recorder other than custom file names, like BobIntvT01.wav . It is much faster to write by hand and then if I make an error I haven't messed up the sound file with bad info. Also I hate scrolling around trying spell something out on an LCD nor do I like correcting mistakes I made entering meta data. It makes me less ready to rolI. On fast moving shoots, I'll just have a date for the file name : 081916_T01.wav so the shorthand notes look something like this: Kitch. tk1 int. Bob and Claire tk2 tk3 RT Garden tk4 Bob , lemon tree, lav NG use boom tk5 fixed lav tk6 waters, fx at tail tk7RT Car tk8, tk9, tk10RT "Kitch" , "garden", "car" are all locations, "int." = interview, "rt" = room tone (even if it's outside its called rt) and the audio take numbers keep going up through out the day. "tk6 waters" = We filmed Bob watering the garden. "Fx at tail" = we recorded water hose sound fx near the end of the take before we cut . Sometimes I'll call out my take number when camera rolls (if it's appropriate) so my voice can be heard on the camera mic, "audio take 8". This is sometimes the only slating we get to do.
  12. I just finished recording an Indy film, and going into the project the editor asked me to keep the boom and character's lavs on the same tracks - and that's what I did - with a few exceptions for certain scenes. So post knows that track A always = boom, track B = 2nd boom/plant, track C = male lead Lav .... And so on. Also kept paper sound reports. (I've had some tech glitches using a keyboard to enter data into the recorder, and writing on paper is faster for me.)
  13. Mininmally, you will want good headphones, quite shoes and clothes, set gloves, and for outdoors , a hat that you can fit your phones around. The Sound Mixer should have the rest of the gear. Of course, you can add your own accessories and comfort items that are appropriate. But that's just gear. You also need good health, fit conditioning , physical strength , stamina , grace, and good eyesight and hearing. You don't want to work injured. There's a few other things you need too: like calm, the ability to focus and pay attention to details, an excellent work ethic, honesty, good social skills and good manners, clean fingernails, a good attitude at all times, and a willingness to be a team player. That's good to start with...
  14. Sean, ... what Phil said + I suggest you watch the films of Ross McElwee (Sherman's March) . He 's a one-man-band shooter that has manages somehow to hand-hold his camera in one hand and his mic in the other hand. This way he keeps his mic cued in one direction while panning the camera by twisting at the waist. This contortion may not work for you, but the idea is to find ways to get the microphone in close where the good sound is, and keep it there steady, because an indiscriminately panning microphone does not sound so good and becomes a problem to mix later. Another thing you could do is get another wireless system and plant a lav mic nearby subjects that you wish to record. This technique has it's failings too , as often the subject will be too far away, but if it's placed in the right spot you can do well. For instance planting a mic on the window frame of a fast food order window-- like they have at Foster's Freeze , or a bank teller's window-- everybody who walks up to the window will be more or less on mic. Or on the branch of a tree or a bush close to the subjects. Then you can get far away with your camera. But usually in one-man-band doc shooting, the situation requires one to get in close to film people talking, and stepping back to do establishing shots. Quiet locations help. There's a variety of techniques you can use depending on the situation and learning these things and thinking about the sound and the image as 2 halves of the same puzzle. When Les Blank went to China to make his film about Tea importer David Hoffman, I set him up with a Lowel aluminum flex rod (arm) that I welded to a clamp that clamped to the handle of his Sony Camcorder. This was very light and fairly rigid and the on other the end of this was Schoeps mic with a cardioid capsule. With this set up he could quickly twist the Lowel rod and face the mic in the direction he wanted. So he would have David Hoffman on a wireless mic, and then when David was talking to someone - a tea farmer- he could twist the mic to point it at the farmer, while maintaining his shot on David. This was in close proximity- within 6 feet. The cardioid pattern on the m4 capsule was more forgiving of pans than a shotgun would have been and of course being in the quiet countryside was a great advantage. I think using a wider pattern cardioid would have worked better still.
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