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Scott Smith

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About Scott Smith

  • Birthday March 26

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  • Location
    Chicago, IL
  • About
    Production sound mixer and music engineer. Credits at: www.imdb.com/name/nm0809896/
  • Interested in Sound for Picture

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  1. David: Nice hearing Frank Haber mentioned. Been a long time since I’ve heard his name brought up. One of the good guys when it came to working with Nagra’s in NYC back in the ‘70’s. Yeah, the SN series recorders had plenty of idiosyncrasies. I won’t even begin to get into the joys of the two competing pilot synchronization systems🙄... -S
  2. Yeah, Georges Quellet was a bright engineer who had some interesting ideas (like the interchangeable head block). I used a few of the Stellavox recorders over the years, but they never felt quite as solid as the Nagra’s. Regarding the ATN capacitors; for whatever reason, the caps Kudelski used in many of the units over the years were never quite the quality of the ones in the recorders. Never quite understood this. I replace them as a matter of course in any of the older suppliers I run across.
  3. Yeah, the Demme film is a lot of fun. A bunch of us watched the LaserDisc version while we were putting together Andy Davis's screening room up in Santa Barbara in 1994 or '95. Some nice footage. I still have a VHS copy kicking around, but not the LaserDisc version.They never did a DVD that I'm aware of. Maybe Gary Goetzman will take it up and do a Blu-Ray one of these days... Dig the cover photo though!
  4. Yeah, never really cared for the rechargeables. The stock PAR charger was designed for 2000 or 2500 mAh cells as I recall, so it was useless with the later 4000 and 5000 mAh cells. Plus, you only got a supply voltage of about 14.4 volts with a set of fully charged ni-cads, which was a little too close to the regulator cut-off for my taste, especially if you were powering accessories from the recorder. I think I experimented with an outboard charger at one point, with a higher charging rate, but was uncomfortable with the heat buildup in the battery compartment, so just abandoned the whole idea. I'm thinking that Nagra may have intended the rechargeables more for radio reporting work, but not really sure.
  5. James: A little late to this post, but just wanted to give kudos for all your efforts at preserving this technology, and all the stories and documentation that goes along with it. Still have most (but not all) of the Nagra's I've owned and used (along with a couple of Stellavox's). Just can't bring myself to part with them... Congrats again on a great collection and dedication to preservation.
  6. Have seen the wow & flutter meter before, but not the 1/3!octave filter. Maybe they got tired of paying the exorbitant prices for Bruel & Kjaer gear😊!
  7. Lloyd: Thanks for posting these. Great photos! Pretty typical of how it got done back in the day, especially on episodic shows where they didn't have the budget for all the new stuff. (By 1973 I was using a Nagra IV as well). It wasn't fancy, that's for sure, but they got the job done!
  8. Yes, I do have a few photos (although I wish we had taken more). Need to work on rounding them up and getting them digitized. This might be the kick in the ass I need. -S
  9. Jeff: Sadly, I'm going to have to cancel for tomorrow. Was really hoping to make it this year, but have too many things that have piled up over the past 5 seasons of production. Will miss seeing everyone! It's been 5 years since I've last attended😞 --Scott
  10. Philip: Just saw this post. Love the Rio theater! A great old Art Deco venue. Was up that way last year. Looks like a fun gig! -S
  11. JBond: Fascinating. Thought that I had seen just about everything in the world of Nagra. I guess not! Looks to be in very nice condition too. A lot of those field recorders used in radio reporting really got beat up.
  12. Richard: Wow, some nice drawings from your friend! Never seen anything like that. Likewise the Nagra’s with the red & blue covers. JBond, was that a special issue of some kind from Nagra, or did someone make those custom? -S
  13. Plenty of reasons to avoid public soldering, especially when show time is approaching, and you have some insane amount of cables to be fixed! Having worked with plenty of trucks over the years, my default is always to go with un-grounded shells, which usually will cause less grief in the long run, for all the reasons I've outlined previously. As Phil points out, when doing remotes, what the truck engineer has to say it is absolutely the final word. When dealing with one's own equipment, it might be another matter, but always CHECK IT FIRST! I've have had some rather unpleasant surprises over the years. Also, there is still a certain amount of equipment in use out there where pin 1 has a different ground path to the electronics than chassis ground, and the results from grounding pin 1 to the chassis at the input or output connections will result in less than optimal results. Stage boxes can be a particular source of grief. Some have a common ground at the box itself, others carry pin 1 back to the truck/console. Because of this, we still have two separate groups of XLR cables and snakes, some of which are shell un-grounded, others shell grounded. (Also, do not confuse issues of RF and induced AC current into the signal conductors with ground issues!) And if you've never taken Bill Whitlock's seminar on grounding and signal flow, sign up for it when it comes around the next time. There is no better authority on the subject!
  14. @jrsphoto Wow, guess the value of the Nagra’s are really dropping! Back in the day, just the pinch wheel alone would cost more than that! Haven’t seen a Victor Duncan tag in a long time either. That alone is an antique! -Scott
  15. Mr. Mitchell is the real deal. I first encountered the Art Ensemble of Chicago at the Ann Arbor Jazz and Blues Festival in the early ‘70’s. Had no idea what I was walking into🙂. In the ‘80’s we shot a sequence with them as part of a longer documentary encompassing the African-American music scene in Chicago (produced for Disney, which was truly bizarre). We were fortunate to have filmed it in a good sized room at the South Shore Country Club (also the setting for the exterior of one a scene for “Blues Brothers” before it was renovated). The room acoustics really added to the sequence, and group knew how to play it to their advantage. Kicking myself for not making copies of those multi-tracks before they landed in the Disney vaults, where they will most likely remain (along with some other good performances and interviews). -Scott
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