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    I am a freelance journalist and documentary producer.

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  1. I thought this site I just signed up for may be useful to people on this forum. It's called Lenstag (so obviously originally thought of for photogs/video people, but I think applicable to all production gear). I haven't gone through and registered all my gear yet, but I like how it has the options to report gear stolen by serial number & to "verify" gear by taking a picture of the serial on your gear and uploading it. Thought you all may dig it.
  2. Hi wonderful JW members! It's been a little while since I posted on here and I wanted to start by thanking everyone for the wonderful resource this forum is. I want to start a conversation about the pros/cons of small portable recorders to be paired with DSLR or other cameras for lower budget or "one man band" type shoots. I'd love to hear people's opinions and experiences with recorders in this market. Specifically I am thinking of 3 recorders that are out right now: The Tascam DR-60D (which has a great thread started by Tom Duffy and a review by Ty Ford ), the Zoom H6 (which has a short discussion that is mostly negative ), and the Fostex DC-R302 (which has a great thread has some negative comments mixed in with small positive reviews). I guess I'll start with my thoughts and see where that takes us. This thread is for a decent, compact recorder to be used for OMB type purposes. I wouldn't put a budget cap on this, more a size cap/cam compatibility. I'd be willing to spend close to $1,500 if there were a very compact pro recorder that was easily paired with DSLRs. (I also preface all of this in saying I am primarily a DP/Op and in every single case I am able, I hire a sound professional to accompany me. This is for those other times.) I used to record with a Sound Devices 702 and it (for me) was an amazing, durable, very simple and intuitive recorder. I dream that SD would put out a mini-702 to pair with DSLRs, but I digress. My thoughts on... - Tascam DR-60D: I don't think it has the worst form factor, but definitely not great. I personally would never put this thing under my camera on a tripod (it is way too high and would make operating more difficult and would not be conducive to switching to handheld quickly.) If I imagine using this (or really any of these recorders) I would probably mount it behind camera on 15mm rods. It seems still a little tall here, but I could deal. I am most concerned with the "zipper effect" I've read about from adjusting trim while rolling. I would also love to hear more thoughts on this unit's pre-amps. - Zoom H6: I always hated (and thus never owned) a Zoom H4N. I thought they were frankly crap recorders that were not easy to use or effectively monitor levels. This recorder seems a step up, but still not really geared the same way towards using with a DSLR setup. I am very worried about the quality of the preamps on this guy. It also is a bit weird to use with a DSLR. I would probably take off the top console and mount it behind the camera on rods. This would actually lay flatter than the Tascam behind the camera, but the form factor is so weird that having cords run from 2 directions may be crappy. - Fostex DC-R302: My main concern here is the fact that it is the only recorder of the 3 that does not record 3 individual tracks for 3 mics. 3 channel mixer - 2 channel recorder. Since a semi-common scenario is 2 lavs & a boom, this is a problem. It is flatter than the Tascam, so I may debate actually putting it below camera, but it still seems a little heavy and big. The big question is are the pre-amps that much better than the Tascam & the H6 to warrant the price jump (almost double)? I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts on these recorders or definitely suggestions of other recorders that may work. This is a piece of gear that I absolutely need very soon, but seem pretty distressed with all of my options.
  3. Yea, I want to start recording a lot more interesting and/or realistic atmospheric sounds for some of the documentary shorts I work on.
  4. Thanks for the input guys. I definitely think it's a mic situation. I "came into" my array of mikes a little while back in a package deal and am not going to have to get exactly what I need. I'm thinking of picking up two new mics. Definitely a better shotgun. I'm considering the NTG3 or one of the Sennheisers that were suggested to me. I am also looking for a nice stereo mic. Any suggestions here are definitely welcome, but I can always search other threads or post a new one if I can't find any. Thanks for the input again everyone!
  5. Well that just instantly solved my problem! Although, a few posters were probably right with good monitoring headphones being exhausting for music, etc. In the end though, it's really just doing video editing on the road that I'd use them for, with the pretty frequent iPhone or Skype call in the mix. So I may try that fastmac thing. As for the extra cans, for sure! I have a couple low end pairs, and hope to acquire a couple decent pairs as I can afford. Thanks again for the help!
  6. Thanks for the help guys. I guess the MS is what did it. I normally am all loony paranoid the night before and run checks, but these were strange circumstances. I'm renting my sound gear to a colleague (that he is using on and off for the month) & I wasn't able to get the recorder back until 30 minutes before the shoot, so I blew it. I asked him about changes and went through everything he told me he changed, but that wasn't the right thing to do. In retrospect, even for this little unpaid gig/favor I should have run through the whole menu beforehand. Thanks for the help. And I will look into user profiles. I haven't used that, but if it's possible it would be a good thing to check out.
  7. Yea after reading a few of your posts and reviews of these headphones, I was probably barking up the wrong tree. Still holding out hope there may come along a pair built for the iPhone that I'll want in the field, but doubt it.
  8. Nope. I definitely have it set to Mic. I checked that first when I was having the issue. I also doubt it's some bad preamps either because this is how it has worked for both Sound Devices 702 I have owned.
  9. I was actually considering selling all my crap (or just rarely used) mics and getting just a couple important mics for my purposes. I was thinking: 1 - Relatively tight pattern shotgun for recording on a boom in the field (mostly outdoors, but also some indoor talking head stuff) 2 - Some sort of Stereo mic to give a more realistic sound on camera when I'm stuck in that senario and to just capture more realistic sound for all non-interview type situations 3 - Some sort of wider pattern cardiod mic for Public Radio Style interviews (not paired to video) with a warmer and more intimate feel. Someone mentioned the Senn MSK418S to me that can switch between a normal shotgun and some sort of stereo setup? Unless I am confused here.
  10. Great for music meaning: not that great for monitoring sound though? I guess I could use a little bit of a heads up on what I should be looking for in field monitoring headphones. To me, general sound, isolation, well built, and comfort is all I think about right now. I normally went by "what other sound guys are using" for my monitoring headphones in the past.
  11. And a quick opinion on the "no optical drive" note. I love this. It takes weight and size off of the laptop which is crucial when lugging it around. Also, apple is all "anti-bluray" so even if it had one, it would have no BluRay capabilities. You can pick up a USB powered LB BluRay burner for around $100.
  12. I sold my old Macbook and my dated Mac Pro tower and just upgraded to editing full time off the new MacBook Pro Retina and the Thunderbolt 27" Cinema Display in a dual monitor setup with the laptop on a stand. I couldn't recommend switching to this world more. It cost quite a bit, but it makes more sense to me for those who travel at all for work to be operating off the new MacBook Pro. The days of needing a desktop and a laptop are dead in my opinion. Full setup: - 2012 MacBook Pro Retina (Max SS Drive, Ram, Processor) - 27" Thunderbolt Cinema Display - LG Slim Portable Blu Ray Writer (USB) - Sonnet Thunderbolt to PCIE (to run eSata hard drives & super fast CF reader) - Thunderbolt to Firewire 800 adapter - A few 4TB G-Raid drives (unless you are editing 4K video footage there isn't much reason to pay the extra cash for the Thunderbolt drives just yet... the G-Raid via eStata get damn good speeds) - A couple Glyph Portagig drives
  13. Thanks Jeff. I guess my real question is, what are wrong with those headphones from the standpoint of monitoring audio in the field? Yes, I'm on my phone all the time, on the road all the time, listening to music on the road, editing on the road, and recording all the time. I was hoping I could maybe have 1 set for these purposes instead of traveling with multiple sets of headphones. Not trying to combine the 2 activities of course, haha. Also, the cheap Apple headphones with the mic cost at least $30 and last about 3 months on average. For a pair that can last longer, the Bose costs about $140 and lasts about 2 years. Headphones are one thing that get beat up over time and need replacement. I would rather have 1 set and then replace them more often. Anyone have opinions on the two sets I posted?
  14. Man this is not my experience at all with the 702. In order to get levels of -6 to -12 I have the volume knob on the max gain. I don't think there is a separate trim and fader on the 702 recorder (but maybe I'm dumb).
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