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Everything posted by TJW

  1. I was shown the PCS at Rycote HQ in Stroud some years ago, a long time before Timo joined the company. It has been a long project and gone through several development generations before this release version. I am a long time Ambient QL (20 year) user but this is a lighter quick release and the big difference is the longitudinal release rather than the twist. Now that Rycote are associated with Sachtler, Manfrotto and Wooden Camera, I expect to see this piece of Rycote engineering appearing under different brands, for very different uses.
  2. I thought that I would chime in: Not directly relevant as it concerns IEM rather than using as radio mics but much of the info is equally applicable. I had some spare MTP40S transmitters which I am using for IEM and they give the G3 receivers an added clarity. I also have some MPR30 IEM receivers for the crew and key grown ups. We use in mono mode, pilot off and they are a great combination and well worth the upgrade. The sensitivity of the Wisy receiver is such that a few weeks ago from a 50mW transmitter, we had 150m range from sound cart to an assistant in the van. The biggest negative compared with G3s is battery life of the receivers. You cannot do a day on one set of batteries. This is OK for crew and key production but the other 20 IEM are G3/LD which last all day of black eneloops.
  3. Hi Nagnila, I have been using the Nanos since February when Klaus sent me some pre-production models to put through their paces. I now have 10 on 2 films. A full charge gives about 35 hours use. More importantly, charge them for perhaps an hour and you can get a working day out of them. If I read correctly, you are using them in a very specific basic way in that you and jamming one and you then hold the green button to jam the others? The Nanos are intended to be very low battery consumption so when you jam the other Nanos, it is only a short range operation. I and many of my colleagues are using Nanos in an 'Ambient Clockit Network', an ACN - which we were doing with tiny Lockits and ACL204's before. You can use a Master Lockit as the master which has the advantage of constant jamming over a much greater distance and iPad / iPhone integration so that you can set the master and keep an eye on all the network components. A smaller and cheaper alternative is to use a Tiny Lockit as the master. You set the Tiny from a timecode source and the Tiny will constantly jam the Nanos and any other Lockits set up as slaves, but without the iPad / iPhone integration. It is a really good system.
  4. The 6-Pack has been around for several years now and it is a useful piece of kit. I have two of them: One is permanently on the cart (until the Audio Ltd 1010 4 slot 19" rack displaces it) and one that floats between the bag and the cart when I need more than 8 channels. On board antenna power for my Betso Sharkies. For: it is inexpensive, 3 x receivers is a good number knowing you can add an extra one or an extra rack with its RF distro. Choice of TA3 connectors and Hirose 4 or 37 pin. I mix AES out on the Wisys and Audio Ltd 1010 with the analogue out of the Lectros with no problem. Against: Construction is not as refined say the Lectro racks and it uses local UNC threads - PIA anywhere outside the States when you are fixing into its screw holes and screws are not so easy to source. Conclusion: good piece of kit.
  5. TJW

    Cantar X3 Mini

    It is a custom made hinge and I have the only one at the moment. I have sent the hinge and the drawings to an engineer who can make a small batch. If it can be done at a reasonable price, I will make it available. I will have a one off to look at on Monday and I will keep you in the loop if it is viable. I have attached a few pics of the friction hinge mounted 6-pack with the Aaton bag. I have added a small accessory pouch and extended a strap around the whole thing so it is firmly in place using it over the shoulder.
  6. TJW

    Cantar X3 Mini

    It will always be more of a challenge to bag a Cantar that a regular box shaped recorder. It calls for imagination but you can do it. With the X3, I was always aware that the 'unibody' structure of the recorder was totally solid. At the design stage, I had them beef up the connection assembly on the front and fit 2 x 3/8" fixings. As the X3 has strap posts on the back that you can use to either fit a strap or attach to a harness, you can then attach accessories such as a radio mic rack to the front fixings so the bag itself is not holding the weight. The weight is on the strap and the accessories are attached directly to the X3. I started with my X3 in my old X2 bag - a conventional bag - but as it was not designed for the X3 it did not have all the access I needed. I now use the Aaton bag with a slight modification so that it fits around a 6-Pack which is mounted on a friction hinge on the front of the X3. The bag is protection and provides padding between me and the recorder. It is not as structural as a conventional bag as it only takes the weight of a few accessories such as a keyboard and IEM transmitters. A bag for the X3 Mini can be approached in the same way as it is also an X3 but smaller. It has the same strap posts and it has (4mm) fixings on the sides that accessories can be secured to. I have seen the Aaton bag ideas for the X3 Mini and when it comes out I will be integrating Mini with receivers and bag. IMG_2109.MOV
  7. TJW

    Cantar X3 Mini

    I reckon Mini is quite a cool piece of kit. All the quality of the X3 but scaled back. I am quite a fan of much lighter TA3s - the 5 pin XLRs on my X3s are all converted and I use the Rean XLR3 to TA3 converters. Horses for courses. It is definitely 4 x transformer balanced mic/line plus 2 dedicated asymmetric line inputs. A total of 6 analogue.
  8. I echo Axel. It is a top recorder and a 24 track recorder with the outboard kit you would use with it, will not be the lightest. That said, although much of the time my X3 is cart based, I do use it in the bag and it works really well and for a few hours at a time it is really not a problem. I also use it in the bag on a folding lightweight cart on some fly away jobs and often add the small fader panel, the Cantarem. It just works.
  9. Hi Axel, Nice description of your comms set-up. I can't say too much but Cantaress does include much that was included in my initial sketch of what I called 'Cantaress' back in 2012 when I was working lightweight on my X2 with a Cantarem and wanted the panel to do more of what my Sonosax did on my full rig. Now that we have X3 which we can use it either stand alone or with the Cantarem 2 so the Cantaress will be a great addition to the cart and be at the heart of mixing. Tim
  10. TJW

    Buy a new wireless

    I added Wisycom to my kit a year ago as a temporary measure as the wide tuning Lectros that I wanted weren't yet available in the UK. Wisys have now become central to my system. I have bought more and use them alongside my Lectros and have no problem with mixing the different latencies and correcting them on the recorder. Wide band tuning and AES out (on the subD) at no extra cost. For me, they were more cost effective than other makes. I bought through Raycom, the UK importer. They have answered all my questions and sent a loan unit while one of my transmitters was checked. No manufacturer or dealer is perfect and I would think twice before ruling any manufacturer out. Tim
  11. I used a Sonosax ST for 9 years and it is a truly great analogue mixer. Using the 2-way system that was on the Sonosax, I set it up with Sennheiser G3 returns from my crew but it only lasted a few days before the crew got fed up of the extra complication of mics with PTT boxes and belt packs. For the years that I used the Sonosax, I used the comms section in the traditional simplex way. I could have bought the Sonosax cabled comms boxes but I cannot see my crew working with hard wired comms. For 20 months I have been post Sonosax ST, using the Cantar X3 initially with the Cantarem mixer panel from my X2 rig, then the Cantarem 2 and I am looking forward to mixing on the Cantaress next year. The X3 may not have the dedicated comms system that the Sonosax had - and I suspect used by relatively few in duplex mode. But it does have many inputs, outputs and routing options that should enable you to set up a system quite similar to the Sonosax dedicated system. You have press to talk (Talk 1 / Talk 2) on the X3. You have 12 analogue inputs on the X3. If you are using all the analogue inputs, use the AES3 inputs and an AJA ADA-4 AD / DA converter for the comms return from your crew. This return could be unrecorded but routed to the sound mixer's headphone mix. PTT from the crew would go through to the headphone mix. Talk 1 or Talk 2 direct to the sound crew. There are so many routing options available that I am sure that you can find a solution within the X3 with no extra external equipment. For me, since a production edict a few years ago on a studio film that the boom would not be used for any comms, we have used Walkie Talkies like everyone else on the set. I have become used to a covert earpiece that remains in my ear all day and I wear my cans over it when monitoring and for my way or working, it works well. This also has the advantage that I can walk away from the mixer and I still have comms. Likewise, my crew are not cabled into a comms system. Comms are comms on the walkies and programme is via IEM in the usual way. It is wireless so they always have comms on the set, if they are outside in the sound van or collecting the coffee order. Our way is just one way of working. It won’t suit every crew but for us it works well. Tim White
  12. It is great to see that Aaton have announced the Cantaress at NAB. This will be their new full size fader panel to use with the Cantar X3. The announcement comes just as the Cantarem 2 compact fader panel is about to hit the sound shops. Cantarem 2 has 12 faders, is no wider than the Cantar X3, using Aaton's magnetic fader system but perfected to a smoothness that rivals P&G by running super comfortable faders on polished steel rails. I used a pre-production Cantarem 2 at the BSC show in London a couple of months ago and it was impressive. I was at Aaton in Grenoble two weeks ago and the production version has had some tweeks that make the faders really silky smooth. I have been using the original Cantarem 8-way panel with my X3 for nearly a year now and even that has worked really well releasing the Cantar top faders to control line-outs and digital gains. Now that the X3 has eq on all the analogue and digital inputs I am missing my Sonosax less. In fact the digital delays mean that I can match wireless of different latencies and the versatile line-out routing means that the X3 and old Cantarem combo far exceeds what I could do with my lovely SX-ST. So, with the announcement of a full spec panel I am expecting I will have my hands on faders and trims that will feel not too dis-similar to my Sonosax mixing days, but right up there in the digital domain. There are no details released but the original concept for the Cantaress was in an email that I sent to Aaton back in the spring of 2012 when I was 2nd unit on Skyfall. We were in Turkey and a sudden fog meant that we were grounded and couldn't do the train top fight that we were scheduled to shoot that day. In the down time, I started sketching, wrote a spec and emailed it to Aaton calling it Cantaress and this was the starting point long before the X3 reared its head. So, I feel emotionally tied to the whole Cantaress project and cannot wait to help shape its features and to put a prototype through its paces. Back in 2012 I was just a happy X2 owner wanting a few more tracks and faders. I am now tied by an NDA and after my input into the X3, Aaton asked me to be their dealer in the UK - something that I am really enjoying. So I am no longer the independent enthusiast but I am still objective. I will be mixing with a Cantarem 2 very soon and its 12 assignable faders will do almost anything I need. While the 12 faders on the Cantarem 2 are assignable so are the 10 linear and the 8 rotary faders on the X3. This makes for some really versatile possibilities and the need for the user to have clear methodology. X3 for me has been a great journey so far but with Cantaress on the horizon, it has only just started. I hope you like this colourful 'bag' X3. Tim
  13. There is no right or wrong that applies in all filming situations. In the scenario of working on studio movies that might be a year in post, the mix that the production mixer provides is used for viewing and temps for many months before the film is finally ADR'd and dubbed. In this case the subtle use of the DNS 2 could be advantageous provided of course that unprocessed tracks are also supplied to post. Post will always use the raw tracks but the processed tracks will have made cutting and viewing a better experience for many months even though they will not make it into the final mix. The SuperCMIT has its uses and I can see the DNS 2 also having a place. Especially as it has both analogue and AES3 inputs and outputs, I can see me feeding the DNS 2 from an AES output on my Cantar X3 and inputting it digitally back into the X3. That way, a boom, a mix or almost anything could be routed through the DNS 2 as required and with controls on the cart, you can be as subtle as you like. I don't get to try it until next month but for me it could have a place. Tim
  14. Credit is to Stuart who built it but thank you all! Tim
  15. I apologise for this late update. I collected the new cart at the end of November and it is indeed a work of art. A few pics below to go on with until I write it up properly, but it is already a runaway success. The first question from other sound mixers is "will he build me one?" This cart is small and light to manoeuvre when retracted, perfectly stable to wheel across the studio when extended but either standing or sitting at a director's chair, my working posture is so much better than at any other cart I have used. I can sit upright with my feet on the battery box. My sight lines keep my back straight and my neck relaxed. I will add a Cantarem 2 in a few weeks but with this new cart and the many updates to the X3 (eq on everything, input and output delays and amazing output routing), I am really not missing the Sonosax (well, perhaps a little). Below you can see the extended cart, the top section showing the X3 and the original Cantarem panel - soon to be updated to a Cantarem 2. A keyboard drawer and a 1U pen drawer. There is Marshall 15" HDI / SDI / HDMI / analogue screen (either for single camera or I put an HD quad on video village), iPad mount / charger (with plexi converter for paper sides) to the left, iPhone mount / charger to the right and above are mini rig speakers with sub. Top section is a six pack for Lectro / Wisy / Audio 1010 receivers, a power / switching / (Dante ready) gigabit network switch / IEM 1U box and above that a Venue 2 (and space for another). Above that is a retractible mast for a pair of Betso Sharkies on a Manfrotto 154b mount. The cart wheels into the van and is less than 1m high in its X3-PO guise. And the last pic is me sheltering from the cold in December on the back lot. Enjoy, Tim
  16. Hi Jason, Sorry, I am a bit slow out of the blocks on this one. When you are routing to the line outs you create a configuration. This is a routing plan that you can label and then apply to any of the 8 analogue line outs, the 8 AES3 digital outs or the Dante outs (24 I think but I have not used the Dante yet). When setting up the configuration, you can select the iso track that you wish to route and it will be at the gain set by the input trim - the level at which it is being recorded on its iso track - and it will be T3 or T4 or whatever in the configuration. If you wish to send to the line out at the level you are feeding it to the mix, i.e. post fade you press shift 5 and T3 or T4 becomes P3 or P4 and you have post fade at the line outs. It is very versatile and on a project that I am currently mixing, we can feed puppeteer's vox to particular actors who need to react to it. One of the many great things about the Sonosax ST which was my mixer for nearly 8 years were the aux outs. The X3 is infinitely more flexible and with a little AJA ADA box I can have 12 line outs - more than enough for the sort of movies that I do. I hope this clarifies it for you. Tim I have added a screen shot of config page showing T3 pre fade and P4 which is T4 switched to post fade.
  17. And remember it isn't just the brand of kit you use as both Cinela and Rycote are premium products. The set-up of your suspension is vital if it to work at its best. With both Rycote and Cinella there are different stiffness of suspension available which have to be matched to the mass of the mic. Don't expect a 416 to need the same suspension as DPA4017. And when you get the right suspension components, is your header cable to the mic light and flexible? The old twin core Sanken Cos-11 cable works well for me. And are you rolling off the bottom end sufficiently? I am a big fan of the Rycote Tac!t between the mic and the mic pre-amp. Makes all the difference. Small tweeks can make a big difference. Yes you can chuck your old system out and buy a new one but will the new one be better because it is a superior product or because it is better set up? Tim
  18. Sub assemblies for the top section of the new sound cart are coming together. Various machined parts are off to the annodiser. Stuart tells me he's not been idle and the rear power panel is assembled! The front panel with the battery meter and switches will happen next week. The board is power / switching / audio distorto. You can see a line or regulators which will use the aluminium side panel as a heat sink. These are the 10 3A 5v regulators for the USB sockets: there are 4 twin sockets at the back and the pair on the front panel. There are 3 x hirose for internal connection to the comms transmitters' battery illiminators and for the gigabit switch (for Dante). The transformers are belt and braces isolation for unbalanced audio to the comms transmitters and the cart speakers. Stuart being a former sound mixer, he thinks of these things! More soon..... Tim
  19. Although it doesn't roll off the tongue, unless we come up with a really good generic name, 2054 is the number that most manufacturers use for both the long and short varieties. I have heard the term 'SM Bus' but many batteries (and components) are SM Bus so the term doesn't really tie them down. Even manufacturers like Cell-Con http://www.cell-con.com/pdf/D90498_DataSheetBP.pdf who use their own numbering system, if you look at their spec, are '2054 compliant'. I have a collection of Inspired Energy, RRC and Aaton batteries, all the same shape and high power density. They are all 2054s. Tim
  20. No estimate yet. I can tell you from handling Simon's cart that it is not at all heavy and mine will be lighter. I am very conscious of weight and I will be doing everything to keep it under control making sure that anything I add is the lightest and strongest it can be. In fact, manoeuvring Simon's cart, I naturally lifted the the front with the sedan chair handles as it is so light and well balanced. My previous carts have needed more of a weigh lifter stance but this one will be different. Tim
  21. I am still a few weeks away from my new cart being ready but it is all coming along nicely. What is a few weeks when my (shorter) part of this project has been ticking away in the background for a little over 2 years. As we get towards completion, I have finalised the gear that is going to fit in - the Cantar X3 didn't exist when we started this - and more parts have to be designed to mount and power it all. For instance, what started as a simple 1U powering and switching box has become power and audio. It now houses comms to my crew, the hop to video village, feeds to speakers and there is a small gigabit network switch for Dante. It has a range of DC outputs: nominal 12v on 4 pin XLR and Hirose and 8 x 5v outputs on the same ruggedised Amphenol double USB sockets as we have on the X3 all with silent linear regulators and each capable of 3A! No point in skimping at this stage! See the panel below. But addressing Michaels question about the 'funky' wheels: They are clearly noisier than wheels with rubber tyres over rough concrete and we will have to see how they work out over time. We actually have directly replaceable conventional wheels 'just in case' that were left over from the rolling spiders Stuart previously made. In fact the cart is so light compared with my previous carts that just lifting the small wheels to manoeuvre the cart is no problem at all. Any big moves, I will tip it back and roll it on the big wheels. I will update you when I am up and running. Tim
  22. TJW

    Sonosax SX-R4+

    Or a cheap and dirty solution offered to me by Paul Paragon for additional outputs on a Cantar X1 / X2, would be to connect an AES3 output from the Sonosax through a Neutrix NADITBNC-FX (http://www.thomann.de/gb/neutrik_naditbncfx_aesebu_bncadapter.htm) transformer so AES is converted to SPDIF, and then for monitoring feeds, comms etc you could use a Lindy DA converter http://www.lindy.co.uk/audio-video-c2/converters-scalers-c105/audio-spdif-analogue-dacs-c106/spdif-dac-pro-with-phono-outputs-p7011 or others on Amazon / eBay for £12. I am not suggesting it is the highest fidelity but has its uses. Tim Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 20.55.02.pdf Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 20.54.36.pdf Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 18.56.23.pdf
  23. Once this cart is up and running, I will look at covers. I have some light waterproof material that will make a light rain / dust cover and roll up really small and as with my version of the cart the recorder and mixer are just above the battery when stowed, I will be using this whenever we wheel the cart from one stage to another. One of the drawbacks of the flight case based cart that I wanted to get away from was that with everything enclosed, there were a lot of jumper cables from the audio devices to sockets on the flight cases, all of which added a lot of weight. Just the cables that I removed from that system (many were left installed with the panel sockets) weighted 7kg. The Sonosax ST was another 9kg, there was a big PSU and AA charging, all of which I have shed saving (as it sounds more impressive in old money) 40lb. The idea is that this working cart can go almost anywhere and everything else can go on the follow cart or stay in the sound van. Once I have an accessory bracket engineered for the front of the Cantar X3 and I have the six pack and accessories mounted, I will visit KT Systems who are local to me with both cart and recorder and we can put our minds to really well engineered bags and covers. As Simon mentioned, we have had an eye on Peli case sizes when building these carts so that for shipping, the with all the gear installed (and with foam spacers inserted), the top section should drop into a peli possibly onto a mounting bracket with the same two pins that secure the top section on the lift mechanism. Likewise the other two sections can be boxed up in Peli cases. As for travelling the sound gear on the camera truck........ why would you? Tim
  24. ...... and until recently neither would we expect to see the line producer standing behind a high desk. Standing / high position is good! Tim
  25. I have mixed on both the X2 and the X3. The X2 has a very usable little mixer, much improved if the a recent lower friction slider plate is fitted. I have mixed a couple of films directly on my X2 and it is quite do-able if for whatever reason you cannot use a panel / Cooper / Sonosax. The X3 is in another league. Aaton have put in a lot of design work into the magnetic slider concept. When I was at Grenoble a couple of years ago and I tried an early test rig of a single slider on the bench, I knew then that they were on to something really good. The linear faders (which Aaton refer to as sliders) on the X3 are in another league to the X2 - really smooth and with a longer throw. As the X3 can be used in the bag with the slider plate vertical, there has to be some friction otherwise the faders would open under their own weight but they have made them very smooth and it is very easy to cross fade. Yes they are closer spaced than my Sonosax but they are the 'on recorder faders' and there will be many Cantar X3 users who do all their work on these faders as they are just so good. I have just done the final six weeks on a film where I used predominantly the on board X3 faders and they worked really well for me. Aaton are also producing a linear fader panel for the Cantar X3 which is called Cantarem 2. Unlike the previous Cantarem panel which had Penny and Giles faders, the new panel will have a further development of the magnetic faders. The spacing and the travel will be similar to Cooper / Sonosax but on the new panel, as it will be used horizontally, Aaton have reduced the friction further still, making the faders feel like new Penny and Giles or the Sonosax Ko-On faders. The Cantarem 2 faders have polished rails that the faders slide on and this has really changed the feel to ultra smooth. I have taken the plunge and sold my Sonosax ST and will be using the X3 / Cantarem 2 as my main system (X3 / Cantarem, currently) and I do not see it as any compromise. In fact by loosing the analogue desk, it opens up so many other Cantar features such as channel delays, Dante, AES42 mode 2 and of course direct use of the legendary Aaton pre-amps that I would have bypassed if I had stayed with the Sonosax. As for latency: yes, if you come from an analogue desk to the X3 you will notice it at first but you soon learn to work with it. As I use my X2 on board mixer I am used to some latency and I understand that the X3 figure is a quarter of that of the X2. X3 is a massive step forward. Tim
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