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Tom Craca

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Everything posted by Tom Craca

  1. Tom Craca

    Camera Hops

    Hey Jon, I noodled this through the beginning of this year with the impending spectrum crunch and my re-blocking of some of my units as well as investing in 4 new Lectro SRC systems in the last 18 months. My concerns were having flexibility to have my dedicated hops away from my inbounds depending on what bag/cart and how many I was using as well as other factors. In the past I was using two SRC's w/ batt sleds, or AES bottoms (which I absolutely love). I'm still primarily using Comtek 216 for IFB's with Lectros in the mix every so often so that isn't my big concern. I was hopeful/waiting for something Lectro that I had in mind would fit the bill but have since run into a critical time crunch to address the issue so here's what I arrived at and I am very happy so far. Priorities were size (smaller cameras and grumpier ops), Analog and AES (for Amira's & F55s), battery eliminators and internal options (DSLR's and C300s), spectrum flexibility and output power (both high and low). I ended up hands down, no questions unanswered, with the Wisycom ENG52 units and the MTP40s Band 7 TX's and here's why I think they are the best option right now (for me) for camera hops: Size: Bigger than G3's but smaller than my SRC's especially with bat sleds. Outputs: Analog, AES and a headphone 3.5mm that I have attenuated successfully for mic in to Red cams Power: The battery eliminators for the RX's and TX's are expensive, but essential for me. And the RX's can immediately take 2 AA's for those cams that have no DC out. Spectrum: 470-663, and higher up to 1160?? in the RX (requiring different TXs). So I have full spectrum to move around whatever inbounds on my bag/cart I'm using that day as well as access to the guard band and duplex gap (Power limitations addressed in TX's) Power: MTP40s Band 7 Linear TX's cover 470-663, have 10mw, 20mw, Linear 20 (ie narrow band), 50mw, 100mw). I don't need 50 or 100 mw in a bag going to a cam 10' away and don't want any excess spray. Plus, to use the guard band TX's will be limited to 20mw or less and these address that issue. There is a learning curve with all the settings and customization available (squelch, wide or narrow band, multiple companders, etc.) coming from Lectro (turn it on and it works without input). The scan functions and spectrum data is phenomenal on the RX and attached to a ....... well, you'll see someday soon. That all being said, I recently bought two full sets (2 RX, 4 TX) and a full complement of cables and battery eliminators (not cheap) and have been using them in the field. Recently with hops on two different Reds (with internal batteries), and a pair of F55's (with battery eliminators) just yesterday and today. I couldn't be happier so far. It all depends on your client base and workflows but for mine, with many clients I have still wanting broadcast quality audio on cam, these fit the bill to a tee. And, a big plus, is Wisycom USA is now based here in Alexandria, VA with tech support, etc... Geoff Baynard is whom you should reach out to directly and there are Wisycom groups now on Facebook. My $.02 cents. Your use may vary. Cheers.
  2. If Jim's not available I can be. Cheers. 301-233-2888 Craca.Audio@Gmail.Com
  3. Tom Craca

    Rain protection sound bag

    Sadly, you really need a few of these. The older Petrol "rain bib" and now one produced by Sactler and KTek. PROS: I found was good in very light mist or rather useful in dusty or sandy conditions. It's rather small to throwin a fanny pack or pocket to quickly deploy to just protect the mixer bag. CONS: You, however, are on your own. I had / have the older Petrol ones and the older clear vinyl plastic became brittle over time from being rolled up for months without use. The poncho, several makers now, is great if you are working in a situation where its a quick transition from outside (wet) to inside (dry). I do football coverage and usually at the end of games I have to suit up to go out on the field for about 15-20 minutes at the end of the game in cold / wet weather. Then quickly go inside to a hot, humid locker room for a duration. PROS: The poncho is great because you can don the whole thing, also slide your boom underneath until deployment, and when you transition to inside, take the whole thing off. CONS: Because your body is also underneath the same "bag" the humidity is fairly quick to fog up the vinyl window. It also gets toasty in hot weather, but it's open design (and the newer ones have venting) helps a little. Also, if you wish to drop your mixer bag and walk away, it will remain unprotected. The Audio Bag rain bags (VersaFlex, MTO ShooterSlicker) completely seals in your audio bag separate from yourself. I do some hurricane / snow storm / live broadcast outdoor coverage and prefer this for those situations. PROS: These completely enclose the mixer bag (top, sides / bottom) with sleeves to insert your arms and ports for cable exits. The audio bag clips inside, and you then harness up to the rain bag. This makes is easy to set down and walk away with everything remaining protected, keeps it dry if you set it on the ground, or makes for quick transitioning from say a cart or table platform to straping on, or for changing your own layers without exposing the mixer bag to the elements. The newer materials for the vinyl windows are much improved for fogging and durability. Some of the bags have venting and pockets you can also use for hot packets in the cold. CONS: Access isn't as easy as the other two options. You have to snake your hands in through the sleeves on some, and under large flaps on others. They take some configuring to get placement correct for viewing of meters, etc. and does take longer to insert or remover components. But once you're all set it's good. I personally use an older rain bib from Petrol, a Petrol Poncho, and a MTO Audio Slicker with some custom mods from Susan Ottalini from MTO Shooter Slicker (pic attached). Get one of each from any maker and you're set for whatever situation you encounter. Oh, and some FilmTools Bag-It's to just go over the whole cart / rig / trolley in a downpour. Cheers. Nick Huston from Gotham Sound NY did a great video on some options. Check that out here:
  4. Tom Craca

    SRC-A1 firmware update is available for download

    I just updated my 4 units with the SRSUB and went flawless. Just remember if you are MAC, open the USB updater before Wireless Designer and it's seamless.
  5. There should also be s sticker inside the battery compartment.
  6. Tom Craca

    NFL sideline mic

    Sanken CS3e And a 17’ Pole. Stay behind the dashed yellow lines.
  7. Tom Craca

    664 panic

    Try playing in the 664 again. There was a iTunes / ma update issue a few years ago with wav files.
  8. Tom Craca

    Zaxcom Maxx AES out & Sony F5 not working

    I've never had a problem sending AES out of a Sound Devices 633/688 into F5 or 55's. When that camera first came out the AES wasn't enabled in the earlier firmware. Perhaps camera isn't fully updated to current?
  9. Tom Craca

    Red Weapon 8K Audio Issue

    I had an issue come up today with a Weapon with the latest firmware update which allows internal recording simultaneously of Raw and some other hi-res codec (can't remember). two tracks sent to cam (yes... as reference/scratch), were recoded to the Raw files, but no audio recorded to the other codec. Audio was displaying on cam entire time, no menu settings to enable / disable audio record individually for each format, time code input accurate on both files. Firmware issue likely but be aware.
  10. Tom Craca

    Red Weapon 8K Audio Issue

    Make sure you turn phantom power off in the camera audio menu as that does induce noise on the mic inputs.
  11. Tom Craca

    Farewell innovation?

  12. Tom Craca

    Farewell innovation?

    I sure hope no one puts a microphone into a MixPre 3, clips that on their belt, records, and then god forbid plugs a wireless transmitter into that to send the signal elsewhere.
  13. Tom Craca

    sound devices 633 inputs 4-6

    Your trim settings on 4-6 with line level Lectrosonics should be around 10 to get you fader at 12 o'clock with good SN. PFL input, use select knob to adjust trim.
  14. Tom Craca

    New Betso Wireless Timecode

    The Betso SBOX-1's will cross jam. I don't know about the new one. Tentacles will not cross jam but Sound Devices Recorders do so there's a workaround if you need to. Who are you Rifthead???? And check with Nick at Gotham NYC, they're price point is below $500 if I recall.
  15. Tom Craca


    Simple. Don't work without your gear. Period. Avoid the risk of equipment failure or lack of that YOUR reputation will suffer from. Avoid working harder or not optimal as you would with your custom built package and ergonomics, etc. One job isn't worth your reputation, which is all this industry judges you on.
  16. Tom Craca

    688 keyboard fail

    Same problem with the 688 and 633 both with latest firmware. Happening pretty much every day, several times. Sometimes I think it happens when I may be messing around with outputs, other times with no interaction at all. The only way I can reset it is to power off the unit, and cancel the quickboot by holding down the menu button for 5 secs. Something causes it to lose power to the USB or fail to recognize and I'm pretty sure it's a ground related thing. I've tried different cables and USB adapters, no difference. You would think this would also cause CL-12 issues but none that I've heard. This is the keyboard I'm using: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/638638-REG/Adesso_AKB_110B_EasyTouch_Mini_Keyboard_Black.html And, no, I haven't yet tried a different keyboard.
  17. Tom Craca

    Small USB Keyboard

    I'm running the latest firmware in both the 633 and 688.
  18. Tom Craca

    Tonmeister App in the Appstore

    I want/desire what Tonemeister provided for the 788 but for the 6 Series.... Metering views, metadata input, maybe some rec/stop and fader control. I really don't need the timecode control/distro aspect. So what are we expecting to see with the new interface????
  19. Tom Craca

    Small USB Keyboard

    I've had a recurring problem with my usb keyboard with both my 633 and 688. Worked fine the first few days, but ever since it will lose connectivity and I couldn't get it to work again each day. Finally figured it out today. Seems like if it starts working at initial setup, which it always does, and then perhaps I'm fiddling with outputs or something and it becomes unresponsive, I couldn't get it back regardless of unplugging or power cycling. Today, it happened again, and the only way I can get it to reconnect is to power down the 6 Series, AND cancel the quickboot (hold the menu button for 5 secs). Then, on power up, the keyboard is recognizable again. Seems like a ground burp that affects the USB port or something.
  20. Tom Craca

    Tonmeister App in the Appstore

    And I thought the Beetle interfacing with the 6 Series Sound Devices was dead....... Am I mistaken?????
  21. Tom Craca

    tax ID & payment

    A sole proprietor can get a Tax ID (EIN) number from the IRS in one email. Do It. No one can arbitrarily change your tax status as a sole-proprietor / Single Member LLC / Partnership / S-Corp etc.. as long as you are compliant with your states regulations. They don't want to deal with Back-Up withholding or bother with a Independant Contractor Workman's Comp Policy (which is available). Any company can choose to treat you any way they want (I disagree) but it falls back to you saying yes or no. Either allow them to ignore your state and federally recognized business status or don't. I fight tooth and nail to never go through payroll (unless IATSE). I can prove, and have done so, that I am not an employee and am in fact an independent contractor as far as the IRS is concerned (Form ss-8). I won't jeopardize my business and tax status by working as an employee and providing "box kit rental" (meaning personally owned equipment provided as an employee). And lastly and more importantly, any income you receive by some entertainment industry payroll company isn't available for you to contribute to your SEP or i401(k).
  22. Tom Craca

    Double booming, but not what you think.

    I think I know who that was based on the pic; no comment on the placement as it could be perspective in the pic. I fly a double boom (on one pole) often for single subject direct to cam work. Either a Sanken CS-3e/Schoeps CMC41 pair, CMC41/OctavaMC012, or CMC41/MK8. I started that 10 years or more ago because I was tired of client insisting on a boom and a lav to use their accustomed 2 tracks to cam. It morphed into a pair of mono mics (for redundancy for their piece of mind) to two mics that sound so close but just different enough for an editor to choose from. Personally, most times I like how they sound when listening to them in stereo as split left / right. Gives it just a bit of width that I find pleasing. One thing I do however, is mono sum the tracks in my headphones at the beginning and phase reverse (if necessary) one mic just in case someone sums the tracks to mono. To each their own, I hate lavs unless absolutely unavoidable.
  23. Tom Craca

    WTH??? Lectro SMQV M???

    Could they be wired for the older style 195 / 200 series bias inputs? The transmitter inputs that is.
  24. Tom Craca

    RIP Senator Fred Thompson

    I worked with him on Capitol Hill a few times in the early 2000's. I remember him as polite and genuine. RIP.
  25. Tom Craca

    Which Comtek BST 75/216

    Thanks, that's kind of what I interpreted from the descriptions too.