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The Immoral Mr Teas

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Everything posted by The Immoral Mr Teas

  1. Hi MRW, I’ll be brief now but hope to chime in with more detail in a few days. Aside from an understanding of the ‘basics’ (which could be anything up to a tonmeister style degree of film sound technique / engineering / music theory / sound physics) I have absolutely believed for a long time that film sound students should be taught “whatever else is going on on the film set and in post” and even more importantly that the rest of the same year’s film course should be given a serious introduction to film sound as it relates to them (‘sound for producers’, ‘sound for camera’, ‘sound for production design’ as well as the obvious possibility of ‘for makeup’ ‘for costume’ if in the same faculty). And for the creative side, ‘sound for writing’ ‘sound for directors’ ‘sound for storytelling’. What I believe should be (perhaps gently) learnt on any kind of film course is: on the first professional jobs - keep mouth shut and eyes and ears open - ask questions after you’ve already thought over it; learn to understand the other departments problems and expectations; observe the politics ... then enjoy the chaos! Jez Adamson
  2. Hi Fred, post will look first at the script and then afterwards at the film (first cut, assembly or whatever) to find out everything they can about story elements, vehicles, objects, animals and birds and atmospheres. There will probably already be a ‘first library’ of probable elements even before the supervising sound editor sees a frame if the budget is sufficient and they were decided upon in time. Obvious sound elements like objects and vehicles are of immediate concern. Nice clean recordings, with clear ‘in/out’ points and from different perspectives to match camera will be very much appreciated for on-screen objects - the priority being for the more individual in character or difficulty to track down later for foley (bruitage). The most important of all are objects which are sonically or visually part of the storytelling. Occasionally there are important (script) objects which look spectacular but sound quite mediocre - even so, a recording of such for post not only lets them know that you were aware and want to point it out but also that they can easily demonstrate to director and production that this is the case and help them to budget to find or create a suitable sound. Aside from screen or story objects, as Olle said vehicles are a big part of vintage stories - in your case probably not only the odd car but perhaps animal driven as well. If such ‘props’ are to be sourced in Africa they are perhaps extremely unlikely to be available to a post team in France (unless the budget and spirit of cooperation are both huge). As much separate ‘second unit’ (even if only one member of the sound team with perhaps help from a junior member of the art department for example) sound recorded away from filming of such items will help a great deal for post - obviously in the best conditions you can get away with. Again, even if ‘good recordings’ are difficult or impossible to achieve, a recording of ‘what it is’ will help both as a guide to accuracy for effects editors and as a potential demonstration to production that extra is needed from them later. The worst that you, the production sound team, can ever possibly do is to miss an opportunity to get at least a recording of something that it will be impossible to ever get again. The best you can do is to collaborate pre-filming with the main sound editor to have a good plan of what opportunities may occur and which to go for (or fight for). It is understood - and sadly too common - that both are out of your control! Aside from all that your job is to get the cleanest possible dialogue and you already know the difficulties of achieving that for a period fiction. So your efforts in this regard will always be appreciated in post beyond anything else. Post will be able to research a ‘soundscape’ that is realistic in atmosphere, wildlife and detail which works to tell the story. French bruitage is second to none (although perhaps more subtle generally than American ‘blockbuster’ foley). Are you in Paris by the way? I was stagier there early in my career and have several friends in post sound there. My boss of one time, Richard Delmotte of the Harlequin cinema (Films Cosmos and Arkeion Films) spent twenty years making and distributing films in Africa from the era you are talking about. Period sound I have worked on includes the Anne Hathaway film Becoming Jane ten years or so ago. Hope this is a good starter, all the best, Jez Adamson
  3. Addendum (hopefully not merged but if so then so be it - read separately)! Just reread on cutaways, filming, etc (and hence editing ... around no ‘complete’ playback, though presuming music is always a playback and hence some base). I would definitely make sure that after the three “master” takes are filmed / recorded that each camera closeup take is married to a new on camera (mono ok) sound capture for editing / mixing boost. MKH 50 taken off stand and put on boom would be best but if time is an issue one of those 416s mounted onto the CU camera would do the duty. End of addendum.
  4. Hi again, firstly I would use what you have (two sets of excellent mics for stereo) assuming you have a recorder that will record 5 channels easily - and just as importantly some kind of setup that could later mix down three channels into two for a two channel stereo master mix. Secondly I would download (from rycote) The Stereoscopic Zoom which deals with recording angles for two channel setups over different mic types: your MKH50 is a ‘narrow’ hyper. I would then look again at the presumed (and possible) setup of the performers and predict a decent performing angle - based on a pair of MKH50s - to record them. ORTF in theory demands a pair of ‘perfect’ cardioid mics so simply putting two MKH 50s in the same setup will give very different results (and the MKH 40 also is a tight pattern compared with theoretical cardioid). Third, I would use the three RE50s (mics I have no experience with) as a secondary ‘Decca Tree’ omni arrangement, totally separate from the MKH pair - both as a backup and as a potentially interesting set. With that kind of volume and a kind acoustic the dynamic omnis (?? they are omni like the 20s I believe ??) might even behave better than the condensers. I might point the Middle mic slightly upward to even out HF directionality but that’s me pontificating before the day. I would concentrate on the two MKH 50s though, which, being hypers will be very closely positioned anyway to get any stereo recording angle, as on one stand / stereo bar. The room might well be too loud with that many singers and reverb so prepare to put the cut on both mics: this could be crucial to consider for any even minor rehearsal, and bear in mind if there is any mics/amplification already set up which might kick in only after any rehearsal. I would start ‘flat’ however and only pad when I knew there was a problem if any. Your main question (if you go with the MKH50s as your main recording pair) will be how far to pull them back to have the ratio of recorded to diffuse sound - and this may be dictated largely by the auditorium itself. After that, adjusting the recording angle will be what is needed, but fairly quick to do - it’s very much a case of planning ahead in intention and making the best use of any rehearsal time (partly why I also advocate setting up a decca tree, plugging it in and leaving it before concentrating one’s efforts on a main stereo pair). Finally, fwiw, I would ignore the 416s completely (and the lavs) BUT - if an audience reaction would be favourable to capture as well as the performance (and for ‘live’ the audience often is ‘the performance’) then a couple of 416s pointed into the audience recorded onto their own tracks might also eventually help out assuming you have the extra separate tracks. But set them up with the Decca and forget about them. Concentrate on a main pair. Hope some help, best, Jez Adamson
  5. Whenever an actor has asked me who I have worked with, rather than anyone else asking the same question, the answer was, "Billie Whitelaw" ...
  6. Reminded of a beer I brewed myself twenty-odd years ago that I never got the opportunity to name: my friend instantly Christened it, “Christmas Anorak” (it was one of my poorer ones) ... J
  7. Jay, I always thought that was just how HOLLYWOOD sounded outside. Jez
  8. Wow! Going to that much trouble I'm surprised you didn't just (OK more work) make a microdot to TA5 link. But ok, cheers, interesting!
  9. The MKH 50 might well distort but won't be damaged. If post are unhappy about a distorted track (edit or sound mix as previously said) then the level filter on the 50 will provide safety and post can push the gain. Regarding the stereo bar I agree with Grant: piggy back the mics and keep it simple for windshielding if needed. Jez Having said all that I would probably put the cut on the 50 anyway : it would make audio generally more usable such that post could make more use of the 50 mic and only have to resort to the 57 when necessary.
  10. Hi Steve, I’d begin with an obvious one - piggy back two mics on boom both set safely for what you want recorded and record two totally separate tracks expecting unusable rubbish on the unwanted channel - PRESUMING the recorder can do this without trouble. Secondly deal with the anticipated/rehearsed stuff on extra tracks separately if this can be done - so that it is pretty much as good as it can be (I’d still play safe ...) Third (but also first) check with post that whatever you do (ie- multichannel with expected crap as I suggest) can work for them with their system and timeframe - and check fully: editorial might be happy with a crap but hearable mix so long as the mixer can trust the stems. If they are not and need a “mix” then take it from there - levels and limiters but it won’t be as potentially good. Just my basic first thoughts - the last thing I recorded for fun and without trying too hard (=preparing) was our annual brass bands procession / political rally / street party / riot - and even from the safe second floor rooftop position it was more gain riding than I could be bothered with. Hopefully, as always, more and better advice will follow. If you are right in there “with the drum core” the obvious details are: can you get a higher gain (directional?) mic on the boom that won’t get damaged ie diaphragm; can you monitor ok and move around safely; protect your hearing despite all the rest, even if by swapping ears listening mono and periodically plugging the other ... Making any use of preparation time, particularly with instruments (and groups of instruments) you’re not familiar with, is a must. But back to the beginning, for something like this, if you get to communicate with post regarding their expectations you might well either make yourself a hero or save yourself a lot of time! (I am post sound, btw!) Best, Jez ... ha! 2 minutes later ... same wavelength and (nearly) perfect sync with Jay !
  11. Jeff, that’s brilliant. My friend had a similar “claim to fame” (or her dad at least) that Jimi Hendrix threw up over his drum kit. Nick, as a failed / gave up piper, I hope that everyone here appreciates the skill involved in recording those beasts even in easier circumstances ... Jez
  12. Does this mean, “no longer the choice between blue/grey and brown/orange” (yippee!) or, ”only a choice between blue/grey and brown/orange” (hmm, no change then ...) J x
  13. Vata / Elias, welcome and the best of luck. Jon’s first point is the best advice - try your best to get yourself known by local crew (actually any crew, not just mixers - if folks like you and appreciate your aim, you will hopefully be helped along the way). Most (perhaps all) of us have started by being humble, focused and determined, and owe a lot to the people who have recognised our promise and either supported us along the way or taken us on and taught us directly. Aside from that folks with strong (or existing) unions should understand that Greece is not in the same battle that the US currently might be in. I started nearly thirty years ago and already at that stage UK unions had been broken to nothing and the BBC were making lifetime employees redundant and hiring them back on revolving 3 month contracts. And that was the ‘job for life’ BBC we dreamed of working for ... Posting here was a good first move. Second move is getting to know the local professionals. The third move is staying power - with the profession and here with us! Jez
  14. Hey fair enough - Obviously it is a requirement in the wider sense of what is expected (and asked for), didn’t mean to really challenge the obvious point made. And of course for some time we’ve now got higher resolution unusable tracks from the Avid, not just the 16 bit beautifully eq-ed, beautifully panned, beautifully levelled guide crap OMF of old! (Just a joke! Well, hopefully!) Seriously, whilst higher resolution and higher bit rates etc have been catered for within much of the post environment for quite some time I cannot really guess whether required/expected tracks will suddenly jump to a higher echelon, either through workflow, consumer standardisation (like 18 and 20 bit disappearing into 24) or some yet unexpected fashion. But it all happened before so I wouldn’t be surprised. We’ll just have the choice of “good” 192k64bit and rubbish 192/64 or whatever ... and we’ll still be upconverting from 44/16! Ha ha - just don’t make the fatal error of using the main audio! - BTW, the UK broadcast industry has happily been bobbling away at 48 along with the rest of Europe for the last few decades but now by “popular authority” it has been decided to change to 52, “come what may- and bugger the workflow”! So, I suggest anything is possible - and the worst is always probable.
  15. Hi Neumann, if it has to be portable I would wholeheartedly go for the Nagra IV-S ! If you wanted something more modern, still quite sexy (though a little less class), perhaps the Nagra 7. Beyond that, it depends what you want it to do, what you want to spend and how big you are looking for ... although I have a possibly unfounded idea you want to connect it to an RSM 190 ?? Tascam for small, Zoom F4/8 series or Mixpre for medium (similar to original Fostex LE) budget, possibly secondhand SD 7 series if extra professional features are advantageous (word clock and digital IO). Or Sonosax, Nagra, etc up the scale ... Not too certain of secondhand or import possibilities in Leeds however compared to US and elsewhere (though we are still, gasp, technically elsewhere until the end of the month ...). A Zoom F4 might be the better value, SD MP6 Series 2 a happy buy ... ? Jez, writing from Durham, Europe
  16. ... yet Avid Protools (and everything else sound) can ... so my guess is, “who knows”? In post I had never even thought of 24bit as a requirement, but an obvious convenience since we’re (or were) editing in 48/24 ... there’s still an awful lot that gets converted (old sfx, hi-def sfx, off the cuff adr, weird gadget recordings and director’s special wishes). Also, 40 bit, 32 float, 64 bit have been around a long time in systems. For production recording, if it happens (before another significant change) it would I guess be as a result of some decent workflow standard cropping up between prod and post. Even then, post these days can juggle stuff it never used to be able to. Jez
  17. I generally like the sound of a decent microphone when and if it has been placed in the spot which will give the result of a lovely representation of the object sound. On a film set (or on AV stuff generally) getting the mic in the best place for sound rather than picture / storytelling is not always or often going to happen. In a studio we have much more leeway. I prefer the sound of a 4060 to a 4071 but that boost has its place. I like the sound of the 4060 and it is a lav. I also prefer (for all the reasons discussed many times) the sound of a well placed boom, but appreciate the ‘other tool’ ... But in the end Boom ME up too - and “Submit Reply” with my apologies for keeping this going!!
  18. Exactly like that, although if you can get / find a cloth-cabled one you might like it even more ... that’s what I have for my two working 805s ... (I also have a completely dead 805 and another which was briefly working fine until I decided it was a spare and took it apart to try making a three quarters length barrel! ... ) Of course, the benefit here is that it is a boom / zeppelin short cable which is desirable anyway, not an extra length to the actual mic body.
  19. Thanks for the write-up Alex. The only internally cabled boom I ever had I ended up pulling the cable out of (which I still use as a boom cable!) ... I know that it is possible to Do It Yourself but I kind of wish that I could easily buy cable lengths that were partially coiled with LONG straight ends (and preferably a wider coil for external use). Still, it was obvious that spaced sponge grommets along an internal boom cable should probably be a decent solution. By the way, I bought a Rode Micro Pro boom which I hoped would work as a solid ‘extra top length’ section (I mean just one of the three sections) for a travel pole. Sadly, whilst it works great as designed it was too ‘rattley’ atop my favourite old faithful short Canford pole - I would be curious if anyone has tried the same with other poles as it would provide a substantial occasional extension for travel poles. Cheers, Jez
  20. Actually I’ve never used an MKH 435 but just judging from what Werther has said I presume it is the same capsule/electronics ‘guts’ (or at least very similar) to the MKH 416 (or 415 or even 406) in a body that creates a cardioid or hyper-cardioid pattern. It might be just the very ‘sound’ you’re looking for, so might be worth looking for one on eBay or consignment... Covering up the slots in front of the capsule of a 416 will render it somewhat like a cardioid with a tube in front of it. Covering also the slots behind the capsule will make it back into a curiously focused omni. Neither would sound great across its frequency range. I’ve never taken apart an MKH 416 but I have mutilated an MKH 805 ... and as such I found out that the ACTUAL interference tube was not the fancy upper slots (in the case of the old 805) but a series of holes along the top. No idea how interference tubes have changed or advanced over the years ... Viscount, I would follow Werther’s suggestion I think and have a listen to the 435 if you can find one. Best, Jez
  21. As far as I recall it was (probably) just an application rather than a system as such. Just a digital feed that allowed data rather than audio to be put to a dat tape ... and it most likely followed all the existing archiving formats (DLT etc) in time - just being a cheap “this will do it” alternative. It just needed a digital in into a dat recorder. It screamed in at full scale so best not to monitor! I now remember I have some of my personal stuff archived such. From Akai DD8? Not too sure how I could retrieve it though the actual audio (rather than the auxiliary data) should be simple enough. Jez
  22. Rick has pretty much said it in brief. Word clock is a sync device - and is used EXTENSIVELY in post to sync several machines together. As Rick says, time code is not a provider of sync but, reliant on machines being synced, is a reference. A digital feed (AES3, AES42, SPDIF etc) has an embedded sync which can be used to sync machines together. Word clock however is simpler (being only the sync) and thus more foolproof if you are dealing with multiple units (in post this will be a dedicated Master unit and several Slaves). Hard to really elaborate beyond that ... look for a general write up on sync (post 1980?). Word clock on (eg) Sound Devices 7 series machines was put there for a good reason - to ensure a trouble free connection - even though clocking through AES would work well enough (albeit losing 2 channels). Jez
  23. Regarding archiving - the last few threads (my fault!) - I have a vague memory of actually archiving to DAT back in the early/mid nineties ... called something like D-DAT perhaps (for data). That said, I don’t remember any of my post houses using it as a main thing. We in post having the same shit with DAT as our fellows in the field! We did use the (also cartridge based) DLT (short for for Dave Lee Travis, a BBC World Service DJ who kept the pop beacon alight for the short lived democratic renaissance of Burma). DLT seemed to work, at least I haven’t heard the bad stories. Beyond that, however, recording to open reel digital, and archiving to open reel digital, seem to be still accepted as trustworthy, and the latter preferred to disk or even solid state. Been a while since I talked to a data archivist though! Jez
  24. Still used (and reliably) in archiving tho, Crew? (Certainly not DAT however! ...) J
  25. Oball activity toy - cheers Dan - photos of mine on a stereo bar with 8040s on a previous post (last page) work great! best, Jez
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