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Brian Whitlock

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  • Location
    Bozeman, MT
  • About
    Location Sound Engineer of 15 years.
  • Interested in Sound for Picture
    Yes

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  1. I just plugged a flipped-polarity 12VDC supply into an IFB100. Now it doesn't work. Someone tell me there's a breaker or fuse.
  2. I have new TRX900LAs and need SD cards. I recall Zax not liking some brands in the past. Is this still the case? Any recommendations on SD card brands? Brian
  3. Mike M., You make a good point. I don't think the C300 is being marketed as an ENG camera. But more and more, doc and ENG shoots want that "cinematic look". It's the buzz phrase I hear in so many pre-production sessions. "Cinematic look" seems to translate as shallow depth-of-field, prime lenses and secret camera settings by an in-house wonk. The C300 is often a first choice. You're also right that historically, ENG is a single-system world. But that's changing more and more. The steady reliance on wireless links to camera, the (understandable) resistance of DPs to monitor wireless mixes and the lack of external DC outputs to power wireless links have all pushed ENG shoots to rely on dual-system. Every network or cable non-fiction shoot I've mixed in the past year has required TC-stamped backup audio. Of those, most required a 2-channel production mix wireless to camera, with multi-track audio backed up in the bag. Don't get me wrong, I like this trend. I like TC-locked multitrack in the field. It makes the job more interesting and makes shows sound better. But why are we begging for accurate 30-frame code in a camera that makes 4K images? Maybe I just feel neglected. ;-)
  4. Thanks Jason. The 90-degree is a good option. I lose range on my 411As when the TRX has no filter. My TRX is in its own block too. I do a lot of outdoor work and often am on the end of Lectro's ideal range. Zax really needs to make an injection molded type end on those coax cables. Side note: I still have a Neumann RSM-191 that I love for dialogue, but it's a finicky little bitch of a mic. It's unusable any where around a Zaxcom link.
  5. I find the C300's timecode drift issues maddening. It's inexcusable in this era. Like many small cameras, The C300's TC drift contribute to a cascade of shortfalls that undermine reliable audio. Here's the cascade: 1. In hand-held non-fiction work, we often run wireless-to-camera. Like many mixers, I use a Zaxcom link. The C300 has no external 12VDC (Hirose) out, which means you power it internally and have to watch the batteries like a hawk. 2. There is no convenient place to mount the wireless receiver; all locations generate a whining noise which I've trianulated as coming from the camera person's mouth. But mounting options are: -strapped in the outer portion of the camera's lens handle. -Velcroed to the back of the LCD screen. -box mounted on the bottom of the camera -in a butt pack the camera person wears with a 4-foot duplex jumper. 3. The C300 fine-scale audio metering is directly below the eye piece, so when the camera person is shooting, you can't easily verify levels from your wireless link. Also, the metering backlight toggles off during every power-down, making it more difficult to read that microscopic LCD. With all this in mind, here's the very real nightmare scenario: You and the cameraperson jammed at the last location, then jumped in the car. The C300 battery was changed during the drive. You're rushing to the next scene and a stressed out producer has you jump out of the car and start shooting a street riot. You say, "Wait, we have to rejam!" The producer insists there's no time, tires are burning, police are arresting people. The lithium AA batteries just read "9" on the Zaxcom receiver in the car, so you're good to go. But the insidious discharge curve of lithium kicks in and, while you're booming 50-feet away, the batteries go flat. The camera person doesn't notice the meters are flat, because they're so focused on their shallow depth-of-field. But you're rolling back up audio files, so you're fine. Right? But's there's no sync. This camera looks beautiful, but as a reliable ENG production tool, it's a clunker. It's just another toy camera that makes stunningly beautiful images. If you have a C300 shoot, use a Deneke or Ambient box. Tell the DP before gear prep that both a wireless link and lockit will be on the camera. Ease them into it, like coaxing a puppy into the veterinarian clinic for the first time.
  6. Occasionally the director or AD isn't familar with the nuts and bolts of the playback process. It's important to walk them through the details and options -- suspending our wonky audio lingo -- before they build a callsheet for the shoot. Playback scenes get more complex when dialogue is happening over background playback. This becomes a more complicated setup with in-ear monitors. At some level of complexity, a dedicated playback engineer is required. They're worth their weight in gold.
  7. I have broken two Zax TRX 900 coax cables from the transmitter to the bandpass filter. They're not well-built. Is anyone aware of a higher quality 3rd party coax that I can order, say, today?
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