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Everything posted by nickreich

  1. If you are unfamiliar with Arri camera timecode, best be aware of the following. There are two TC Mode options available in recent model Arri's for "jamming" to external TC: "Regen" and "Jam Sync". In both cases you want the "Run Mode" to be "Free Run". While the wider industry uses the term 'jam' to mean either connecting the recorder once, or leaving a TC box on the camera - in the Arri world, this is not the case and causes confusion If you want to connect TC from your MixPre at the start of the day, and I'd suggest at the end of Lunch Break, and 'jam' the camera's internal TC Generator to that - then select "Jam Sync" TC mode. In Arri cameras - this means sampling the incoming TC for around 30sec (sometimes longer) to accurately 'tune' the internal generator to the external source. After that time, it carries on using the Internal generator ONLY. You can disconnect the MixPre. In theory, Arri claim that this 'tune' will hold across battery changes and going off-speed, but I'm not convinced - especially for lunch-break type lengths of power off. If however you want to use an external TC box attached to the camera all the time (more common in professional practice) - choose the "Regen" TC Mode, as it's continuously referencing the external TC source each time a camera file is started.
  2. As a Theatre / Awards Show mixer - the reason we want the TXs left on all the time is not really so we can PFL them at any time. Monitoring the radios is the job of the backstage radio techs on a large live show with a multi-person crew. The main reasons for leaving them on continuously after pre-show checks are: 1) to prevent the slight chance of someone being sent onstage with a transmitter turned off (and bypassing a backstage check before they go on). 2) the more real chance that the (analog) receivers of unpowered transmitter channels are susceptible to going off and finding some other RF Noise signal to make them un-squelch. Sometimes this can cause them to output full-scale audio hash which is just plain annoying to see on the console meters when mixing. Back in the day, certain top-end analog consoles favoured by Theatre especially had the unfortunate feature that such full-scale noise could leak through a channel that was "VCA Muted" and be audible in the mix.
  3. If your initial device, with the Analog to Digital convertor is outputting 24-bit AES, having a larger bit depth available in the transport or recording path isn't going to help you. AVIO AES devices automatically ASRC (Asynchronous sample-rate convert, aka 're-clocking') the AES to match the Dante Network clock and settings - but that doesn't increase the dynamic range originally converted.
  4. I use an app from Germany called Logster, exports .csv files which I then drop into a sheet in a template Excel workbook, the Sound Devices 970 .csv sound report goes into another sheet, they get re-formatted a bit then I manually combine and sort them into the final report - I'm sure with a bit of effort I could automate them more, but it's reasonably quick. In the stuff I do, I need timestamped notes within the run-time of a single take on the recorders. Logster has the advantage that it'll chase LTC coming in the headset socket of the iPad, I have a Tentacle Sync stuck to the back of it - meaning it's accurate for non-integer TC rates like 23.976FPS which I get a lot. It seems to be a University project, so will probably stop working with the next major iOS update however. I tried MovieSlate, bought the sound dept extension etc. but it didn't suit my workflow. Logster is typed notes only, no voice.
  5. nickreich

    ARRI timecode

    I do a lot of projects shot in a similar style to the one Philip has described - both TVCs and full Cinema releases of Opera and Musicals. Almost always between 3 and 13 ARRIs. The difference is I've NEVER been asked for Playback Timecode (I call it PBTC) on a slate - the speed my various clients move at they barely squeeze in the TOD slate for the cameras. Some have previously wanted PBTC sent to a camera audio track but more common nowadays is top mics (for absolute emergency syncing only) and TOD TC boxes on cameras (via Lemo TC ins), and I run a production recorder on TOD TC in the usual way, with playback guide audio and PBTC on an audio track that they sync in the edit in the usual way for 'normal' narrative film. I've never got to the bottom of how they go from that in the edit to a multi-cam timeline with all of the takes for a particular song stacked - but they do! Either way - I sometimes also do Audio Post on these projects and the PBTC, as both a window-burn the Editors provide on my guide video, and the LTC audio track that has gone through the vision edit (hopefully muted!) are invaluable for re-syncing with the pre-record multi-tracks.
  6. I use K&S Precision Metals .025 (.64mm) Music Wire - available from Hobby stores. It's the thinnest I'd recommend and this particular brand is springy enough - don't go on size alone, maybe go one size thicker for your first attempts. I put clear heatshrink over the areas in contact with the back of the ear. Back in the days before such headsets were commercially available we used to make them out of Coat Hanger wire completely covered in heatshrink, with the mics taped on with Micropore. Very rugged but not that cool visually nowadays!
  7. Many of the professional 'Broadway' shows make their own headset 'frames' out of stainless steel 'piano' wire and attach normal Lav mics to them using either Hellermann Sleeves (short rubber tubes) or the smallest size monofilament fishing line using a whip-finisher tool. They do this rather than using the off-the-shelf headsets as the bespoke ones are more rugged, fit the performer they are made for better, and don't stick out the back of the head like the commercial ones as they don't need to be adjustable. The downside it that its a permanent build - not a drop-in and drop-out solution like I think you want. Point Source Audio make an ear-hook solution you can pop a lav in and out of, which is big, ugly and over-priced - but still not a headset per se. Sennheiser used to make exactly what I think you are asking for - a plastic headset frame that you could clip a MKE 2 lav into, and pop it back out in seconds, but they seem to be discontinued, and were only popular in Schools and such where the look of them was deemed to be acceptable. They were also designed for a slightly thicker cable than currently used on pro-level Lavs nowadays.
  8. I find decent 15" and Horn self-powered speakers, such as the JBL SRX 800 series can usually suffice as a Thumper for smaller indoor spaces (for example smaller shopfront cafe spaces or a "band rehearsal room" type scene). Pretty much all boxes with a 15" LF will be dropping off in level already at the 40Hz range I do thumps in. There are larger 3-way all-in-ones from JBL and others with an 18" LF driver that can do better and are still flat output down to around 33 Hz, but they are not practically portable enough for my liking - I prefer the separate single-18" sub with a pole mounted 12" and Horn high-mid box rigs instead as they are a lot easier to get in and out of vans etc and more versatile in deployment. This also means only the Sub has to be timber construction, you can get away with much lighter plastic high-mid boxes.
  9. if you still have copies of the corrupted files, you might like to try Audio Rescue from Pokitec (the developer of Boom Recorder). It's free. I don't think they are still actively developing anything, but the website is still there and Audio Rescue has worked for me and others in the past, better than something like Audacity - as it was written to be timecode-aware. Mac-only. https://www.pokitec.com/downloads/
  10. I'm pretty sure the Alexa LF, like the Alexa, can't Genlock at all. I looked into this last year when I was about to shoot an Opera with three of them (covid-cancelled a few days before). Apart from that - I've only used Ambient on Minis when genlocking from TC, so can't contribute anything useful - but maybe measure the level the Betso is outputting vs the Ambient that works - it might be lower or higher than the Arri can lock onto.
  11. With headsets, always tape the cable to the centre of the neck with surgical tape (I prefer something more flexible like Blenderm to Transpore (called Leukofix here in Australia). Loop the cable a bit from where it comes off the headset to cross the centerline of their neck at a 45 degree angle back towards the side the mic is on, so they can fully turn their head each way without it going tight. Definitely Omnis only unless you have PA feedback issues (and even then the advantage of Cardioids is not as great as you'd imagine). Often headset mic capsules are susceptible to wind noise from the capsule moving through the air on a fast-moving performer/gym instructor. Much more so than the forehead mounted lavs typical in Theatre for some reason - probably because the capsule is in free space. So while they don't look great, the 'add-on' windsock is a good idea. If they are still moving around a bit of tape behind each ear helps. If the boom is sitting tight to the cheek of male talent, make sure they shave just before the shoot as the boom rubbing on facial stubble is very audible.
  12. The fun thing with the old 37MHz Sennheisers was the length of the transmit aerial on the body pack. I did Theatre shows with them back in the day, and with the transmitter in a belt around the performer's hips, we'd run the aerial up and over the shoulder and pin the end to the upper chest through a little rubber band taped to the end of the aerial to keep it tight as they moved!
  13. I've used a rented QL-1 on carts built for specific shoots (both reality shows and Theatre show film shoots shot 'narrative style'). I don't run a permanently built cart as my work is too variable - though my own 01v96 still does the bulk of the work. I'm more than happy to use a QL-1 for these uses - though the 32 channel limitation on the Dante IO is annoying. I also use QL and CL series consoles a lot in the Live Sound work I still do a bit of (though strongly prefer Digico for that). Happy to have a go at answering any questions you might have though.
  14. it bi-directionally copies transport control (and Metadata in one direction) between a Sound Devices 970 recorder (using it's built-in web server) and Boom Recorder software on a mac (being used as a secondary or backup recorder) so you don't have to enter it in both places. They coded it for a Reality Show client and then made it available on the web. I just borrowed the bit that reads play and stop messages from the 970 to Boom Recorder so it makes 'files' in sync - for the purposes of making the 'sound report' as described.
  15. Hi Bouke, Livelog looks interesting - I look forward to trying it. I've been using an iPad app (Logster) for this, but in some setups having something that can run on a Laptop works better, so I've been using Boom Recorder (actually recording one track's files which I may then discard) simply as a LTC Logger / report generator - using a cut-down version of Gotham Sound's applescript to trigger from the SD970s via Pixnet. Yes I did try out "LTC Reader's" video slave mode, it works great but as I already own licences for the software from NLE called "Video Slave" which does a similar job and I'm familiar with it - I've stuck with that (and there hasn't been any real work for almost a year in my Industry anyway due to COVID!).
  16. further to this, though I suspect it was sarcastic... I choose Poly vs Mono file capture based on the following: 1) Is the material going to be Posted by someone else (about 50/50 for me) - and if someone else, are they and Audio Mixer or Video editor? Video Editors are more used to Polys nowadays as that's what they'd see from a 'normal' narrative film sound recordist. 2) Are the lengths of the takes going to cause an 'auto-split' in the Poly files (every 7.5min for a 970 recording 64 tracks of 48/24) which is confusing to Editors and in my experience freaks them out more than getting Mono files. Also - some Editorial situations the Picture Editor only wants certain tracks in their NLE (mixes, LTC, specific ISOs) where as the rest are only of interest to the person subsequently doing Audio Post. Mono files mean the Assistant Editor can pick which ones to ingest and not clog up their NLE project. 3) How many takes in a delivery day and am I using multiple recorders to capture larger numbers of tracks - which increases the ingest time to the DAW or NLE session for the Assistant Editor. Poly is generally easier/quicker with lots of takes. 4) do I feel I need to use the Metadata Notes facility in the 970s WHILE ROLLING, and am I recording lots of tracks to 2 drives - if so DON'T USE MONO - you are very close to a crash due to the data transfer overhead of writing the metadata to 128 separate files (64 on each drive) while still trying to maintain record (especially if the filename scheme is one that gets changed based on some other Metadata entry like take number). If you were recording Polys - that's only one file (and set of metadata) to write to each drive, so it can easily handle the extra load. I'll use an external Sound Report app if rolling Mono wavs and expecting to need to make notes.
  17. I don't delete files from recording SSDs - I treat them like tape. They only get re-formatted when the Project is fully delivered (or on a Reality-type show, when the Data Wrangler has ingested them to multiple storage drives).
  18. Both approaches work. The Drive 3 and Drive 4 ports are eSATAp ports - I have some basic eSATAp to SATA-3 cables so I can plug in 'naked' SSD drives and power them from the 970. Personally, I haven't tried actually recording to an externally powered drive from these ports. As I do mainly long-form Concert recording, I tend to record Mono BWAV files more often than Poly BWAVs, and in that case one can only record to two drives at once anyway. I find that recording to two Caddies in the internal slots creates too much heat for my liking, so if I'm required to record to two drives per machine, I'll do one Caddy and one 'external' SSD on Port 3. Some of my 'Reality show' colleagues happily use two Caddies, so don't let me stop you! The advantages of Caddies are primarily in the built-in USB-3 and FW800 ports for offload. I've had a couple of the Thunderbolt docks that take the Caddies and found them totally unreliable on a variety of Mac computers for some reason or other - Caddies often didn't mount - so I gave up on them. The only other thing with Caddies is the 970 (not sure about the others) can only save/load setup files and load firmware from Drive 1 (one of the Caddy slots).
  19. Might be more useful if you let us know: 1) the nature of the project itself (film/TV, recording a live performance, is it voice or musical instruments or a whole band, how many sources at once) 2) Where the recording is taking place (Studio or Venue, On Location, travelling around the country) 3) what's going to happen to the audio recording afterwards (pass on to an Editor, you are going to mix it yourself) 4) specifics of the sources to be recorded (eg: two people talking, a singer who also plays Banjo and Mouth Organ) and the expected length of recording sessions. 5) what the requirement is for 'wireless' - is it shared with a separate live sound system for example. then folks here can let you know how professionals would approach the same task.
  20. We do color-matching (painting) of mics all the time in Live Theatre sound - but generally only for lav mics mounted on the head - not so much for "Headset" mics like the 6066. A couple of reasons why: Firstly, the "headset" style mic is always going to be overtly visible, whatever the color (of course, picking a Beige or Black unit to suit the talent is a start). In fact, quite often the choice to use a 'headset boom' style of mic rather than a head-rigged lav is more for the look. Secondly - apart from the metal end of the 6000-series capsule - with the lav mics, the cable of the lav can be colored quite easily in a number of ways. The two most popular in 'Broadway' type shows are Copic Markers (a sort of marker used in Graphic Art) and Shoe Paint (the spray-can type used to re-color shoes). Don't use Sharpies - the color isn't stable on the lav cable material and goes purple. With "Headset" mics, the boom is also metal, and in the case of the DPA booms, won't hold Copic marker at all, and Shoe Paint will peel off it in a day or two. You'll get a better result on Headset mic booms by roughing them up with super-fine sandpaper then using TAMA or similar modelling paint intended for metal. Note DPA have just announced white paintable capsule 'caps' or sleeves for the metal capsule end of 6000-series mics - I'm not sure how available these are yet. I have seen many attempts to use Makeup products to color mics, usually when a Pro Theatre crew used to color-matching finds themselves working on a short-run show with rented mics. No-one I know has ever found a product that stays on in use byt comes off cleanly after. Of course in Professional Theatre 'running' shows, the mics are an expendable, sold to Production, so coloring them irreversibly is not a problem. If this is a short project or shoot and re-prepping the mics every time they are fitted is acceptable, one trick that might work for you however is eye-liner pencils. You'll never get a smooth coating, but diagonal strokes of an eyeliner color that's darker than the skin, on a headset or cable thats a bit lighter than the skin, can do a good job of breaking up the continuous line of a mic and camouflage it a bit.
  21. This is great - I'm wondering if there's any chance of an audio back-channel (talkback from remote viewers to Set) - even if restricted to one remote user. Ideally with a momentary 'push to talk' button at the remote end on the browser window. Audio can be lower-resolution than the outgoing channel.
  22. What you are wanting is more complicated than you might first think - but it was very common in the past on larger Theater shows, for example, before the specifically-designed wireless headset systems came on the market - to enable Walkies to be integrated in wired headset party-line comms systems. The problem is on most film sets, the walkies (ie Motorolas) are being used in 'simplex' mode - on one frequency per Channel, and only one can be transmitting at a time. Getting outside audio into such a system is difficult - as you need some way to 'key' the transmitter that the Zoom audio is coming into when (and only when) folks on the Zoom side of the system need to talk. There is really no way with Zoom or similar systems to provide a 'Push To Talk' function to key a hardware transmitter. People often try the 'VOX' (voice operated switch) mode on a walkie to make this work, but it's rarely reliable. The trick is you need to be running all your walkies in 'duplex' mode. This is the mode used by mobile radio systems to talk through a 'repeater' on a tall building or hilltop for more range. All the walkies transmit on one frequency and receive on another - specifically allocated pairs per channel. The 'Repeater' is a Receiver feeding a permanently-keyed Transmitter - using the opposite frequency allocation. In the link between the two parts of the Repeater, it's possible to inject other audio (ie the chatter from Zoom) and extract the audio coming from the walkies (to send back to Zoom) - but you need additional circuitry to keep the audio from each side (Radio and Zoom) from getting sent back to where it came from. Most of the major Comms system manufacturers, like Clearcom, make such gear, and Radio Comms hire shops that are used to supplying live performance users should have systems. All commercial grade Walkies on the market will handle Duplex mode, but as you need two allocated frequencies per channel - it's more expensive to rent or buy - plus you need to set up your own local Repeater (more commonly called a Duplex Base Station in this application) on location before anyone can talk to anyone else. Make sure to ask for at least one Simplex channel as well as the Duplex channel so walkies can be used 'stand alone' if the Base Station hasn't been powered yet.
  23. check out the video on Gotham Sound's youtube channel about the actor spacesuit comms system they supplied for 'Lost In Space' a year or two ago. Most live or theatre sound hire shops in London should have suitable DPA or Voice Technologies or Countryman headsets and the adapters to Sennheiser 3.5mm TRS. All the major brands have adapters and all make 3.5mm ones. Try Autograph Sound or Orbital. Assuming you get proper earpieces intended for IEM use, or the telex plastic eartube type earpieces, you should not get any appreciable spill from IEM to Headset mic. If you try and use 'vented' earpieces, like generic iPod earpieces, you might have issues. Ideally you'd get custom IEM moulds done for the talent, but probably cost-prohibitive for an indy film.
  24. your natural instinct would be right - except for the fact that Sound Devices (either intentionally or not) didn't correctly implement this feature of the Brooklyn II Dante card inside the Scorpio and 970 (and presumably 888) - so even though Dante Controller allows you to tick the 'sync to external' checkbox, it will subsequently throw up regular Dante clocking errors. If they intentionally chose not to support this feature, they could have prevented that checkbox from showing in Dante Controller. Sound Devices has said to another user on the JW FB group where we were discussing this earlier this year that they are looking into fixing this for the 8-series down the track - but for now, it's not an option. I don't own an 8-series, but that user did and reported the same error on his Scorpio - which SD acknowledged. They most certainly DID NOT put out firmware that fixed the problem in the 970 - I own two, and operate another four, all on the latest firmware, and the sync-to-external problem persists. Maybe you are thinking of the firmware update when they added the ability to select Dante as a sync source for the 970?
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