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HenZ

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About HenZ

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  • Birthday May 16

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  • Location
    Paris
  • Interested in Sound for Picture
    Yes
  • About
    I am a sound engineer for La Blogotheque and many other films. I am also a music producer and musician in Shoefiti: www.shoefiti.bandcamp.com

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  1. HenZ

    microphones near gunshot

    From my understanding, a gunshot is a bit like a drum snare: very dynamic, short and loud. Some friends in post use dynamic microphones to record gun shots (such as a Shure sm57, believe it or not) for their sound design. They have it quite close to the gun and have an array of other mics further away or pointing at "reflective areas" just like Mike West said. Either way, if blanks are used, I was told they do not have the same sound than real bullets. So it's maybe not as interesting than a good library shot and the location sound is likely to be replaced (again Make West is right on this one too).
  2. Hey, thank you all for the nice feedback. If some of you are interested into a in depth interview and view of how it was made on our end, Sound On Sound made a lengthly article about it. It's a dollar online to access the full article apparently but it will be free in a couple months I believe. https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/inside-track-justin-timberlakes-say-something Also, in the pictures SoS miscredited the incredible steadycamer Ari Robbins with the director Arturo Perez Jr. But hey: they're sound guys!
  3. Hello all and thank you for your kind words. With Guillaume de la Villeon, I was one of the two sound directors on this shoot (conception, recording, post mixing) and it is quite a story. Perhaps too long and boring to tell here so I'll just answer a couple of precise questions asked here. There were 6 takes in total: 5 day takes and 1 night take. This last night take is the only one that was done with this lighting. You can actually see a lot more of the unhidden mics and wiring in the day version. All of the sound is from live sources. There are no studio overdubs. It is a mix of wired microphones (drums, electric guitar, piano, horns...), wired and wireless DIs (Bass, Rhodes, drum pads, acoustic guitars...), wireless lav mics (lead singers, backing vocals, percussionist, acoustic guitar...) and wired or wireless ambient mics (stereo AB, stereo ORTF, Ambeo, elevator roof, ORTF stereo boom mics...). In post, of course, there is some editing (as in cleaning the tracks of that one take from bleed, hums, crew footsteps...) to have only the active tracks in use. Then there is a phase of studio mixing to make sure everything sounds nice. Besides the first room which has a pretty gritty surface, the footsteps aren't heard because: 1) they don't make much noise while walking and they wear soft sole shoes. 2) The music covers most of it. The lifts weren't noisy at all. Except for the doors that you can clearly hear (we really liked that sound - makes it sound more real and is characteristic to the Bradbury Building's sound print). About the vocal lav mics on the leads, we did think of having one in Chris' hat as a plan B. The guy has a huge beard and is quite a viril man. But it didn't rustle at all and sounded good on the chest. The "thinning" of the sound that you perceive is the acoustics of the elevator i believe, that make it sound little and roomy. We liked that and enhanced this effect in the mix as it had a immersive purpose with the image but also a musical purpose as it builds up and gets bigger when they get out. It was quite a challenge. The RF coverage was also a big concern but Gary and his team nailed it: we're talking about 5 floors, around 50 meters in length, 25 meters wide, with two steel cages and railings, covering 16 transmitters, around 17 or 18 stereo IEM receivers and god who knows IFBs for the clients. Thank you all for bringing this up. We're very happy to know our work is noticed and appreciated out there by nice folks such as you guys here. All the best, Henri
  4. This article is so good. Love it and congrats to Patrick Baltzell: dealing with these kind of talents on something this big is a huge feat!
  5. HenZ

    La Blogotheque - Take Away Shows

    Haha! Yeah! I didn't work on this one. But apparently they had quite some issues with the drone. This time the camera was quite heavy and the drone had to be a big heavy one. Also, if you get a chance, I would be super happy if you could give a look at this one. There's even a song where i had to deal with more than 25 musicians! Cheers!
  6. HenZ

    Your highlight of 2013!

    Awww man! I love Chicago! I mean, their first albums (till the 5th) are really good: i used to listen to those like crazy when i was in junior high-school (which led a lot of the other pupils to consider me in a weird way). They seem to have gone way to soft and into ballads after that (in my opinion). I'd love to see that movie.
  7. HenZ

    This had me thinking..

    Haha! So true... Unfortunately, they always seem to make cuts on the sound department. For example, sometimes i struggle to make them understand we must be 2 soundies for a job. And when I get it, i'm satisfied I already have that and reduce expenses on mic rentals and such, understanding this is a low budget production... until I arrive on set to notice 2 cameras with 2 assistants for each (that makes 6 people for the cameras!). When I am interviewing for a job, I always have the impression they have no idea what they're talking about and they don't know their job (which is to know sufficiently my job to know what they should ask me). One of my favourite questions is "will you use wireless mics for this shooting?". Haha!
  8. Hey everybody, Happy New Year to all! Now 2013 is buried I was wondering what was some of your favorite gigs during that year and perhaps you could share them. Also, what are you hoping (sound wise) or looking forward to specifically in 2014. Take Away Phoenix: This has been online for quite a long time now and I can certainly say this work was one of my 2013 highlights. It is something, with the other sound engineers involved, that we're very proud of and I hope you'll like it. Basically, it's a Take Away show with the band Phoenix and it has some pretty particular things going on: we got to record them on their tour plane and with a drone in the gardens of the Versailles Castle... We also had a couple fun ideas with the mixing: can you spot them? I won't spoil it all, but if you're interested I would be glad to know if anyone ever shot/recorded sound on a plane before. Cheers!
  9. HenZ

    Why Is Sound So Hard?

    Wow! I stopped reading at page number 5. Anyway, Mark, excellent work describing this guy the workflow. What made me laugh is this though: So the guy has three cameras. Not the same models. His shittiest camera goes off sync and causes him issues and instead of saying: "next time I won't use this disfunctionning camera", he goes on a rampage and wants to invent the ultimate camera that will record sound, etc etc. Gosh, this guy is walking backwards.
  10. Hey! Sorry it took me ages to answer. I did many many take away shows. Most of them in the past 2 years actually. I also did a couple pocket parties (appartment gigs with multiple cameras, if you've never seen one i highly recommend watching the FEIST one. It's simply beautiful). If you find my name in there (Henri d'Armancourt), that's me! One of our most impressive from 2013 though is Take Away Phoenix: we shot in the gardens of the Versailles Castle, in Phoenix's tour plane and even on the airport driveway (that was edited out though ). But we were more than one sound engineer on this one (THANKFULLY). Some of the one i'm the proudest in 2013 is the Mermonte and Samba de la Muerte: i really had the time AND gear to make things without regrets!
  11. HenZ

    La Blogotheque - Take Away Shows

    Awww man, that church would have sounded so much better if my 2nd mic (for the stereo boom mic) wasn't broke down at the time! (therefor, only had a mono boom mic). This was the first song, only take. We did another song and i was able to throw a stereo-h4 a couple meters behind me. The second song didn't make the cut though. It's a shame. We also shot more songs and an improvisation on the roof of the church, with the cold wintery parisian streets under us. Damn it was intense. Ahhh... Too bad editors can be lazy or lack time. Thanks for putting this up!
  12. HenZ

    Working in Extreme cold

    Hey! I know this is too late but here's a bit of what i did during a month trip in january 2013 accross Russia and Siberia (coldest was -30°c with wind on Lake Baikal i think). CLOTHES: I think its actually the most important. You need multiple layers, no coton as it keeps the humidity of the sweat. Especially for feet, hands and head. Those are the most exposed. Multiple layers there again and get one size or two above your size for your boots: you're going to need space for those socks! Little tip: have hand warmers and feet warmers in your gloves and socks BEFORE you go out and think "damn my hands are cold, i'm going to use those warmers". Because they take time to warm up and usually, when you're cold, it's too late. My ears were usually covered with my mask and the headphones: it was fine. GEAR: - Battery will go down faster than usual. But it's still okay. Better to use rechargeable than alkaline for sure. - Cables will freeze. But as long as you don't bend to break them it's fine. If you have the budget, best is to get thicker and made-for-cold cables. - Crystal liquid screens will freeze too. (the one on cheap recorders such as zoom-h4n, Tascam HD-P2) So if you have a mixer with leds it makes it much easier in these rough conditions (sound device 302). - Since you're using a 422 i'm sure you didn't have problem: i know the 788t creates a lot of heat, therefor keeping the crystals of the screen unfrozen. - Sennheiser mics work fine in such harsh conditions (416, m60). - Didn't have an issue with wireless mics either BUT the gaffer tape and "glue" tend to not stick as much in the cold. - I was using an external cable on my boom. (actually, i always do). I think it was better this way. - The boom freezes your hand REALLY fast when you start lifting those arms and spreading your fingers to the cold air. Make sure you have mittens, undergloves and hand warmers. - COMING BACK INSIDE: very important. Best is to put any fragile equipment (recorder, mics) that has metal in a ziplock with some silica gel pouches when you are still OUTSIDE. Close it with as little air as you can. You can even put the whole in another ziplock that will work like an airlock. INSIDE let it rest for like 15 minutes or more. The silica gel will absorb the humidity avoiding it to condensate on cold metal (such as the components inside your mic/recorder). > I could go into thermodynamic details if you're interested. Here's a pic of me last year. i probably have a making of video somewhere if you're interested. If anything else pops to my mind i'll be back!
  13. Hello Andrej, I've been following this discussion with a lot of interest and it took some time for me to watch all the videos you kind people refer to. Working for the Blogotheque who is a site known for it's "musical documentaries" (i guess we can call them that way), i am quite familiar with music recording techniques for films. Also, we mix cinema and music recording technics during the shooting and in the mixing process. Although, since we're dealing with a "documentary" configuration (not much time with the performers usually, very limited sound equipment most of the time, etc), we can't always hide the microphones for them to be truly invisible. But here's my two cents. I believe you are right about the Tony Gatliff films. They are LIVE. Some sources are pretty quiet compared to what a "studio played back recording" would sound like: the double bass for example (Latcho Drom). In Vengo you can see some violins plugged in via their own personal set-up. And in Swing you can see one of the ambient mic gripped to the set on one of the shots. Also, the Vengo guitars sound very much like they have a lav inside them. During the shooting of our Take Away Shows we don't have a lot of time mostly, so the idea is the be able to place and take off the mics very quickly: meaning that if you look closely, you can often spot the mics or the transmitters. But on a feature film, I'm sure for this kind of purpose the sound guy can have a lot done the way he wants/needs. Which means: (VENGO) 1- Having the lav AND the transmitter in the guitar cases. Hence the very closed up sound. 2- For the violin players: having lav hidden either in their hair, or behind their ear. 3- For the guy singing and hitting on his glass (that glass must have been a very annoying thing to mix), in his clothes (like a normal talent) or turban (like you would see it happen in an opera for example). 4- A lot of the percussions are obviously taken with an ambient mic. Or perhaps, very simply, the lavs are hidden on the character like you would hide them on a normal talent! Indeed, when you have a very silent background (which isn't always the case in documentaries, but can certainly be on a feature film like these), you can pick-up quite well the sound of the instrument the way the performer hears it by putting the microphone that way. About KANSAS CITY, i wouldn't be surprised if they played and recorded on set (it sounds pretty roomy - and well recorded of course) to then have it played back (even on wide shots). I'm sure that if the performance of the actor is good enough, he could be totally hitting the wrong notes and you wouldn't even notice since your brain puts together the sound and the movement of the characters in a coherent way. Also another film to be mentioned here would be The Commitements (Director: Alan Parker). Because he wanted the band to sound live, coherent and great, he actually hired musicians that could act! Preproduction was crazy apparently, casting more than 3000 people. But then, the gig shots sound and look real... BECAUSE THEY ARE REAL. Anyway, i'm sure they are a lot more films out there who try and take this risk. This thread is very helpful to take notice of them. Cheers!
  14. HenZ

    Recording musicians outside

    Hello, I would recommend the same thing and perhaps even suggest something more extreme to counter the background noise: having a lav on the violin, a closed up stereo mic and a further one if you can. I encounter these situation often, but the performers are filmed so it's not exactly the same problems. It's a interesting idea but i believe it's even more interesting if you take in consideration the background noise and have to deal with it in a musical way. But again, that's not what you're looking for. In any last ressort, perhaps the studio is the safest choice.
  15. HenZ

    La Blogotheque - Take Away Shows

    Hello, I've asked JB Aubonnet about this one since he is the audio director on the Empty Spaces series. Apparently it's a mix of FOH mixer and preamps. He uses the FOH the make the sound in the area because he has ambient mics around the place and wants to record the global ambient sound of the whole band. The mics are also routed to preamps going into a ProTools. Sometimes the FOH mixer has its preamps used for the recording as well. It depends on the band, what he can get for the area and the backline the band brings along. I know that in the Franz Ferdinand one they were able to do a couple impulse reponses and sweeps of the area in order to use them for the mix with an altiverb. You can really hear it on the snare at some point and it's pretty cool: sounds huge and real at the same time. But the Suuns one is definitely one of our favourite. I'll have to check that out! Sound interesting. Oh great! Nice stuff! If I ever come to Beirut, it would be nice to see a session. I have some very good musician friends who have been there lately and apparently the live music scene is incredible. Keep on spreading the music, love and creativity! (oh god i sound so cheesy!)
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