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Derek H

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Everything posted by Derek H

  1. Thanks Scott, One last question! Is there any chance in hell of getting 4 ek3041's stuffed into the space where you have the 2 SRs now? Assuming the battery sleds are removed. I'd prefer to keep all the receivers together in one space and only use the side pouches for transmitters. Thanks again, -d
  2. For whatever reasons.. I'm a fan of the portabrace mixer-specific case/rm bag combos.. Anyone use the new one designed for the 552? If so how is the new RM bag? too big? redesigned at all? Thanks! -d
  3. Derek H

    OWC introduces line of SSD

    Nice find Jeff, I haven't seen any SSDs with the new Sandforce controller available until now. They are becoming cheaper and cheaper, an 80GB Intel SSD can be had for around $250. OWC has a great reputation but they don't actually make any drives as far as I know.. I wonder who makes this new SSD for them. While on the topic does anyone know what kind of drive Sound Devices uses in the 788 SSD? To Philip: There are cheaper options, Kingston makes a re-branded Intel SSD for under $200 (40GB?). To use in the bag just buy any external hard drive case which will provide you with the firewire or usb ports you need and install the drive inside. As far as I know most of the SSD's on the market currently use the SATA II 3.0Gb/s interface. Though everyone is waiting for the SATA III 6Gb/s interface to hurry up and be released because some SSD's are already being bottle-necked by the current interface.
  4. One more question for Scott regarding the pwm..whatever, the compact petrol 442/552 bag: Does it stand upright on its own when set on a table or does it fall over like you have it pictured? I looked at one today (although I think it's an earlier revision) and it seemed as if it would topple over fairly easily.. -d
  5. Question for Scott: I'm holding out with Senn ek3041's could I stuff 4 into that petrol bag and still be comfy? I guess the reasons why I like my portabrace setup is because the petrol-based rigs I've worked with always seem to get so damn heavy.. though maybe that's because I've only used the Pegz-2 and bigger.. Also I found that the cables were often being pinched in the petrol rigs.. The Portabrace design always seemed much more squared-away but at the same time highly configurable. Also the nerf-style blue/orange color scheme is for the birds if you ask me.. yes I'm picky..
  6. Derek H

    My First Reality Show. I need some advice.

    The can of worms has been opened! I like this thread, Justanross: 500 for 10hrs seems high to me for a basic kit (2 wires, mixer, boom, cable) unless you are referring to a flat rate that includes your labor fee as well? Without having a flat-out rates disclosure (which seems to be an unwritten no-no) maybe you can confirm this? I generally quote about half that amount for the basic kit but bill my labor separately.. I agree hops are not to be taken lightly, good wireless gear is pricey, although I'm fine with them being considered standard issue gear if the standard issue pay also goes up
  7. Derek H

    Best Media Storage

    I would add that you may wish to consider solid state technology for at least one of your backup stages.. Mechanical drives, especially enterprise-class models, have become more or less reliable but I agree with John in that they are a finicky medium sensitive to g-force shock, static energy, vibration, and other environmental factors. Solid state tech is much more resilient. Large capacity solid state drives are now affordable, and most (referencing the Intel models here) are designed for 10+ years of reliability no matter how many reads/writes you perform on the drive. An archival drive that is rarely accessed would potentially have a much longer lifespan than that. Flash memory is also an inexpensive and robust solid-state medium. CF and SD cards are so inexpensive now that you could easily make many more than three stages of backup.. put one in a safe deposit box, throw another in an envelope and mail it to a family member, bury a few in your yard, swallow one..
  8. Derek H

    My First Reality Show. I need some advice.

    Philip has given great advice. I would add that the multi-track may not be absolutely necessary, plenty of shows like this have been recorded straight to camera. I would include the editing team in your discussion of workflow as they may not be on-board with a dual system scenario and may just want(or expect) it mixed to tape. Not trying to advocate the easy path but it would also streamline your work as well. However with this approach I would insist that if they plan on bringing in extra cameras for anything other than B-Roll that you insist that they need to hire on an additional, fully equipped mixer per additional camera for the day as well so you don't get thrown under the bus trying to be in two places at once. (been there) Best of luck!
  9. Derek H

    DC power distribution box with fuel gauge

    I think the pretty display would distract me from mixing!! Looks like a very nice product. Pros and cons as far as I'm concerned: + fantastic LED gauge + Looks like a solid construction + Batteries look nice as well - Proprietary(?) batteries - Expensive - Only 4 outputs - Giant switches that are just begging to get bumped in the middle of the take!! (this is a big minus for me, they really need to be recessed switches) However, it's good to see more options for bag-power distros.. I'm really hoping cable techniques (makers of battery bud) take note and come out with something new as well. My wish-list for the ultimate distro: 1. 5-6 power outputs 2. Hirose jacks (or two versions one for the switchcraft guys and one with all hirose, all my cables are hirose dammit!) 3. A fuel gauge similar to this product (so sweet!) 4. Recessed MASTER on/off switch on the top of the unit. I don't feel like I need multiple switches. 5. All cabling exiting bottom of unit 6. Small overall form-factor
  10. Derek H

    Camera hops

    I agree that some miniaturization is in order in the coming years.. Things are getting out of whack when the guts of the camera could fit into a 411 case 2 or 3 times. I'm in the same boat, wondering what the best solution is for the really tiny cameras.. obviously dual system but how best to sync without a slate is my main head-scratcher.. Thinking lectro ucr100 on cam recieving either a LTC signal or mono-reference. Anyone know how robust the reception is on the UCR100?
  11. Hey efksound, this is off-topic but it looks like you have a mini video assist setup.. very cool. Can I ask how you did it? what parts did you use? is it a microwave Rx or TV band? I had a great little monitor setup for TV band video assists but then all the shows I work on end up using microwaves.. never found a compact (and cheap!) solution. -d
  12. Derek H

    Question for the bag mixer guys

    I also throw the boom on the last fader. My reasoning is the same as some others in that it boggles my mind a bit if my wireless 1-4 doesn't also line up with input/fader 1-4. Boom goes on the last fader and I generally pan it right (talking eng sound to camera, 2 track) just to keep the left-right motif consistent. I also prefer to fill both tracks if the host on radio runs out of scene. In that case I usually pan the boom center and then bring the radio out of the mix. No great reason to do this I guess but I find it annoying to listen to only one side of the cans and I think it usually bothers the camera-op as well. As far as post figuring it out I agree.. it's just 2 tracks they can listen to both and pick one it's not brain surgery! -d
  13. Nice work Andre, I have a similar design in use right now with my alphamix. I've made a hirose-->XLR4-->4x hirose's This is to power 4x sennheiser 3041 recievers from one of the power taps of the alphamix. Works well, and I've never had a short or cable failure. The XLR4 is mostly unnecesary but you need a bigger connector to work on if you want a 4-lead fan tail. A project box would probably be cheaper but this way it's more modular. I'm thinking for my next rig (new mixer coming soon) I may just put down the bucks for a battery bud which uses the hirose's as well.. it would make all my current cables compatible. I just wish the thing had more than 3 outputs..
  14. Derek H

    Making the world right again.

    I always try to work with the camera op to find a situation that is best for their use. I mean if everyone was constantly tacking extra stuff onto my rig I'd probably be pretty annoyed. With small cameras it really can be a pain working with such little real estate, and every surface is usually button-laden. That said I've always been able to figure something out and I now carry a number of bags and doo-dads in my kit to outfit any camera with hops.. which reminds me I still need to buy a straddlebag for the bigger cams.. The humble fanny-pack is a good thing to have around when there is no on-camera mounting solution. Finding one that is a good fit can be a challenge, I use a zaxcom hop so I'm able to fit the receiver as well as a fullsize NP1 so it can run all day long. To minimize cable mess in this scenario I've made a 2-channel coily cable with a breakaway connector. That way they can quickly set the camera down and not have to unplug single xlr's or de-rig the fanny pack.. So far so good.
  15. P.S. Oleg.. What alternative brands of NP1 can you recommend? Switronix?
  16. Question for John and Oleg: In your home-brew DC rigs do you bother to use fuses, RF filters, and switches? I"m considering building my own based around the hirose 4p connectors but I'm not sure if those things are a good idea or just embellishments that the likes of Battery Bud and BDS throw in to make you feel you're getting your money's worth. Can you recommend any good small metal project boxes for making a battery bud style device? And to the OP: I've experienced noise due to a DC distro in the following situation: Zaxcom Stereoline Tx, 4x Senn Ek3041 Rx's, and 1 Alphamix all powered via the Alpha's built-in NP1 power headers. In this scenario the Zax was spitting back some high-frequency filth into some of the Ek3041 channels. My solution was to abide by the Zaxcom user guide and add a humongo capacitor onto the Stereoline's power cable. Now the noise is reduced to almost nothing (though I can still hear it if I really crank the gain on the other channels, but in normal use it's well below the noise floor)
  17. Derek H

    First days with the Sound Devices 552 Mixer/Recorder

    Any word back on the marred-finish on the carbon-composite plates issue that cropped up a few posts back?
  18. Derek H

    Winter Gear Suggestions?

    I recommend fleece-lined jeans. Wrangler makes a pair, Carhart may as well. The pair I found are a very heavyweight, rugged denim.. more like canvas than levis.. They've kept me warm in all temps without needing to wear long-johns, they don't have the annoying snow suit sound, and they look relatively normal. A good pair of boots are also indispensable.. I have some timberlands that are ok, but there are better options. The hard part is finding a sweet spot in the bulk/warmth ratio. Some mega-winter boots I'm sure are warm but I can't imagine working in them because they're so friggin huge! I like the idea of Battery powered socks, and actually saw a pair at the store mentioned below but they looked a bit gimmicky to me.. Maybe not? Gloves are tricky.. I have a few different pairs that I use in different situations. I have one pair that are skin tight, with minimal warmth but excellent for operating. Next step up are a pair made by "seirius" that were advertised to be "the warmest lightweight glove in the world!". These are made of mostly neoprene and are about as thick as you can go without loosing the ability to operate the gear. Fingerless gloves are also helpful for colder situations. I recommend hunting/fishing/camping retailers like cabelas for all this kind of gear. I often stop by a Mill's Fleet Farm store when I'm in Wisconsin this time of year. Also great places to buy other re-purposed audio gear such as boom-pole (fishing pole) cases, lavalier-organizers (tackleboxes), and rain gear. Happy hunting p.s. Just don't go with your girlfriend/wife because she will lose patience quickly as you wander (aimlessly she will think) through every single section of the massive store while you contemplate every situation where some piece of camping gear could be useful for sound work...
  19. Derek H

    On Camera Documentary Mic

    Another option that may be interesting here is the Sennheiser 8050 or the 8040. Similar wider pattern to the Schoeps, but in an even smaller package. To combat handling noise I would suggest the new rycote camera mount that uses the invision lyres, I think it's designed to fit in a hot-shoe mount. Alternatively you could get the Rycote CCA part that is designed to fit into the built in mic cradle. Not sure what you would do for wind protection.. ball gag?
  20. Derek H

    First days with the Sound Devices 552 Mixer/Recorder

    Please keep us updated on the finish blemish problem.. I wonder if this is an issue with all of the current 552's or if it's an isolated cases? Also, what's did you find to be flawed with the new Portabrace case? mxc-552
  21. Derek H

    Ugh Clothing Noise.

    You may have to convince them to give up their duck call necklaces! I just finished up a cop show and always had to ask them to take off their badge necklaces because it would constantly brush over the mic. Get rid of that and there's gotta be something that can be done under the jacket/shirt. Impossible to help too much without being there unfortunately.. Goodluck!!
  22. Derek H


    Overall a good doc, though I felt like the first 15minutes or more was almost un-watchable due to terrible editing and wacky camera work/post effects.. I'm talking about the first part where they cross cut between both of them talking about their roots in Hungary and filming the Russian invasion.. Just because you're making a doc about two of the most revered DP's in modern film-making doesn't mean you have to be extra flashy and edgy with your doc camera work.. I thought it was distracting with all those 3rd person type shots and the "crew in shot" type handhelds they kept quick cutting in and out of. So lame! Made me want to barf!! I don't care about your silly camera work, obviously its a dung-pile in comparison to theirs so why bother?? I don't need to see the backside of Vilmos's ear! Just give me talking heads and cut to the DP's actual footage for the embellishments. It was like bad history channel programming.. Thankfully it got better and I enjoyed the doc overall. Some of the films referenced I haven't seen so about halfway through the film I got a notepad and starting jotting them down. Mcabe & Mrs. Miller was one.. looks interesting. ..sorry for the rant
  23. Derek H

    RF interference on MKH50

    I second mmayer, I had the same problem recently with my 416t and a Zax stereoline Tx in the bag.. Got the same low-level sizzle corrupting the signal when the boom was in certain positions. Two things helped: Putting a Neutrik EMC on the short cable that goes to the 416, and swapping out the coily boom jumper for L-4e6s starquad. And I still hear it now and then, but not loud enough to really be a problem. I remember thinking that maybe another EMC on the male connector that mates with the mixer would solve any remaining problem but never got around to it..
  24. Derek H

    Headphones Level

    I tend to listen as low as I can and still hear a bit of the background. I use 7506. When I hear an offending sound I often do the following test: I slowly duck the hp gain down until the offending sound mostly disappears into the noise floor.. then I judge if the voice (or whatever signal) is still clear and intelligible. If it is, then I often don't worry about the noise, If the voice sounds too weak or low then I will go about trying to make things better. But I mostly work on TV where I know the audio will be run through the mill before it ever flys out the 2" tv speakers and hits the end-viewers eardrums... so it is what it is much of the time.. An interesting note: I once commented to Ron Meyer at PSC about the Alphamix having a fairly weak headphone amp.. His response was that the headphone amp on the Alpha was designed to be in spec with OSHA's guidelines for safe sound pressure levels for human exposure in the workplace.. according to him it's one of the few mixers on the market that adheres to that spec.