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Jose Frias

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Everything posted by Jose Frias

  1. Jose Frias

    Who do you use for personal Equipment insurance?

    I'm also a happy Athos customer. I have yet to make a claim (hopefully never will *knocks on wood*), but I do know a mixer who made a claim for stolen gear and got taken cared of, no problems.
  2. Jose Frias

    New Zoom H3-VR Recorder mic combo..

    I'm talking more about sound effects like cars passing by from one side to another, where you would typically employ a stereo technique, or a broadband sound source like a waterfall where you'd also record the ambience. Anything more isolated than that I would personally use a different tool. I don't consider Ambisonics magic, just a tool, and knowing how to use it is the key. That said, we don't have to agree.
  3. Jose Frias

    New Zoom H3-VR Recorder mic combo..

    Most of my use of Ambisonics is for VR, correct, but we're also working on and developing new applications for the technology, and pushing it's boundaries. That said you're not wrong. I wouldn't use an encoded format like Ambisonics for playback in theater. Main issue IMO is that sound playback is a whole business on its own with too many theater formats from companies like Dolby, Auro, DTS, THX, etc that would make it damn near impossible to convert into an open format like Ambisonics. My suggestion was merely its use for recording sound effects and ambiences for post, and then decoding and printing to a discreet output format like 5.1, 7.1 or even 7.1.4 (as now the SoundField by Rode supports) that can then be added into the final mix. This would present far more flexibility for the capture and manipulation of sound effects and ambiences IMO. I believe some post sound houses have started to adopt this, though definitely not mainstream yet.
  4. Jose Frias

    New Zoom H3-VR Recorder mic combo..

    It could be a typo in the ad itself? Or maybe a software bug if it really is a photo of the live product? Can't speak on their behalf, but it's definitely not a standard channel order for Ambisonics.
  5. Jose Frias

    New Zoom H3-VR Recorder mic combo..

    Maybe a typo? AmbiX ACN channel order is WYZX. I personally doubt it. A directional mic in the hands of an experienced operator will yield better results and save more time and money in post. An ambisonic mic as a boom mic will require processing (both in production for the production mix and in post for the final mix), and just adds more complexity to a workflow that doesn't really need it. For sound effects and ambiences recordings for post, however, I think Ambisonics is definitely the way to go. The flexibility it affords for all the different discrete channel outputs is unparalleled, and in my experience the trade-offs are not as apparent.
  6. Jose Frias

    New Zoom H3-VR Recorder mic combo..

    There are two problems with creating mono virtual microphones with directional patterns from a soundfield: 1- The first one is that First Order Ambisonics has a relatively low spatial resolution, so localisation of sound sources is not as accurate as it is with Higher Order Ambisonics, like 2OA or 3OA for example. So while beamforming may help create a highly directional pattern, you are still using a low spatial representation to extrapolate the sound source from. Maybe once we start working with HOA this will become much better. 2- The second, which was alluded to already, is that you're using four capsules with equivalent self noise of 15 dBA each (in the case of the Rode NTSF-1), to create a virtual microphone that would theoretically have a lower self noise. In the case of an MKH50, the self noise is 12dBA, so you can see the math doesn't really work, your virtual microphone would have a higher self noise than the real thing. These are not as apparent with stereo or surround, but definitely with mono from my experience. So while yes, you can create a virtual microphone pattern from the soundfield, you do have trade offs to consider.
  7. Jose Frias

    New Zoom H3-VR Recorder mic combo..

    Correct, but the plug-in will also take as input B-Format files, so you could use an ambisonic microphone from a different brand, convert to B-Format using their respective A-to-B-format conversion plug-in (or if you have custom calibration files you can use VVEncode), and then feed that B-Format file into the Rode plug-in for further processing and manipulation.
  8. Jose Frias

    Deity Connect.

    In one of the videos I saw Andrew mentioned that they are not user replaceable. Instead he mentioned that they have Quick charge with a USB-C connector that fully charges the unit in one hour.
  9. Jose Frias

    New Zoom H3-VR Recorder mic combo..

    Woah, that was a convoluted quote there haha. I'm sure you're right. In part I kind of really like what they've done as far as functional design goes (all-in-one solution, etc). I really just wish they would've put effort into making a quality product for professional use, because there is such a gap in the market, instead of making a product that everyone can afford. But I will hold my final judgement until I try it out. As far as renting these, not sure we get much, if any, out of it. I also fear what it can do to the rental market for Ambisonics. I typically rent my SPS200 + MixPre-6 package for $250-300/day (depends if I include time code or not). For $50-100 more any producer can just buy the H3-VR mic.
  10. Jose Frias

    What to do with 600-698 MHz wireless systems?

    So as others have mentioned your gear will continue to remain usable until T-Mobile decides to turn on transmission towers near you, or until July 2020 when the wireless frequency band that was sold in the incentive auction (614-698 MHz to be specifict) becomes illegal to use for wireless mics. You will still be able to use your Sony wireless covering channels 30-36, as they're below 608 MHz and unaffected by the incentive auction. Your wireless covering channels 38-41 will however be more difficult to use, but not altogether useless. As it was alluded, there will be a guard band from 614-616 Hz which unlicensed operators can use, and the duplex gap from 653-657 MHz which only licensed operators can use, both at a max 20mW EIRP. As long as you can find some frequencies to operate within those bands, your gear will continue to remain legally operational. It's not so simple. I can't speak on behalf of Sony, but I do know for a fact that other manufacturers are indeed re-blocking wireless for their customers, including Lectrosonics, Sennheiser and Zaxcom. The other problem has to do with the FCC. To quote Gotham Sound: "The FCC deadline on selling legacy wireless equipment is the end of September (two weeks). Though you will be able to continue to use older equipment (as long as it complies with legal frequencies and power output), manufacturers will not be able to sell any components that have not been re-certified by the FCC, including the components that are necessary for moving your wireless to a different frequency." So that also comes into consideration. Vendors like Gotham Sound are making it an even better deal by offering things like store credit for a limited time: https://www.gothamsound.com/news/get-2x-your-money-when-you-trade-your-600-mhz-wireless?utm_source=Gotham+Gazette&utm_campaign=d6ca77e48a-New+Products+from+Denecke%2C+Lectro%2C+and+MozeGe&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8cbb4c598a-d6ca77e48a-110987297 Anyway, I understand the frustration, but you're not completely out of luck here. There are options.
  11. Jose Frias

    DPA 3mm lav mic

    To add to what Pete is saying, both DPA and Zaxcom have improved their products drastically where this has become a non-issue IMO. DPA's core technology (which is available in this newly released mic) has done great work at reducing the THD and expanding dynamic range overall, and Zaxcom's newest transmitters (ZMT, etc) have improved pre-amp circuitry. I would invite you to try them and hear for yourself. Try a 4060/1 Core (or this new 6060/1) with the same transmitter. I think you will appreciate the difference.
  12. Jose Frias

    New Zoom H3-VR Recorder mic combo..

    So I'm a bit conflicted here. On the one hand I do have to commend Zoom for being so forward thinking in creating such a product. I do think that it is boasting with great features that are unique, and definitely note-worthy: - All-in-one solution with microphone, recorder, built-in A-to-B format conversion, and binaural monitoring through headphone jack. - Built-in motion sensor to automatically calibrate the converter to the appropriate mic position (upright, upside down, endfire, etc). - Accurate clock (0.5ppm). - Ability to record in A-format, B-format, Binaural, Stereo, 5.1 surround, etc. - Bluetooth app for remote control of the recorder. - Slate tone / sound marker for video sync (assuming camera has audio recording enabled, which is not the case in high frame rate situations). - Super low weight (5 ounces!). On the other hand, I have some issues with the unit out the gate: - At that price point (~USD$350), I can only assume that the build quality is not what I would like it to be. Sacrifices have to be made somewhere to get it to be that cheap. - Zoom claims that the four mic capsules are matched, but they give no specs on the mics beyond the "Maximum sound pressure input: 120 dB SPL / Mic gain: +18 – +48 dB"; I would like to see frequency response charts, mic sensitivity ratings, self-noise levels, THD, etc. - I also struggle to see how you can QA 4x matched mics at that price point. - In the same vain, I would like to see pre-amp specs. - Higher sampling rates are cool and all, but unless you show me that the microphone and pre-amps are capable of reproducing frequencies beyond 20kHz, which is doubtful at the price range, it's more of a marketing bit than anything else. - Is the built-in A-to-B format converter a generic converter (a la SoundField SurroundZone or Ambeo plug-in)? or is it tailored for each H3-VR mic with its own calibration files? I assume the former. - No time code or wordclock I/O to sync this with external recorder that would be used for multi-tracking of isolated sound/point sources, which a lot of VR/360 production requires As far as I can see (and obviously without having played around with it), Zoom had an opportunity to create something stellar for professional VR/360 production, but instead chose to create something that everyone can afford. I guess I can't fault them on the decision, they will likely sell these things fast and a lot. I will likely get one just to play around with it and test it out, but I doubt it replace my SoundField SP200 and MixPre-6 rig.
  13. Jose Frias

    DPA 3mm lav mic

    Because it is a Core mic, it is actually rated IP58 waterproof. Go and dunk away happily knowing that it will be just fine afterwards.
  14. Jose Frias

    Sound Backpack Rig

    Testing out this sound backpack build. I'm working on a very fast paced, run-and-gun project with up to 3 wires at any time, and they wanted to be as inconspicuous as possible. I put this rig together very quickly using my Orca backpack with a Sound Devices MixPre-6, a QRX100QIFB and a RX200 for 3 wireless channels, a TCS USO feeding timecode to both the MixPre-6 and the QRX100QIFB to send timecode out to the transmitters and timecode and audio to the ERX on camera. Custom molded in-ears come out of the back pack for critical monitoring in noisy environments, as well as a boom cable for the occasional booming. Transport controls and visual level monitoring via Wingman app on my phone. It's been pretty awesome. The backpack is super light and easy to carry around for shooting all over the city and on subways. Only thing I wish I had was an automixer to help keep the mix's noise floor down, especially since I don't have physical fader control, as well as maybe actual fader level control via the app so that I can fade out mics when I don't need them. I could also figure out a way to rig the antennas on the outside of the backpack, though I have been easily getting 100-150 feet all over NYC with the whip antennas inside the backpack (using ZMT3s with XR modulation), which has been more than enough for this particular project. All in all it has been a success.
  15. Jose Frias

    Sound Backpack Rig

    It's been pretty cool temperature-wise these days. Nothing felt too warm. Not sure what it would be like during hot summer days, that said, I've put my gear through some extreme temperatures, including the hot deserts in Africa, and it's never failed, though the QRX will get super hot to the touch. Nice going. Rig looks awesome! I did consider the wireless boom approach, but ultimately did not go that route since the boom only came out for OTFs, and it was just simpler for me to plug in the cable and go, then to things like scan another new frequency for every new location, turn on another transmitter, manage another set of batteries, etc. My ultimate goal was to make this as light as possible. I could've gone with my Nomad and Touch using my wireless monitoring with the Kangoroo PC, but it would've added a few extra pounds that I didn't want to carry at the end of the day. I didn't remember that the F8 Bluetooth app allowed you to control gain levels; good to remember. Most of my gain structure was set at the beginning of the day and we were good for the rest of the day. I really only wanted to be able to fade out mics when their user walks out of the shot for example, that way I don't have their mics open when they are clearly no longer part of the shot.
  16. Jose Frias

    Favorite Slate

    That is for labor only, gear is separate. Most commercials I do is with a cart setup, but some commercials, especially in the last year or so, are trying to shoot more "doc style" and want you to be more agile (in other words, bag instead of cart). Mind you, they are still try to do the whole video village with VTR and whatnot, so not sure how effective they are with their intentions...
  17. Jose Frias

    Straightening Old Lav Cable

    Hang them and let them bake in the sun for a few hours. The cable jacket will soften right up and feel like new.
  18. Jose Frias

    Favorite Slate

    Depends on the kind of work you do. In the non-union world, there's no scale minimum, but there's going market rates most people accept as standard. Most of us live in the $550-650/10 range for non-union non-commercial work (corporate, industrials, TV, etc). Non-union commercials around $700-800/10. Reality, is kind of a beast of its own. They typically want to pay you $550/12, but I've seen offers as low as $450/12, and a lot of them want you to use their gear. Needless to say most of the folks I know won't go for that, but there are definitely people who take up those jobs.
  19. Jose Frias

    New IFB system

    I wasn't aware that the receivers can do analog as well, good to know! Thanks for the correction!
  20. Jose Frias

    Qifb Issue

    Sound Hard is in New Orleans. They may be able to hook you up. https://soundhard.com
  21. Jose Frias

    Performance Capture Audio

    I also agree that a DPA 4061 would probably serve you best in terms of frequency response and dynamics. I would look at the Core versions. Regarding TX, I think your intuition about the SSM is right. They are far smaller and lighter than the SMQV transmitters (about the size of a Zippo lighter), but do have their own considerations. They use a 3-pin lemo connector instead of a TA5 connector, which means all your current lavs would have to be reterminated, though not an issue if you get new ones like the DPAs (you could get them terminated to Microdot, and use the adapters to go to both TA5 and 3-pin lemo). They also use a completely different battery (np50), so you have to deal with the results of that (lower battery life, battery charging, etc). Outside of that, I think your approach is pretty good. I love motion capture shoots myself. As cjh said booming is amazing.
  22. Jose Frias

    Abisonic Microphones

    Definitely still developing. Most of my VR/360 clients only ask for "spatial audio", and about half of those would specify ambisonics, but nothing more specific than that usually. We would work with the on staff VR tech sup to coordinate the best format and deliverables based on what they are trying to deliver and where (which platforms). We may mix in 3OA, but a lot of times we still have to deliver in 1OA (in the case of YouTube) or 2OA (in the case of Facebook 360, though now 3OA support is in beta). HOA support is definitely growing though. And we're definitely seeing some entries for HOA in the recording side as well: Core Sound's 2OA Octomic; Brahma was also developing a hybrid 2OA mic similar to the Octomic; and there's of course the Zylia ZM1 which claims to do 3OA recordings. Oh and let's not forget the Eigenmike, which can be matriced to 5OA. It's happening.
  23. Jose Frias

    Abisonic Microphones

    In post we work (mix and deliver in) 3OA because we get better spatial resolution (aka a more immersive audio experience) out of HOA than 1OA. While some of the recordings I do is in 1OA, most of the audio I'm recording is isolated sound sources, whether in sync to video as part of a multi-track file, or wild as mono files. The mixing tools we use, whether it be Pro Tools HD/Ultimate for linear projects or wwise for interactive projects, both support up to 3OA, and will pan and mix all those individual tracks into 3OA natively. Most popular authoring tools are now starting to support 3OA, including the free Facebook 360 Spatial Audio Workstation. That said a lot of playback platforms still only support 1OA, like YouTube which is still the most popular platform for 360 content, but we think it's worth future proofing our mixes as technology keeps evolving. We are using the Harpex algorithm for upconversion from 1OA to 3OA. We find it to have the best results, but we also like the Blue Ripple Upconverter too. You could also just mix 1OA into a 3OA mix since the first four tracks of any B-format HOA does make up the first order. Based on our experience you just get slightly better results with upconverting first. Hope that clarifies any questions you had. Cheers, J.
  24. Jose Frias

    Abisonic Microphones

    If it's a VR/360 video production company, they will specifically ask for "spatial audio" which seems to have become the default nomenclature for this kind of work. They may specify that they want Ambisonics, which is obviously not the only spatial audio format, but it seems to be the most widely adopted one for VR and 360. A professional VR production company would definitely understand the entire pipeline. Now if it's a regular production company that is doing a VR / 360 video project, then it may be a different situation where they know very little to nothing of the workflow and pipeline, but they have some basic understanding of the language. In those cases most of the clients I have worked with will hire a VR sup or tech who guides them through the process and who communicates all the technical requirements for the project. Depends on the project, but for most of the VR / 360 video projects my company and I work on I'm delivering to post: - Multi-track files (sync'ed with video) with all isolated sound sources (mostly dialog or speaking parts, sometimes interesting production sound effects that can't be replaced or reproduced in post) - Wild mono files of isolated sound sources - Wild 1OA A-format files of room tone and ambiences - Wild 1OA A-format files of impulse responses In post, for a linear project like a 360 video we will sync the multi-track file to video. Lay down some to all of the wild sounds, add Foley and sound design as appropriate. We pan, or as we like to call it "spatialize", all of these tracks into a 3OA mix. We convert A- to B-format, and upconvert the 1OA room tone to 3OA and lay them down in the mix. We feed the 1OA impulse responses through a convolver that we use for reverb on the ISOs. Once the 3OA mix is done, it is muxed with the final 360 video for delivery to the platforms that support 360 video playback with Ambisonics (YouTube, Facebook, LittlStar, SamsungVR, etc), or it is packaged into an app for the Oculus store or Steam VR for example. If the project is interactive, then we build the audio through wwide, an audio engine that operates as middleware for a game engines like Unity or Unreal. BTW, 1OA files we typically record with the MixPre-6.
  25. Jose Frias

    Abisonic Microphones

    To a degree. It's not so much about knowing how the sound field will sound like without using decoders, as much as it is about knowing what can present as issues when converting the A- to B-format. i.e. wind noise, suspension rumble, if there's any weird noise artifacts in any of the capsules, etc. Most can do both, record and monitor the signal post processing, or record the signal raw and monitor post processing. The latter is recommended as the A- to B-format conversions in recorders use a generic algorithm, and in post you can use better conversion algorithms.
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