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Travis Williamson

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Everything posted by Travis Williamson

  1. Hi All, Curious to know if the internals of the UCR411a have ever changed over the years. I have one low serial number somewhere in the early 200s, and other in the early 20,000's- other than the firmware versions, which are different, what would the other differences be (if any?)?. Cheers, Travis
  2. There was a long thread on the Australian Sound Recordists and Boom Operators FB page describing a similar problem with the SRC as pictured above. The Original Poster made many videos from his tests, experimenting with the anomaly. It was fascinating and very sad to watch. Perhaps there was a 'bad' early batch?
  3. I've had pretty good results using a UH400a with a 211 receiver. The noise floor is less when I use the UH400a with a hybrid receiver- with the 211 I have to be more precise with the gain on the Tx so as to find the sweet spot above the noise floor and between the peak of it's dynamic range for dynamic soft to quiet dialogue scenes, but it's totally viable IMO with a 211 receiver. On the other hand, my UM200c transmitters do not sound good with the SRB in 200 compat mode. I had the choice of running two extra radios in the bag last night, (UM200c Tx), with either the lightweight SRB or two 211 receivers, and to my ears, they sound miles better with the 211s. That was my experience...
  4. Today I got my SRb's in the mail and tried one in 200 compat mode with my UM200cs. It didn't sound great. A bit noisy, that RF noise floor kinda sound. I'll have to try re-tuning and see what I get. On the other hand, my UH400a sounds just great with a UCR211 Receiver.
  5. I really couldn't read all six pages looking for the answer to this next question, but if somebody would so kind as to answer- why is he called The Senator, or why does he call himself The Senator? He's got the reputation of a Bad Ass, stepping back from the spotlight has increased his Bad Ass notoriety. I'd be satisfied if I were him.
  6. I have a bit of a dialogue open with Sony at the moment because of the fault I have encountered with 5 (!!!!!) of their plug on Tx's. I have had one replaced, both of which had this issue, and my friend who owns three reports all of his have the same fault. The guy at Sony refers to it as the 'supposed problem' and says no one else has had this issue, which I find hard to believe. We will see. I'll mention the desire for a firmware upgrade to him when we next speak. May be that we need more presence in the community to warrant it though. I dunno.
  7. Good idea from the OP. They are a good com system. I don't much like showing people how to use them either. Hah.
  8. I bought some of these. They're great IFB's. The plug on went into over load from even the slightest handling noise, ie- the touch of a finger on the pole. If you LCF at the mic stage, this is significantly improved but still pretty unacceptable. I sent the plug on back, the unit which replace it had the same problem. A friend of mine has three of them, all three have the same problem. Multiple mics, multiple mixers/recorders, same problem. Must have been a bad batch. The sound quality is pretty good if they're held still. I'd use them for wireless boom, just not on anything too dynamic, because the limiters aren't so great. May or may not use them for anything destined for the Cinema, but would use them for all things small screen. I'm about to head off to a coastal town where my Bl21 Lectros are said not to play. Hopefully a scan gives me something to work with. IF I had the Sony plug on, I'd be taking it for sure. Wideband tuning is worth the sacrifice of sound which is esoteric at best.
  9. Rigging radios is a dark art in itself. A good boom operator who rigs solid bugs isn't expendable. Production could get away without an actual boom mic, and just use a camera top mic to cut in with bugs set to auto mix at the recorder, but rigging the bugs requires skill, and attention on set in case trims and re-sets are necessary too. I started as a boom operator, still operate boom too, and when I record over the shoulder I find the controlling of levels to be the least of my concerns. Mixing on the fly with a boom and a few radios is a slightly different story. I've spoken with sound editors who flat out tell me they go straight to the ISOs, and that the mix track is more for the picture editor to listen to as they cut. Pretty much every camera dept I've worked with had zero idea how to jam code and change audio settings in their cameras. Sometimes when I'm booming and I ask what lens they're changing to, or if I've been off set briefly and come back to ask what lens they're on now, I get an "I don't know" from the cam assist. Really? They sometimes don't know. Shit.
  10. Maybe the ntg3 will come apart and allow this to be done as a home job. Unfortunately the loose UH400a connector is going to cost $300-$400 to replace, which isn't worth it really. So I'll rubber band it to the pole for a bit of support, if the seller won't return it.
  11. After testing with a variety of sennheiser, akg, and a shure dynamic, I have confirmed that the UH400a does work perfectly in 200 compatibility mode with all those mics, but for whatever reason does not play nice with the rode ntg3. The connector is, however, quite visibly worn and loose, and somewhat noisy, but I'll get a quote on replacing it and depending what that's going to set me back, will either repair or return. Otherwise though, comments here offered valuable insight which proved correct. Might even contact rode and see what they have to say. Time to upgrade to a new shotty though I think- guess all I needed was a good reason. I wonder if the UH400a plays nice with the schoeps cmc6mk41? Thanks for everybody's insights! Travis
  12. Cheers Jon. We will know within an hour or so, and I'll be sure to post back. I did do a pretty tough search for 411a/211 compatibilities before I got the unit, but really only came across users with UM200s and hybrid Rx, no plug on's. You know, I didn't want to cop a grilling from the Senator for either not RTFM or doing a search. It will be a double edged sword if it turns out the unit doesn't like to play nice with Rode mics. My 416 kicked the bucket a few months ago, guess it might be time to upgrade to that CMC6MK41 I've been thinking about..... Alternatively, instead of a 'reverse phase barrel' (to be honest, I don't quite know what that is, although it's function is obvious) could I wire a cable with reverse polarity to go between the mic and the plug on? It's held in a cage with a breakout cable anyway. Travis
  13. I'll know in the morning John. Don't have ANY other mics in here at the moment. Will be testing with a bunch of Sennys- 416, MKH60, 8060....
  14. Thanks for the response. Unfortunately I don't have either of these items to perform such a test. I am visiting a friend tomorrow who may have something to reverse the phase between mic and Tx though. I know people with 411s here, but none in Blk 21, which is the bandwidth I'm in. Definitely never experienced anything like the grounding hum with the 664 before. My whole system did short out a few times earlier this week, but I was assured by the person who built my power distro system that was just due to two spare lectro power jacks that were touching at the bottom of the bag while not in use. Taped them up, and no problems since.
  15. Hello Hive Mind, I recently bought a second hand UH400a plug on Tx to use with my UCR211 Rx. I read the manual, and followed the instructions to set the UH400a to 200 compatibility mode. I've tried this several times. The Tx LEDs blink the correct amount of times. The Rx shows full RF reception. However, the results are not good. How to best describe the sound... muddy, low level, constant hiss, massive compander pumping sound. The connector is a little loose/wobbly, and does crackle a little when touched/wobbled. It makes very little difference where the Tx gain is set, the problems are audible regardless, but I would say the level is low in general, as the Tx has to have it's gain control cranked pretty far to the right to actually get SOME level registering at the Rx, plus there's the absence of any frequency beyond a hi-mid. I've been using Lectro UM200c Tx's with my 211 Rxs for over a year and they sound great since I became aware of how to drive an analogue system for best signal to noise ratio. This is not merely compander noise. Has anybody here experienced a similar problem with the UH400a in 200 compatibility mode they can share here for some insight? Does anybody have any suggestions? In addition to the above, I've tried - bypassing pilot tone on the Rx - switching between different levels of phantom power (the mic operates pretty well the same on 15v and 48v) - multiple Rx's I am using a Rode NTG3. The mic works fine when cabled EDIT - Just realised, as I was listening to the god awful sound, that when I touch any of the trim knobs on the 664, there is a great big hum that appears, and disappears when I take my finger off. This happens regardless of whether the mic/Tx are in my hand or not. It does not happen when the same mic is cabled. Cheers, Travis
  16. In my opinion and experience, the UWP D system works pretty well as a camera link. No one has ever complained. Mounting two can be a bit of a pain..... If I had the money for an SRB to sacrifice to a camera link, maybe I would... but at this point, the UWP D works good enough with no complaints. I use the HP out for line level only cameras (with an unbalanced cable). No complaints there either. They sound shithouse as a talent mic, although I've not used them with a mic besides the stock one they come with. The Plug On Tx is not worth your time- is has a manufacturing or design flaw that causes it to overload with very low frequencies caused from even the most subtle handling noise. If you CAN roll off at the mic, as opposed to on the Tx or the recorder, you can mitigate this problem, but it will not go away completely. Sony UWP D, decent link, great coms. I've gotten amazing range out of these things. Better range than a comtek or a Lectro IFB. I'm sure it's not hard and fast though- I could have been operating on a ultra clear frequency in the location I was in. They do sound a little thin, and their limiter is really awful, so attenuate your Tx input and Rx output a bit, but on the whole, as far as affordable camera links go, they do the job without spending $6000 on a Lectro set up. Horses for courses.
  17. I should have contacted Sound Devices straight away... I've been working a lot, and wouldn't have been able to send it back. I've still got a bunch of bookings in November! You're probably right that I've been in a little bit of denial. I do think, however, I've gotten a little closer to working out the problem, despite not having a clear diagnosis yet.
  18. I love the film and found myself getting lost in the story. There were only a couple, or a few moments, where the dialogue was obscured by effects and music. I thought to myself, it's one of those tense moments where the characters think they're going to die in space, all hell is breaking loose around them, they can't hear themselves think, so that must be the motivation for unintelligible dialogue. I fail to see why anybody would walk out and demand their money back as some did, but to each their own. I probably liked it because I dig the whole 5th dimension construction/time loop aspect of it all. It's very 'new age', very current. You know, the more that laypeople read about Quantum Mechanics, the more their minds give way to a pseudo-spiritual view on the world, which becomes pseudoscientific I guess as some make outlandish claims that really nobody can affirm or refute, but that's just the nature of people wanting to either feel special, or completely not special, in the universe... it's science and spirituality joining forces. Seems Nolan and his Brother were inspired by these themes, which I find fascinating. So I dug the film. Who cares if a few lines were obscured here and there. What stood out to me was how brash and gnarly some of those pickup truck burning down a dirt road sounds were. My god it's like someone put a lav under the mud guard and threw that in the mix at fill tilt.
  19. To be specific my 416 is an MKH 416 P48. I bought it used, from a recordist who is a friend and employer of mine. He probably had it for 10 or so years. It's never received T power as long as I've had it.... can't speak for anything that may have happened to it before I got it though. I've had the mic for about a year. It's cooked now, I plugged it into a mates 664, and my zoom, and without a doubt that mic is gone. When the problem first presented itself, I persisted with it for a while, which makes me think that by doing so, the mic became damaged. Needless to say, I'm not going to be persistent in using my friends 8060 incase it gets damaged also... but I may just push on with the NTG3. Next job, I'll run the 8060 wireless and see if there are any problems. I predict there will not be any. Phantom powering is the common denominator between each occurrence of this problem. The mics, cables, and channels in the recorder do vary, but phantom powering is a constant. Hopefully I hear from SD in the next day or two and the problem sounds familiar to them. I've not done a firmware update since 2.0.1.... I'll hold out until I hear. This has definitely not been a straightforward and easy process of elimination!
  20. The problem occurred again, this time with an 8060 borrowed from a friend. Problem began in Channel 5, I switched out to Channel 6, problem kept persisting, so I switched again to the NTG3 and it went away. This happened in the last hour or two of a 10 hour corporate job. So weird. I've contacted Sound Devices with a break down of all these experiences. I'm beginning to *think* it's a phantom power issue also. I would love to know what cooked my 416, my theory is that the 664 is doing weird things with phantom (like maybe sending too much current to the mics....) I'm going to run my boom wireless on my next job. If there aren't any problems, that could indicate that it may be a phantom power issue. I doubt very much that it's humidity, I live in South Australia which is the dryest state here, on one of the dryest continents in the world. It's known for it's dry heat, and thats the weather we've been having lately.
  21. I disagree that my fault finding skills need brushing up. I have a lot of information which does not lead to a concrete conclusion. What I have is a 416 that is clearly broken- it malfunctions every time I plug it in, to any recorder. Initially I thought the problem was with channel 5 of the 664, because my ntg3 also malfunctioned once in this channel. I have since tested all channels of the 664 with the 416, ntg3, and another mic, the ev676. The only malfunction in those tests was the 416, which performed badly universally. So yes, it may seem as simple as the 416 being broken- and I think the 416 clearly is broken- but there is one anomaly among all of this which is the ntg3 malfunctioning on a shoot, in channel 5, one time. In all subsequent tests, I cannot get this malfunction to occur again with the ntg3, or with any other mic in channel 5 of the 664. The experiment is NOT repeatable. Therefore, it is an anomaly until I can get it to repeat again.
  22. Phantom is set at 48v. From all the tests I did the other day (results scattered in the above posts), the only repeatable problem is that the 416 is dodgy no matter where or what it is plugged into. Even a zoom h4n. Now it seems that the only anomaly is the ntg3 crapping out in channel 5 one time. I'd prefer to confirm that channel 5 has a problem before I send it away, and at this stage, I can't get the problem to repeat itself in channel 5, unless it's with the 416, which as said, is problematic no matter where it's plugged in.
  23. I've used those cheap earplugs you get from any pharmacy- just heat up a thin skewer or small piece of wire and melt it through. These look good too. Sometimes I just wrap the whole mic in snot tape like a sanken sausage roll!
  24. Yep the ev676 is dymanic. Just tested the ntg3 and 416 in a h4n. Yep you guessed it, the ntg3 was clean and the 416 was problematic. Fresh batteries (eneloops) in the zoom.
  25. Thanks Vincent. I also thought it may have been a power issue. However, the NP1 is almost fully charged and I'm almost certain the battery was also freshly changed when the ntg3 produced noise on Monday. Additionally, the ntg3 is fine upon testing today, and the 416 is producing noise in all channels. So that eliminates the power problem. I will test both mics in my zoom h4n now. The recordings I uploaded here last night are 100% ntg3 in channel 5, producing noise, the same noise the 416 produces without fail in all channels, with any cable. I can't get the ntg3 to make that noise any more. Maybe the recording I uploaded is a pure anomaly and won't ever appear again- maybe the batteries were dying Monday and THAT was a power issue, but the 416 is still damaged. Confusing stuff.
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