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Vivid Lizard

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Everything posted by Vivid Lizard

  1. My budget solution that both boom op and director's have liked (so far) is using my Sony UWP D11 units. The RX's have dedicated headphone outputs, but buried in the menu. I set these a bit louder than normal, then supply Koss Titanium light headphones. These headphones sound way better than they cost, are very light, have easily replaceable ear foam pads (for client cleanliness), and more importantly have in-line volume control. I've found that the Sony UWP units are much more reliable as far as avoiding hits and loss of signal than my Sennheiser G3's, although they work too in this kind of setup. I haven't had any interference yet on my camera hops close to Teradeks.
  2. The F8 has super rock solid timecode *AND* allows you to power down now with no hit on TC if you install the v.5 firmware upgrade. The only 3 things I can see that's missing on the F8 compared to the F8n after an upgrade on the F8 is that the 1/4" connections only do line input, the XLR connections only do mic input, the TA3 outs only do mic and prosumer line, and the USB connection doesn't supply power.
  3. I was wondering if anyone knew of a shotgun mic repair facility somewhere in Southern California. My Audio-Technica BP4073 recently started sending out nothing but harsh static. I've checked cables, capsule placement, different connectors and recorders, etc., and nothing makes a difference. I've sent a message to Audio-Technica service but just in case I run into a problem from them, I would like additional options. If you know of anyone in SoCal or elsewhere that I could get an estimate from, I would be grateful. Thanks.
  4. Excellent! Thank you very much everyone for the input, especially from those who experimented with them. I will definitely be avoiding them.
  5. Thanks, everyone for chiming in. Haven't done the key test since I don't have one to test with. The Sony is supposed to do well because of it's hybrid digital feature, but I haven't tested that either. VAS, do you have experience with the Saramonic? If so, what aspects of it did you find below par? Thanks.
  6. I've been toying with the idea of using those newer cheap Saramonic wireless units, the ones that look so much like the Sony UWP D-series, on low-budget shoots for, say, a scratch track camera hop, a boom op hop or as IFB's (since they have a headphone out). I would rather use something like these when I agree to help out on a student film, or various other shoots where I would rather not risk my Lectros, etc. Has anyone ever played with these, even for just "s**ts & giggles"? Or heard any scuttlebutt about them? At their price point I can't imagine their sound being very good, but if they inherited their innards from the Sony original then maybe not so bad. Like the Sony's they have a 30mW max RF output, and say they are "hybrid digital". Unlike the Sony's the receivers are 2-channel, but they don't tout being diversity. My guess is that they sacrificed the diversity to go with the dual channel thing. I asked a Saramonic rep about that and he had no clue what diversity meant, so I got no usable answer. Not a good sign. Again, just toying with a thought here... thanks.
  7. Thanks! Let's hope they ARE wired correctly...
  8. I just got hold of some Lectro 100's, but without the receiver to mixer cables. I need to buy some of these pretty quickly, but most of the ones I see in the length I want (1', 1.5', 2'), are all stereo TRS 1/8" mini to 3-pin XLR. The "official" (but very costly) Lectrosonics one shows the mini end to be TS mono. My question is, if I got the stereo TRS mini version, would there be problem or would it also work?
  9. Recently I was on a shoot in the desert near Palm Springs and one actress was in a wardrobe where there was no place to put her Lectro TX except where the antenna was pressed up against her sweaty skin. I was getting terrible reception from her, so thought of using the Mepitac I had as a barrier between the antenna and her skin. After I did that I seemed to get much better range... at least for whatever reason I got better sound with less breaking up at a longer distance. I wasn't able to try it again to see if it was a fluke or there is something to it.
  10. Just got word from Scott Boland at Cable Techniques... he says that it's more of a courtesy reminder in that 12v is the usual lower end for many pro devices, and that the BB II will still continue to do it's job on lower input voltages. My F8 works fine down to about 9v, HA3D down to 9v also, and my lectro 411's down to 10v. The 12v 8300 mAh power source I use starts at about 12.3v and drops down to 11v very, very slowly, so I think I'm good for all day.
  11. I'm thinking of buying a Battery Bud II BDS and noticed that it's rated at 12-18v input. My question is, what happens if/when the voltage from my battery source (12v, 8300 mAh, 99Wh) drops below 12v, say to 11v or even 10.5v? Does the internal circuitry of the BB start to get wonky with the current below 12v? I've sent that question to the nice folks at Cable Techniques, but also thought that the equally nice folks here might have something to say. Thanks.
  12. I've used that little flashing LED light on my Tentacles for a quick and dirty reality check before. Simple but pretty effective.
  13. It sounds like front end tracking so far is the biggest, but not too major, difference. If that is correct, then for my needs the lighter weight, smaller size and $550 dollar difference of the LR seems like the way to go. I'm kind of thinking of possibly going with an SMQV/LR combo to get a nice 250mW set at a somewhat better price point than an SMQV/411 set would be. Thanks for the input!
  14. Just wondering... that although the Lectro LR Compact Receiver is touted as being for ENG & DSLR work, what, besides the info panel being on the front instead of the top, makes this unit less desirable for higher end film and broadcast work than say the UCR411a? The LR has true diversity, removable / moveable antennas, digital hybrid technology, and other features that the 411 has, plus it has that snazzy 3-block frequency range and is lighter in weight. And, the LR is around $550 less than the 411. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
  15. Thanks to everyone for the replies.
  16. Just curious... has anyone ever put together a little fabric pocket of sheath for a TX antenna to slip into for those times when there is no option but to have the antenna touch the talent's skin? Do you think this would help, like having a layer of clothing between the talent and the antenna? If the talent sweats so the fabric gets wet and salty, would that negate any advantage to it?
  17. I usually think it's best to assume a recorder will get powered down for some reason during a shoot. If not, that's great. But to have to re-sync the lockits on the camera(s) if audio powers down, when those lockits can easily go all day without a re-sync otherwise can be a minor time-consuming task during a shoot, and even unprofessional looking during actual production. In any case, it's the audio operator and their recorder that is losing sync, not the cameras, and that just doesn't sit well with me.
  18. Thank you. I appreciate the feedback. I wasn't very specific about a headphone "knob". My bad. What I meant was a headphone selector switch to select individual audio channels to monitor... or separate monitor solo buttons. Very important in my opinion. Bummer about the time code accuracy when the unit is turned off. That kind of eliminates the F4 (and F8) as the primary time code source and thus requires another separate time code generator just for the F4 to re-sync to after a lunch or other needed shut-down. And since you need a separate TC generator anyway, Zoom might as well have saved more money and left it off and just accepted TC from the additional generator. I know you don't see it as a "bug" but it is a rather annoying and expensive oversight... all for not having an added, tiny battery backup for time code. But I do agree the the F4 has some very impressive qualities otherwise.
  19. I tried jumping tip to ring directly and couldn't get it to work for both. The resistor does just that but in a way will work.
  20. Just thought I would throw in a lavaliere modification or those using Sennheiser and Sony transmitters with the 1/8" locking TRS connectors (G3's, UWP's, etc.). As you know, lavalieres for the G3's usually won't work for the UWP's, even though they have that same 1/8" locking connector. But... I purchased a low-budget Senal OLM-2 lav specifically for my Sony as a backup. For the heck of it I plugged it into a G3 and dang if it didn't work. So I opened it up and saw what you see in the attached photo... a tiny 10k Ohm (brown, black, orange, gold rings), 1/8 W, 5% tiny resistor spanning between the left (Tip) and right (Ring) solder tabs. That's it. So I purchased a set of those resistors, added them to my other lavs (Senny ME2, Tram TR50's, etc.), and they now work for BOTH my G3's and UWP-D11's perfectly. No need for redundant sets (except for backup). I especially wanted to do this with my Trams so the Sony's also had a decent mic. And here's a tip... if you do purchase the Senal OLM-2 lav at, say, B&H, get the Sony version. Why? Not only does it have the resistor already in it (not sure if the Senny version does), but it's $40 less than the Senny! At $80 for the Sony one, it's way more practical.
  21. Yes, so true. But if this recorder was upgraded to fix at least most of those issues, how much do you think it would cost? Fairly decent analog limiters, physical gain pots for channels 5 & 6 (and separate return input), somewhat better display, and mic plus real line level for the XLR inputs... just these. What, double the price, say $1400? Even at that price I would consider it a good bargain. Still, the most vexing omission would be the kind of service you get from a company like SD, which is worth quite a bit.
  22. From what I've been able to gather from the kind people at B&H who have worked with it, discussion groups and Zoom itself, the F4 still suffers from much of the same ills as the F8... 1. Digital limiters 2. Mic level only XLR inputs 3. Difficult, menu-laden "mixing" 4. A "not-as-good-as-it-should-be" headphone output (some coloring) 5. No headphone monitor knob 6. Hard to reach rear connectors / media 7. Plus, what's with that LCD screen? Going B&W I can see the cost point, but better resolution can't be THAT pricey anymore. As far as positives... 1. Supposedly, the losing time code after a power down bug has been fixed. We'll see. 2. More option buttons on the front panel to access menu items faster. 3. Somewhat larger gain knobs. One thing I was hoping for... I asked if the 5/6 channel 1/8" input was used for camera return only (simply monitoring), could the proprietary Zoom capsule input be used for recording on channels 5 & 6 at the same time. Nope. Worth a shot. I find a lot of workarounds on things but this wasn't one of them.
  23. Thanks so much for the input. I'm going to continue testing to make sure it all works well.
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