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Please critque my beginner set-up


Jesse Flaitz
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I just want to say thanks again for all the super helpful replies. I've since been able to purchase a 302 with a Fostex FR2LE 2-channel recorder with bag and all for a very reasonable price. I can't wait to start using it, I'm sure the sound difference is going to be immense.

I'll definitely look into picking up an extra card reader, dummy slate and some other extra goodies as per suggestions.

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There is no way to record in mono on the Zoom. Once you have the external mixer, you may want to use the second channel at -10 dB for protection. Or continue splitting your lav. Personally in post I prefer having splits whenever possible, even if it is only end lav.

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This has been a very helpful thread. I wonder if I can tag on. Here is my setup: (if you can call it that)

Tascam DR-40 (H4N equivalent)

Rode NTG-3

Boom

Mogami XLR cable

So, far the biggest suggestion is adding a mixer like the 302. For my situation should I invest in a lav setup like the G3? I am partnering with a videographer mostly doing local commericals. Should my next purchase be a small condenser, a wireless lav, or a mixer? (I am working to not be 'a guy with an h4n' but it takes time/money) Thanks for all of your professional insight and help!

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The biggest problem I found with the H4N is the terrible noise floor. For recording dialogue in a fairly quiet room thru my AT8035 shotgun the S/N ratio simply does not cut it. A cheaper route I could have gone is with a sound devices pre used exclusively with the boom. That would have saved me a lot of money, but I'm very happy with my 302.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This has been a very helpful thread. I wonder if I can tag on. Here is my setup: (if you can call it that) Tascam DR-40 (H4N equivalent) Rode NTG-3 Boom Mogami XLR cable So, far the biggest suggestion is adding a mixer like the 302. For my situation should I invest in a lav setup like the G3? I am partnering with a videographer mostly doing local commericals. Should my next purchase be a small condenser, a wireless lav, or a mixer? (I am working to not be 'a guy with an h4n' but it takes time/money) Thanks for all of your professional insight and help!

I would personally go mixer, then g3+tram, g3+tram then start expanding into additional condenser microphones bigger mixer then TC recorder. After that you should be able to either re task the G3 pacs or sell them and upgrade to a high end Wireless. But at least for me that is more or less the path I took with my kit. Except for the part where I got sidetracked and went and bought a 2nd 302 and 6 G3/ tram sets.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I too am building my own arsenal of equipment. I have been booming and even mixing, but not with my own equipment. While I highly value the opinion of the mixer (person) that I work with, I also like to get others input on equipment as well as experiences. I am getting more offers for solo, low budget work, but fall short on equipment.

So far I own:

K-Tek Boom Pole

MKH60 Shotgun mic

Rycote windscreen.

Versa-flex/porta brace bag's

8506's

RA XLR's

Here is what is in my Trew shopping cart waiting for me to click "Buy Now":

SD 788t-SSD (I'm nervous about the SSD though, call me old-fashioned.)

SD 552 mixer

Lectro UCR411A/UCM400 (x4) wireless (haven't decided on the lav's yet)

I realize these are some expensive items, but I'd rather have equipment capable of quality recording. I'm torn about which Denecke slate to get. I'm thinking the compact, but again, not sure.

Obviously I'm betting on "making" it and am in an area loaded with work if I have all the required equipment.

Comments/thoughts/advice...

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I personally would question the need for the 788T and the 552. I would use the 788T and buy a CL-8 for it. For the jobs that you just need to mix, the 552 would be lighter (not by THAT much) and less power hungry, but if you were using the 788T with the 552 in front of it all the time I don't see the point. Maybe consider not taking such a financial hit and just getting the 552 to begin with. If you find yourself on the types of jobs that need 8 tracks of ISO recording, then spring for the 788T.

If you do grab the 788T, don't be nervous about the SSD. No moving parts means less points of possible failure. I'd be MORE comfortable with that.

For lavs, they're very subjective (like anything) but a good all-rounder is the COS-11D. Small, sounds good both under clothing and exposed, easy to mount and conceal.

Just my $0.02

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Justin, admittedly, I'm shopping with an overkill frame of mind, not so much that I need to have the capabilities/functions out of the gate, but rather when I do encounter a job that requires it, I'll have it. Good call on the CL-8. I actually feel a bit newbish in that the CL-8 completely slipped my mind. I'll also check out the Sanken wireless as you suggested. Mounting and concealing are huuuge factors in the types of jobs I do so that was a key factor. Thank you, and everyone for all of your terrific insight on jwsound.

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Don't forget to budget in for a bag to carry all the extra stuff that won't fit in the mixer bag, very comfortable shoulder harness, batteries to power everything, chargers, and lots of cables and adapters, power distribution for the bag, etc :)

A good place is get to know your local camera folks, see what kinds of cameras you will need to hook into and get double sets of connection cables, 1 to use and 1 for a backup for each type you discover. Wireless hop gets you free from when the camera op decides they need to run to the other side of the room to get a shot, but adds it's own complications compared to a simple tethering setup.

I've found the smaller compact slates are easier to transport and still just as readable, but I'd suggest renting a couple brands to find the one you like best before investing the $1400ish on a slate.

You may need an IFB system at some point, lots of info on here on the different systems.

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Then again... Zaxcom Nomad v. your favorite Sound Designs setup?

Joel, yes, that laundry list hasn't been overlooked, I just haven't reached that bridge yet.. I only mention the Denecke because it is the one I am familiar with (just like the SD 744/442) I'm used to using (not mine.) I guess I find myself leaning toward the brands that I was "raised" on. I suppose I find myself approaching gear with a new outlook being that I am going to be the purchaser instead of just the user of. I'd even consider buying my own 744/442 setup except I am skeptical buying used equipment. Personally, I never see needing more than 4 iso's, but ya never know.. I found a thread from 2010 that deals with the 788 & 552 respectively. I would imagine (more like hope) that some of the bugs with them have been addressed.

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