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Mixing on Skis?


Ryan Farber
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Actually mixing or just hauling your gear? I've tried snowboarding and it wasn't easy at all but I imagine skiing would be much easier. I was with camera people who had no problems at all shooting and skiing with their equipment but they were quite good.

It just depends how good you are at skiing in general. If it is second nature to you, then it should be no problem. If you are just OK, it might be quite awkward.

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Yep, but I'm a pretty good skier.   I've even done it tethered to a camera person, but I'd highly recommend hops :)

 

Make sure your bag is as well fitted as possible and keep fairly high so it doesn't impede your hip and leg movement.  Obviously lighten your bag as much as possible so your balance isn't too affected.  

 

I've done it with a 552 and 4 411's in a Kata bag without too much problem, but then I usually ski with a 25 lb pack and when I've been doing rescue work, I've skied avalanche gullys with over 60 lbs on my back.  That's not fun... and usually results in a trip to the chiropracter followed by the massage therapist...

 

Cheers,

Brent Calkin

 

 

(My JW name "Freeheel"  actually refers to telemark skiing - with a binding that holds the toe of the boot and leaves the heel free so that you can transition from downhill to uphill very quickly)

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This thread makes me want to make a trip to Colorado.

 

I'd also agree that skiing would probably be a lot easier than snowboarding.  Can you run with wireless only? Seems the biggest issue would be having to carry a boom, I'd go wireless with the boom even tho you are holding it.

 

My minds eye keeps popping up a picture of someone flying down a mountain at 40mph with a sound bag on, which I kind of figure is not the case.

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Believe it or not, I am in Colorado!  Copper Mountain specifically.  But yea, my bag is a Petrol Large Deca with a 664, Lectro 411a, BDS, and two mics mounted on the front for stereo ambience stuff.

 

The shot will more or less be a snowboarder going down the mountain with a camera in tow (Sony FS700, 5D) and I will be behind.  I wanted to have the boom to get the sound of everything.  

 

What do you think?  Will the bag be too cumbersome?  I have a Tascam DR-40  that I could rig up to have the boom and lectro into, but the preamps are crap, and we might be doing an interview with the snowboarder on the mountain.



I might just use the pistol grip instead of the whole boom as well.

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I'm not sure if I'm picturing this right in my mind, but if keeping the boom at a manageable length, wouldn't you easily pick up the camera operators' skis as well? I would probably go with a lav. Maybe even two? Maybe with a long wire you could get the other one closer to the ground/snow for close-up sounds? Note: Last time I did any downhill skiing was abt 20 years ago at the age of 10 or something...

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In tow, huh... And how exactly does this train come to a safe stop?

more seriously..

how about plant mics on wireless in a few spots on the route down the hill?

and lav the snowboarder..

 

I don't see how you can follow and actually adjust faders at same time.  perhaps you are stationary at the halfway point on the slope, hidding behind a snow berm or tree (and cammo'ed in white)?

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Has anyone ever skied down a mountain with a full mixer bag and boom? Any tips?

A few years ago, I worked on two documentaries on skis. No particular problems.You should take a MKH mic and gloves !

Try to be as light as you can. I bought a mountain's bag : the boom took the ice axe's place !

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Guys.  I totally ate it on the skis.  My first run down was fine.  I haven't skied in over a year so I was really rusty.  I didn't get a chance to get re-acclamated to the skis, let alone skiing with a soundbag.  On my second run I ended up going so fast I couldn't stop and lost control and wen't flying.  My mixer bag acted almost as a cushion for my fall, taking the brunt of the impact.
 
I was fine, but I was more worried about my gear!  Snow got everywhere inside my bag.  The compartment where my 664's inputs were was completely inundated.  The faders were buried.  My lectro 411a was covered.  
 
Everything was perfectly ok though!  That fall truly was a testament to the build quality of the equipment I was using.   Thank you SoundDevices and Lectrosonics for making such robust equipment that could even survive my shoddy skiing skills!  
 
I would love to try it again sometime (I might have to in Park City in a few days) but I definitely need to reacquaint myself with the ski action.

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Many years ago (for anyone that know me I am not really the perfect shape for skiing now) I worked on a series of how to learn to ski films for UK TV, ans subsequently for ski holiday companies. They were some of the best times I have ever had at work.

 

My kit was a bum bag (I think you call them fanny packs in the US) containing a Nagra SN recorder with the converted to bolt onto it SQN 3 Mixer, plus an Audio Ltd RMS14 twin channel receiver, and a 416 on a short pole, with a curly cable. I had a small daysack rucksack on my back, in which I kept batteries and tapes for the Nagra, and other spares. We could ski to anywhere on the mountain to film. I generally had no ski poles, just the short boom for the 416. We bacame very adept at sking down with (in front of, level with, or behind) our featured pupils, and then snapping off our skis on arrival wherever and going into HH doco mode for the next few minutes.

 

We generally had the co-operation of the resorts, and so were allowed to jump any or all lift queues. We also had a degree of ski kit sponsorship, which was dead cool. We all had the same one piece suits, made of Goretex when it was a trendy new thing, all in the same colours, and when set free (lunchtime or whatever) would all try to ski down as one, turning in sync whenever we could - I am told it was a great sight.

 

The range on the VHF radio mics was awesome - up in the mountain air (or maybe it was the altitude, or maybe the lack of TV transmitters in the mountains), easily 400yds, sometimes 1/2 mile or more. I became an avid collector of thin, but warm, gloves - I still have some...

 

Our cameraman John was a great skier, but not so much so when skiing backwards. We had a long pair of skis made, with two sets of bindings on them, one at the front facing backwards, and the other at the back facing forwards. We found a local expert skier, and him ski forwards, whilst John stood on the front bindings facing backwards. With this rig John was able to film at some speed whilst facing 180 degrees to the direction of travel - it certainly raised a few laughs from the other skiers, but got us some amazing footage. All this whilst shooting with an Arri SR 16mm camera.

 

Being up in the mountains, skiing, filming, and getting paid to do it. One of the best experiences of my life.

 

Happy days,

 

Simon B

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I am fortunate that I have ski-ied for more years than I can remember and have done ski-ing sound jobs, so it can be done. 

 

I would say, as someone already has, keep your mixer higher for leg movement and that you are of a high standard when it comes to actually skiing, particularly if speed or higher gradient pistes are going to be involved i.e. it should be absolutely second nature. I would also say that a couple of runs without gear beforehand is a good idea to wake your mind and body up.

 

Otherwise, go have fun.

 

 

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I can't ski at all, but i had to do a doco with athletes where i had to run all the time. I know is different but this might help:

I put my 788, radios and battery on a tight backpack, then only had at the front the CL-8. I had also an ipod on my arm with CL-wifi for rolling and so on. It will balance you by putting most of the weight on your back.

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Ok so i ve just got booked for a gig on skis. I m an avid snowboarder so i m gonna stick with what i know (snowboarding). I own a nomad but i plan on reducing the size of my kit to max a 302 and a sr... Preferably a mix pre.. I m excited but a little nervous about doing such a different gig. Oh boy..

 

That's how I'd do it too, smaller bag the better.  Something like Rados mix pre bag set-up unless you are running dual system, then stuff a DR-40 in there.  I'd be OK with that, but a full 664 rig... hell no.

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  • 1 year later...

How about stashing a lav on the board itself, perhaps in-between the feet or on the inner side of a boot to give some protection?  

 

A wireless boom & operator might also come in handy ;-)

 

If wired to camera, be wary of jumps and avoid going on opposite sides of any posts or trees. :-)

 

Shoot, now I wanna do this!  Next winter I guess.  Good luck out there!

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