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Talkback on 788/CL9 combo


DjGo
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Hello group,

just acquired the CL9 for cart-based work.. how do CL9 users create a private line from Mixer to boom-op and back.  I didn't realise the limitations of a line-level Comm return. Also didn't realise that, when using the headphone out to the boom-op he monitors the same as I..

I thought of the following workflow:

  • The boomie has a passive boom-box connected thru a snake, the headset-mic is a dynamic mic.. well, there's the first caveat: to be able to listen to his comments I need a micpreamp to crank the mic-signal to linelevel to be able to use the Comm return on the CL9.. the only small battery-powered micpre I have is the SD302 (!), seems like a bit overkill for a talkback.. Any alternatives? I could give him a cheap wireless-bodypack for his headsetmic.. still seems odd...

  • I want the boom-op  to be able to listen to input 1 (boom) only, and my slatemic (dynamic mic connected to input 8 on the 788t) I could use one of the outputs of the 788t, and route the appropiate inputs to that output but they are line-level, so I need another box, I thought of using my FisherAmps batterypowered headphone-amp to drive the boomies headphone.. Oh, how I wish for the option of separate headphone-mixes on the multiple headphone-outs..

Am I missing something here? any of you have a cheaper/sleeker way of creating a communication-line?

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It does leave something to be desired in the comm dept.  Don't you also have to be monitoring the comm return in order to hear the boomer talk to you?  (I haven't studied it closely...)

Anyway, for the boomer's mic, do you know how to solder?

I used one of these kits in the boombox as a preamp for the boomer's talkback.  Ran it thru a momentary switch so it's not always open.  Run it off a 9V, also inside the boombox.

-Brian

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It would have been nice to have the choice of a mic/line return with a gain-knob.. and sacrificing an input for the slate mic is also a workaround.. what's wrong with a higher quality internal mic huh.? Despite the limitations, I'm gonna have a lot of fun with the CL9. Finally long throw faders, much easier mixing. I think I'll stick to using what I have (1200 usd talkbackmic-amplification) and a separate headphone amp (another 250 usd).. but have to think about soldering together some el cheapo alternatives..

Thanks,

Diego

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You could cook something up yourself....  I've built several mic pres for non-critical apps (like talkback) made by these people: www.canakit.comThey even sell the kits in assembled form...

Philip Perkins

Thank you very much for the link.. looks like some usefull stuff.

Diego

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I am using the 788T-SSD with a CL9 for cart work. I use outputs 5/6 for the boom op(s) and I use the returns on the CL9 for the return feed. I use a Lectro T4 to send the boom and whatever else he may want to hear (pre fader) and they wear a G2 transmitter with a Lav for the private line back to me which feeds one of the two inputs on the CL9. I use a 100% wireless sound cart for my everyday workflow. It works for me. I feel that this setup has more flexibility than I had with my Cantar and the Cantarem which was also a 100% wireless workflow.

How cool would that be, 100% wireless.. That would be a serious alternative for the (near) future.. Besides being short on cash to make major investments in wireless technology, I'm hesitant on buying any wireless-mics at the moment because of scheduled changes in the wireless spectrum.. What system are you using for wireless boom if I may ask? and is your boom-operator comfortable monitoring via IFB? I used a T4 once and didn't feel comfy, especially when range was an issue, no problem for a scripty, but for a boomop..

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We are using a Lectro HM plug on right on the boom when the set is relatively small. This is our preferred work flow for speed and flexibility. For larger venues we use a Sound Devices MM1 in a very manly fanny pack that also holds the Lectro R1A and a Lectro UM450 for more power back to me. I use a antenna distribution system for my Lectro venue. The main disadvantage with the second setup is that the boom op is tethered to the boom setup and has to disconnect from the boom when making on set adjustments (talent wireless, plant mics, etc.) which leaves me "deaf" so to speak.

That's pretty efficient. I would love to work that way some day...

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" I used one of these kits in the boombox as a preamp for the boomer's talkback. "

this, or the other similar unit, could also be based on the cart in a small project box...

" I'm hesitant on buying any wireless-mics at the moment because of scheduled changes in the wireless spectrum. "

foolish!  the one thing certain is change,   kist as there was no future proof technology before, there will not be any in the future, either.  some of us have been through 70 MHz, and VHF (crystal controlled single channel, non tunable), the addition of companding, UHF fixed freq., and today's standards, which, like everything else keep changing and improving.

" what's wrong with a higher quality internal mic huh.? "

very few customers would be interested in paying for it!

" 100% wireless.. That would be a serious alternative for the (near) future. "

for some of us, that future has been here for 10+ years!!

" sacrificing an input for the slate mic is also a workaround.. "

life is full of "workarounds",  sometimes they are just called: "solutions", or "conveniences"...

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" I'm hesitant on buying any wireless-mics at the moment  because of scheduled changes in the wireless spectrum. "

foolish!    the one thing certain is change,  kist as there was no future proof  technology before, there will not be any in the future, either.  some of  us have been through 70 MHz, and VHF (crystal controlled single  channel, non tunable), the addition of companding, UHF fixed freq., and  today's standards, which, like everything else keep changing and  improving.

I can't see how saving up money and carefull planning future-investments is a foolish thing to do..  and I am aware of the ever changing nature of the technology we use. I welcome change everyday, but I cannot always afford it

" what's  wrong with a higher quality internal mic huh.? "

very few  customers would be interested in paying for it!

it don't have to be high-end, just a bit more.. and why would you assume few customers would be interested? I have read a lot of posts displaying the general dissapointment in the internal slatemic.. if I remember correctly.. how much more would it be?

" 100% wireless.. That  would be a serious alternative for the (near) future. "

for  some of us, that future has been here for 10+ years!!

!! wow man!! impressive.. I guess I just can't keep up the pace then (I'm located in the Netherlands.. no serious bigbudget filmindustry here hence nobody pays extra for the convenience of being 100% wireless) makes me a prettymuch a dinosaur tied to a starquad-cable then..

" sacrificing an input  for the slate mic is also a workaround.. "

life is full of  "workarounds",  sometimes they are just called: "solutions", or  "conveniences"...

!!oh really, I didn't know that.. sincere apologies for my ignorance.. it all just could have been that tiny bit more convenient, but I agree

Thanks,

Diego

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" I can't see how saving up money and carefully planning future-investments is a foolish thing to do..  "

OK, I should have been clearer...

not buying wireless mic's that you can use now, especially if you need them now, because there will be some future changes (inevitable) which may, or may not, require to be replaced or upgraded some time in the medium term future (years away!) is foolish.  Of course if you have no need for them, buying later is probably prudent...

" the general disappointment in the internal slatemic "

it's a slate mic...geez! if you want a better mic, then use an external one (I know, that would be a work-around!-- see below) BTW, I like to use a headset mic, but it isn't a deal breaker...

" makes me a pretty much a dinosaur tied to a starquad-cable then.. "

well, there are a fair number of folks still who do not use, or rarely use a totally wireless booming system.  I first used a wireless boom with a VHF, single frequency RF mic system in the 90's...

" it all just could have been that tiny bit more convenient, but I agree "

one person's "little bit more convenient" is another person's PITA; all these things cause the price to creep up, and there are so very many different individual preferences, that manufacturers have to find a price/performance point to please the largest possible part of their target market.  the more customization, the higher the price.  I'm left handed, and have learned this, as well as how to solve little issues (workarounds!)...

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" I can't see how  saving up money and carefully planning future-investments is a foolish  thing to do..  "

OK, I should have been clearer...

not  buying wireless mic's that you can use now, especially if you need them  now, because there will be some future changes (inevitable) which may,  or may not, require to be replaced or upgraded some time in the medium  term future (years away!) is foolish.

I should have been more clear also: I have the gear to record proper sound for featurefilms, but at this moment in time this means mostly working with cables except for the 3 or 4 wired talent. There's no real need for me to invest in wireless-boom and wireless talkback-systems etc. cause everything works.. add up the fact that no-one is willing to pay extra for my convenience if I decide to go wireless all the way I just like to save up and plan ahead and in the meantime fantasize about streamlining my workflow.

" the general disappointment in the internal  slatemic "

it's a slate mic...geez! if you want a better mic,  then use one (I know, that would be a work-around!-- see below)

Well, yeah! I remember writing in the original post that I will use a better mic.. it's just a shame losing an input because of that cheese-mic SD calls slate-mic.. The slatemic in my 442 seems a lot better to me, could be the placement, but it's just so much more intelligeable..

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Senator +1

Wireless is no longer, or has been for some time, an afterthought...  It is mandatory, unless of course, you want to be a slave to rental.... 99% of the time we use them, everyday....

  Wireless boom always....  unless the content is deafening...

Slate mics always sound, well, terrible...  I consider that normal... as Mike says, if you don't like the sound, use an external mic of your choice...

A pain in the ass for me is to use a console without all that is needed for cart use... I personally would never use that "CL9 fader box" on my cart....  It is simply not my style....  I don't really even consider it a mixer, just a fader box.... I'm kinda kidding....  I love their gear, just not that product... Not for me....

By the time you include all your "workarounds" why don't you just buy a Solice or Used Cooper, or 01V96, or any other number of boards that work much better for this application. Your cart will not have that "thrown together" look of 10 things and boxes to make a system work properly.

I believe people have to start using what is best for them to get their job done right without regard to being "PAID" for every part and component used.....  It's more than just money for your wireless boom, it is the simplicity of the operation of the boom pole for your boom op....  Forget about charging for it, just buy it and use it.... It is an item of convenience....  You don't charge every time you pop out a Schoeps Plant mic, or Sanken CUB do you....  No, you just throw gear at the problem until the problem goes away...  Some stuff you just use, and not charge for... Wireless boom is one of them...

Best of luck whatever you choose...

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By the time you include all your "workarounds" why don't you just buy a Solice or Used Cooper, or 01V96, or any other number of boards that work much better for this application. Your cart will not have that "thrown together" look of 10 things and boxes to make a system work properly.

I believe people have to start using what is best for them to get their job done right without regard to being "PAID" for every part and component used.....  It's more than just money for your wireless boom, it is the simplicity of the operation of the boom pole for your boom op....  Forget about charging for it, just buy it and use it.... It is an item of convenience....  You don't charge every time you pop out a Schoeps Plant mic, or Sanken CUB do you....  No, you just throw gear at the problem until the problem goes away...  Some stuff you just use, and not charge for... Wireless boom is one of them...

Best of luck whatever you choose...

Thank you BobD. I've contemplated on a mixing-desk.. just liked the idea of having a controller better. I might change my mind over time, or not, it all depends on how efficient I will 'work around' the little issues, we'll see.

I've always chosen the appropriate gear to make my life easier, to get the job done just a little bit better than the last time and anticipating possible problems on set and investing in solutions. No, offcourse I don't charge for that or every little piece of gear that I use when I need it..

Wireless boom is not a common thing where I live and work.. but that's probably changing as we speak (write) Only recently I'm considering it a serious alternative to a cable, for convenience, I guess I came a little late to the party.. And to be frank, as long as productions don't want to invest more into their product (the film) by paying reasonable/good fees, I will probably just wait  a little longer with investing in more wireless mics..  and use and appreciate the gear I allready have until the wireless spectrum-squeeze in Netherlands/Europe will force me into an upgrade.. That's that.

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Djgo,

  If you already have 4 wireless, grab a used plug on transmitter, or get a cable to run from your existing transmitter to a 48v power supply, you can run your boom wireless that way also... we run them both ways...  Many times, you only need a boom, or 3 radios... you can always have a wireless on #1 then 2-3-4 for your bodypack radios (transmitters)...  When you need 4 radios, go for it and wire up the boom....

So often, streets, crowds, other obstructions, fences, traffic make the wireless boom a god send.... with what you have you can do it with the addition of the power supply... PSC makes one which works well and won't break your bank... Your closer than you think....  When you are 25 ft away on a stage, or in a building, you can always thread up that cable.... just for old times sake...

  Just think, you can be the trendsetter in your neck of the woods....

  As for the mixing desk, check out the (Yamaha 01V96 ver. 2) a steal for all it does...  Almost unbelievable for the cost....  About the same price as the CL9, but does a THOUSAND times more... a bit large,(not for the minimalist that's for sure), but those of us who use them, love them....

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Djgo,

  If you already have 4 wireless, grab a used plug on transmitter, or get a cable to run from your existing transmitter to a 48v power supply, you can run your boom wireless that way also... we run them both ways...  Many times, you only need a boom, or 3 radios... you can always have a wireless on #1 then 2-3-4 for your bodypack radios (transmitters)...  When you need 4 radios, go for it and wire up the boom....

So often, streets, crowds, other obstructions, fences, traffic make the wireless boom a god send.... with what you have you can do it with the addition of the power supply... PSC makes one which works well and won't break your bank... Your closer than you think....  When you are 25 ft away on a stage, or in a building, you can always thread up that cable.... just for old times sake...

  Just think, you can be the trendsetter in your neck of the woods....

  As for the mixing desk, check out the (Yamaha 01V96 ver. 2) a steal for all it does...  Almost unbelievable for the cost....  About the same price as the CL9, but does a THOUSAND times more... a bit large,(not for the minimalist that's for sure), but those of us who use them, love them....

Thanks BobD, gonna try it for sure, you got me going now!

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I understand the advantage of being able to listen to the boom operator privately, but have never thought it that much of a big deal to actually provide the boom with a second mic and return. Curious how many of you make that totally private provision for your boom --> mixer communications. If there is a rare critical private conversation that must take place that -- if overheard by anyone -- would be bad, I turn off the public Comtek TX or (with my configuration) pot down that aux channel. In the meantime, boom operators are judicious about what they say over the oh-so-potentially-public microphone they hold. We develop 'code words' like 'NPR' which is code for, "Don't forget we're speaking publicly, as in National Public Radio."

Even if the boom mic is hardwired back to the cart, he or she can be wireless to hear mixer --> boom talk. I'd be tempted in your situation to route the 788 / CL9 slate mic to the public comm (how often do you actually need to speak over the public comm to the director/script supervisor during a take?), and route the Input 8 private mic both to headphones out (so I can hear myself) and to whatever output on the 788 is attached to the private line TX --> boom.

Then the problem to solve becomes how you speak to tape (disc) for headslates, etc..

This precise issue is why I'm thus far sticking with an analog mixer. Glad to have had the chance to think about it in concrete terms. Thanks for the thread, Diego.

-- Jan

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Thanks Jan, it's a pleasure to give food for thought and to receive food for thought.. that's the main reason I was thinking out loud here because of the wealth of idea's and inspirational display of practical/technical/creative insight.. It's also the main reason I became a member of this knowledgeable group..

It's up to me now to start working with the CL9, I have a long feature-film coming up, and I'll be more than happy to share my findings..

Thanks very much all..

have a good day!

Diego

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I don't use a separate mic for my boom operator to talk back to me.  I can pick his voice out of a lot of BG noise, if he needs to keep the pole extended, or he can collapse it.  Occasionally I have sensed a bit of annoyance having to do this, but not so much that either of us would prefer a dedicated boom PL.

I am not a fan of turning off the Comtek to allow for a private conversation for two reasons.  One:  If the feed goes dead, anyone who might be listening might become alarmed by the sudden loss of audio and immediately look to the boom operator, who will be whispering a secret into the boom mic.  Two: What if something goes technically wrong, or someone happens to approach the boom operator while this private moment is being had?  Very bad things can happen if the wrong person hears the wrong thing, or even thinks something bad is being said about them.  These are the things that get you fired these days.  If what needs to be said is so important and so delicate, then it should be done face to face.

Robert

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I don't use a separate mic for my boom operator to talk back to me.  I can pick his voice out of a lot of BG noise, if he needs to keep the pole extended, or he can collapse it.  Occasionally I have sensed a bit of annoyance having to do this, but not so much that either of us would prefer a dedicated boom PL.

I am not a fan of turning off the Comtek to allow for a private conversation for two reasons.  One:  If the feed goes dead, anyone who might be listening might become alarmed by the sudden loss of audio and immediately look to the boom operator, who will be whispering a secret into the boom mic.  Two: What if something goes technically wrong, or someone happens to approach the boom operator while this private moment is being had?  Very bad things can happen if the wrong person hears the wrong thing, or even thinks something bad is being said about them.  These are the things that get you fired these days.  If what needs to be said is so important and so delicate, then it should be done face to face.

Robert

Yeah--I tell my folks that if you think something you are about to say shouldn't be said publicly on the set then maybe you shouldn't say it at all.  If they have to tell me something really scary then ask me to come see them in person....

Philip Perkins

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I don't use a separate mic for my boom operator to talk back to me.  I can pick his voice out of a lot of BG noise, if he needs to keep the pole extended, or he can collapse it.  Occasionally I have sensed a bit of annoyance having to do this, but not so much that either of us would prefer a dedicated boom PL.

I am not a fan of turning off the Comtek to allow for a private conversation for two reasons.  One:  If the feed goes dead, anyone who might be listening might become alarmed by the sudden loss of audio and immediately look to the boom operator, who will be whispering a secret into the boom mic.  Two: What if something goes technically wrong, or someone happens to approach the boom operator while this private moment is being had?  Very bad things can happen if the wrong person hears the wrong thing, or even thinks something bad is being said about them.  These are the things that get you fired these days.  If what needs to be said is so important and so delicate, then it should be done face to face.

Robert

My methodology certainly assumes a bit of diplomacy and awareness on the sound team's part. Without that, we're fucked whatever we do or do not do.

When a turnaround is called, all mics are potted down until such time as the boom operator returns to set for lighting. At that time, the boom mic's potted up so that I may listen to the 'music' and 'rhythm' of the set, which lets me know when we're getting close, and so that the boom operator can let the utility know if we require a 2nd boom, ladder, etc.. In the meantime, most Comteks have come off, and I don't care who listens to half my conversation with the boom operator during lighting setups. It's all professional talk, and I trust my boom's not a jerk.

There have been 3 or 4 times in 20 years that I've potted the Comteks down for a private word. Can't remember why now, but never close enough to shooting that Comtek silence would be perceived as an issue. Probably a two-person team. Probably a fight to get to set situation.

If it's a problem for a boom op to pull down the pole for a quick word, the boom op needs practice doing that faster. I've spent time practicing that toward speed and ease, for sure.

-- Jan

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To each their own.... 

  For us, private line from boom to me, and from me to boom.... wireless.... 

Unless we are in a super simple configuration, or out of a bag... then we resort to old school....  (sorry Crew, no pun intended)

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  • 12 years later...

Hello - I have a CL9 and the issue that I'm having - simply put - is that the mic is not loud enough for my boom op. My set up is that I have a 788 with a DHCT into outputs 1 and 2.  I have increased the volume/gain on the outputs, on the 788 and on the DHCT but even still it's incredibly quiet. 

Is there any way to upgrade the internal slate mic on the CL9?

 

 

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