Jump to content

Comtek Feed Kill Switch


Bob Marts
 Share

Recommended Posts

Over the years, there have been occasions where I have turned down my Comtek feed in order to mute it from the listeners between takes, and then forget to turn it back up when we roll. Since there are times when it's appropriate for the sound crew to keep the mics up for our own technical reasons, but at the same time keep the mics muted to the "public", I needed to make myself some kind of reminder to unmute the feed when we roll.

I finally built a simple little box that would switch off the Aux send to the transmitter and at the same time, flash a bright red battery-powered LED to signal the muting. Turned out to be very useful.

post-52-130815094482_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice.

I did a similar thing but built it into the control panel on my cart.  There is a red LED for the Comtek feed and another to indicate if the playback speaker is on.  Both lights should be off when we roll.  The Comtek switch also allows me to send the output of a small MP3 player through the Comtek circuit if I wish.  Feeding my eclectic selection of music through the cans eliminates the inevitable "I don't hear anything through my headphones" whine that comes from video village before the mics are set.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice.

I did a similar thing but built it into the control panel on my cart.  There is a red LED for the Comtek feed and another to indicate if the playback speaker is on.  Both lights should be off when we roll.  The Comtek switch also allows me to send the output of a small MP3 player through the Comtek circuit if I wish.  Feeding my eclectic selection of music through the cans eliminates the inevitable "I don't hear anything through my headphones" whine that comes from video village before the mics are set.

Great ideas!!  I love the mute box with the light, and the need for something coming through the cans while production audio is muted is cleverly solved with the iPod feed.  My cart speaker occasionally gets left on too, since I can't always hear it bleed through my headphones.  It's embarrassing, although nobody has ever said anything, and I am thankfully far enough away and not turned up loud enough for the actors to hear their own voices during their performance.  It would be great to have a visual reminder that the speaker is on.

My DIY skills are limited, but a nice little box which reminds me to turn off my speaker and turn the Comteks back on would be at the top of my list if it were available for purchase.

Robert

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a little box like this, and found that I was able to completely ignore it when mixing and leave the feeds off anyway!  I've resorted to killing everything between takes so I know if I can't hear,  no one can hear.  For those of you with greater presence of mind than I have, this box is a cool thing.

phil p

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My cart speaker occasionally gets left on too, since I can't always hear it bleed through my headphones.  It's embarrassing, although nobody has ever said anything, and I am thankfully far enough away and not turned up loud enough for the actors to hear their own voices during their performance.

Doh! The exact same thing happened to me on my last shoot. Luckily, I was down the hall and around the corner from the actors, plus the speaker wasn't very loud. I realized it about 20 minutes in while on a break. I'm gonna have to put a big red light on this thing when the monitor is on!

--Marc W.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is by far the most complex circuit I have made.  (still very simple)

A red LED blinks once every second until the toggle switch is thrown to unmute the audio feeding a Comtek or any other device.  The whole thing runs from 1 AA battery and should last a very long time.  Dimensions are 4.25" X 1.25" X 0.75"

I also made a different circuit that is much simpler and runs off a 9V battery, if space isn't an issue.  It is also easier to adjust the speed of the flashing LED.

Thanks for the inspiration Bob, that was a fun one!

post-138-130815094522_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I had a little box like this, and found that I was able to completely ignore it when mixing and leave the feeds off anyway!  I've resorted to killing everything between takes so I know if I can't hear,  no one can hear.  For those of you with greater presence of mind than I have, this box is a cool thing.

phil p

Ditto, ditto. The system I use now works pretty well. When the crumpled ball of paper hits me in the head (launched by Steve Sollars, my erstwhile utility) I immediately look for the speaker fader and/or the IFB feed and correct the situation.

Jay Patterson

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 year later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...