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Old August 27th, 2007, 04:14 PM   #1
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Bloop Boxes / Slates...Help please

Hey everyone, I seem to have run into a problem that I can't find the answer to anywhere.

In just a month I begin filming on a documentary (actually, I posted about other issues regarding it under my cameraman's account, "Andrew Peterson Padilla," as my account was taking forever to verify. If you're interested, feel free to read about it.)

My problem is this: I feel that I need a bloop box or similar device. Given the nature of much of the shooting, a TC Slate is in my opinion too intrusive and simply not practical. That said....I cant find a bloop box!

Perhaps my internet detective skills have gone down the tubes, but I seriously can not find a simple, effective bloop box for sale (any, really). Or instructions on how to make one.

Here is what I want: A simple box that I can clip somewhere easily viewable on my sound guy (shoulder strap, mixing bag, etc...) that when he presses the button it will illuminate an LED (bright enough for day use) and simultaneously lay tone to the recorder.

I feel comfortable enough soldering and working with electronics to make the LED portion without problem, but I am not very knowledgeable about the electronics going into a tone generator. I suppose in a pinch I can go to radioshack and start trying to piece together a solution, but I was really hoping someone here would be able to help.

So please, does anyone have any leads? I'd appreciate it.
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Old August 27th, 2007, 04:27 PM   #2
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Hi Ryan.........

Maybe I just don't understand the question, but it does seem that you're hoping for a heck of a lot from your sound guy. Unless he's got mind reading abilities and/ or reflexes faster than Superman I can't see how's he's going to be able to do this live.

From memory when this is done "live" it isn't - the entire feed is run through a time delay to allow someone the time to catch the blooper before it goes public.

Wouldn't it be a lot simpler to do this in post using a good 'ol fashioned audio oscillator plugged into a mixer channel?

Whatever, as for the answer to your Q, try "audio oscillator" in your Google search or check out Radio Shack (they still exist?) for an el cheapo audio oscillator kit you could assemble and pop into an appropriate box with battery/ led / button etc.

CS
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Old August 27th, 2007, 04:52 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post
Maybe I just don't understand the question, but it does seem that you're hoping for a heck of a lot from your sound guy. Unless he's got mind reading abilities and/ or reflexes faster than Superman I can't see how's he's going to be able to do this live.

From memory when this is done "live" it isn't - the entire feed is run through a time delay to allow someone the time to catch the blooper before it goes public.

Wouldn't it be a lot simpler to do this in post using a good 'ol fashioned audio oscillator plugged into a mixer channel?

Whatever, as for the answer to your Q, try "audio oscillator" in your Google search or check out Radio Shack (they still exist?) for an el cheapo audio oscillator kit you could assemble and pop into an appropriate box with battery/ led / button etc.

CS

I think I understand where you are coming from, but I don't see it as being that large of a problem. The sound guy is a good friend of mine, and the whole project is in a very friendly, comfortable environment. I don't really see any problems communicating well enough so that I (the camera man) and the sound guy collaborate to get the light in frame (at some point in the take) while he lays tone.

Perhaps I should have elaborated, we will be running the field recorder and camera in TOD timecode. The bloop is mainly going to be used to slate in the beginning of the day, then whenever else possible during the day to avoid drift. If things get hectic and we can't slate every one in a while it should be fine, given that I can just use the established TC offset to sync.

My problem with a slate is 1) it is bulky and 2) it is intimidating to the subjects. We have put in a lot of pre-pro time to establish friendships with the band so that they barely notice the cameras and mics. The ritual of using a clapper to slate takes, however, would immediately undo that and put them in the "we're on film" mood. This effect is an even larger problem with subject that we haven't established relationships with.
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Old August 27th, 2007, 05:43 PM   #4
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Ah..........

Fundamental misunderstanding of the term "blooper" on my part. Sorry.

Hey, maybe I answered the Q anyway?

CS
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Old August 27th, 2007, 05:54 PM   #5
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Try searching for Tone Generator

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Old August 27th, 2007, 06:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Gardner View Post
Hey everyone, I seem to have run into a problem that I can't find the answer to anywhere.

In just a month I begin filming on a documentary (actually, I posted about other issues regarding it under my cameraman's account, "Andrew Peterson Padilla," as my account was taking forever to verify. If you're interested, feel free to read about it.)

My problem is this: I feel that I need a bloop box or similar device. Given the nature of much of the shooting, a TC Slate is in my opinion too intrusive and simply not practical. That said....I cant find a bloop box!

Perhaps my internet detective skills have gone down the tubes, but I seriously can not find a simple, effective bloop box for sale (any, really). Or instructions on how to make one.

Here is what I want: A simple box that I can clip somewhere easily viewable on my sound guy (shoulder strap, mixing bag, etc...) that when he presses the button it will illuminate an LED (bright enough for day use) and simultaneously lay tone to the recorder.

I feel comfortable enough soldering and working with electronics to make the LED portion without problem, but I am not very knowledgeable about the electronics going into a tone generator. I suppose in a pinch I can go to radioshack and start trying to piece together a solution, but I was really hoping someone here would be able to help.

So please, does anyone have any leads? I'd appreciate it.
Location Sound Corp lists them in their rental catalog for $60 per week. You could rent or if you contact them perhaps they'll sell you one.

If you have a smart slate jammed from the audio recorder's TC generator, all you need to do is show the slate to the camera after sound has called speed. You don't have to actually bang the sticks if it would be too disruptive.
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Old August 27th, 2007, 07:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Gardner View Post
....I cant find a bloop box!...
I think every one that I ever had my hands on was build by some engineer in his/her spare time... but note that some of the companies that used to support the industry with all kinds of semi-custom and niche gear are long gone.

http://users.aol.com/fmgp/sync7.htm

This one doesn't have the built in take-number system, but otherwise looks good.

Search terms: bloop box, bloop light, bloop slate.
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Old August 27th, 2007, 07:59 PM   #8
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Holy crap $250???? Just make one yourself for under $10. Look up a 555 chip schematic on google.
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