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Old April 6th, 2008, 07:09 PM   #1
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New Lavalier Article Goes Live!

Hi all:

It's finally live. 16 models of lavalier mics tested, 105 images, 83 sound samples.

Hope that this helps you choose the best lavalier for your needs.

http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage/lavs_brockett.html

Dan
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Old April 6th, 2008, 07:35 PM   #2
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Dear Dan,

I wish to thank you for another very nice, in-depth review.

I am certain that many will be referring to your reviews for a long time.
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Old April 6th, 2008, 10:46 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
Dear Dan,

I wish to thank you for another very nice, in-depth review.

I am certain that many will be referring to your reviews for a long time.
You are welcome Dan. I am writing the articles that I wish I could have found back in the pre-Internet days when I started in the business. There is a lot of content on the web, some good and some not so good.

I hope that content like this is valuable to those who live in the boonies where there are no audio retailers.

Glad you enjoy the articles.

Best,

Dan
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Old April 7th, 2008, 12:41 AM   #4
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I've been anxiously awaiting your article and it did not disapppoint. Thanks once again for making the complex understandable. Excellent!
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Old April 7th, 2008, 12:41 AM   #5
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Thanks for the best lavalier reference I've ever seen. The audio examples are beyond expectations.
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Old April 7th, 2008, 01:50 AM   #6
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Dan, UR the MAN! That is an amazing and professonally done in every way (from layout to writing) piece of work. REALLY impressive. Thanks so much!
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Old April 7th, 2008, 11:28 AM   #7
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Thanks so much!

Hi all:

Thank you so much for the words of encouragement, they mean a lot to me.

I am writing a new column that will debut in the next issue of HD Video Pro Magazine called, "Audio Assist". The idea is to answer universal location sound questions that all of you ask so if you want to see your question answered in a national magazine, ask away. Some months may highlight a working pro, but most months will answer audio issues and how to best solve them.

The upcoming issue features interviews and content with George Simpson, Supervising Sound Editor at Technicolor Sound and Michael Olman, a Sound Re-Recording Mixer for shows like "24", "Desperate Housewives" and "Battlestar Galactica". It was interesting, in interviewing the top audio post people in the business, I asked them, "what is the one thing that producers can do to improve the quality of the finished audio for their projects". Universally, the response was, "hire an experienced, skilled and patient location sound mixer" Turns out that all of the "fix it in post" stuff that gets tossed around, it's BS. Fixing it in post is not cost efficient and you end with a sub standard audio mix anyway in most cases in comparison to shooting it right, with a pro behind the mic.

All my best,

Dan
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Old April 7th, 2008, 11:43 AM   #8
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Fantastic job once again!

I was very impressed with how the AT899 sounded. It was in my top 3 for each test you did.

I can't wait for the next installment (field mixer, or wireless perhaps). I just wish someone would do this type of test for HDV and sub $7,000 video cameras.

Cheers,
JA
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Old April 7th, 2008, 12:13 PM   #9
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An amazing article! I can't imagine how long it must have taken you to put it together. I'm sure people will be referring to it for years to come. Thank you so much!
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Old April 7th, 2008, 12:46 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jason Aumont View Post
Fantastic job once again!

I was very impressed with how the AT899 sounded. It was in my top 3 for each test you did.

I can't wait for the next installment (field mixer, or wireless perhaps). I just wish someone would do this type of test for HDV and sub $7,000 video cameras.

Cheers,
JA
Hi Jason:

Yes, the Audio-Technica wasn't bad at all. AT shipped me another one to test with the 1800 wireless system. Glad you found the article helpful.

The next article is a "How To Rig A Lav" article, then wireless, then field mixers, you nailed it as far as what the next subjects will be.

Dan
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Old April 7th, 2008, 12:48 PM   #11
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An amazing article! I can't imagine how long it must have taken you to put it together. I'm sure people will be referring to it for years to come. Thank you so much!
Hi Jim:

My problem is that I just write the articles as a sideline, I am a full time producer/DP so I can only work on these articles when I have down time. Honestly the hardest part isn't the testing or writing or photography, those are fun, its the obtaining the review samples from the manufacturers. I need to get an assistant for these things that can just make the calls, tell the same pitch over and over and handle all of the shipping, paperwork.

Glad you liked it.

Thanks,

Dan
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Old April 7th, 2008, 12:54 PM   #12
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a really nice job, but I really wish the files weren't zipped. in a really great review which I am sure took a lot of time and effort, the zip files are a real downer. an MP3 file is already compressed, so you can't really losslessly compress compressed data again. the zip files are all 4kb smaller then the originals pretty much saying the only thing being compressed is either the file header, or some padding on the end of file. given the average file size of 500kb, this is a less then 1% savings in space / bandwidth, but a HUGE pain for anyone who want to click thru and check the various samples. please consider how much energy will be used to decompress these files, how much human time will be used and reconsider if saving less then 1% is worth the costs to the endusers.

maybe posting a complete zip file of everything on YouSendIt or another free FTP server would be an option to save bandwidth on your server.
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Old April 7th, 2008, 01:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Brockett View Post
Hi Jason:

Yes, the Audio-Technica wasn't bad at all. AT shipped me another one to test with the 1800 wireless system. Glad you found the article helpful.

The next article is a "How To Rig A Lav" article, then wireless, then field mixers, you nailed it as far as what the next subjects will be.

Dan
Excellent, can't wait.

Not to hijack this post, but what are your thoughts on the AT 1800 wireless say versus the Sennheiser Evolution? I need to pick up 2 units, and these two seem to be the best for my budget. I was going to use the Tram 50, but now I may go with the AT899.

Thanks,
JA
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Old April 7th, 2008, 02:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Brockett View Post
Hi all:

It's finally live. 16 models of lavalier mics tested, 105 images, 83 sound samples.

Hope that this helps you choose the best lavalier for your needs.

http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage/lavs_brockett.html

Dan


Dan,

Congrats!

I know that represents a LOT of work. (unpaid work at that) and I also know that your efforts will benefit a lot of us.

So thanks for your time.

Hey, you're not breaking down and going to NAB this year are you?

If you do, I'll be glad to pick up your bar tab one night as a small token of "thanks" on behalf of the DV audio community. (Chris H probably would kick in as well, but most of us here know all his annual extra cash goes into his industry-leading SwagPen program and gratuities at a certain local LV coffeeshop.)
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Old April 7th, 2008, 02:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Oakley View Post
a really nice job, but I really wish the files weren't zipped. in a really great review which I am sure took a lot of time and effort, the zip files are a real downer. an MP3 file is already compressed, so you can't really losslessly compress compressed data again. the zip files are all 4kb smaller then the originals pretty much saying the only thing being compressed is either the file header, or some padding on the end of file. given the average file size of 500kb, this is a less then 1% savings in space / bandwidth, but a HUGE pain for anyone who want to click thru and check the various samples. please consider how much energy will be used to decompress these files, how much human time will be used and reconsider if saving less then 1% is worth the costs to the endusers.

maybe posting a complete zip file of everything on YouSendIt or another free FTP server would be an option to save bandwidth on your server.
Hi Steve:

These are all Ken Stone issues. I supply the files as .MP3s, then Ken lays out the article, loads the files and zips them. The MP3 files are compressed to a 128kbps data rate, which sounds decent to me. I will forward your concerns on to him but I believe that there were some bandwidth issues that we ran into on the last shotgun article. We did discuss putting all of the files into a single download but I think with the tens of thousands of hits that the article has received, there were cost issues.

When the last article debuted, I received e-mails and posts that echoed some of the same concerns as you are expressing here, but nobody was willing to supply extra bandwidth and download quota. Since Ken's site has no advertising or sponsors and is financed by Ken, he has to make the decisions on how to supply his service.

I know that in comparing the uncompressed .AIFFs I recorded to the .MP3s I converted, I was pleasantly surprised at how well the .MP3s retained the qualities that differentiate the mics but yes, they don't sound as good as the .AIFFs. As far as the zipping concern, I don't know enough about the process to know where and how the zipping could effect the sound quality.

Thanks for the feedback.

Dan
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