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Old May 4th, 2008, 09:46 PM   #16
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Ty-

Based on the solid and straightforward advice above, I bought your book. I have high hopes. :)

Quick question. Would you really use Sanken CS-3e mics in the wilds of Africa, (or anywhere near rain and humidity for that matter without Loss and Damage insurance?) Would there be a solid budget minded alternative that you could recmd for the shots in torrential downpours?

Thanks

R. L. Appling
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Old May 4th, 2008, 11:08 PM   #17
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ego, civility, reality...

Pick any two.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 11:00 PM   #18
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aww man, i wish i could afford that mic Ty, but that's way out of my budget.

Basically my rig is a Canon A1 & Sony FX1 (w/xlr adapter), Azden MX20 Field Mixer (2 channel), Sennheiser ME66 shotgun (w/boom kit), Audio-Technica AT897 (on-cam for FX1, aka backup), & a Azden Wireless Lav (dunno which model).

I will be out filming a lot in the countryside of Vietnam, kinda like the boonies, pretty far from the horrendous city noise. If that might help clarify things for more input & advice.

But i will be in those cities for some parts of the trip as well, where i think it might be a good investment into another lav mic or two for assurance.

We'll be "run and gun" most of the time, but there will be our share of sit down interviews as well. Could anyone recommend an affordable wireless lav, or maybe one that has 2 channels/2 transmitters.

What are your thoughts on those wired lav mics as well?
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Old May 7th, 2008, 04:53 PM   #19
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Audio Technica 1800.

2 xmitters double receiver

Ty
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Old May 8th, 2008, 10:28 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R. L. Appling View Post
Ty-
Would you really use Sanken CS-3e mics in the wilds of Africa, (or anywhere near rain and humidity for that matter without Loss and Damage insurance?) Would there be a solid budget minded alternative that you could recmd for the shots in torrential downpours?
Thanks
R. L. Appling
RL:

Accounts (below) seem to differ from ramps, even when it comes to the 416, which many believe is bullet proof. My choice was based on not hearing anything particularly bad about the CS-3e in harsh conditions and that it is a versatile mic capable of good results for both interior and exterior shooting. Apparently some, but not all have and the data are not consistent.

An MKH 60 with full kit would be a good alternate choice.

Regards,

Ty Ford


------------------

i had my cs-3e in the rain forrest for a couple of days, full rycote (light foam, basket, fleece, fur) and it got wet. i didn't need it much until the end of the day, at which point it started to crackle, so i unplugged it and put it down for the day. i dried it out the best i could in a warm dry hotel room. very unscientifically, it seems to have gone downhill ever since. it started to sound really dull, muddy, not what i'd come to expect from it, but gradually. i recently had it back out in costa rica (high humidity) last month and it really didn't sound right. no crackling, but it just lost it's magic to put it mildly. i'm not sure if it was already head downhill before the first time it got wet, but i'm sure it's never been the same since.

interestingly, when i took it to get serviced, the technician said he compared it to one they had in rentals, only to notice it had the same or similar problem.

i'm curious to hear others experience.
--------

Alright I would say but not great...It does exhibit some strange artifacts in the sound.....very faint fuzz crackling noise. I used it till begins to act up and then switch to my Mkh 60 which I never had problems with in tropical humid rainy climates.Not all of them do this....I have feedback from about 20 soundrecordists at the network ,they all have CS-3e's ...not all of them have complained about this type of problem ( actually just a couple of guys )...so , some CS-3e's seem to handle it ''better '' than others. Mine comes back to normal behaviour after 24 hours or so in a normal temp room and away from the rain or very high humdity . Regards.
--------------------
I've found the CS-3e to be a pretty fragile mic...it doesn't seem to do too well in very hot, very cold, or very wet. It's also as susceptible to RF interference as anything else. If you're going to the tropics, I'd highly recommend taking a Sennheiser mic with you. I haven't tried the new small ones, but the MKH- series seems to be almost as venerable as a Nagra in adverse conditions. The comparison between the Sennheisers' durability and immunity to RF problems and humidity problems and the general competiton's (Schoeps, Sanken, Neumann etc) isn't even close, in my experience (and I've got some of them all).
-----------------------------

To the tropics with two 416s. You'll want a spare even though they rarely break down.

--------------------------

I did a ten day trek across the Gran Sabana in Venezuela during the rainy season last year. I took a CS-3e and a 416. Surprisingly the 416 died about an hour into the shoot, during the first of many heavy storms, at which point I changed over to the CS-3e which I used for the remainder of the trip with no problem. The 416 came back to life after it had dried out but I stuck with the CS-3e and it served me well for the remainder of the trip. On the last day of shooting we were drenched by a proper tropical rainstorm for four or five hours and the Sanken survived. I had the 416 checked out when I got home and the engineer couldn't find anything wrong with it, needless to say it's been fine ever since, although it hasn't been as wet.
---------------------------
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Old May 8th, 2008, 12:13 PM   #21
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Kevin,
Curious to know why you are hiring a sound guy with no location audio experience. Studio work is so different as to be almost totally unrelated to location sound. The tools and techniques are just so different. What about your other sound guy? Is he experienced?
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Old May 8th, 2008, 09:03 PM   #22
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Rycote make something called the Duck, a long "rain hat" for your mic's fluffy windshield. Has anyone tried it? If so, how effectively does it mute rain that actually hits itself?
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Old May 11th, 2008, 09:56 PM   #23
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Marco,

The reason why i hired a sound guy with no location audio experience is because he's free. My other sound guy is my cousin, but he doens't come on the trip until 2 weeks later.

I work with a non-profit organization, and so my entire crew are volunteers, I'm still in college, and the organization is donor based, which doesn't add up to a lot of spending money to hire a professional.

We plan to do a lot of narrative voice over as well in post which should cover a lot of things up. We are also trying to stay as low-profile as possible, so we will probably end up using a lot of mounted shotguns to the cam, as well as lavs, the boom will only be used when the situation allows.

Anytime something like a small video camera is brought into Vietnam, the kids out there become so fascinated by the device, and just want to see what i see, so then you have 10-20 kids surrounding you. But hey, it's all about the kids in the first place so, i think it should work out fine.

Nonetheless, i'm very excited to be a part of this project, it's my first big thing. :)
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Old May 12th, 2008, 06:59 AM   #24
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I work with a non-profit organization, and so my entire crew are volunteers, I'm still in college, and the organization is donor based, which doesn't add up to a lot of spending money to hire a professional.
Kevin,

Not sniping here, but I have to ask the question. In the non-profit, do the executive staff get paid?

I ask because a lot of us get hit on to lower or donate what we do by people representing non-profit organizations. When we find out how much the CEO makes, working for free seems very strange.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old May 12th, 2008, 12:11 PM   #25
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A couple of years ago I heard a presentation by a well known NLE company executive. During the time he used some examples from his very successful video business which he has to have.

One of his rules was to charge more than his competition and put out a better product. He suggested making an alliance with an alliance with a lower cost but competent videographer to send clients to who didn't want to pay his price.

One other thing I remember was that he said a large part of his business came from non-profit organizations. They paid him very well.

However, everything has its context. The opportunity to do the documentary in Vietnam at this stage of a career, may be its own reward and pay off in other ways besides money. But it should also be said that this is not an approach that works out on a long term basis.

I think one secret is to figure out exactly what you are able to do well given all your parameters, and then stay within the limits of what you can do well. An inferior job, no matter how good the intentions, is never acceptable.

With a documentary it is very possible to do professional and exceptional work inexpensively and simply. However, to achieve this it is necessary to understand the limitations and how to exploit the strengths.
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Old May 12th, 2008, 12:44 PM   #26
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Jack,

Your response makes me very concerned. We are agreeing on way too much.

Can the end of the earth be far away?

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old May 12th, 2008, 02:44 PM   #27
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Ty,

To answer your question if the executives get paid, the answer is no.
They all work between their own normal jobs and the organization. They are just a group of very dedicated people who are pretty passionate about the things that ICAN does. It has to do a lot with bridging the generation/cultural gap between my parents generation from Vietnam, and my generation who are born in the states.

Jack,
I will keep that advice very close, you are right, i cannot try to go beyond what i cannot handle.

Anywhoo,

I've been with this organization since it began 7 years ago, I started off just doing photography for their annual concerts.

I got this gig because back in december, i made a short video for one of the programs that they run locally. It was very rough, and I just shot this on a dv cam with one lav mic, and clipped 8hrs of interviews on various topics to meld into the subject, i had only a few b-roll that i shot myself, and some from older "home video" footage. Here it is: http://www.ccintegration.com/ican/ICANH5.wmv
Given the fact that it might look okay compared to the new hdv cams and is kind of cheesy, people liked it, the program got much more support the community, and more people involved within it.

If i was to reshoot that whole thing now, it would be much better with all the new experience i have acquired over the past few months filming other documentaries with my new gear, and shooting my 16mm projects which is freakin awesome to have these old school hunks of metal in my hand.

Every year in the summer, a small group from the organization travels back to follow up and seek out new programs to sponsor and support, so i decided to take the concept to make a short doc for each program to substitute for written information on those programs. To make a feature length documentary is actually my own project on the side, that part is more about the journey, and my crew getting engaged with the people, the surroundings, the culture, and traditions over there. While i'm there might as well keep the tapes rolling. It's just a chance for me to make something more while i'm already there, and get that additional experience.


In the end the equipment that was purchases that we raised is mine as a substitute for pay :D Then I can make more films, Happy Days!

Last edited by Kevin Ta; May 12th, 2008 at 04:56 PM.
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Old May 12th, 2008, 04:53 PM   #28
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So we raised enough to buy all the audio gear, and accessories which in the end will be mine as a substitute for pay :D Then I can make more films, Happy Days!
That'll work!

Regards,

Ty
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Old May 12th, 2008, 07:32 PM   #29
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Jack,

Your response makes me very concerned. We are agreeing on way too much.

Can the end of the earth be far away?

Regards,

Ty Ford
Not to worry. I'll film it and you can announce. Great team! Or has this one been done before?
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Old May 12th, 2008, 07:38 PM   #30
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Kevin, sounds like you've got a good deal going.

Content is king and story's the thing. I just read an article about Ironman that said they reigned in the cinematography and the special effects in favor of the story. And the film's doing quite well.

The fact that your doing something that has personal meaning can be very helpful.

To me the best audio and picture is that which does not attract attention to itself, either negatively or positively. The more transparent the better.

Looking forward to see your results!
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