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Old October 26th, 2008, 09:26 PM   #1
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Large Purchase - Here's my list - Advice Requested

I've been asked to be the technical overseer of a low budget independent film. I'm looking over the purchase of everything from video to audio to lighting. They wanted me to keep the sound under 8 grand. I'm not sure if I can. Please look over my list here and give me your opinions. Where I can go down some, what I can cut. I'm a little over 10 grand now. I also have a couple of questions I will ask at the end of the list. Thanks!

Sennheiser MKH-416 - (P48) Short Shotgun Mic - $ 1,099.95 (for outdoors)

Rycote 18cm Small Hole Softie - Includes 18cm small hole softie & small hole softie mount and pistol grip - $229.00

Sennheiser MKH-50 Super-cardioid Condenser Mic - Includes the MZS40 Shock Mount & MZW-41 Foam Windscreen - $ 1,395.95 (for interiors)

K-Tek KEG-150CC Avalon Series Graphite Boompole with Internal Coiled XLR Cable - $ 579.95 (one boom used for both mics)

2X Lectrosonics 400 Series - Wireless UHF Lavalier System (Frequency Block 19) (No Mic) - $ 1,695.00 - Total of $ 3,390.00 (need two lavs for as I know the script calls for moving actors with distance shots)

2X Countryman B6 Omnidirectional Lavalier Microphone for Lectrosonics Transmitters (Tan) - $ 309.95 - Total of $ 619.90

Sound Devices 302 Portable 3 Channel Field Mixer - $1,295.00

Sound Devices 702 - High-Resolution 2-Channel Compact Flash Field Recorder - $1,875.00

Sound Devices CS-3 Production Case - $160.00

Porta Brace RM-MULTI Wireless Microphone Case - $ 64.95

Now my questions. Is it necessary to have both a Sound Devices 302 mixer AND the 702 recorder if you aren't going to need more than two channels? I'd like to know since the 702 has built in mic pre's, limiters, etc. I could knock off $1295.00 if I didn't need to mixer.

I'm pretty set on the two Sennheiser mics unless someone wants to suggest something very comparable but much cheaper. I'm not however, necessarily set on the Letrosonics if you guys think there are other high quality wireless lav solutions at a lesser price. I'd love some advice there.

Is a zeppelin necessary for normal breezy conditions or can I get away with just the softie?

I'm all ears for other advice as well where I can cut cost but not (too much) quality. Also, if there is anything you think I SHOULD invest in and deal with extra cost.

Thanks again!
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Old October 26th, 2008, 10:05 PM   #2
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Softie may not be the best way to stop a brisk breeze.

The way you priced out your Lectro system is wrong. It looks like you only priced out how much the receivers cost. You may be looking at a little bit less than double the price for both receivers and transmitters. Maybe just get Sennheiser wireless with mics wired for them?

You'll likely want both the 302 and the 702 so you can boom and use the wireless systems.

The case you picked out will only hold one 302 or one 702. Not both, you may have to take a look at your case choice again.
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Old October 26th, 2008, 10:19 PM   #3
 
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I have both the 702 and 302. Both are pretty essential. The 702 is important for recording and there is a mixing capability the 302 has that you won't get with the 702. If you had to get only one, the 702 is essential, tho'. If you're serious about mixing sources down to 2 channels, you need the 302.

Also, there have been times I wished to have the timecode capabilities of the 702t. You might want to think about that one.
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Old October 26th, 2008, 11:11 PM   #4
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Hi Tyler............

Hmm, really have to ask - why are you buying this stuff for an Indie film?

Wouldn't you be way better off hiring exactly what you need, when you need it?

And no, the Softie won't cut the mustard if the breeze is more than a zephyr.

The boom pole is a diamond priced product for a graphite budget production - can do better (cheaper).

Those wireless systems look waaaay over priced.

Don't see any breeze protection for the lav mics, they need it too.


CS
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Old October 26th, 2008, 11:50 PM   #5
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Ok then, I'll reply to a few things here.

Quote:
Hmm, really have to ask - why are you buying this stuff for an Indie film?
Because this purchase is for a non-profit organization that produces educational programming for children. While this is being used to do this little film, it will also be used for all the organizations future productions and they plan to do another film every couple years. So they wanted to invest in the long term. Good question though, as that wouldn't really make much sense otherwise!

Quote:
The way you priced out your Lectro system is wrong. It looks like you only priced out how much the receivers cost.
This is what I priced, am I missing something?
Lectrosonics | 400 Series - Wireless UHF Lavalier | 401LMNM19

I may look into Sennheiser wireless as the Lectro's are taking a huge chunk of the budget.

Quote:
The case you picked out will only hold one 302 or one 702. Not both, you may have to take a look at your case choice again.
I had the worst time looking for a case that was right, any ideas?

Quote:
The boom pole is a diamond priced product for a graphite budget production - can do better (cheaper).
Any suggestions? How important and convenient is having the cord built in?

Quote:
And no, the Softie won't cut the mustard if the breeze is more than a zephyr.
Ok, I'll budget in a zeppelin.

Quote:
Don't see any breeze protection for the lav mics, they need it too.
Duh, I knew I was gonna forget something.

Thanks guys! This is helping a LOT. Keep the ideas coming.
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Old October 27th, 2008, 08:21 AM   #6
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I would get a petrol bag, you will probably need a harness, a heavy duty light stand, grip head, boom holder(your back will thank you), and a remote audio bds with batteries. It adds costs to your setup but will make your life tremendously easier and pay for it self quickly imo. Good sound isn't cheap :( Typically people get the lavs in black, I would think they would fit in better more often than tan. Nice selection on gear though!
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Old October 27th, 2008, 10:31 AM   #7
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Sorry, completely forgot about the 400's and LM package. I personally wouldn't go with the 401 systems because there isn't a tracking front end.
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Old October 27th, 2008, 09:08 PM   #8
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look at the much better sounding sanken COS-11a's instead of the B6's unless you plan to "hide it in plain site" in hair or something.

also the senn MKH8040 is the newer version of the mics and you really want to get a Rycote Lyra type suspension. actually since you didn't plan for a zeppelin, a Rycote S series would cover both needs and save you some $
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Old October 28th, 2008, 12:41 AM   #9
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This is a bit trivial, but save your money on the Sound Devices CS-3 Production Case (piece of crap). Porta Brace makes a case for the SD-302 which is much better.
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Old October 28th, 2008, 12:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Oakley View Post
also the senn MKH8040 is the newer version of the mics
Are you meaning the MKH8040 instead of the MKH-50?
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Old October 28th, 2008, 11:03 PM   #11
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Ok, after pondering this some more and adding into the budget the zeppelin and a bds with batteries, I'm going to have to cut back somewhere. The best place I can think of is to cut out those ultra expensive Lectrosonics.

Does anyone have any experience with this kit?
Sennheiser | Evolution G2 100 Series - UHF | EW122PG2 - C | B&H

I've heard great things about the Sennheiser Evolution series and I can't see a lot of difference between the 100 and the 500 series to justify twice the cost. Unless I'm missing something, it's just more preset options and better LCD display. I'd like some thoughts on this though.

Thanks again!
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Old October 28th, 2008, 11:18 PM   #12
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Hi again......

If you go to that wee Google box at the bottom of the page and type in "Senn....." (you know what I mean) you will get literally hundreds of posts on the subject.

Just to save you that effort: They're great, I have them and they work a treat. The 500 is overkill for your application.

There, saved you at least, oh, 20 minutes reading and a heap of bods reitterating what's already been said many times before.

Wise move.


CS
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Old October 29th, 2008, 01:08 AM   #13
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Lol, believe it or not I've never seen that google box at the bottom. However, I do know about searching and did do a search, but I wanted the opinions of those who have already been helping me so far. Thanks for hopping in!
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Old October 29th, 2008, 06:49 PM   #14
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I have some Senn G2s, they usually work well, even in NYC Times Square (RF hell). Though the G2 does not have the range, sound and bullet proof RF reliability of a Lectro 200 & 400 series has, but it's great for the money, understanding it's limitations and paying attention to freq. set-up, gain-staging ect.
In the US, I would stay away from Sennheiser Freq. block "C"... this is within the 700 Megahertz range which may not be "legal" to use as the FCC white space debacle continues.
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Old October 29th, 2008, 07:23 PM   #15
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The Senn G2s are great, I use them at work as well. Do budget in a different mic for them though--Countryman makes a B6 to go with the transmitters. The included mic is great for interviews, but useless for films because of its enormous size. And yes, do make sure you stay in a "legal" band here in the U.S. I've got the 518-550 MHz range and they work very nicely.
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