Has anyone used a radio link (like zaxcom) back to camera at DVinfo.net

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Old May 28th, 2009, 05:24 PM   #1
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Has anyone used a radio link (like zaxcom) back to camera

I know this is at the higher end of things but curiosity is not always bad , anyway was reading (in the coffey magazine - an absolutely brilliant publication i found out about here) and the (documentary) sound recordist was using a zaxcom radio link from mixer back to the camera -1 transmitter /reciever but stereo signal and also seemed to have a radio-time code link back to his sound devices audio recorder
I've never seen this system used so was wondering

Has anyone ever used this system and how did it work
How did the timecode relay work
Are there any other dedicated systems out there
Is it common practice or quite rare

(I know any radio could technically be configured to work but this seemed a dedicated system which intrigues me)


any info greatly appreciated
John
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Old May 28th, 2009, 06:19 PM   #2
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Probably the Zaxcom with the optional IFB. I also like the Zax bodypack transmitter with built in 12 Hr. recorder back-up.
I used a Stereo-Line a few times, no IFB or return though. Quality, build and price similar to Lectros.

Zaxcom
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Old May 28th, 2009, 07:23 PM   #3
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I have used the Zaxcom stereo system for mixer to camera and it worked well. I found the menu a little harder to use than Lectros but this might have been improved since I last used it. The battery consumption was something to worry about unless you can get power from the camera as the system didn't work well except with Lithium batts and even though it didn't last forever. Same company makes Deva recorders and continues to improve the product line.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 02:18 AM   #4
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Using radio links is standard procedure. Which brand one uses is up to one's preferences. Problem is always with 'monitoring' that's what the Zaxcom tries to deal with. I've never used one of those as I'm happy with my setup. But whatever brand one uses (I prefer Lectrosonics out of a number or reasons) one needs to employ professional equipment for things like that.

If audio goes to camera only with no second recorder than audio has to be monitored by the camera person directly from the camera. His/her job in this way is mostly to confirm that audio 'is there' and that there are 'no hits' from the wireless system degrading it. That's all one can ask for as this person usually has other things to do.

If one does double system, meaning audio goes to camera and is also recorded onto an additional (harddrive or similar) recorder, the location sound mixer can monitor him/herself and should there be problems with audio on the camera, it's not a big deal as there is a clean back-up. For this to work in fast paced productions camera and sound recorder are to be jammed via time-code. That's it.

(One of the problems with sending the monitor link back to the sound person via another wireless system is that if one hears audio problems they could come now besides from the source directly, either from the system that sends audio to camera or from the system that sends monitor back to the sound person.....and because there's hardly any time for anything on those kind of productions one gets religious pretty quickly and starts praying that everything will be alright! I rather trust the SD recorder in my bag in such situations even if that means additional weight and more cables ;-))
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Old May 30th, 2009, 09:39 PM   #5
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I have used both a separate recorder and a wireless return back from the camera. The wireless return does provide some comfort but a separate multitrack recorder is pretty easy to get theses days and well worth it if the production can afford it.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 12:48 PM   #6
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Thank you

Hi
Many Thanks for the reply's , have to say haven't had the pleasure of using one yet, (or even seeing one) and not sure whether it would fit in with most people I work for -"workflows" (seperate media and syncing) but would love to lose the "umbilical chord"

Have to (sheepishly) admit I read the article wrongly and thought the timecode return was included in the zaxcomm stereo system (wow I thought!!) when in fact he used a sennheiser G2 for time code return
Since then I have been looking for a cable to input Time code to my sennheiser transmitter but cant find one ....any suggestions (apart from making it) and (finally) would that be set to line or mic level for the TC input in the external recorder

Again thanks for all the replys and information
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Old May 31st, 2009, 01:10 PM   #7
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That's actually the only thing I use a Sennheiser evolution system for, running timecode if needed. Why don't you make the cable yourselve anyway. Let's assume you'll want to have a BNC on one end, just solder on a mono (or stereo) miniplug at the other, voila.
Regarding levels, play around with it until you got the settings right. Where does the TC signal go into?

BTW, I'm using the system mostly feeding my slate when doing music video playback. Pretty much all cameras used now run a stable TC, I'm just jamming and that's it. The more stuff running, the more stuff will go wrong - or is your plan to let TC switch your backup recorder on/off?
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Old June 1st, 2009, 04:56 PM   #8
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Hi Karl
Friend has a SD 722t (I think) and another has a ex 3 which has a timecode out so was going to play around just to get used to it, its just the way things will probably go, so just trying to get familiar with all posibilities

I could manage to make the cable (not my favourite pastime though!) but I thought the Senn reads its inputs based on its pin wiring, in other words whatever way hot and cold are wired dictates mic or line level

will give it a go though

Many thanks

Appreciate all the help and info
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 05:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Harrison View Post
Hi Karl
Friend has a SD 722t (I think) and another has a ex 3 which has a timecode out so was going to play around just to get used to it, its just the way things will probably go, so just trying to get familiar with all posibilities

I could manage to make the cable (not my favourite pastime though!) but I thought the Senn reads its inputs based on its pin wiring, in other words whatever way hot and cold are wired dictates mic or line level

will give it a go though

Many thanks

Appreciate all the help and info
You are correct. The G2 bodypack transmitter has an unbalanced input on a TRS jack. Signal ground goes to the sleeve. For a mic level input put signal hot on the tip and ground the ring. For line level, reverse it with signal hot to ring and tip grounded.
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