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Old June 28th, 2009, 05:24 AM   #1
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How do you mount your field mixer when you have no sound person?

I've used a Shure FP31 field mixer a couple of times in the last year. Recently I had no sound person and had to do it while shooting from a tripod. In that situation, do you wear it, mount it on your tripod or what?
TIA
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Old June 28th, 2009, 10:17 AM   #2
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Using one of these:

Century Precision Optics | DS-MBTS-00 DV Tripod | 0DS-MBTS-00

I made a mount that placed my mixpre under and behind my camera. It worked fairly well but for the fact that I could never really balance the camera properly. The occasional shot would be lost because of that if I took my hand of the tripod and the camera would tilt up. I got tired of that.

Right now I'm about to get a metal shop to make me something up so that it will sit right under the camera. I'm supplying them with these:

BEC | Tripod Bottom Plate for Under Camera | BEC-BOTPLT 2 | B&H

BEC | Camera Bottom Plate for Under Camera | BEC-BOTPLT 1 | B&H

I'm pretty sure your mixer is larger than a mixpre so how well my approach would work for you, I don't know.

At times I also record audio into my PCM D50. I use a maffer and magic arm to attach to one of the tripod legs.

I'm also curious to see what other people have done.
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Old June 28th, 2009, 11:38 AM   #3
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I was wondering what I should do with the camera.. what should I use to steady it?
I'm already carrying mixer, recorder and boom pole. Do you guys use tripods?
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Old June 28th, 2009, 11:54 AM   #4
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Hi Less,

If you consider mounting your Shure FP31 to the Cam, as Jase did his mixpre, then you need to add counter weight to the other side to rebalance the Cam system on the mount.

I'd suggest mounting it on either a shelf or a bracket attached to one of the Tri-Pod legs or to the center post. You should be able to easily fabricate either one.

Which way you go might depend on the construction of your Tri-Pod. If you have center leg supports, then you can't put a shelf there. With my Bogen, I was able to make a shelf that also became a leg suport unit. On my other Tri-Pods, I must make brackets to attach anything to the legs or post.

I'd also suggest that you consider mounting to the center post - if you run the post up at least 6" or so. That would put it in easier reach. Again you might want to add counter weight, to keep the Tri-Pod in better balance.

If you choose to carry it, then you need to make a proper carring case with either a belt connection - to mount it on your belt, or an over the shoulder strap.

Lots of opptions, most you can fabricate yourself - for cheap.

Harold
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Old June 28th, 2009, 01:05 PM   #5
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Some good ideas Harold, but I think it also depends on how you shoot. For me its often run and gun and then cramming myself into a small space with others around me who can easily knock the tripod and anything protruding from it. So having a small footprint helps. In moving around I often need to collapse the tripod legs and be quick about it so attaching to the tripod might be a consideration.

My method for attaching my D50 isn't ideal as it does get in the way and if I'm not thinking I put the tripod down with it facing away from me. On the other hand, using the magic arm quickly allows me to reposition it.

I looked at all sorts of off the shelf units such as the Jimmy Box but none I found were big enough for the Mixpre
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Old June 28th, 2009, 05:17 PM   #6
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Wouldn't you wear it in a suitable bag, remembering not to walk off while attached to the cam. But there are breakaway cables for this.

Cheers.
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Old June 28th, 2009, 05:23 PM   #7
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Hi Jase,

You're absolutely correct about the "depends on how you shoot".

Another option, not knowing what kind of Video you or Les are doing, I'd think about making up a "Chest Mount" (on your chest - like those baby carriers). That way the D50 would be "right there" and not to be worried about as you moved your Tri-Pod/Cam around. I'm assuming the D50 is very lite weight.

That would also take the weight & protrudiness away from your Tri-Pod. You should be able to make up a "quick disconnect" for the wiring needed between the unit and the Cam.

Harold
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Old June 29th, 2009, 10:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Les Wilson View Post
I've used a Shure FP31 field mixer a couple of times in the last year. Recently I had no sound person and had to do it while shooting from a tripod. In that situation, do you wear it, mount it on your tripod or what?
TIA
I use a light stand. Usually the one I put my boom rig on. In this shot, they loaned me a C-stand. I rigged it with my knuckle and boom pole holder.

The two blue bags are my 442 mixer and 744T recorder.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old June 30th, 2009, 11:10 AM   #9
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I mount my SD 302 on a lighting stand.

I asked my local audio equipment supplier and he suggested a gadget that consists of a spring-loaded clamp, like a big clothes peg, that holds the mixer. This articulates on a string of connected plastic balls (a bit like the vertebrae in the spine) which terminates to a female 1/4 inch thread, which screws to the top of the lighting stand. It works OK but I am surprised that there wasn't a more elegant solution.

It would be very useful if the SD 302 casing had a threaded hole, but it doesn't. If it did you could mount it directly on the tripod using a Noga Arm.

Sometimes I mount a Marshall monitor to the top of my Manfrotto tripod using a Noga Arm fixed to the redundant threaded hole used for the tripod arm (in my case the left hand one, as I am right-handed).

The Noga Arm is a brilliant piece of kit. It flops all over the place but when you pull it into the position you want and tighten the screw it becomes rigid and locks solid. That would be an elegant way to attach a mixer if you could screw it onto the thread on the end of the arm.

This system works OK for static interviews. You can set the mixer up so that you can see the levels easily when you are using the camera. If I was doing run and gun I wouldn't try to do the sound myself. I would use a sound recordist if the budget allowed or use the camera in auto sound if it didn't.
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Old June 30th, 2009, 11:54 AM   #10
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Harold

I shoot mostly live events which sometimes is talking heads at a podium so one camera position but other times I'm all over the place.

I should probably give the chest mount idea a shot though the thought of being tethered to the camera doesn't turn my crank. Of course I am anyway with the headphones.
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