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All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.

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Old June 30th, 2009, 11:22 AM   #31
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Maryland
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Originally Posted by John Stakes View Post
whew you guys give some tough love!

I'll try to touch all the points here:
Cable: LiveWire 100' XLR

First off, I understand those that say it is my responsibility to have the cable. I should just be more clear in the beginning what will be required for the [good] production. And then make the necessary adjustments in my price (it was a 4hr shoot). The best thing to do would have been to have a meeting with all involved in the production prior to the event. But what if the Sound Engineer didn't have an available output on his mixer, would it still have been my responsibility to capture good sound? Key word is GOOD. Sure I could use a shotgun, or mic a monitor...that's a great fail safe as Bill mentioned, but this shouldn't be the main source for audio. Would I be expected to purchase/rent a mixer to bring to events? I think not. Well, actually...I may eat my words. This is something else that should be discussed prior to the event, and cost adjustments made accordingly. Ok, I see your point guys. But without the issue being discussed prior to the event, I still believe the situation to be considered "sticky." The problem wasn't getting audio to tape, but getting GOOD audio to tape.

Jack, I really like your point about "paying for education." This was definitely a learning experience that will carry on to future gigs (and also a cable that will be carried on to future gigs)! To be more clear, I was hired to produce a DVD (included in price). No editing besides intro and outro, but when "creating a DVD" it should be assumed that you need optimum sound quality...so this is why I deemed the cable a necessity.

All your points are valid but I thought I would have at least one person on my side ; ). I am going to eat the cost of the cable. But I will still bring it up in the next meeting just so the fact is known.

John, I agree 100% with what's been said here.
If you are indeed a professional production company delivering video and audio, then you are responsible for having the right tools to do the job.

Whenever I go out on a gig, I don't rely on a sound guy or the board for my audio. If a feed is available then I'll take it, but I like to control as much as possible on a shoot. If someone is working a board, I don't have control over that so I don't rely on it as my main audio.

What I do is try to mic as many sources as possible, and use them in different ways.
For example, here's a list of my audio gear that I have available.

Edirol R44 (4 track recorder): I have two of these and feed either direct mic/line feeds or wireless feeds into the recorder. Each of these recorders send a wireless signal to my cameras via the "Line Out" ports.

Zoom H4n: Use the onboard mics along with two balanced XLR inputs to generate 4 channles of audio. One can use onboard mics and XLR feeds at the same time. SO you can double mic a PA stack (woofer and tweeter seperately) and use the oboard mics for ambient audio recording. or place the recorder in the middle of musicians and sue onboard mics to record as well as board or mic feeds for musicians as well.

Zoom H2: use onboard mics to record 2 or 4 channels of audio. I have had very good results placing this in the middle of musicians and record in 4 channels of audio. teh inut is very small and be placed practically anywhere.

Marantz PMD620: Same usage as H2 but I like using this for line feeds, as it produces better results.

Mics: Matched pair of Rode NT5 condenser mics, set of rode M3 mics, pair of Rode NT3 hyper cards, pair of Rode NTG2 shotgun mics (shotgun mics are really only used for outdoor usage or for ambient on camera audio, not critical audio).

Wireless: Sennheiser G2 wireless (6 sets) including plug on transmitters

Also, cables, adapters, mic stands, boom arms, attenuators and more.

All of these pieces of gear are used for different purposes. As for cooperate and stage gigs I use wireless and Edirol R44's. For small event gigs such as weddings, I prefer using wireless, Zoom H4n, H2, and PMD620 and Rode NTG2/M3 mics.

But how I use them is what's most important.
First off whatever sound sources are important is miced closely (when possible, which is more often than you might think). This could be wired or wireless mics, or even small audio recorders.

Then if possible, I might take a board feed. Yes board feeds are clean, but are a little too sterile for my taste, but you can mix in ambient audio in post if desired. But my main reason for not relying on the board feed, is unless i know the board tech, I can't trust that he will be able to supply me with what I might need, as he might switch off my feed by accident, boost the signal and overload my input (even when attenuated) and more.

my point is that as a professional it is my responsibility to capture the best audio and video possible.

And BTW, I am pretty much a one man band, but have developed a workflow that I am able to pull off solo, or with an assistant (which is usually for second camera only). I got my start as an audio engineer working sound board so I know my way around a studio and live venue. And over the last few years have been able to find way that I can get the audio quality that I want for my productions. I am able to capture my audio, as well as monitor it during the shoot (be sending some wireless to my cameras for monitor, backup, sync audio). Then after the event is recorded I take my captured audio and mix it in post. For me the key is to use off camera audio as my main audio and leave my camera audio for sync and backup usage.

You don't need as much gear as someone like myself has, but you should have some basics down for good audio capture. Whether hat be small recorders, wireless is up to you. But you should at least have cables, adapters, an attenuator and such in your bag whenever you go out on a shoot.
Michael Liebergot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 30th, 2009, 02:35 PM   #32
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I thought that the whole point of working is to earn money to buy more gear.
I took my first feed off a mixer desk at a gig two months ago and had to buy adaptors for the leads in order to get the sound out. I'd certainly expect to pay for those.
And I had bought long xlr cables a year or so ago, _in case_ I needed them.
Yes, you should have the right kit if you call yourself a professional. And you should get paid accordingly.
BTW the sound came out mixed with the balance in favour of the instruments and it's been difficult to fix. But it was a tryout, non-critical and it's good enough.
More importantly it will help me to get it right if I'm doing a gig in anger in the future. An investment in time and money to build experience and skills. Just as important as buying new kit.
When recording music in the past I have had at least one back-up in place and it has saved my bacon once or twice.
Richard Gooderick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 30th, 2009, 02:54 PM   #33
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Maryland
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Originally Posted by Richard Gooderick View Post
I thought that the whole point of working is to earn money to buy more gear.
Oh it is...
Over the years I have worked jobs and then went out and purchased more toys in which to play with. =)

The funny thing is that I have replaced my camera more over the years , than my audio gear. Plus my audio gear holds it's value much, much better than video gear.

Good audio gear lasts much longer than good video gear. Especially lately with technology changing so fast in video.

Take a look on eBay and see the prices of some classic tube mics.
They aren't cheap. =)
Michael Liebergot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 3rd, 2009, 09:18 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by John Stakes View Post
Point well taken. Will this still give me stereo output though?


Unbalanced stereo, yes, but you really don't want to run unbalanced audio 100 feet.

Ty Ford
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