Who should pay for this? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 28th, 2009, 05:04 PM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 558
Who should pay for this?

Hello all,

I recently had a gig where I was shooting, and needed to get feed from the board for sound. The sound guy nor the dj had a cable that could run back to my cam. So I had to go out and purchase a cable myself, which cost over $100. I think it's good for me to have this just for these types of situations, but currently it just doesn't feel right for me to come out of pocket. After all, the cost of the cable was almost half of what I got paid for the gig.

Anyhow, my question is this. Should I eat the cost of the cable? Isn't it the Sound Engineers responsibility to have the needed accessories? I don't believe it is my responsibility to have this cable if I was requested for video coverage only, and sound was a different hire. Should the client pay for the cable? That's what I think. What are your thoughts?

The catch: The reason this is a little sticky is because initially I thought the cable would run about $50, but I got the cheapest one they had. Before purchasing, I told the client "I'm have to go get a cable so we can get sound." And they just said "ok." That's where I made my mistake. Anyhow.....
John Stakes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 28th, 2009, 05:08 PM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Sydney.
Posts: 2,569
As you accepted and are getting paid, you should have all the right tools necessary to do the job properly.

Don't lay the cable cost on the client, you won't see him again and those things get around.
100 bucks for a cable doesn't sound right either.

Cheers.

Last edited by Allan Black; June 28th, 2009 at 05:26 PM. Reason: cost.
Allan Black is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 28th, 2009, 06:02 PM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Stakes View Post
....
I recently had a gig where I was shooting, and needed to get feed from the board for sound. (Neither) The sound guy nor the dj had a cable that could run back to my cam. So I had to go out and purchase a cable myself, which cost over $100. .....
When you say "sound guy" are you talking about someone hired to run the PA and venue sound or are you talking about someone hired specifically to handle production sound-for-video working with you on the video program? If they were hired for venue sound and PA, your sound issues for the video aren't their concern and if you're planning to tie in to the board for your tracks, researching in advance and in detail what equipment was needed and bringing all the necessary hardware to the shoot, including cables, would be your responsibility. You're both the cinematography and sound departments rolled into one and would be expected to provide both kits in their entirety. If however the "sound guy" was hired as a member of the video crew to handle production sound, working along with you on sound as you handled camera, insuring he has the gear he needs such as appropriate field mixer, recorders, mics, boom, sufficient wireless units, cables, etc would usually be his responsibility (and he would usually be charging the client for gear rental in addition to his fee, of course).
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 28th, 2009, 06:04 PM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: San Jose, California
Posts: 858
Can you return the cable and get a 'more affordable' one? I would eat the cost, either way. You'll be making use of this cable (I assume) on future shoots and it should have been in your inventory whenever you consider recording audio from a mixing board. $100 is pretty high for an XLR cable. Was it a "Monster Cable" by any chance?
Oren Arieli is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 28th, 2009, 06:10 PM   #5
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Posts: 1,538
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Stakes View Post
Hello all,

I recently had a gig where I was shooting, and needed to get feed from the board for sound. The sound guy nor the dj had a cable that could run back to my cam. So I had to go out and purchase a cable myself, which cost over $100. I think it's good for me to have this just for these types of situations, but currently it just doesn't feel right for me to come out of pocket. After all, the cost of the cable was almost half of what I got paid for the gig.

Anyhow, my question is this. Should I eat the cost of the cable? Isn't it the Sound Engineers responsibility to have the needed accessories? I don't believe it is my responsibility to have this cable if I was requested for video coverage only, and sound was a different hire. Should the client pay for the cable? That's what I think. What are your thoughts?

The catch: The reason this is a little sticky is because initially I thought the cable would run about $50, but I got the cheapest one they had. Before purchasing, I told the client "I'm have to go get a cable so we can get sound." And they just said "ok." That's where I made my mistake. Anyhow.....


John,

Hard as it is to hear, this isn't "sticky" at all. And sorry, but you're dead wrong on almost all counts.

The ONLY person ultimately responsible for getting the video and audio onto your tape is YOU. And unless you want to base your entire practice on the "kindness of strangers" you need to secure and maintain ALL the equipment necessary to do your job each and every time you go out.

The house sound guys (and/or gals) have NO obligation to provide you with anything unless you have an agreement with the promotor or person paying for the gig which specifically provides that you're to be provided with a sound drop. And even then, all you can expect is a cable with an XLR connection where you need it. YOU are responsible to take whatever that signal might be - balanced or unbalanced - line level or mic level - and adapt it to your particular audio recording needs.

That's the protocol in the professional video and audio recording world.

Yes, a LOT of house sound folks will be glad to ask what you'd prefer and work with you to help. But they are not REQUIRED to do this. Their job is to make the house sound - sound good to the house. If it also sounds good for you, fine - if it doesn't that's NOT their problem.

I'll even go a step farther, if the house sound guy hits a routing switch and KILLS your feed from the FOH board (yes, it's happened to me - more than once) It's STILL your fault for not having a secondary feed in place.

When I do public speaking gigs, my standard was a dedicated wireless feed from the performer - a secondary tap into house sound - and a backup to the backup - which was typically a fail-safe dynamic mic on a tall stand up near a ceiling speaker "just in case."

My theory was that if a battery died in the wireless. And the FOH person hit the wrong switch, I'd use the mic-stand to get SOMETHING useable onto my tape.

And in years of practice my mic-stand fail safe SAVED MY BUTT at least twice - keeping me from having to refund all the money to a client.

You're taking someone's money to record video and audio. So it's your responsibility to do precisely that. No excuses.

They just said "OK" to your getting the cable because it was, in fact, YOUR responsibility to do so. Period.

FWIW.
Bill Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 28th, 2009, 06:56 PM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 67
You and you alone are responsible for having the gear you need to do what you were hired to do. If you don't have the gear, you either rent/buy it, or don't take the gig.
Jordan Block is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 28th, 2009, 08:58 PM   #7
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 1,267
Frankly no good deed goes unpunished. Your client should not be able to pay so little that any expense like an xlr cable is going to be half your fee. As for long cables or special cables you have to warn the Sound Guy if he works for you or make arrangements to supply the cable yourself. You would have been lucky if the house sound had the cable but they didn't. Clients often don't realize how much goes into a simple request so you have to decide how important it is to you to keep them happy or not. Certainly you can bring it up in discussion but it is usually a difficult discussion.
Daniel Epstein is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 28th, 2009, 10:36 PM   #8
Trustee
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,555
You didn't get paid much but that's a different matter.

If you're serious, you should own at least 1 xlr cable. Sounds like you got a high end pro line of XLR which are expensive. I recently got the least expensive name brand "Audio Technica" XLR 10' for $16 + 6 shipping = $25 from B&H.

The sound booth usually will run their xlr out to me, but I always bring my own because in this line of work you can never assume anything. Many times the booth is run by someone who has no audio knowledge who is there just to flip switches. Even if its manned by someone who knows they usually don't want to do it. It doesn't seem like a big request but I'm not an audio engineer so I try not to judge.

Bottom line, if you can avoid a feed from the booth it will make your job easier. The levels almost always line and too hot for your camera or the levels can change between mic and line. You'll end up having to sort through later on. Avoid it if you can.
Pete Cofrancesco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 28th, 2009, 10:59 PM   #9
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Burbank
Posts: 1,811
Out of curiosity, how long was the cable? I was guessing it to be 100 feet. They sell for anywhere from $25 (Nady?) to over a hundred, depending on the name, the type of wire/insulation, and the connectors.

You say you were hired for video, not audio, if I read your first post correctly, so I suppose there was no need for any cable since sound recording was not necessary (except to record as a reference for later synching sound from the audio recordist), so I suppose it wasn't necessary to buy the cable.

However, as life would have it, it seems we are required to pay for our education. If one learns on the job (in this case that it's necessary to have a supply of audio cables in the trunk), it is still necessary to pay sometimes, and in this case, for the price of tuition, you get to keep the cable.

The other option would be to pay a film school several thousand dollars and have them tell you need to have some cables in the trunk. You would still have to buy them, but you could shop around for a good price, and you could be selective, getting the type of wire that will work best for you in the long run.
Jack Walker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 29th, 2009, 12:32 AM   #10
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Novato, CA
Posts: 1,772
I'm with the masses on this one. For all the jobs I have I assume I have to bring everything necessary to get video and audio. That means I have all cables necessary if I can get a feed from the board. If not I carry several mics, a mixer, A/D converter, Laptop with audio programs, etc.

BTW, if you had to just go out and get an XLR cable for $100 if the cable was 50 or 100ft that's not bad. Quality cables suitable for use on the road are expensive for a number of reasons. There are budget cables out htere but if you're going to be using them a lot on location pay the extra for quality cables.

Just my take.
Garrett
Garrett Low is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 29th, 2009, 06:34 AM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 558
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.

JS
John Stakes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 29th, 2009, 07:08 AM   #12
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 1,570
Sorry John but I'm with the rest of the pack.
I take a lot of my own kit to every event. More than once I've loaned my own mics to sound guys who've run out. Oh sure it mightn't be my responsibility but then again it's not the responsibility of the FOH manager to move a few patrons seats around so I can get a camera in a better position either. I guess I've effectively been out of pocket on a few of these jobs but the goodwill I've put in the bank is priceless.

You asked what if the desk doesn't have a spare line out. All I can say is if that's a scenario you can envisage consider getting a couple of isolated line splitters to put in the kit bag. You might be amazed at what I lug around just to be sure, to be sure.
Bob Grant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 29th, 2009, 07:10 AM   #13
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Posts: 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Stakes View Post
whew you guys give some tough love!
All your points are valid but I thought I would have at least one person on my side ; ).

JS
I am somewhat on your side, allthough I think you handled it wrong.
Like you said the cable was almost the half of you pay for the gig.
So may I assume that for an 4 hour shoot and then decoding the entire shoot to dvd with minimal editing and burning the DVD you got 250?
May I also assume that you are shooting on tape?
If so, this sounds like a 10 hour job.
If you are getting paid 25 dollar per hour including equipment the client can't expect good audio imho.
Boudewijn de Kemp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 29th, 2009, 07:21 AM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 558
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Grant View Post
You asked what if the desk doesn't have a spare line out. All I can say is if that's a scenario you can envisage consider getting a couple of isolated line splitters to put in the kit bag. You might be amazed at what I lug around just to be sure, to be sure.
Point well taken. Will this still give me stereo output though?

Boudewijn, I don't want to disclose the actual pay for the job. It wasn't much, which means they can't expect much...but it's what I quoted them. So yes that pretty much puts the blame on me. This is a client I plan on working with on an ongoing basis, so this is more of a "package price." I guess this is where a contract comes in handy.

JS
John Stakes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 29th, 2009, 08:12 AM   #15
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Novato, CA
Posts: 1,772
Hi John,

$100 for a 100ft Live Wire is a little expensive but unfortunately you had to pay a premium because you had to have it right then and couldn't shop around.

To answer your question about if you'd be responsible to purchase/rent a mixer and other needed equipment if the sound engineer didn't have a spare out for you to use. That depends on what your client is expecting. And that's where good upfront communication is key.

That's why I have the minimal audio equipment I have. I've was hired to do a live performance for a local dance school. After meeting with the event coordinators and the venue staff. I discovered that they would not be able to give me a board feed. So I discussed it with the owners of the school and we came to an agreement that I would receive a small additional budget for renting the equipment necessary to capture good sound. I decided to use the budget to start building up my audio gear. The budget didn't cover the total cost but it did help. Now for every job I scope the location, talk to the venue techs or sound man so I can plan out the audio side of the shoot.

As I've gone a long I've continued to build my audio equipment as well as video. Also, having at least a minimal audio kit allows you to have backup sound going which is something I always do. Sound guys seem to always have some minor or major problems occur during every show.

My advice would be to start with a basic kit and slowing build up to a point where you can be confident that you won't get caught short. My basic live show kit would include:

mics (2)
mic stands (don't forget these)
cables (2 x 100' XLR to XLR cables, 2 x 100' XLR to 1/4" cables for board feed to your cam)
gaffers tape

At a minimum that would get you decent sound in a pinch.

What I currently bring with me to shows to acquire audio:

5 mics (in case no board feed is available, but I always set up at least two mics)
5 mic stands,
a total of 700ft of audio cables (Includes XLR to XLR and 1/4" to take a feed from the board)
8 channel mixer
10 channel A/D firewire box
Laptop with sound acquisition software
portable digital recorder (Sony PCM-D50)
100' AC extension cord
Power strip
gaffers tape (always tape down cables for safety and to make all your expensive audio gear doesn't take tumble)
Sand bags (usually 10)
Headphones

Note that my kit for interview and movie shoots is a little different. And yes, I am a redundancy nut. It's always fun to see peoples faces when I wheel in 3 large boxes of extra equipment in addition to cameras, tripods, and lights.

That's why gearheads love video, there's always some other piece of equipment that they "need". :)
Garrett Low is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:41 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network