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Old June 28th, 2010, 08:56 AM   #16
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Brian you are correct. That would have been the solution but as the Theater Tech it is not your responsibility to provide that to the Videographer unless there was some kind of prior agreement.

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Old June 28th, 2010, 10:20 AM   #17
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Personally speaking as a professional videographer, you are not responsible for his feed, unless some prior agreement was agreed upon. But even then this should have been relayed to you is there was a feed agreement.

However, I agree with what's been stated here already, in that he was not a professional, but a hobbyist at most thinking of himself as a professional. Any professional would at the least have adapters, or at the least a Beachtek/Juicedlink XLR adapter for his 1/8 mic input camera.

After all I shoot with Sony FX1's which only have 1/8 mic/line inputs. But I use Juicedlink XLR boxes for my audio input, and always travel with plenty of adapters to account for any situation.
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Old June 30th, 2010, 07:41 AM   #18
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More patience than me.......

Brian,

Mate, as stated above, you have more patience than me, I'd have have handed him a broom stick, told him to tape the camera to it and perform a colonoscopy on himself, lets face it, a consumer Sony's small enough!!!! :) I have less & less time for idiots as I get older...... Of course, I'd have done this in a very polite manner so's not to tarnish the theaters reputation..... :)

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Old July 3rd, 2010, 06:19 AM   #19
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Speaking as the rank amateur...

The guy who showed up had the brilliance of a rock. Even in his own consumer equipment world, he should have known the signal levels on those RCA cables hooking his cassette player, dvd player, etc. to his receiver/amplifier are radically different from a 1/8" mic input, even if they are all RCA cables. He has done no research and asked no questions. He hasn't even taken a walk past a soundboard to look at the connectors - and my oh my aren't the overwhelming majority different from RCA anything.

I shoot regularly at my church. My own philosophy is reduce my needs to the absolute minimum, ask early, be detailed in my requests, and what missing pieces do I need to supply to make things work. Being amateur, I often don’t know what those missing pieces are, but hope the pro can and will tell me. Assuming the world is designed for my equipment to simply plug into is a bad assumption. And if something isn't possible/forthcoming (just please let me know politely), then it is up to me to deal with it. Getting angry, as this person did, fixes no problems and generates no good will, in the present much less for the future.

And by the way, I have a BeachTek...
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Old July 15th, 2010, 10:02 AM   #20
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Similar discussion in dvxuser.com - good insight

I started a post in another forum: Recording a concert from the soundboard - Why does my audio suck? - DVXuser.com -- The online community for filmmaking . I am a videographer trying to educate myself on how to cooperate with PA sound technicians on my gigs. I wanted to share from a videographer's perspective.

Rather than call each other ignorant or stupid, it's probably best we try to speak each other's language. This is a good first step.

I have been guilty of showing up at the last minute and asking for a line feed from a sound guy who is frantically prepping for a live performance. Please tell me how I can be more helpful in these situations.

As for audio knowledge, all I care about is plugging something into my camera or recorder that sounds good. I can't "see" what kind of signal I am receiving. I can bring my own mixer, etc, but then I need to plug it in somewhere. I want to stay out of your way as much as possible.

Here is another forum post: http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=216461

Last edited by Alex DeJesus; July 15th, 2010 at 10:06 AM. Reason: add info
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Old July 15th, 2010, 10:42 AM   #21
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Alex, calling names or not, it is simply not the job of the house sound system operator to provide anything to you unless whomever is paying for the production agrees in advance. If you get ANYTHING useful from the sound board you should consider yourself very lucky. Perhaps it is because you are only beginning to learn about sound that you don't understand the difficulty of the job you are expecting someone else to do for you with no advance notice and no time to do it properly.

Perhaps you should try running sound for a few times to understand the complexity of the job. Most times, the operator scarcely has enough time and resources to do his own job adequately without even considering your needs. Having someone show up at the last minute and expect a decent RECORDING MIX (which is NOT the same as a REINFORCEMENT MIX) is clearly beyond what anyone would consider reasonable.

And the more complex the event, especially musical performances, the worse the problem becomes. The house PA system has no reason to mic and mix sources that produce adequate sound on their own (like amplified instruments). And they never have any reason to mic the audience (for obvious reasons). Yet a recording (audio or video) without the sound of the audience is rarely acceptable as an acceptable document of a live performance. Sound is at minimum 50% of a video production (many would consider it much higher) and leaving it as an afterthought is practically a guarantee of disaster.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 11:30 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Crowley View Post
Alex, calling names or not, it is simply not the job of the house sound system operator to provide anything to you unless whomever is paying for the production agrees in advance. If you get ANYTHING useful from the sound board you should consider yourself very lucky. Perhaps it is because you are only beginning to learn about sound that you don't understand the difficulty of the job you are expecting someone else to do for you with no advance notice and no time to do it properly.

Perhaps you should try running sound for a few times to understand the complexity of the job. Most times, the operator scarcely has enough time and resources to do his own job adequately without even considering your needs. Having someone show up at the last minute and expect a decent RECORDING MIX (which is NOT the same as a REINFORCEMENT MIX) is clearly beyond what anyone would consider reasonable.

And the more complex the event, especially musical performances, the worse the problem becomes. The house PA system has no reason to mic and mix sources that produce adequate sound on their own (like amplified instruments). And they never have any reason to mic the audience (for obvious reasons). Yet a recording (audio or video) without the sound of the audience is rarely acceptable as an acceptable document of a live performance. Sound is at minimum 50% of a video production (many would consider it much higher) and leaving it as an afterthought is practically a guarantee of disaster.
10/10 - what a perfect answer.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 11:45 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex DeJesus View Post
...I have been guilty of showing up at the last minute and asking for a line feed from a sound guy who is frantically prepping for a live performance. Please tell me how I can be more helpful in these situations...
Agreeing with everything Richard wrote in response to Alex, here are some direct suggestions:

Don't show up at the last minute and ask for a line feed from a sound guy in final prep for live performance. That's basic. If you or your client can't support the time to contact the sound op before the show, and then arrive at a time that the sound op has agreed on... exactly why are you shooting? If sound on your video matters, it's going to take some time & effort.

In the live sound world, many, many operators simply DO NOT KNOW what makes for a good feed for video, and, they're not set up for it. Add to this some shooters who DO NOT KNOW how to handle the wide variety of feeds they might get from the front-of-house mixer, add a few decades of unhappy experiences, and you get the armed camp mentality of shooters pointing fingers at sound engineers, and vice-versa.

If you want better results, you're going to have to bridge that gap or bring your own sound expertise to do something independent of FOH. That's just a fact.

To summarize some of what's been written above (and some that hasn't):
The FOH engineer has primary responsibility for what the people in the house hear. He or she manages a system that can hurt people physically. The FOH operator is often responsible for multiple monitor mixes as well as the FOH mix. He or she is a busy person with a lot of responsibility.

In typical small and medium venues, none of those mixes will be complete for video use. Usually, they'll be heavy on vocals, keys, and acoustic instruments, light on electric guitar and bass, and probably light on drums. There are good reasons for this, and the FOH engineer would be abandoning their primary responsibilities to change any of those existing mixes.

The FOH engineer typically does not have time, attention, or motivation to create a custom mix suitable for video. Their hands are already full, and their equipment may already be at capacity.

The general plan for the event is finalized at sound check. Any changes to the engineer's setup after sound check risk screwing up everything, without an opportunity to fix it.

The feed you do get may be nominally of microphone or line level, at consumer or professional standard. Most often it will be at a pro line level, low impedance, terminated XLR-M or TRS-F at the board. But it could be anything. It might or might not be at a level and impedance that allows you to run a 100' cable to your camera.

Mostly, the FOH engineer does not run their mixer to the VU meters. Some live boards don't even have meters. The PA system has several places where gain to the house can be adjusted, and one set of standard procedures has the mixer output peaking at perhaps -25db on a mixer that supports much more. What this means to you is that the "line" feed that you got may be very low, but not quite low enough to use a mic input on your camcorder.

The FOH engineer may or may not have an extra 100' XLR laying around, usually not, they may have their personal kit of adaptors, but, they may not offer them because they know that they only get them back about half the time. That's why they carry a personal kit.

The FOH engineer KNOWS that anyone who is truly serious about getting great sound for their recording is going to know all this, is going to plan to fill in the gaps, and may bring anything from a bag of cables and adaptors to their own snake split and mobile truck. The FOH engineer KNOWS that someone who shows up last minute without resources or prior contact expecting an instant solution is indeed ignorant of sound for video and what it takes to mix for the house.

I've been on both sides of this. My feeling is that good sound for the average shooter is kinda' difficult. The shooter should contact the FOH engineer prior to show day, ask nicely if they can get a board mix, agree to whatever the FOH says is possible, then develop the video sound plan from there. Depending on the job, a live music kit probably has a couple direct boxes, a couple 100' XLR, various xlr/trs/phono shorts & adaptors, a couple attenuators, maybe a small mixer, and a pair of good headphones. You gotta' think about a mic in the audience, how will you place it? This mic is important not only for the audience sound, but also for the instruments that aren't in the FOH mix.
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