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Old December 22nd, 2012, 11:39 AM   #16
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Re: Surviving your experience with an audio guy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Nattrass View Post
and that is why you need an audio guy as part of your video shooting crew, to make sure that the audio for your video reflects what you need not what the PA company is doing for their front of house sound.

The needs of video and broadcast as far greater than a PA or conferencing company usually provide and you need a sound guy to make sure all the buzzes are sorted out and that what you get is useable and not just some audio provided as a courtesy feed.

An audio guy will also have the interface boxes required and will also be able to guide the PA guys into giving useable feeds or even splts that can be mixed seperately to suit the video production.

WOW! At least your audio guys know what they are doing! It's even more fun when they don't!
I also doing both, agree with Gary.
I usually get a simple and separate backup in place first, to CYA, then if I have an audio guy he can attempt to get something acceptable from the house.
But more times than none things go wrong from the house guys, like missing a panelist, or not getting an extra mic sent over, or even moving the mic when someone speaks but not into the mic.
Many times I've split all mics into our own mixer so each unused mic is pulled down and someone rides all the channels.
But that's what makes a professional a professional; the client usually never knows the behind the scenes chaos and that's what some of us live for.

Last edited by Henry Kenyon; December 22nd, 2012 at 11:41 AM. Reason: grammar
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 12:15 PM   #17
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Re: Surviving your experience with an audio guy

This was a great thread to read at the breakfast table. Steven is a good story teller and I really liked Shaun's cable & connector list but Jonathan Levin's post hit the spot.

Basically, I'm an equipment and detail guy and would like to throw out there that transporting all that stuff is important too. A couple months ago we went to a birthday party for one of the family members so I took along some of my camera gear: Three light stands, tripod, Glidecam, two cameras and various assundry other items. The trunk of our Toyota Prius isn't that large and it got pretty full with all the gear and a few items even had to be put in the back seat.

On the trip home which required a ferry ride we disembarked the ferry and the road led up to a stoplight which was red and we stopped. The guy in the Audi behind us didn't - he was busy reading a map to see where he had to go. WHAM! Really whacked us in the rear end. Fortunately he wasn't moving that fast but it still was a good whack. (Read: Audi 1, Prius 0)

Among the pictures I took were some of my camera gear in the trunk. As it turns out my B-roll camera was right inside the trunk and exactly where his license plate hit. It still works - kinda. The remote part doesn't work now.

The blue carry-on case has the Glidecam and the Rycote blimp in it.

Lesson learned: Put your important and sensitive gear in the passenger compartment and not in the trunk.
One picture is with the camera bag closed, the other with it open to show the contents.

Edit: Just thought I'd add one more thing for some of the readers in the US. In Giroud's post mentioned:
"Usually i come in an event with ZERO ressource assumption, when even a main plug is sometime impossible to get."
Comment: The "main plug" is the wall outlet, 240VAC in Europe, 120VAC duplex receptacle in the US. I've done some building construction in Austria and came to find out that's what they call the AC electrical system there.
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Last edited by John Nantz; December 22nd, 2012 at 01:52 PM. Reason: comment about "Mains"
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 12:46 PM   #18
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Re: Surviving your experience with an audio guy

Which is why flight cases are worth their cost. Despite the cost and the extra weight and size - every expensive item I buy now gets treated to a proper case.
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 01:11 PM   #19
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Re: Surviving your experience with an audio guy

There are some great responses here…Thank you. I love to share tips and RECEIVE them. I don’t have time at the moment for all of the comments I would like to post but here are a few.

Cables, adapters, & tools. First I teach guys I work with that all adapters are bad. They are also show savers. When you NEED one, use it, but do not put it in the signal path because it is convenient.

My “tech kits” are a tiered system with too much stuff to itemize. But I am sure many of us can list some of the less common thing there that others may not have thought about. Like iso transformers.

My absolutely never leave home without it kit that is always in my pack bag is something like this:
PortaBrace - Computers / Projectors

Mine is old, this must be the upgraded version of it (I’m a huge PortaBrace fan). But anyway that’s just the bag. What’s in it? About 150 adapters, small patch cables, in line pads and gender benders, flash lights, tools (Leatherman mandatory), E-Tape, ground lifts, universal adjustable power supply, tri taps, simple plug in style AC socket tester, simple touch type power tester (my multi meter won’t fit here),extra tripod plate screws in both sizes, fuses, a piece of foil (don’t shoot me, it is my first aid kit).

Explained:
Jewelers screw drivers and tech screw drivers. Two Sure “tweak tools”. Screw drivers that come with good Sure mics specifically made for gain adjustment slots, a must have. I also have some screwdrivers with isolated shafts.

Tri Taps – I hate power strips, especially cheap ones. I often use tri taps instead. Much more reliable and safer than dime store circuit protection as long as you pay attention.
Ground lifts. The most valuable $2.00 item you can own. Often work like magic to clean up dirty audio and video signals. Using your Leatherman tool to yank the ground pin out of my extension cords is NOT acceptable!

A long time ago 1/8” mini cables were not even a part of pro video or AV devices. Now they are critical. So my kit has as many adapters and extensions for that as does for ¼”. Including the hard to find, like mini to RCA video and L/R audio.

That is just my basic kit that I have at all times. I don’t think I have ever gone on a shoot or show when I did not reach for that bag.

Thanks for all of the comments. There are many above I want to respond to later. Like “amazed at a lack of understanding about basic gain structure” you are right on, absolutely true! That goes along with not knowing TRS and TS plug structure etc.

Ryders? I’ll get to that one.

Steve

John, I am sorry to here about your accident. I know how much that sucks.
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 01:24 PM   #20
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Re: Surviving your experience with an audio guy

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Originally Posted by John Nantz View Post
Lesson learned: Put your important and sensitive gear in the passenger compartment and not in the trunk.
Agree, a photog at a wedding where I was as well left home after the reception and had all his gear in the trunk of his BMW, at a traffic light he stopped but a car behind him didn't and rammed the rear of his car at about 90km, he had 2 hasselblads with him with analog films, all his gear was destroyed including every photo he took that day.
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 04:26 PM   #21
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Re: Surviving your experience with an audio guy

I have a few Rolls DB25 "direct box" units. They are a good iso transformer with an adjustable attenuator. They are great for not only isolation from the venue system, but also for adjusting for whatever weird level you may be getting from them. No messing around with a bunch of fixed attenuators. The older model (which I have) use a 3-position slide switch with 0 ~ 20 ~ 40 dB attenuation. The newer model uses a pot for a fully-variable attenuation (including no attenuation).

The Rolls MS20c Splitter/Combiner/Isolator is also a handy piece of kit.
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 04:35 PM   #22
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Re: Surviving your experience with an audio guy

You know this thread has me thinking of starting another thread "Things I'd always have with me on a sound job"

Everyone OK with that. I'm thinking it would either be a "Sticky" in the Audio forums (don't know how to do that- Chris Hurd????) and any and everyone in the audio community could contribute. If this seems dumb, I'm OK with that too.

Jonathan
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 04:44 PM   #23
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Re: Surviving your experience with an audio guy

Shaun & Ty,

Technical riders:

First, I am based out of Phoenix but only about 20% of my work is here. The rest of it takes place any other place in the country my clients send me. Suffice it to say I am comfortable working in just about any working environment the geographic location affords. Second, I will not get into a union vs. nonunion discussion on any public forum. I do understand your true statement that “technically the audio guy is not obligated to provide a signal unless specified in the technical rider”.

I will also say that as a business man and service provider I AM obligated to accommodate every request the client makes, if at all possible. And I do that in every way I possibly can. Once on site, I would NEVER resort to the technicalities of a contract and say “we cannot do that because you did not put it on paper” even though that can be the case. My number one job is to make things happen. If I can’t, I am not going play an “ink or blame game”. I will work it out or explain it in reasonable terms.

Running a little production company or freelancing for a living is hard. I am asked all the time by non-industry people, “why are you always on the road, can’t your clients get the same thing you do in all those cities you go to?” Of course they can. The answer to that question is only partially due to my technical abilities and creative skills as a videographer or technical director. The real reason is TRUST. It is about the business relationships I build with them. The quality of the product is a given. How we go about delivering that product as a business person and a human being is every bit as important as the product. Again, I am not writing this out of arrogance or sake of debate. For young guys wanting to earn a full time living being self employed that is probably the most important “tip” I have ever posted on this board. Life has been good to me, sometimes more so than others, I work hard it, and I work to get through the hard times.

Steve
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 04:57 PM   #24
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Re: Surviving your experience with an audio guy

Art make some great low cost interface boxes that will take levels from everything up to 100w speaker feeds they also have split and isolation boxes that I use all the time on outside broadcasts!

I am a sound guy who now has a small production facility but the need to get clients to specify requirements has never been greater but I still carry shed loads of kit to make sure I can get the job done bit sometimes keeping things under my control can be far more fruitful than relying on other's from a third party.

sometimes I do camera and sound together but tend to keep it all under my control but at times I wish I had a zoom R16 to enable split track recording my camera has four tracks and for most jobs that is enough with an external mixer

http://artproaudio.com/artcessories/audio_solutions/
http://artproaudio.com/artcessories/...uct/av_direct/
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 06:03 PM   #25
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Re: Surviving your experience with an audio guy

Steven: I think you may have misunderstood my point. Frequently "video guys" walk into a room and ASSUME that because there is an audio tech on location, they are entitled to a feed. Again, you as the audio tech may not have one available if you were not briefed. As well, the "video guy" is the lowest on the proverbial totem pole... you need to get the gig going first. IF you have time to spare and are able to help get an unannounced videographer a feed, kudos.

I have seen MANY situations where every output of a board was tied up.

My point was quite simple: if you as a videographer have not been contractually guaranteed an audio feed, which is then represented in the technical rider, you MAY not get one.

And it is merely good form to appreciate when someone is able to accommodate you unexpectedly.

Don't read any more into my response than that.

Having said that, having a media breakout box available as part of your standard setup isn't the worst idea in the world either...
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 07:58 PM   #26
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Re: Surviving your experience with an audio guy

Shaun, Totally understood and agreed upon. Audio consoles are like hard drive space, no matter how big it seems when you get it there is never enough room in the end :)

Press boxes are a great solution for multiple outputs, try finding one these days when you need it, at least in a ballroom. I have a small one of my own. And yes, I have seen audio guys scratching there head a thousand times because the input/output requirements exceeded their expectations as the show exponentially grew. It's all good, I am enjoying this conversation because of the good reply's. including yours.

Steve
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 08:02 PM   #27
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Re: Surviving your experience with an audio guy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun Roemich View Post
Steven: I think you may have misunderstood my point. Frequently "video guys" walk into a room and ASSUME that because there is an audio tech on location, they are entitled to a feed. Again, you as the audio tech may not have one available if you were not briefed. As well, the "video guy" is the lowest on the proverbial totem pole... you need to get the gig going first. IF you have time to spare and are able to help get an unannounced videographer a feed, kudos.
...
All true....communication is the key to making anything work....and sometimes, on a public forum I misread intent.

Steve
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 09:38 PM   #28
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Re: Surviving your experience with an audio guy

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Originally Posted by Steven Digges View Post
...Press boxes are a great solution for multiple outputs, try finding one these days when you need it, at least in a ballroom...
Shameless semi-on-topic plug:
I have two Aphex 120 Audio Distribution Amps tied together in a single rack space. Each is 1x4 xlr, with trims on each output, and the input loops out, effectively stereo 1x5. In reading the spec, these might do mic level fine, though I've always used them at line level.

Since I haven't been doing so much ballroom work, they've been sitting, lonely... and I really should get rid of them. So much enthusiasm in this thread, I figure someone here needs them.

This is a pre-sale notice, I'll post them in classifieds next time I get to my storage, but let me know via pm if you're interested.

Sweet DAs, really. Think small pressbox in a rack...
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 10:34 PM   #29
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Re: Surviving your experience with an audio guy

Thanks Steven... class act... I ofttimes am seen as a disturber of fecal matters but that is not my intent... this forum is VERY close to my heart and is the place I share most openly stuff that I would otherwise CHARGE for my knowledge...

Was just acknowledging that there are those video folk that have decided they are ENTITLED to a feed when I am THANKFUL for every feed I get.
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 11:46 PM   #30
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Re: Surviving your experience with an audio guy

With all the comments about the cases of gear one takes along, maybe I'll add one more thought titled "Surviving your experience on the job or gig". Being a hobbyest and not having nearly the gear the professionals have, what I do have I try to keep in pristine condition and not loos it, either through misplacing it or by someone walking off with it.

I've heard of too many cases where trusting people in a public place had their guitar or other valuable instrument stolen so I keep an eye on everything, and try to keep it together beside me as much as possible. Either that, or have someone I trust keep an eye on it.

This has been a great thread and there is just so much to learn about electronics, cabling, and audio in general.
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