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Old January 6th, 2013, 09:33 PM   #46
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Re: Surviving your experience with an audio guy

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Originally Posted by Benjamin Maas View Post
If you are doing a live cut and playback, make sure you mute the send when you are recording. I don't know how many times I've had some video person cause feedback because they are playing and recording at the same time and it is all going to the PA. There is nothing a FOH engineer will hate your more for than screwing up their sound in the room.
That's why my playback component TO the FoH mixer is always on a completely separate mixer at my end than his send to me...

Great catch, Benjamin.
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Old January 26th, 2013, 12:40 PM   #47
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Re: Surviving your experience with an audio guy

This has got to be one of the most interesting threads I have ever read on this forum. Particularly interesting because this is the field that I work in. I travel to around 40 or more shows a year in venues in the U.S. and Canada.
I am the video guy, not the audio guy. I fly everywhere so I don't have the luxury of carrying cables and all the gadgets you guys speak of.

I'm shocked to see that the thread doesn't include much talk about the client? The most important element in ensuring that I have everything that I need to ensure that my client has a successful show.

Before each show the client, myself and the A/V and house staff have a conference call, because we are all in different cities and can't meet face to face. The key is to remember that A/V company and myself have a common client that is footing the bill for both of us. On that call we identify all that takes place in the show. We have an assistant taking notes during the call. We establish names, positions and responsibilities up front, with a list of show day contact numbers and email addresses. What the A/V and house guys know from that call is everything that I need to be a success for the client. They (house) know here and what distance to place my riser. A/V knows that they run a mic or line level feed to that riser. We usually request a riser no more then 50ft from the stage. Not always possible., But we will learn that from the call in advance, as we have the house folks on the call as well, with floor diagrams.
After the call is complete, within an hour the call notes are compiled and an email is sent to the client and everybody else is cced on that email. One week before the show that email is sent again. Everybody knows in advanced who is providing what. I keep that email in my pocket in case myself or the A/V people have a memory lapse. Rarely ever had to use it. I did have one really ugly incident with the head A/V guy at a huge show over something they were supposed to provide. The guy was dead wrong. But I allowed myself to be provoked and totally unprofessional. That has not, and will never happen again. I see this guy on lots of shows. We resolved our differences and are the best of friends now.
I typically fly in a day before the show and meet everybody and huddle up with key people and introduce myself to the crew. If any problems arise now is the time to work it out. I look at myself and the A/V people as being on the same team with the same goals, a successful show for OUR client.

What I carry is minimal. I carry 2 10' XLR cables just in case you move the riser a foot or two left or right from where my feed was dropped. I carry one DI , 2 turnaround cables and one attenuator. (I do think it's good advice to carry the kit that a lot of guys mentioned...I just don't). All of my cameras have XLR's and can take line or mic levels.

Aside from that I find that most AV guys are professionals and are as invested in doing a great job just as I am. I always treat the guys with respect and help them out where I can. Another thing to remember is to forget all the bad things you heard about A/V guys. Maybe not all of them, but most of them have forgot more about audio then you and me will ever know.
And remember, 15 minutes to you is just that. 15 minutes to a A/V guy is an eternity. So when they say they will have it for you in 15 minutes and it's 30 minutes to show time, just relax.
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Old March 22nd, 2013, 02:28 AM   #48
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Re: Surviving your experience with an audio guy

I do five camera concert shoots pretty much exclusively.

I'm a video guy who started as an audio guy, so I know enough to get there ahead of the sound check, and often before any mics are plugged in. I carry my own cables (with TRS adaptors) and rarely encounter a situation where it is not possible for the audio operator to accommodate me. But I always have my own pair of mics to capture the audience and to fall back on if the mix doesn't work.

The most useful tool I have is a tiny Rolls mixer, so I can pad down or boost their feed, and not have to ask them for anything during the show. Between that, the audience mic pair and the camera mics, I'll always be able to make something work.
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Old March 22nd, 2013, 07:42 AM   #49
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Re: Surviving your experience with an audio guy

Chris,

Very good approach! I use my Sound Devices 442 mixer for that, for several reasons. It sounds great and is well protected due to very nice input and output transformers. It has a very nice limiter that prevents accidents.

One never knows how a console is gainstaged. I can switch from mic to line input with the flick of a finger and use the 442 coarse and fine gain controls to give the camera what it wants.

Sometimes I use the 442 as a final stage, just for it's sound and limiters. Did that last month on a talk show mockup on a very big soundstage. All extemporaneous talk. We did the best we could to damp the reverb. But it was a green screen shoot and those green wall are hard and bounce the sound around a lot. I used a Shure FP410 automixer to close each mic when not being spoken into, which helped. From the FP410 to the 442 and then out to three cameras.



Regards,

Ty Ford
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Last edited by Ty Ford; March 22nd, 2013 at 07:44 AM. Reason: added clarification
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Old March 22nd, 2013, 02:14 PM   #50
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Re: Surviving your experience with an audio guy

In my day job I work as an Account Manager for an AV company. Reading the scenario described above made me want to pop an alkazeltzer. I always show up on Day 1 of the event, if the video guy who's running late needs an audio feed I make sure it gets done. If I have to roll-out the cable myself I will. At the end of the conference/event I am the one making the phone call to the meeting planner. The last thing I want to hear is for client to tell me that the video guy did not get an audio feed, your guys were not helpful, the video was important to us. I can't tell the planner, sorry the guys were a bit cranky coz they they did a 15 hour set-up the night before, they were busy attending to the key note speaker, your video guy was late. Do I want to kill the videoguy? Yes. But I would want to be the one telling the planner when I make the phone call " hello meeting planner, 30 minutes before the show started, your camera guy came asking for an audio feed, we made it happen. I believe this was never mentioned during the precon meeting.Next time let us know in advance if you plan to videotape the event or better yet ask the camera guy to come in an hour early. Btw when's your next event?"

No offense meant, just want you guys to see the Account Manager's perspective.
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Old March 23rd, 2013, 02:22 PM   #51
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Re: Surviving your experience with an audio guy

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Originally Posted by Ty Ford View Post
Sometimes I use the 442 as a final stage, just for it's sound and limiters. Did that last month on a talk show mockup on a very big soundstage. All extemporaneous talk. We did the best we could to damp the reverb. But it was a green screen shoot and those green wall are hard and bounce the sound around a lot. I used a Shure FP410 automixer to close each mic when not being spoken into, which helped. From the FP410 to the 442 and then out to three cameras.
I know how it is. A location that looks good and a location that sounds good are not usually the same. This video I edited and mixed (but did NOT shoot) was in a place with hardwood floors, plaster walls and lots and lots of glass. The acoustics of the space were so hard and echoing that the drum tracks in isolation sounded like the entire kit was made up of various sizes of snare drums.
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Old March 23rd, 2013, 04:54 PM   #52
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Re: Surviving your experience with an audio guy

Messed up the start of the video guys recording this week. The video people are the nicest ones we get to work with, but they were also doing stills photography - not their choice but the client wanted it. The audio feed from the mixer was forgotten about until the last minute - then he gave us a Sennheiser plug in, which just slotted straight into one of the aux outputs. My sound simply set one of the auxes to unit gain, on every channel we were using, and that was that - BUT the music being played for the audience before the show had the button pushed making the send pre-fade, not post fade, so the show started and although he'd pulled the walking in music fader down, it was still going to the two cameras! Frantic waving from the cameraman didn't work - he wasn't looking that way, and it took 30 seconds for a runner to yell at him. Once the show starts, he wasn't even thinking about the video. He said sorry, but I suspect the first minute or so of the video will have to be from one of the on-camera mics. It's a simple mistake to make, but just shows how easy it is to mess up somebodies video!
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Old March 23rd, 2013, 05:06 PM   #53
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Re: Surviving your experience with an audio guy

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Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
Messed up the start of the video guys recording this week. The video people are the nicest ones we get to work with, but they were also doing stills photography - not their choice but the client wanted it. The audio feed from the mixer was forgotten about until the last minute - then he gave us a Sennheiser plug in...
Not familiar with the term. I know and love the headphones, but what type of plug is that?
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Old March 23rd, 2013, 05:15 PM   #54
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Re: Surviving your experience with an audio guy

The radio mic transmitter that that plugs into a normal wired mic - it's a square beast with an xlr socket on the end. It's handy for plugging into the mixer if they have XLR outputs.
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Old March 23rd, 2013, 07:54 PM   #55
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Re: Surviving your experience with an audio guy

Paul,
Thank you for posting that. The "old burned by the post/pre-fade button" trick. I have been there, saw it happen once. So painful you only see it once. Every mixer has a "suck" button on it, that one was yours.

Al Gardner,
If your still around. What you describe is the RIGHT way to do it. Fortunately I have that exact opportunity, sometimes, and from both sides. In the wide ranging world of corporate meetings that kind of communication and cooperation is most often not the case. Especially if video is a low priority afterthought. I think every guy here goes into it with the attitude that he is going to do the best job possible, as he should. But if he is not familiar with the meeting environment it might be a rude awakening. Also, some meeting planners are not professional planners. They hold some other job position in the company and are thrust into the difficult task of meeting planning. They don't even understand why they should give time to some guy that is "just going to point a camera at the stage".

Steve
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Old March 23rd, 2013, 08:05 PM   #56
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Re: Surviving your experience with an audio guy

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The radio mic transmitter that that plugs into a normal wired mic - it's a square beast with an xlr socket on the end. It's handy for plugging into the mixer if they have XLR outputs.
Ah, OK. Thanks. Clever idea if you have the equipment and saves having to run and tape cables.
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Old March 23rd, 2013, 09:28 PM   #57
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Re: Surviving your experience with an audio guy

Steve,
OUCH!!! had that happen before. But it's not supposed to happen again. But it does.

I can't stress enough, communication between you and the audio guy is KEY.

Usually I'm traveling so my first time meeting the audio guy is that day or the day before.

On the shoot day I set up my camera and sticks on the riser. Once I'm good, I spend the rest of the time with the AV guy. Usually he has other stuff to do besides me. You guys have probably seen this, one guy trying to sound check 6 or more mics in the room. This is where we become friends. I tell him to sit at the board while I go around and give him a soundcheck. Can't tell you how much they appreciate that.

After that we go over again what I need and check sound to the camera. I always ask the sound guy when we go live to maintain eye contact with me for the first minute or so. If all is good I give him a thumbs up.

I have to say and this is key, on most all of my jobs the client is paying for a record feed as well as a house feed. That means my AV guy is invested in getting it right. In other words that music in the mix would be on him. My client would know that. That said, clients don't usually get upset about something like that, provided it's not 3 minutes long.

One thing about using butt plugs, which I usually don't. When I use a butt plug in a ball room, I always put it on a light stand about 7 or 8 ft up to make line of site clear. I have been burnt by that before, having it at mixer level and out of sight. Just run some XLR up the light stand.

The picture below, you can't see me but I'm off to one side about half the distance. The mixing board is all the way to the back which you can't see either. I had a butt plug in the mixing board. Once the floor filled up all these bodies between me and the butt plug went south with intermittent hits in the audio. So I blew some sound from an awesome blues band as you can see by the crowd. Since then I always raise the butt plug with a light stand.
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Old March 24th, 2013, 12:57 PM   #58
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Re: Surviving your experience with an audio guy

Al,

I have a Sennheiser EW100 plug. I would never use as a stand alone transmitter because it is designed to use the metal body of any mic you attach to it as the antenna. Your audio hits???

Also, after years of using that mic I just learned here on this forum about Sennheiser squelch settings causing hits in the feed.

I love shooting concerts. especially from the mosh pit. It is cool to turn the camera on the crowd and watch them go crazy. Unfortunately, EVERY time, some idiot is always flipping the bird and ruining the shot so it is not usable. And in a viewfinder with all the waving hands you can't see it until later or the Director is yelling in your headset to give him something he can use. Yes, I-mag at some concerts is supposed to be family friendly, or for broadcast advertising. I have never seen the idiot with the finger get his 60 seconds of fame.

Once just for fun when I knew my camera was safe, I zoomed up Alice Coopers nose while he was leaning over me from the edge of the stage. It was disgusting. I knew the TD well or I would not have done that, when they started yelling, "CAMERA 4 PULL OUT, PULL OUT!!!", I was laughing so hard I could hardly recompose a shot. Headset humor makes this job fun sometimes.

Steve
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Old March 24th, 2013, 01:25 PM   #59
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Re: Surviving your experience with an audio guy

Steve,
Tell me about this squelch problem? How do I fix it. I have had that problem even in interviews.

Al
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Old March 24th, 2013, 01:34 PM   #60
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Re: Surviving your experience with an audio guy

Here it is:

Sennheiser EW100 problems / sample clip

Gotta love the guys on this forum.

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