I just got kicked out for using the wrong mics. What did I do wrong? - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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Old December 5th, 2013, 12:15 PM   #16
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Re: I just got kicked out for using the wrong mics. What did I do wrong?

Here's my take on things, without passing judgement on the mics.

I think the client was looking for an excuse to break the contract. How typical is it for a secretary to call the sound person and ask what mic you're bringing? How many secretaries would take the initiative to research mics on the internet? Someone set you up. That's pretty clear to me from your report of the facts.

If they were really concerned about mics, and had a particular mic that they did or did not want, they would have either specified that in advance, or discussed that rationally when you arrived. They would not have thrown a tantrum after you'd arrived on site.

Furthermore, my experience of 45+ years, as a peon, freelancer, stagehand, broadcast engineer, etc. -- on both sides of the table, as management and as union business agent -- is that when someone starts screaming and trying to intimidate you, they are trying to cover up something. They want to make you too frightened to have a logical discussion and pursue a mutually satisfactory solution.

My guess is that another sound shop came in and underbid your shop, and the customer then tried to find an excuse to get out from under your contract.

At this point, if your side thinks they've got a good lawyer, and thinks there's enough money at stake, then I'd say: sue the ba$tard$. Otherwise, walk away, and be glad you don't have to deal with these clowns ever again. And you might want to tell your friends about this situation... just be sure to do it in a factual and non-slanderous way.

Last edited by Greg Miller; December 5th, 2013 at 01:26 PM.
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Old December 5th, 2013, 01:46 PM   #17
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Re: I just got kicked out for using the wrong mics. What did I do wrong?

Sounds like a touch of google and not knowing much. The 416 would be absolutely fine for the type of productions I suspect this company is doing. Many professional microphones started production over 40 years ago, including some classics. Better not tell them that some of the lenses used by top DPs are not only of the same vintage, but were actually manufactured then.

However, as mentioned, the chances are they were just looking for an excuse. A serious producer would ask if you could get another mic for the shoot or ask you what the difference between the 416 and the later mic designs.

Last edited by Brian Drysdale; December 6th, 2013 at 03:15 AM.
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Old December 5th, 2013, 03:56 PM   #18
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Re: I just got kicked out for using the wrong mics. What did I do wrong?

I don't think they were trying to replace the microphones. They were trying to replace you. Very sad.
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Old December 5th, 2013, 04:28 PM   #19
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Re: I just got kicked out for using the wrong mics. What did I do wrong?

I actually suspect there is something happening in the back ground that we (and also the OP) are not being made aware of.
It might be over personallities or payment on this or previous jobs....But something smells fishy
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Old December 5th, 2013, 06:08 PM   #20
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Re: I just got kicked out for using the wrong mics. What did I do wrong?

I agree with Greg. This is somebody trying to get out of a commitment using an excuse of a microphone.

How "high end" was this job anyway? Great recordings can be made with all levels of mics. Technique plays a large part and you have a Sound Devices taking it in. And as stated, it is very simple to just tell you to use another mic. Problem solved.
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Old December 6th, 2013, 11:16 AM   #21
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Re: I just got kicked out for using the wrong mics. What did I do wrong?

Jared,

The best thing to happen to you in this case is that you did NOT work on this project/nightmare. Did they give you guys an advance/deposit? Any points that you didn't mention during the dialog with "client"?

In any event, carefully weigh how much it is worth going around and dancing with lawyers, and the time and aggravation. If they slander you or your company in any way publicly, well, that's another matter entirely.

Show this thread to your boss. I'd be very suprised and disappointed if he terminated you.

Jonathan
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Old December 6th, 2013, 12:46 PM   #22
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Re: I just got kicked out for using the wrong mics. What did I do wrong?

I think Steve is pulling your leg. If he ain't, he's been drinking or indulging in other substances.
I would say 'good luck' to the idiot producers and walk away.
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Old December 7th, 2013, 01:29 AM   #23
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Re: I just got kicked out for using the wrong mics. What did I do wrong?

Interesting comparison thread on our very own DVInfo Forum started in June 2006, and that was 7 years ago:

sennheiser mkh 416 vs mkh 60 and mkh 70?
I read this all the way through to the very end.
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Old December 7th, 2013, 05:28 AM   #24
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Re: I just got kicked out for using the wrong mics. What did I do wrong?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Oakley View Post
sorry but just because you think its an "industry standard" doesn't mean it is, or that its a good mic in this year. 416 is totally yesterday's news and even senn has replaced it twice.... why would they do that if they didn't have better ? as for older nuemens, thats a U47 ? ok for vocals, but there are other mics just as good if not better. of course all that today as I got raved over sound quality I delivered with...a... MXL4000. not a snob but I let the past go with the past.
Correction - Sennheiser *never* replaced the MKH 416.

The MKH 60 was different in concept and sound and was not quite so good in really bad conditions.

The 416 has not remained exactly the same over the years - there have been several internal changes to both capsule and circuit board, even though the outside remains the same.

Yes, the new MKH 8060 is the one I would get if buying now - but the 416 is still a current microphone.

I have replied in more detail on the other forums where the OP posted this - so I will not repeat all that again here.
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Old December 7th, 2013, 09:35 AM   #25
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Re: I just got kicked out for using the wrong mics. What did I do wrong?

I agree that this situation has more to do with something other than the mic selection.
That said, if you want to have the very best, the Schoeps MK41 cap (hypercardioid) with CMC6 colette body and cut 1) is a wonderful mic, but at a much higher cost than the 416. You can also augment with other capsules. I use the MK4 (cardioid) at work all the time. Besides voice, they sound great on EVERYTHING.
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Old December 7th, 2013, 12:14 PM   #26
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Re: I just got kicked out for using the wrong mics. What did I do wrong?

I'm not very forgiving of client behavior like that. My lessons of hard experience suggest that the best way to avoid upaid bills, avoid the need to talk about how good our contract is, avoid litigation and collections is to not deal with pond scum.

These people chose a weasel method to break a booking. General industry agreements in my region call for penalties to be paid in the case of late cancellations. Yours? Instead they chose to intimidate you.

I would *NEVER* work with such again. If I owned your production co. I would *BLACKLIST* these producers. Life is too short.

Of course such pronouncements are easy from this distance, and your media production community may run by different assumptions & ethics.

I remember a particular client who scammed out of a last payment, they chose some element of the online edit to attack our professionalism, but, they had signed off on the offline edit, and accepted the online as final. It was only when we called about the unpaid invoice that they pulled this. After further contacts, registered letters, etc., the lawyer said they weren't worth going after, it would be seen in court as a matter of he said / she said, and it wasn't worth further wasting our valuable time on lying weasel scam artists. I think it was a matter of about $8,000USD.

We took the lawyer's advice, and put it behind us. A couple years later I ran into my contact on the street. This was the guy we'd worked with on the project. He wanted to talk:

"Seth, I'm so glad I ran into you. I just wanted to say how sorry I am about the way that project went. It was the owner of the co, he did that to a bunch of vendors. I felt terrible about it! By the way, that company went bankrupt (hint: unpaid bills), and I'm looking for a job. Do you know of anything?"

I think I just said "No, not really" and edged away from him. But I remember what I was thinking: "Get away from me you lying weasel scam artist. I wouldn't touch you with a ten foot pole, and I certainly wouldn't refer you to anyone in my professional network."

Life is too short. Don't waste it, avoid these people who will pull you into their world of untruths and scams.

If I *had* to break or postphone a booking, and *really* couldn't afford the penalty, my first stop would be to talk with you and the production company owner about the how and why. I'd be promising to make it up to you, and I would.

Of course I'd never expose myself to that liability. Not only should productions be properly planned, but end-client agreements should include those cancel/postphone fees to be paid to subcontractors in case the end-client doesn't deliver what they're supposed to, when they're supposed to do it. Script content, script reviews, locations, personnel, background extras, whatever.
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Old December 7th, 2013, 02:10 PM   #27
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Re: I just got kicked out for using the wrong mics. What did I do wrong?

I smell money. The money they did not get paid. It could have been as simple as them getting underbid after the contract was signed. They were showing up on a set to shoot. We may be the first ones on set but not the only ones. Sounds like everyone else was told the schedule changed by an hour. This had nothing to do with the mic.

It was an out door shoot. I would have doubled back and from a distance video recorded the new crew that was already waiting in the wings if I could.

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Old December 7th, 2013, 04:39 PM   #28
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Re: I just got kicked out for using the wrong mics. What did I do wrong?

I agree with Seth on this but in 34 years working in film and TV I am lucky that similar experiences can be counted on one hand.

I have never been afraid to leave companies or not work with people if I have felt unhappy and can have the peace of mind that I am still here loving the work that I do but most of the bad companies have long gone but I still have the joy and the memories of meeting and working with some great people that have helped me on my journey!
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Old December 7th, 2013, 06:46 PM   #29
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Re: I just got kicked out for using the wrong mics. What did I do wrong?

This all hilarious (well, for me. No fun to experience I'm sure).
I'm sure a read an article only a couple of years ago by a soundie encouraging particularly new film grads and such to branch out to other mics.
He painted a picture of world where the 416 is basically ubiquitous. It was interesting to hear that it was the same elsewhere. Here it's definitely "bring the 416 just in case" for pretty much everything. Even if no one uses it it'll be in the kit regardless.
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Old December 7th, 2013, 06:56 PM   #30
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Re: I just got kicked out for using the wrong mics. What did I do wrong?

Low-life clients can be from some of the most prestigious companies in the world. Last year I was hired as a one day replacement on a four day mega production for the introductory roll out of a product. First I was given the wrong address to the venue and when I finally found the place about 20 minutes after call time I found my position already filled by someone who was there from the start. Later I was told that since I was late that they were forced to hire a replacement who somehow was there already. A couple of cameraman friends were there and they told me to hang around to see if the production company would assign me another position but once I discovered that the director on the ten camera event had never personally greeted any of the crew and was hiding in the control room screaming abuse over the intercom, I walked out and thanked my luck that I was replaced. But that's not the end of the story.

On the final day, the big roll-out event happened and everything seemed to go OK for my friends despite the sixteen hours work days leading up to the event. After it was all over and the venue was cleared for break down a refreshment cart came by and offered beer to the crew. Almost all of them took a bottle and relaxed, their jobs were done, a different crew would remove the equipment the next day. About five minutes later a company exec came by and screamed, "You are all drinking on the jobs, you are fired! Get out!". This production cost the corporation in the millions and to this day most of the freelance crew hasn't been paid except the ones who didn't take a beer. I am convinced that this was a set-up. The crew members are still exploring legal recourse but freelancers have scant resources against Multi-billion dollar corporations hiding behind layers of production companies.
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