rate this sound gear setup 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 March 8th, 2006, 12:56 AM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 429
rate this sound gear setup

Hey all, was wondering what your opinion was in regards to this audio solution setup:


1 Sony MDR-V900 headphones
Rycote mountie/hand mic setup
3 Tram lav TR-50- MIC
1 MKH-416 Shotgun Microphone
1 AT 897 Shotgun Mic
1 Sound Devices 744T - 4-Channel Hi-Resolution Portable Hard Disk Recorder
1 Sound Devices 302 Portable 3 Channel Field Mixer
1 lectrosonics 100 series lav system
2 Sennheiser EWg2 lav systems

This gear is meant for broadcast purposes in the most "run and gun" of scenarios. Obviously, i'm not a sound expert, hence my post here. If anyone has any experience with any of the gear, please tell me if my list is a good one or what item needs to be upgraded/downgraded etc. Thanks!

Last edited by Spike Spiegel; March 8th, 2006 at 02:25 PM.
Spike Spiegel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 8th, 2006, 11:18 AM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,259
Generally quite good.

You might consider upgrading the headphones to MDR-7506.

You don't have a hand-mike in the list - not a problem if no opportunities to use it. I like the Electrovoice RE50, it is the standard, but there are others.

Usually people match the 442 mixer with the 744T. But the 302 would work.

You'll need some sort of case to make best use of the mixer and recorder. Petrol makes a nice one, Portabrace too.

2 shotgun mics, but no boom pole - this stuff ain't for camera mounting, if you have a shopping list like this you'd probably have two booms, short and long.

You'll want a breakaway cable with headphone to connect the mixer to the camcorder. When you have a bag-o-goodies like this, it usually makes sense to power everything from one 12volt external battery/charger system.

The wireless choices are the minimum pro choices, there are many others.

But if you don't know sound much... who will run this rig? This is a little much for a one-man show to do both shooting and sound. When you say "the most run-and-gun", do you really need the 744T at all? Are you looking for a one-man setup? If so, you probably need to pare this down a bit.

Last edited by Seth Bloombaum; March 8th, 2006 at 11:51 AM.
Seth Bloombaum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 8th, 2006, 12:08 PM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Albany, NY 12210
Posts: 2,650
I'm not understanding why you would want the AT897 and the 416 either. I can't think of a scenario where I would use those two mics together, unless the AT897 is to be mounted on-camera as a backup. I agree with Seth. You really need to explain how and what you will be shooting, and how many people you will have helping you.
Marco Leavitt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 8th, 2006, 02:23 PM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 429
thanks for the responses guys. The only reason I have the at897 listed is because we already own it.

the cameras have native XLR, and we are relying on XLR/camera audio (paired with the senny and AT shotgun mic) as a mere backup measure, or really downplaying the shotgun mic audio... The talent will constantly be lav'ed with the tram mics, and even the people she may interact with. All this will be recorded onto the digital recorder, while the cameramen are handling audio on their own.

I didn't include a boompole because I highly doubt we will have sit down situations, and even if we do, we will probably rely on lav's at those points. The shotguns are realy there as a backup measure and also for picking up ambient audio as well as any 3rd party that may spontaneously appear on screen without us knowing about it.
We also have a rycote softie and handmount setup for the shotgun mics as needed in various situations.

The show is a travel show and thats what I meant by run and gun, although we will have a general idea of which locations we will go, who we will film, I doubt we will have enough space for booming.. Thats why we are heavily reliant upon lavs.

In terms of crew, 2 cameramen with their own headphones for monitoring the mounted shotgun mic audio, and a dedicated sound guy handling all the lav activity.
I realize some gear may be overkill but thats why i'm posting here, so you guys can advice which needs to be upgraded/downgraded. Thanks very much for the info so far.
Spike Spiegel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 8th, 2006, 03:18 PM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,259
Have you thought through and tested your post sound sync? Depending on systems and workflows, this can be a major addition to the post time.

It isn't clear to me whether the sound operator is feeding the cameras at all. If possible, I'd like it to be so. Buy another AT897 so each camera gets the same model shotgun (for better match) on Ch. 1, and is fed a live mix of all lavs on Ch. 2. Lavs and perhaps one more ambience mic are recorded on each of the four channels on the 744T. I think you'd want the sound operator to have perhaps a hypercardoid and the 416 on at least a short boom. This would allow a very quick accomodation of a new person who is only in shot for a couple sentences with potentially much better sound than the camera-mounted shotguns. A handheld boom has good application for run-and-gun, it is not just for sit-downs.

This gives the best of all worlds - your editors have complete tracks of full lav mix plus ambience on camera tapes, and can resort to the multichannel recording in case of need. Getting more complicated, if you think tethers may be unworkable in some situations, you could lay in more wireless for the mixer/cameras link.

I think you'll need the versatility of the 442 mixer.
Seth Bloombaum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 8th, 2006, 03:43 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 429
Your idea sounds good but i think its insisting that the cameramen be tethered to the sound guy, and I don't think thats realistic for us. We will be using glidecam setups and weaving through the crowds having cables all around will be problematic..

Thats why I thought that having solely the lav channels (maybe a hand held condensor) monitored by the audio guy and the cameramen are on their own capturing whatever. In post production workflow, we use the camera XLr audio as the basis and with the aid of the time code generator, we sync up lav audio...Is that reasonable?

also what is the 442 mixer offering that the one we have selected doesn't ? More inputs?
Spike Spiegel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 8th, 2006, 04:05 PM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Albany, NY 12210
Posts: 2,650
This sounds like a very ambitious project and potential nightmare in post if you don't get lots of practice in first with your gear. Don't underestimate the difficulty in syncing double system sound with the two cameras. It can be difficult to impossible to use a slate in run and gun situations. You can often use the audio tracks of the cameras to sync up, but the wave form of the audio captured on the camcorders will look drastically different from that recorded to hard disk and is going to be very hard to match up visually.

Also, are you sure that the Glidecams are going to be able to fly the camcorders with a shotgun mounted on top? I've tried that with a JR, and the length and weight of the shotgun makes the whole rig act very squirrely. It is impossible to monitor with headphones using the JR as well. It won't fly at all.

Frankly, I'd pass on the 744t and send the audio back to the cameras wirelessly. Your mixer should definitely make a backup to a cheaper hard disc recorder of some kind though, unless you can find a way to monitor the recording on the cameras. I'd try and get a visual sync point as often as possible too, like having the cameras point at the sound guy, who could clap every once in a while.

Also, I agree with Seth that the sound guy should have another mic handy, either on a boom, or handheld. I'll bet you use it more than you think.
Marco Leavitt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 8th, 2006, 04:14 PM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 429
the glidecams are full body rigs so i'm relatively sure they can support the weight of just an added microphone. In terms of matching audio, i've dealt with the nightmare of matching up HIMD imported audio to the timeline without any hint of time code, for over 17 hours worth of video/audio. I know how much of a pain it is..

I agree, we will need alot of practice for the gear and workflow. In terms of matching up audio, isn't it possible to use the time of day timecode feature ? I've never used it before, and i've heard little about it. When we were shooting the pilot, we almost never used a boompole and we filmed around the crowdest streets as well as the most remote places. However, i think our audio could have turned out way better if we had used it so i will invest more in the boompole.
Spike Spiegel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 8th, 2006, 04:16 PM   #9
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Albany, NY 12210
Posts: 2,650
Ah, I missed that you're using time code some how. How are you going to do that? Also, I'm unfamiliar with the "time of day timecode feature." On what gear?
Marco Leavitt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 8th, 2006, 04:50 PM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 429
i believe the recorder that is hooked to the mixer has the time of day time code feature. I am hoping our cameras also have this feature... Anyone with the Sony Z1u know about the time of day timecode feature, or is it wishful thinking?
Spike Spiegel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 8th, 2006, 05:21 PM   #11
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Augusta Georgia
Posts: 5,413
The 744T definitely has "Time of Day" timecode option. You may refer to page 30 of the 744T manual. It is called "24 Hour Run" in the manual.

I believe the 744T to be an excellent unit. I expect mine to arrive tomorrow. I also will be using it with a 302. Please understand that at this time I am not an expert in the 744T.

With the 302, you have the abiity to record, with the 744T, four mike level inputs, all to separate channels. This is very desirable.

You could probably get by without the 744T, but it does have timecode and can jam to your cameras (if they are capable of handling timecode). Also, the sound out of the 744T should be far better than what you can obtain from the camera.
__________________
Dan Keaton
Augusta Georgia
Dan Keaton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 8th, 2006, 07:54 PM   #12
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,259
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike Spiegel
i believe the recorder that is hooked to the mixer has the time of day time code feature. I am hoping our cameras also have this feature... Anyone with the Sony Z1u know about the time of day timecode feature, or is it wishful thinking?
I've used time of day code with the Z1U and a 744T. The Z1 doesn't jam, but you can set TOD code manually, and otherwise worked fine. Expect that with manual sync a couple times a day, (because there will be drift), you'll get a loose sync of better than 1/2 a second. Easy to dial it in from there.

Spike, you've asked some general questions about post sync. Yes it works. How it works is VERY different from NLE to NLE. And if you're shooting in HDV, that's another wrinkle; in some NLEs, camera HDV timecode isn't properly represented - in those cases, all clips begin at zero. (but maybe you're shooting in DV, or maybe HDV TC works right in your NLE).

Which may not be an issue at all with your NLE, but, ****you have to test***. Maybe it's easy and fast, maybe it's straightforward but slow, maybe it's difficult and you need some workarounds... how could I say this more strongly, how about all caps YOU HAVE TO TEST THE WORKFLOW.

Quote:
Your idea sounds good but i think its insisting that the cameramen be tethered to the sound guy, and I don't think thats realistic for us. We will be using glidecam setups and weaving through the crowds having cables all around will be problematic..
Yeah, I thought that with what you were describing tethering the cameras to sound might not work out for many shoots. As I suggested earlier, consider a wireless link. See how it pencils out - eg. if you're shooting and syncing 20 tapes, and the syncing takes 10 minutes per shot, and there are 30 shots on a tape.... that's a hundred hours of syncing. With an internal editing rate of perhaps $40/hr, that's $4,000. If a couple $500 wireless could cut that figure in half, it would be well worth it.

OK, that's pulling figures out of the air, and it may be exaggerated, but you should run your own numbers and see how it pencils out. You'll probably shoot more than 20 tapes... And maybe it will take less than 10 minutes per sync - did I mention testing the workflow?

Check out the specs of the 302 and the 442 at sounddevices.com, and see below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Keaton
With the 302, you have the abiity to record, with the 744T, four mike level inputs, all to separate channels. This is very desirable.
However... to do so, you use the two mic preamps on the 744T and 2 or 3 on the 302. This means that you can't do a simultaneous full mix to camera because you don't have all the mics into the mixer. Nothing wrong with the 302 - it's a great 3x2 mixer. IMHO a 4x2 is much better to pair with a 744T, and the 442 has direct outs for each input channel, which I think is an ideal pairing with a 4ch. recorder.

So, I'd suggest this:
4 mics into 442. 4 direct outs from 442 to 744. Mono or stereo mix out from 442 to one or two camcorders via xlr/breakaway harness or wireless. But that's just how I'd do it, your mileage may vary.

Last edited by Seth Bloombaum; March 8th, 2006 at 08:53 PM.
Seth Bloombaum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 9th, 2006, 12:45 AM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,259
One more thing...

If you're going to be on the road for a while you'd need a laptop and perhaps an external drive to dump off audio files.

The 744T will hold about 20 hours of 4-track recordings at 24/48 uncompressed on its internal 40GB drive. Lots of other choices for datarates, including MP3 compressed and 24/96 uncompressed, but 24/48 uncompressed is pretty good.

Transfers to laptop via firewire are straightforward.
Seth Bloombaum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 9th, 2006, 05:25 AM   #14
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike Spiegel
i believe the recorder that is hooked to the mixer has the time of day time code feature. I am hoping our cameras also have this feature... Anyone with the Sony Z1u know about the time of day timecode feature, or is it wishful thinking?
I understand the Z1 has timecode but it doesn't output the code, it merely records it. If you haven't already committed to the camera selection, you might want to consider the Canon XL H1 instead because it does have both timecode input & output. The problem with not having code output is that without it there is no way to perfectly sync up the clock setting in the recorder with that set in the camera otherwise. There are workarounds to sync two cameras if you can set the clock using the remote but that wouldn't work to simultaneously set the clock in other devices like the 744.

Add a Denke timecode slate to your equipment list. Jam the slate and SD744 together at the least and if you go with a camera that outputs code so both of the cameras, the slate, and the audio recorder can be jammed together so much the better.
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 9th, 2006, 07:40 AM   #15
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Albany, NY 12210
Posts: 2,650
How about ...

Okay, this is just a suggestion, not something I've tried, but just to throw it out there. Maybe it will simplify your life. What about recording direct to the 744t as your primary audio, and then outputting a signal from there to the 302, which you would use to mix down to mono, and from there to wireless which you send to one channel on each camera. Your camera mounted shotguns would record to the other channel. The reason I think this might work is because you'll be using so many wireless rigs to record your interviews, and it's the gain setting on the transmitter that matters there, so your sound person won't have to do much active mixing. The 744t will give you lots of headroom, and the levels may not have to be adjusted much anyway. This way you'll have two separate back-up tracks recorded to the cameras, one of them nearly identical to the tracks on the 744t which you could use as a reference track if necessary to visually sync up the waveforms from the 744t if something goes awry with your "time of day" timecode syncing plans.
Marco Leavitt 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 05:36 AM.


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