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Old December 19th, 2006, 09:49 AM   #1
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mixer to camera:radio

hi all
i'm going to be working with a cameraman/director who likes to shoot freely, with no wires connecting his camera to the mixer. recording double system, given the run and gun kind of job that we are doing, would cause problems more than solving them so i guess that going with radios will be the only solution available. although i did already work that way once, i don't like it at all but. i'm going to use a SD mixpre or a 302, sending the signal to a sony Z1 camera. signal will come from a boom and a lav most of the times.
any of you ever worked this way? i guess i'll be using senn wireless, what woud be the best setting to avoid clipping and distortion? sensitivity, af out..
thanks for any suggestions

pietro
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Old December 20th, 2006, 07:25 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pietro Jona
hi all
i'm going to be working with a cameraman/director who likes to shoot freely, with no wires connecting his camera to the mixer. recording double system, given the run and gun kind of job that we are doing, would cause problems more than solving them so i guess that going with radios will be the only solution available. although i did already work that way once, i don't like it at all but. i'm going to use a SD mixpre or a 302, sending the signal to a sony Z1 camera. signal will come from a boom and a lav most of the times.
any of you ever worked this way? i guess i'll be using senn wireless, what woud be the best setting to avoid clipping and distortion? sensitivity, af out..
thanks for any suggestions

pietro
Just FYI - double system dosen't mean sending audio to the camera wirelessly. Double system means you record sound on a separate audio recorder and marry it to picture in post and it's a very common practice in feature production. What you're describing with a wireless hop from the mixer to the camera is certainly practical - I'll let someone else comment on optimal settings etc as I don't have any direct hands-on experience with that particular transmitter etc.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 09:33 AM   #3
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Thanks Steve, I know what double system is. I just said that since we are going to shoot a documentary with lots of run and gun situations it would be too timewaisting recording separately and "marry" sound and picture in post, especially after one year of shooting and hundreds of hours shot. We really need to record sound with the camera but I won't be allowed to be wired to it.
So, excluding the double system, radios are the only choice I have.
What I'm wondering is how many problems I'll have to face, strictly in terms of sound quality.
Hope I explained myself better.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 09:44 PM   #4
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Wireless receivers directly to cameras? Not a good choice because a mixer limiter can be very helpful.

Transmitters from your mixer to receivers mounted on your camera. Zaxcom makes a good 2 channel. Rent it. Azden doesn't. Don't bother.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old December 21st, 2006, 03:42 AM   #5
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of course i did not explain myself...
i will use a SD mixpre or a SD 302, never talked about radios directly to camera. my doubs were only about settings, like:
line or mic mixer output?
trasmitter sensitivity?
receiver AF out?
line or mic camera input?
this kind of things, i just wondered if there was any settled way of connecting via radio a mixer and a camera or if it was just a mastter of trying different solutions.
zaxcom, i'll see if they sell them here in my developing country.
thanks

pietro
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Old December 21st, 2006, 05:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pietro Jona
of course i did not explain myself...
i will use a SD mixpre or a SD 302, never talked about radios directly to camera. my doubs were only about settings, like:
line or mic mixer output?
trasmitter sensitivity?
receiver AF out?
line or mic camera input?
this kind of things, i just wondered if there was any settled way of connecting via radio a mixer and a camera or if it was just a mastter of trying different solutions.
zaxcom, i'll see if they sell them here in my developing country.
thanks

pietro
Ciao Pietro,

I apologize for not being able to speak to you in Italian.

mixer line or mic output depends on what the transmitter wants.
transmitter sensitivity (for audio) must match mic or line output of mixer.
The 302 has mic or line inputs and outputs. The MixPre only has line outputs.

Receivers outputs on the camera must match the capabilities of the camera input; mic or line.

In general, it's better to use line level because the higher level masks more noise than mic level. Balanced is better than unbalanced. Other than that, there are no real conventions. You may have to use mic level because of individual gear configurations.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old December 21st, 2006, 06:05 AM   #7
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Ok Ty thanks a lot.
i was asking this because using the mixpre (line out only) and a senn 100 (sensitivity set to -20) about one month ago even doing my best to avoid clipping i couldn't be sure that the trasmitter itself wouldn't clip. the meter on the transmitter was often showing its full scale (all the black bricks) but i didn't notice any particular problem when listening the footage.
side question: which mic would you prefer on a boom in noisy outdoor environments (crowds, working areas, traffic) and sometimes messy indoors (computer fans, crying kids and whatever)? i'll have to use one boom mic for all, no chance to use a hyper inside and a shotgun outside, and using a hyper outdoors makes me a bit worried for its limited reach. at least i'll be able to stick a lav on the guy we're fliming, most of the times.
i know well the 416 and i don't like it indoors, heard many positive comments about the CS3e.
remember it is going to be a documentary, not a fiction, no "SILENCE!!" screamed before shooting.
but i use to be more forgiving about sound when watching documentaries..
ciao

pietro
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Old December 21st, 2006, 06:23 AM   #8
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Ok Ty thanks a lot.
i was asking this because using the mixpre (line out only) and a senn 100 (sensitivity set to -20) about one month ago even doing my best to avoid clipping i couldn't be sure that the trasmitter itself wouldn't clip. the meter on the transmitter was often showing its full scale (all the black bricks) but i didn't notice any particular problem when listening the footage.

>> I Don't know why they don't put a mic/line ouput switch on the MixPre.

side question: which mic would you prefer on a boom in noisy outdoor environments (crowds, working areas, traffic) and sometimes messy indoors (computer fans, crying kids and whatever)? i'll have to use one boom mic for all, no chance to use a hyper inside and a shotgun outside, and using a hyper outdoors makes me a bit worried for its limited reach. at least i'll be able to stick a lav on the guy we're fliming, most of the times.
i know well the 416 and i don't like it indoors, heard many positive comments about the CS3e.
remember it is going to be a documentary, not a fiction, no "SILENCE!!" screamed before shooting.
but i use to be more forgiving about sound when watching documentaries..
ciao pietro[/QUOTE]

The CS3e (My review is on my web site in the Mic Reviews folder) is a very nice tool for that job. You have to be very attentive to positioning it. The angle is narrow and the sides are steep. The Schoeps CMIT is also a good choice, but has more gradual sides. I think I still have audio and video samples on my site.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old December 21st, 2006, 07:37 AM   #9
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Ty
i read the review.
i thought that the narrow pattern of the CS3e was due to its better side rejection of low frequencies. is it like that? doesn't this make the CS3e more similar to a hyper (off axis sound has less coloration, it just has a lower volume)? but, if yes, isn't a hyper usually more forgiving about wrong/less than perfect boom positioning?
please be patient..
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Old December 21st, 2006, 09:08 AM   #10
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The CS3 has a tighter pattern and you can really hear the difference (drop off) when you or the talent moves. Not that that's a bad thing, but it is what it is.


Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old December 21st, 2006, 05:05 PM   #11
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the cs-3 doesnt have tighter pattern then 416 ,its wider then 416 but it has grater rejection on the low fq what for some people sounds tighter :-)
i have them both .the cs-3 is in some between wery wide neuman 81 and the most tight i know 416 .
it also one of thevbest mics work interals if you dont have any other choice .

about sending audio from mix pre or 302 ,
it really doesnt matter what signal you are sending as long it match the 100 input which can acsept mic ( tip) or moderest line - ring , if you want use line , work with unbalance -10dbv out and send it to the tx ( pl mini on mix pre , taf-2 out-bus out on the sd-302).
the 100 just attunuate the signal on line level
the benefit use the line is that you can avoid some hum the tx can produce during sending bias on its mic input .
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Old December 21st, 2006, 10:03 PM   #12
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Not unusually, we disagree Oleg. Here's my published review. They did make a revision with the CS-3e. Something about making it less noisy if I recall correctly. There are more reviews on my site.

Sanken CS-3 Short Shotgun Technique, Inc. Copyright 2002

Ty Ford
Baltimore, MD

The Sanken CS-3 ($1,350) is a new short shotgun condenser mic that uses three rectangular capsules placed at the ends of the interference tube to achieve its high directionality. According to Audio Intervisual Design owner Jim Pace, "The diaphragms in the CS-3 are made of PPS (Poly-Gold-Phenylene-Sulfide) to provide stable performance in a wide range of temperatures and humidity. The three capsules are matrixed together for the final sound. The two pressure gradient capsules improve side and rear rejection." The CS-3 almost exactly the same size as the industry standard Sennheiser 416, with which I compared it for this article.

The CS-3 is covered with a silky smooth alien skin, similar to that used to cover the Tascam DA-P1 DAT machine. It weighs in at 4 ounces, is just over 10.5 inches long and has a diameter that allows it to be used with current mic clips. The frequency response graph shows the CS-3 has a small plateau centered at 5KHz-6KHz a slight dip at 8KHz, followed by another more narrow plateau centered at 10KHz. The bass rolls off starting at 200Hz at 8dB/octave. There's an easily accessible low frequency roll-off switch that starts at 2KHz ad gently slopes down -3dB at 200Hz. The roll-off then drops down to about 6dB/octave below 200Hz.

In the studio using GML mic preamps and Gotham GAC-3 cable, a self-noise
comparison showed the Sennheiser MKH 416 had less self-noise than the CS-3. You may or may not consider the self-noise an issue. When I took both mics outside for some field recording, the self-noise differences disappeared under the ambient noise and that of my Shure FP31 mixer.

If you've become accustomed to the MKH 416, you're probably familiar with its presence peak and the way that it enforces the human voice as well as the warmth its flat bass response provides. The CS-3 sounds not as bright, definitely not "zippy", but more natural. Its warmth in the low bass end is not as great as that of the MHK 416. It just doesn't have much below 200Hz. In the studio, I can work the MKH 416 as close as three inches from a mouth. The closest I could get to the CS-3 was about four inches. Any closer and the bottom became distorted. Flicking the roll-off switch ON helped some, but not quite enough. I mention working this close to a shotgun because some voiceover people (myself included) have come to appreciate the sound of close-working shotguns.

As expected, different mic preamps make a difference. When I switched to the Mackie 1604, its brighter preamp put a nice edge on the CS-3. The Allen & Heath MixWizard 20:8:2 preamps provided somewhat less of an edge than the Mackie, but more than the GML.

One of the most important features of a shotgun mic is its ability to reject sound from the rear and sides. The pattern of CS-3 is very tight. The hot spot is 15-20 degrees either side of dead center. The MKH 416 is much more generous or loose. The CS-3 has better low end rejection to the side and rear than the MKH 416, which may help it work better in tight reflective places, depending on how reflective the area is and how far away from the source you are.

Outside in a quiet suburban neighborhood, the thinner bottom and tighter pattern of the CS-3 helped keep the normal low end hum of distant humanity and its machines down. The MKH 416 was much more sensitive to the low end din. Its peakier frequency response and wider pattern also made the sound of a light rain hitting the leaves more prominent.

The tighter pattern of the CS-3 helped focus in on the spoken word during the
outside work, as long as the talent didn't make any unexpected moves that put them outside of the CS-3's more narrow pattern. I got the feeling that although you'd get better isolation from the CS-3, you might have to brush up on your boom work.

In Conclusion:
Other shotguns offer less self-noise than the CS-3, and they may be the ones youwant to use for digital recordings of gopher scuffles on the plains of the
Kalahari at a distance of 20 meters. If you like a more natural sound, have cometo hate the noises of humanity and have a deft boom hand, the CS-3 may help you improve your sound.
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