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Old May 11th, 2020, 12:12 PM   #61
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Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?

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Originally Posted by Greg Miller View Post
Given Ryan's lack of knowledge about audio, I doubt that he would know a bargain if one bit him. And he doesn't seem to like spending money for anything. I recall an earlier thread when he was asking about a wonky AC adapter. Several of us advised him to spend ~$20 and buy a new one from the factory. He evaded discussion about it. Then one day he announced he had gotten one (not knowing whether it was appropriate) from a friend, and plugged it in, and it seemed to work. Weeks of time wasted on discussion and helpful answers, and instead he risked blowing up what was allegedly his perfectly good recorder. His logic does not match my logic.

A few months ago I spotted a "refurbished like new" handheld dictation recorder, normal price $80, being sold for $9. Being always curious about bargains, I bought one, and it was as advertised! It makes surprisingly good voice recordings. So I bought another. They are now loaned out, recording COVID-home-studio voice tracks for some local music shows. Of course I had to buy a third one; it arrived with leaky AAA cells well-crusted in place. So much for "refurbished like new." Oh, well, I got my money back. I'd be tempted to place another order, but they're finally sold out.

Let me know if you see any more good deals!

And *why* did you spend £14,000 on equipment you have no work for? That must have been one heck of a bargain.
Yeah I try to look for bargains. It's just when I buy used equipment, if there is something wrong with it, you are stuck with it, so if I buy from more B & H, if something is wrong with something, you can at least return it then, unless I should just by used for cheaper?
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Old May 11th, 2020, 12:41 PM   #62
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Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?

You need to toughen up a bit Ryan. Over the years, the number of bad buys I've had has been minimal. If you buy on ebay, you have PayPal protection. If you buy from a stranger direct - then is there a risk?

I've been scanning ebay to see if people were selling off excess kit due to no work, and I've bought all kinds of stuff, taking advantage of the terrible situation. An HD camera, five years old. Really silly money. I've bought a wide angle for it, some extra batteries and a power supply as a spare. I've bought a shotgun, and a replacement basket windshield to replace the one I wrecked. I've bought a Sennheiser receiver and some other odds and ends. I don't need any of it now - but I think it will all come in handy.

If the camera doesn't work I'll return it - but modern kit really is not a reliability thing Ryan. Movie making is a gamble - if you're willing to accept that, then if you're eeking out a meagre budget, second hand must be a winner.
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Old May 11th, 2020, 01:01 PM   #63
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Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?

Okay thanks. I've made mistakes on some equipment before, so I want to be careful. But I can take a risk and see. I didn't think it was a lack of me being tough, I was just trying to be smart, in case something was wrong with the equipment.
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Old May 11th, 2020, 03:05 PM   #64
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Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?

No you were lacking guts Ryan.

If you see a bargain, you need to always ask yourself a question. Can I afford to lose this money? If you see something for $400 and you have $500 sitting there for a rainy day. Could you live with losing that $400, worst case. If you need it for food, bills, or paying off debts, then it's silly to risk it - but if you can just be angry, grumpy and cross with yourself, but not suffer - then the risk was to me, acceptable. Sure, there's a chance you could be scammed, but if you pay by PayPal, there's an element of security.

If like me, you spend serious money buying from dealers in the US, Mexico and China in the best deal search, then sometimes you have to take big chances. I lost just one payment to china - when the deal really was too good to be true. I think I wasted around £500, and it wasn't terminal - just too greedy to see the scam. That was maybe five years back now and the only loss.

The movie and entertainment world is full of risk. If you want to be safe, it's not the business to dabble in.

Lots of your issues come from trying to be 100% certain, or totally convinced, or absolutely certain on a course or outcomes and when they go wrong - you kind of collapse.

If you want to be a producer, it's always a gamble based on experience and accurate info, vs your best guess, and you hate guessing.

Surely, if you see something you want on ebay, at a great price, it's actually foolish to NOT buy it if you can afford it. Buying new, at a distance, is also a risk. Smaller, but still a risk.

Lots of people in the UK bought from a well known long history audio dealer who has been wiped out by the virus loss of business. I expect lots of people have paid for kit they won't get. Nothing is ever certain.
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Old May 11th, 2020, 05:47 PM   #65
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Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?

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when I buy used equipment, if there is something wrong with it, you are stuck with it,
Not true, unless you buy it from a guy in a covered wagon selling snake oil. Over the years, I've bought a number of items on eBay that were not as described ... usually in worse condition than promised. In every case I can remember I've gotten my money back, either from the seller, from eBay, or from PayPal. I can't recall problems with any reputable dealer, and of course they'd want to keep their good reputation because that affects their bottom line. I'm retired now and a small player compared to these other guys, but based on my experience I imagine they are right.

You seem to get in trouble with absolutes. "You might be stuck with it" can't be denied, even if the probability is slim. "You are stuck with it" is logically insupportable. The same is true about your black/white beliefs about lav mics on a busy street. Sometimes they'll be the best option, sometimes they won't; spend a few bucks and buy a mic (nobody said "used" so buy a new one with a warranty) and have yourself a learning experience.

And of course your expressed concerns about used equipment don't explain why you dithered for weeks, and risked blowing up your recorder, rather than spending $20 to buy a new guaranteed AC adapter. What that boils down to is that you love to ask for advice and debate about it ad nauseum, but you dig in your heels like a team of mules against ever following it.
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Old May 11th, 2020, 06:58 PM   #66
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Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?

Oh okay thanks. Well I can keep a loot out for lavs on ebay then.

So in the past when I have boomed for two other filmmakers, and they said that the lav sound was not near as good quality as the boom, because they said they were picking up sound from every which direction, were the lavs just not being applied right then?
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Old May 11th, 2020, 07:21 PM   #67
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Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?

Vaguely pertinent to this and related to my thread, I got a used (barely) ultrastudio mini monitor for $80 plus tax. A steal if it works right.
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Old May 11th, 2020, 08:27 PM   #68
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Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?

Just dropped in from a busy schedule and this thread about …. well, at least it started out as being about, … using a lavaliere outside in a city due to the noisy environment. Appears to have morphed a bit into buying kit at a good deal of a price. In Paul’s case its slightly different because it is about buying a good deal of kit at a good deal of a price. (Paul must have bigger closets, or more spare bedrooms, than the rest of us). I like his style!

Anyway, maybe there is going to be some good lav kit going for good prices in the not so distant future because of Nvidia’s noise-cancellation technology. This is mind-numbing fantastic!

First it’ll be on their graphics cards but once miniaturized a bit it’ll be used on ENG mics and lavs. (Edit: Is my guess)

RTX Voice: Noise-destroying tech put to the test
Graphics card-maker Nvidia is developing noise-cancellation technology that can eliminate nuisance sounds from video calls and livestreams.
The first version of its technology uses spare capacity on its high-end graphics cards.
BBC Click's Chris Fox put the system through a series of increasingly complex challenges, alongside existing noise-cancelling software Krisp.
https://www.bbc.com/news/av/technolo...ut-to-the-test
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Old May 11th, 2020, 08:31 PM   #69
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Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?

Well another thing is, is that would a lot of actors mind having wires taped their chests, compared to a boom?
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Old May 11th, 2020, 09:33 PM   #70
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Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?

What is your pretend function here? Are you the imagined sound man? If so, you don't have to worry about that, that decision is beyond your pay grade. Or are you now the imagined director, fighting with the imagined temperamental cast?
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Old May 11th, 2020, 09:40 PM   #71
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Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?

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Nvidia’s noise-cancellation technology. This is mind-numbing fantastic.
Amazingly effective, although the voice is obviously processed. Still, for run & gun ENG, miraculous.
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Old May 11th, 2020, 09:50 PM   #72
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Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?

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What is your pretend function here? Are you the imagined sound man? If so, you don't have to worry about that, that decision is beyond your pay grade. Or are you now the imagined director, fighting with the imagined temperamental cast?
Oh I meant for my own projects. I've used only boom on my projects so far, but wonder if I should get lavs as well. But on other projects I was the boom operator on, I was told the boom audio was good, but not the lavs.

So I wonder if lavs will be that useful, if the boom audio was better on other projects, and they just ended up going with that instead.
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Old May 12th, 2020, 01:09 AM   #73
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Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?

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Well another thing is, is that would a lot of actors mind having wires taped their chests, compared to a boom?
I've never come across any actors complaining, it comes with the job, although care is required with cheat hair. .

However, you need develop a technique with female actors/presenters that's practical yet doesn't imply any thing other than being totally professional. Experienced presenters can usually do the cabling themselves, with actors wardrobe can assist with this, although if you explain the route, they can do the cabling themselves. The latter approach also works with members of the public.

This all comes with the sound department

If you can't get the boom in because the shot is too wide, you won't have much choice. So far, you've given one example and that seems to be a rule for you. Do you think professional sound recordists would waste money on kit they don't need? I hope this thread isn''t going to expand because you cant accept that for some situations you'll use a boom, while for others you'll need to use lav mics.
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Old May 12th, 2020, 01:59 AM   #74
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Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?

For many years, I put wavs on female actors, singers, dancers and presenters. If you behave professionally, and put them at their ease, you do the job effectively - usually talking about absolutely nothing while you do it. They respond equally inanely, and after a few months they will have wiped it from memory. In fact, for me, the mic has never been the issue, it's the pack that takes effort to hide in many costumes, and feeding the cable, and securing a pack is the hard part. very often, small of the back, or sitting on their bum cheeks is something you have to get used to doing - and even with all the Harvey Weinstein stuff, it can be done professionally and trouble free - IF - you have the people skills. I've had one sound guy bottle out - totally freeze. I sent him to a group of dancers with 2 minutes to get four mics on, and they were doing a quick change - at the appropriate moment when they are er, unencumbered by clothing, you attach the pack, clothes get added and you feed the wire up, then grab from the top and attach to their face. This is why I find A2 roles difficult to cover. A female is best, but failing that a non-problematic male can be fine. First rehearsal, this guy proved to be hopeless because HE couldn't cope, not the girls. In all my years doing radio mics myself - probably 20+ I've never had one issue of awkwardness. It's a bit like being a doctor. Act professionally, do the right things and all is well.

One thing you can do is buy a couple of the really, really dirt cheap Chinese lav mics on Ali express or ebay. You can pick them up for less than $10. They are surprisingly useful things. Audio quality with a little EQ is fine for many uses, and if you drop one in the mud, throw it away.

You mention that omni pick up everything, don't they? This means you read up on omni and jumped to the wrong conclusion. They do indeed pick up all around, but they are CLOSEST to the wanted sound source, and it's their method of operation that is important - they are pressure operated, not pressure gradient, like cardioids. The opening does NOT need to be aimed, so can be dressed to be away from prevailing wind direction. You can shield them in other words. You've mentioned noise before from clothing. Most of what appears to be clothing noise comes up the cable. It's thin, but tough, so tapping the cable a foot away from the mic can transfer noise, if the cable is taut. You build in loops, or sags. You thread the cable through the clips, or you pop through button holes and then bend back. All these things reduce cable noise.

Buy the cheap ones and experiment - you will find the audio surprisingly good, and you can use yourself as the test subject and learn good and bad fitting practice.

With my store full, my space at home has filled up badly. So you can laugh and joke about the obvious care I take with looking after kit, I just took some pictures. I work from home in a space at the rear and the edit suite has become a store room, and editing moved in with the audio stuff. I cannot of course find anything. The corridor leading to the edit suite is also full of flight cases, and my wife is getting justifiably annoyed with me. My green screen space now has a PA system living in it, so it's getting tight!
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Old May 12th, 2020, 01:59 AM   #75
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Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?

Oh okay, But there are movies you see from the 40s and 50s for example, where lavs are not used, so I thought I perhaps could get by with not using them. I can buy them, just making sure I need them first for wide shots, when some older movies, didn't seem to use them.
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