Jump to content


Photo

Audio drop out on the F900 - Blackberry devices receiving text


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 Tracy Eakes

Tracy Eakes

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • North Carolina

Posted 15 May 2006 - 02:05 PM

On a recent shoot, I got word back from the editor that there was audio drop out on the tape. I researched the net to find that there was a question of RF causing problems with audio. The only RF source near the shoot that was not normally there was a producer's Blackberry on vibrate. I tried a test using a cell phone and the Blackberry device. Cell phone caused no problem;Blackberry receiving a phonecall was no problem; Blackberry receiving an email caused an audio "pop" about four seconds before the device vibrated with the message. Just a note to other operators, the Blackberry devices have to be off.
Thanks,
Tracy
  • 0

#2 MZolomij

MZolomij
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 16 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 26 May 2006 - 08:01 AM

On a recent shoot, I got word back from the editor that there was audio drop out on the tape. I researched the net to find that there was a question of RF causing problems with audio. The only RF source near the shoot that was not normally there was a producer's Blackberry on vibrate. I tried a test using a cell phone and the Blackberry device. Cell phone caused no problem;Blackberry receiving a phonecall was no problem; Blackberry receiving an email caused an audio "pop" about four seconds before the device vibrated with the message. Just a note to other operators, the Blackberry devices have to be off.
Thanks,
Tracy



Dear Tracy,

I have run into a similar situation with the Sony 790. While shooting an interview and using a hardwire mic, I began to hear drop out and "electronic clicking." To make sure that I was correct in what I was hearng, I rolled the tape back and found that the noise was truly being laid to tape. I notified my Producer and we began to trouble shoot - switching xlr, then mic, then switching to wireless, then camera... the seemly random noise persisted. I was stumped. My Producer asked to hear the noise and immediate recognized it - she had previously hear the same thing when her cell phone was placed near her car radio. I was surprised that the cell phone was actually creating this noise inside the camera. We all shut our phones off (mine was on vibrate) and proceeded with the interview without incident. I investigated the occurance further with some Engineers and they told me that problem was casued by a cell phone going into roam.

Take care,
z
  • 0

#3 Nathan Milford

Nathan Milford
  • Sustaining Members
  • 692 posts
  • Director
  • New York, NY

Posted 26 May 2006 - 08:09 AM

Yeah, my cell phone does that to my computer speakers....
  • 0

#4 Hal Smith

Hal Smith
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2280 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • OKC area

Posted 26 May 2006 - 08:48 AM

This is becoming a huge problem. GSM phones, Blackberry's, etc. use high power, radar like, pulses to send and receive data. That includes their logging onto cell sites, internet data, email, text messaging, etc. Anything that isn't voice basically can get into almost any electronics except electromagnetic interference (EMI) hardened military gear. Even commercial broadcast gear is susceptible, I've heard GSM phone data in the background on live CNN newsfeeds, sports broadcasts, etc.

The only solution at present is to keep phones and related gear at least 10' away from anything electronic. I haven't heard of it yet - but cellphone EMI could cause a crystal sync motor to run off-speed, foul up remote control camera heads, trash video recordings, etc., etc.

Sooner or later someone's going to lose something like a one-time action film crash shot because a critical piece of gear gets interfered with just as the car goes over the cliff.
  • 0

#5 Josh Bass

Josh Bass
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 552 posts
  • Other

Posted 26 May 2006 - 09:11 AM

Or when shooting's about to start, EVERYONE TURN THEIR fu**ING CELLPHONES/BLACKBERRIES/DOODADS OFF! Why is that so hard? fu** vibrate! fu** it right in the ear! Off Off Off Off Off!

Edited by Josh Bass, 26 May 2006 - 09:11 AM.

  • 0

#6 Michael Nash

Michael Nash
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3330 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Pasadena, CA

Posted 26 May 2006 - 01:33 PM

Or when shooting's about to start, EVERYONE TURN THEIR fu**ING CELLPHONES/BLACKBERRIES/DOODADS OFF! Why is that so hard?


Because it's just not practical for every shot, with a crew of 20 people nearby, many of whom need their phones to do their jobs.

Sound is just as important as picture, but sound can be replaced or fixed much more easily than picture if something goes wrong.

The whole RF device thing is just one more issue for sound people to listen for when monitoring. I've heard it myself while monitoring audio when shooting, after a sound person pointed out to me what it sounded like.
  • 0

#7 Josh Bass

Josh Bass
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 552 posts
  • Other

Posted 26 May 2006 - 03:00 PM

I don't understand, do you mean using cell phones as walkie talkies on set? I haven't been on a shoot where people actually needed their cells during the shoot itself.
  • 0

#8 Hal Smith

Hal Smith
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2280 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • OKC area

Posted 26 May 2006 - 03:05 PM

Because it's just not practical for every shot, with a crew of 20 people nearby, many of whom need their phones to do their jobs.

Sound is just as important as picture, but sound can be replaced or fixed much more easily than picture if something goes wrong.

The whole RF device thing is just one more issue for sound people to listen for when monitoring. I've heard it myself while monitoring audio when shooting, after a sound person pointed out to me what it sounded like.

Try saying that to a Producer who's just learned it's cost him/her $10,000 because something has to be re-shot - don't plan on working for them again any time soon. RF pulse signals can get into a lot more than audio equipment. Real vulnerable gear would be video recorders for instance, they've got internal signal voltages in the millivolt region and at signal frequencies close to what the repetition rate of the cellphone pulse are. :(

And who the H**L needs their phone right on top of film/video/audio equipment? If you have to order that extra roll of film right now walk 25' away and there is no problem (I'm being polite, a lot of the cellphone "on the set" conversations I've overheard basically involve rustling up a pizza or a pelvic affliate for the night). I suspect what you've got is a case of the modern disease known as "I want to surf the web and talk to my friends at work" screw the boss syndrome.
  • 0

#9 Michael Nash

Michael Nash
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3330 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Pasadena, CA

Posted 26 May 2006 - 04:44 PM

Try saying that to a Producer who's just learned it's cost him/her $10,000 because something has to be re-shot - don't plan on working for them again any time soon.


It usually IS THE PRODUCER who's on the phone, right next to the camera. I don't use my phone on set, as a rule.

UPM's, best boys, PA's, 2nd AD's all use their phones as part of their job. Not every vendor or contact is on walkie, on set.

Of course you should walk away from set if you need to make a phone call, and those near the camera and audio gear should have their devices "off." But each department is still responsible for monitoring their own gear (including audio and video operators). It's simply not a perfect world; there's stray RF everywhere.

I'm not defending cell phone use on set. I'm saying it's not realistic to expect EVERY crew member to turn off their phone EVERY time the camera rolls, or expect EVERY new person who steps on set to turn off their phone, and still be able to do their job. With a large crew it's just simply not going to happen.
  • 0


Visual Products

Abel Cine

Opal

Ritter Battery

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Glidecam

rebotnix Technologies

Paralinx LLC

Aerial Filmworks

Wooden Camera

Tai Audio

Metropolis Post

Rig Wheels Passport

Willys Widgets

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineTape

The Slider

Technodolly

FJS International, LLC

CineLab

The Slider

Ritter Battery

rebotnix Technologies

Wooden Camera

Technodolly

FJS International, LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Opal

CineTape

Visual Products

CineLab

Rig Wheels Passport

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Willys Widgets

Metropolis Post

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Paralinx LLC

Aerial Filmworks

Tai Audio

Glidecam

Abel Cine