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DAT Recorders and other things


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#1 ochopatas

ochopatas
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Posted 07 September 2006 - 10:23 PM

Hello all, I have an interesting situation on my hands. While I've done a lot of live sound and studio production, I've managed to get myself doing sound for a film set. Fortunately, it's in a studio so I won't have to deal with extraneous, unwanted noise. However, not being extremely familiar with professional protocol on film sets for the audio, I was wondering if you all could shed some light onto it.

My role will be the sound mixer, and I will have my own boom operator.

1. What are the typical commands that will be said to me/I should say to others?

2. What should I be doing, as well as what should I NOT be doing?

3. Equipment-wise, is it better to record sound separately, or onto the camera?

4. Most importantly, however, is what brand of DAT or any kind of external audio recorder that can take xlr or 1/4" inputs from a mixer would you suggest within the price range of 100-300 dollars? I don't need timecode as we'll probably mark it via slate clapping. I definitely cannot afford the $1k tascams that everyone recommends. Do you think inputting the sound into a laptop through a standard 1/8" mic input would sound good, or will there be a noticable degradation of sound?

Edited by ochopatas, 07 September 2006 - 10:24 PM.

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#2 Michael Collier

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 11:48 PM

I assume this would be for a low budget film, considering the low budget for sound gear. If you can I would tell you to rent the gear. You can get better equipment for a good price. Is this a short or a feature?

If you are shooting video, I would ask what sort of camera is involved. A small mini-DV camera with an XLR converter is not a good system sound. Upper end prosumer cameras are even questionable (featured, but often the amps are terrible) An upper level camera would be good enough to send the mix into the camera. However sometimes you won't be able to run it into the camera (like when its more mobile shots) so a backup would be needed. The only recorder I know of that is in that price range (and records to at least CD quality) is one from fostex. I forget the model, but its like $250 and records onto compact flash cards (a 2 Gig would easily last a day, and can be offloaded after wrap). It looks more set up to record small bands (it has guitar distortion and amp modeling built in) but technically it has everything thats needed, even has 48v phantom power. I don't know the model like I said, but I saw it on Musiciansfriend.com.

As for the actual job, I don't really know much about it (at least not enough to start giving tips). I usually just set up a place for sound in the light design and tell the boom op where needs to avoid. You may be asked where the best spot for a mic would be at any given point. At any given point have two backups in mind (sound can sometimes be almost an after-thought. its why ADR is common. Best to get light in camera and fix sound in post than visa-versa).

I think you should be more focused on how to manage your boom op. If he is green to film sets like you are, he will have a hard time if he ruins a shot by dipping the mic in frame, or casting a shadow on the actress' face.
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