28 February 2008

Multiple Wireless Disorder

Day nine of twelve straight for HGTV.

Man, am I tired. But we are in the home stretch, which is good.

The shoots are fairly standard: wire up everyone and mix away. I'm using a multiplex snake to hard-wire to the camera, but on certain gigs, it's prudent to use a wireless hop, saving yourself the trouble of getting hung up on bystanders and missing that crucial shot.

To that end, B & H have put up a primer on using multiple wireless systems on cameras. Snip:

If you've ever considered connecting a wireless microphone to your video camera, the thought may have crossed your mind that it wouldn't hurt to have more than one mic. Attaching multiple wireless microphones to a video camera can be a daunting prospect for the uninitiated. This guide was created to show you the ins and outs of using these systems successfully with your video camera.

It's pretty basic, but does a good job of detailing the options available for wiring newer, smaller cameras with wireless receivers. Until recently, the only professional solutions for rigging wireless were meant for full-sized broadcast cameras. Now that smaller form-factor cameras are becoming common on set, these smaller brackets will become more and more useful.

(This is from a retail site, and thus is essentially a product promo, but the information is still valid.)


19 February 2008

We're Surrounded!

Soundtrack Pro has certainly come a long way in its short life, having added surround mixing capabilities in version 2 (though truth be told, while I like the program, it still has a ways to go). But once you've done your fancy 5.1, how do you get it out of the box? Kevin Mcauliffe over at Creative Mac takes us through it step by step. Snip:

I thought that for this article I would look at three very common ways to get your surround sound mix out to tape/DVD. One method for DVD, and two choices depending on your equipment setup for tape.


Also, be sure to check out Kevin's earlier article about surround mixing in STP.

14 February 2008

Crimson And Clover(field)

I can now say, unequivocally and for the record, that having bronchitis sucks and blows.

It's day ten, and the antibiotics are just now kicking in. On a positive note, I have developed a new and lasting relationship with my couch, having not left it for the past week and a half (so if any of you feel compelled to make a Brian Wilson joke, now's the time).

But before I succumbed to the creeping crud, I did get to take in a screening of Cloverfield, the monster-attacks-city movie with a very effective P.O.V. perspective for its main narrative conceit. It may be common knowledge at this point that the movie was shot on a variety of high-def and digital cinema formats in order to facilitate the idea of a "civilian-shot" video, but the filmmakers also went so far as to record M/S stereo audio directly into the main camera.

Now, I've made my feelings on single-system audio well-known before. But I have to admit, I was thoroughly engrossed in this movie (barf-inducing whip-pans aside), and never felt like the production audio had been compromised in any way. It isn't appropriate for every project, and can often impede the flow on set, but in this instance, it was the way to go.

Link to High Definition Magazine article (there's , like, one sentence devoted to audio, but what can you do?).

07 February 2008

Foam Sweet Foam

Auralex Acoustics recently announced a green initiative, which includes a reformulation of its acoustic foam panels. Snip:

-36% less global warming emission

-Improved performance & durability
over conventional solvent foams

-Lessen dependency on fossil fuels
including foreign crude oil

All Studiofoam products now include soy components which reduce petroleum-based chemical usage by up to 60% ...

Auralex Studiofoam is manufactured without harmful Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s), which have been linked to the depletion of the ozone layer. In making the conversion over to the new Soy-based hybrid formula, these products now boast improved performance and durability over conventional petroleum-based foams.

The new Eco-Friendly Studiofoam is available in the same great color choices and cuts as the original with no increase in cost to either the dealer or consumer. The new offering meets or exceeds the requirements of the demanding professional in terms of both product quality and testing data (acoustical and flammability).


02 February 2008

Two Snaps Up In a Circle

From Post Magazine:

Soundsnap.com, the free online sound library and community, is now offering sounds from numerous respected sound designers, including Paul Virostek (Million Dollar Baby, Ali, Batman Begins) and Ric Viers, who has created SFX libraries for Apple, Adobe, Sonic Foundry and Hollywood Edge.

I've posted about Soundsnap before. Having recently used them for both an indie feature and handful of short films, I was already impressed with the quality of the tracks and the ease of use. With professionally recorded SFX now being added, Soundsnap should become an essential part of any sound mixer's tool kit, but especially with us indie filmmakers (remember the whole "free" part?).

Link to press release.