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Thread: Location sound: A hypthetical situation

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Location sound: A hypthetical situation

    Here's a hypothetical situation:

    You get a call and someone says they need you to fly to another country and record some acoustic performances. "What instruments and settings?" is the obvious next question. No idea. The only thing they can assure you is that you'll have 120V for power. Since you'll be traveling light and fast everything needs to fit in a backpack, like one of those camera bags. What would you take? It can be multitrack or just stereo. Remember, you need to be ready to handle a variety of situations and you won't know until you get there. The task is sound capture, not mixing. What would you take? Needless to say, you'll be improvising when you get to each location.

    I realize that some guys that do location sound do this on an almost daily basis. How they do it? I have no idea.
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

  2. #2
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    Bare bones - my Sound Devices 722 and my Schoeps CMC6/MK5 pair. The 722 has transformers on the inputs to keep the RFI out, and it writes to both the CF card and the internal hard drive.

    A bit larger - a Tascam DR-680 Mk II, the Schoeps pair and some DPAs. I'd have to really think about taking the Royer SF12. Those ribbons are pretty fragile to pack around in a bag.

    I could get a lot done with either combo, and both recorders are small and light. The Tascam will surprise you - at least, the MK II version will.
    John Whitmer

    "They didn't want it good, they wanted it Wednesday."
    --Robert A. Heinlein

  3. #3
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    Wow. I wish I'd had one of those 680s when I went to Ghana. Would have saved me hauling about 4 of the 7 Pelikan cases full of gear. That's very cool. And the money we saved in shipping would have paid for them!!
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

  4. #4
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    Yeah, our good friend Rich Mays told me about the 680 a couple of years back. It was what he ran for backup, with the computer rig being the main tracking target. I was shocked when I heard the quality of that little recorder. The Mk II version allegedly has the same preamps as the much fancier HS-PS2. Six preamps instead of eight and no time code, but much, much less coinage.
    John Whitmer

    "They didn't want it good, they wanted it Wednesday."
    --Robert A. Heinlein

  5. #5
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    Forgot to add - you can link two of the 680s together and have 12 linked tracks for bargain-basement prices. One machine's transport controls will run both machines.

    The only reason I don't have a pair of them instead of the HS-P82 is that I need time code for the video guys on occasion.
    John Whitmer

    "They didn't want it good, they wanted it Wednesday."
    --Robert A. Heinlein

  6. #6
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    If I had $500 budget to buy, I'd buy a DR680 and take my D.A.V. BG8, pairs of Sennheiser MKH8040, Gefell M296 and DPA4061s (all six fit into a plastic pencil case from Wal-Mart, and into my pants pocket, or backpack). If I didn't have the cash for the 680, I'd carry my PreSonus 16.0.2 (8 mic amps, four stereo line inputs) in a BugOut backpack (where it usually resides), along with my MBP to track up to 16 channels directly into Logic. If there was room, I'd throw in the BG8 as well. Backup would be a live 2-mix into a Tascam DR60-D and/or a Roland R09-HR (unbalanced stereo mic and line inputs)... Standalone, I usually run a battery-powered RODE NT4 straight into the R09's mic input, with better-than-bitbucket results. I'd use one of my soft SKB golf club bags to trundle a selection of Manfrotto and AKG stands and cables, and would use a couple of K&M stereo bars and OnStage MY320 rubber mic clips (for the 8040s and M296s) and would tape a 1m carbon fiber rod to one of the Manfrottos for a AB rig for the DPAs.

    BTW... this is not "pie-in-the-sky"... it's basically the rig with which I traveled to Europe the last 3 or 4 annual festivals Carol and I covered, until 2010. All the audio, plus two (at the end) 16:9 Sony Z1s and a PD150/16:9 adapter, with tripods and tape stock, and clothing for 7-8 days... all in four checked bags, each weighing 50lbs/23Kg, and a really heavy Swiss Army backpack.

    It's fun... but it's not for the faint of heart and body. At Rome in 2009, Carol and I, with help from our pal Steve Wankling from Coventry, recorded audio and video in seven different venues in five days, from a hotel party tent and the Anglican church near Trevi Fountain (rehearsals) to the Pantheon (two choirs with several hundred people milling around... MKH8040 pair directly into the camera, all on battery) and finally in the nave of St Paul's Outside the Walls (Gala Concert with 450 choristers, orchestra, duo grand pianos, and about 800 in the audience)... tracked main pair ORTF 8040s (on a 14' Manfrotto six-stage), Steve's C451s (choir spots), and Beta87A (announce mic) through the BG8 to a Mackie Onyx 1220i (dig card), providing live PA on an aux, as well as tracking and a reference 2-mix to the principal camera. Yoiks. But it was fun... and I miss it every year since.

    HB
    Last edited by hbphotoav; 03-18-2015 at 12:27 AM.
    Harry Butler Photography, Videography and AV Production
    www.harrybutlerphotoav.com

    "I'm CDO. That's like OCD, but the letters are in alphabetical order. As they should be." Seen on a T-Shirt.

  7. #7
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    Yeah, I love the BG8 (I have two of them). What huge bang for the buck, eh? I was going with only battery-powered gear on my reply simply for the "light and fast" part of the scenario.

    When I go on European tours with various choirs, I tell them "battery power only."
    John Whitmer

    "They didn't want it good, they wanted it Wednesday."
    --Robert A. Heinlein

  8. #8
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    I own the DR-680 and it's been a work horse. It's not a Sound Devices but for the price and features, I'm not complaining. I am curious about the MK II version. Sounds like they improved the things that mattered. Not sure about the headphone amp. That was a weak point. Doesn't appear to have any more power than the original one. I've used mine on a number of film shoots and always rent these batteries called BLUE (or something like that). They power various things, about the size of an old Sony broadcast camera. Lasts all day and then some. Ran the Tascam and the wireless receivers off them. I think they were from IDX. NP1 style if my memory doesn't fail me.
    Henry Grimmius
    Fresno, CA

  9. #9
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    That's the one complaint I read frequently in the reviews, that it really runs through batteries, one reviewer even saying 32 batteries in a single shooting day. Yikes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Henry Grimmius View Post
    I own the DR-680 and it's been a work horse. It's not a Sound Devices but for the price and features, I'm not complaining. I am curious about the MK II version. Sounds like they improved the things that mattered. Not sure about the headphone amp. That was a weak point. Doesn't appear to have any more power than the original one. I've used mine on a number of film shoots and always rent these batteries called BLUE (or something like that). They power various things, about the size of an old Sony broadcast camera. Lasts all day and then some. Ran the Tascam and the wireless receivers off them. I think they were from IDX. NP1 style if my memory doesn't fail me.
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

  10. #10
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    Sounds like quite an adventure. I love things like that. Incredibly hard at the moment but oh so memorable. The memories you wouldn't trade.

    Quote Originally Posted by hbphotoav View Post
    If I had $500 budget to buy, I'd buy a DR680 and take my D.A.V. BG8, pairs of Sennheiser MKH8040, Gefell M296 and DPA4061s (all six fit into a plastic pencil case from Wal-Mart, and into my pants pocket, or backpack). If I didn't have the cash for the 680, I'd carry my PreSonus 16.0.2 (8 mic amps, four stereo line inputs) in a BugOut backpack (where it usually resides), along with my MBP to track up to 16 channels directly into Logic. If there was room, I'd throw in the BG8 as well. Backup would be a live 2-mix into a Tascam DR60-D and/or a Roland R09-HR (unbalanced stereo mic and line inputs)... Standalone, I usually run a battery-powered RODE NT4 straight into the R09's mic input, with better-than-bitbucket results. I'd use one of my soft SKB golf club bags to trundle a selection of Manfrotto and AKG stands and cables, and would use a couple of K&M stereo bars and OnStage MY320 rubber mic clips (for the 8040s and M296s) and would tape a 1m carbon fiber rod to one of the Manfrottos for a AB rig for the DPAs.

    BTW... this is not "pie-in-the-sky"... it's basically the rig with which I traveled to Europe the last 3 or 4 annual festivals Carol and I covered, until 2010. All the audio, plus two (at the end) 16:9 Sony Z1s and a PD150/16:9 adapter, with tripods and tape stock, and clothing for 7-8 days... all in four checked bags, each weighing 50lbs/23Kg, and a really heavy Swiss Army backpack.

    It's fun... but it's not for the faint of heart and body. At Rome in 2009, Carol and I, with help from our pal Steve Wankling from Coventry, recorded audio and video in seven different venues in five days, from a hotel party tent and the Anglican church near Trevi Fountain (rehearsals) to the Pantheon (two choirs with several hundred people milling around... MKH8040 pair directly into the camera, all on battery) and finally in the nave of St Paul's Outside the Walls (Gala Concert with 450 choristers, orchestra, duo grand pianos, and about 800 in the audience)... tracked main pair ORTF 8040s (on a 14' Manfrotto six-stage), Steve's C451s (choir spots), and Beta87A (announce mic) through the BG8 to a Mackie Onyx 1220i (dig card), providing live PA on an aux, as well as tracking and a reference 2-mix to the principal camera. Yoiks. But it was fun... and I miss it every year since.

    HB
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

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