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How to record sound in extreme cold and harsh conditions?

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anandabrata ghoshHow to record sound in extreme cold and harsh conditions?
by on Jan 30, 2010 at 11:38:15 pm

Hi,

I am to shoot a documentary in the Himalayas shortly. I will be shooting at a pass with temperatures as low as -30 degree Celsius. I will be traveling with a small team as far as the sound team is concerned, I sound engg and another unskilled man. We all will be trekking and that too through very risk terrains. My sound bytes of different people and at times ambient is very important. A boom isn't a feasible option as holding a boom poll mike is going to be very difficult.

I am looking for alternative sound recording suggestions, which is portable, not many channels required, maybe just 2 and clarity decent. Also for which 9V batteries will survive.

I await all your suggestions.

Regards,
Anand


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David Roth WeissRe: How to record sound in extreme cold and harsh conditions?
by on Jan 30, 2010 at 11:57:51 pm

Wind noise will be your biggest problem, so make certain to get yourself a very furry wind sock for each of your mics, especially for the onboard camera mic on your main camera. And, get a big fuzzy wind sock for your lavaliere too.

Most of the time you should use a lavaliere for interviews and sound bites, but having a small shotgun, such as a Sennheiser 415 with a pistol grip will really help with both ambient sound and interviews.

As for a recording device, get something such as the Marantz flash recorder at the links below, that you can easily fit into your parka, and so that your body heat can keep the batteries and electronics warm. And, always keep a bunch of spare batteries inside your parka

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/362023-REG/Marantz_PMD660_PMD660_Port...

http://www.wingfieldaudio.com/marantz-pmd661-review.html

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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anandabrata ghoshRe: How to record sound in extreme cold and harsh conditions?
by on Jan 31, 2010 at 12:17:37 am

Hi David,

Thanks for your suggestions. I will take into consideration the windsocks. Also the Marantz flash recorder seems like a very good option. Is there a wireless recorder available in the same range and portability?



Regards,
Anand


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David Roth WeissRe: How to record sound in extreme cold and harsh conditions?
by on Feb 4, 2010 at 5:34:54 pm

[anandabrata ghosh] "Is there a wireless recorder available in the same range and portability? "

Not that I know of.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Kerry BrownRe: How to record sound in extreme cold and harsh conditions?
by on Feb 3, 2010 at 3:54:47 am

Check out Zacom.
http://www.zaxcom.com/transmitters.htm

KB


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anandabrata ghoshRe: How to record sound in extreme cold and harsh conditions?
by on Feb 4, 2010 at 12:42:30 pm

Hi Kerry,

Thanks for the suggestion. I have used the zaxcom Deva recorder. Hope these are as good.

Cheers


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anandabrata ghoshRe: How to record video in extreme cold and harsh conditions?
by on Feb 4, 2010 at 12:57:18 pm

To above post I am also opening the discussion for best video equipment for the above conditions.

The reason for it, is the following:
I used a sony-Z7 and the camera would just not function. I tried to warm the batteries but the result was same. Then a sony-pd170 lens shutter would not close and it froze so bad that it was about to crack. Also both these options turned out to be cumbersome for a 5 day trek. I am also scared that batteries will fail, and since I don't have the luxury to carry a genset I am not sure how to keep the batts. alive.

I am thinking off small HD camcorder options like

1. Sony HDR-Xr100E
Or
2. Canon HV40

But I am not sure about their performance in such cold conditions and in low light. Also also what will be good options for lenses which are compatible with these kind of cameras for DOF and good wide views. Also any alternate camera suggestion which fulfill the conditions are welcome.



Regards,
Anand


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David Roth WeissRe: How to record video in extreme cold and harsh conditions?
by on Feb 4, 2010 at 5:39:08 pm

[anandabrata ghosh] "I tried to warm the batteries but the result was same."

All the guys I know who do this type of stuff keep the batteries inside their parkas at all times. It's the only way to keep them warm for extended periods.

BTW, any of the P2 cameras or SxS cameras that record to memory cards are the current choice for most extreme environments, as they have few moving parts, which extends battery life dramatically.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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David JonesRe: How to record video in extreme cold and harsh conditions?
by on Feb 5, 2010 at 2:42:00 pm

I agree with David, use a camera that records to solid state. Panasonic hvx-200, Sony ex-1, or jvc gy-hm100u, a very small camera. Then, get a portabrace "polar mitten" for it. This is a heated cover that fits around the camera. Batteries have to be kept as warm as you are, so, keep them in coat pockets until needed.

Best,

Dave J


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anandabrata ghoshRe: How to record video in extreme cold and harsh conditions?
by on Feb 7, 2010 at 6:06:59 am

Thanks for the camera suggestions. To lug around and use the Z7 in such conditions was a pain. Also it does not give good image stabilization for handled so that's another problem.

The Panasonic HVX-200 is something I really like. Will test it out in normal conditions for sure.

Regards,
Anand


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Rafael AmadorRe: How to record video in extreme cold and harsh conditions?
by on Feb 6, 2010 at 4:32:29 pm

For the batteries:
http://www.ctsolar.com/index.aspx
Raf a

http://www.nagavideo.com


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anandabrata ghoshRe: How to record video in extreme cold and harsh conditions?
by on Feb 7, 2010 at 5:55:21 am

Awesome suggestion Raf. thanks

Regards,
Anand


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