I'm more often a shooter than a sound guy, so I'd appreciate some help in explaining some basic stuff in a field audio kit.
When working with a sound person, we've always had a single audio cable connecting the output of the mixer to the camera; this cable was disconnected when need be, like moving to another spot. The sound guy would feed a wireless or boom mic (or both) into the mixer, the output going then through an audio cable to the camera. As a camera op, I'd keep an earpiece in my ear just for confidence. That's pretty much it.
I would like to know something about a "breakaway cable," what it does and why it's loved. And I'd like to know if anyone is recording sound in a second device at the mixer, while the camera isn't OR used as a redundant system. Sometimes I'd like the sound guy to capture some "nat sound" while the camera's not rolling, and a second device might work well for that...but usually, I simply roll camera to collect ambient sound.
I'm using either a Sony EX-3 or XDcam camera with a Sound Devices 302 mixer.
The EX3 records 24-bit, 48 kHz audio. That's good!
The hose or snake to which you refer is cool because it contains both audio sends and a stereo headphone return. You plug into the camera to send audio from the mixer and plug the small plug into the camera headphone jack. Then you plug your headphones into the mixer and hit the RETURN switch. In that position, you' re listening to the camera headphone output. That's more valuable than just hearing the mixer output because it tells you that the audio is actually making it to the camera. That comes in very handy for the sound person, especially when the shooter goes off for B-roll. When he/she comes back and you reconnect the snake, and everything sounds weird, you get to ask the shooter to switch back to XLR inputs from camera mic. You may or may not have to recalibrate the mixer to the camera.
The headphone return monitor on the mixer is also a GREAT way to remind yourself that you forgot to reconnect before you start shooting at the new setup. Doh!
And you may want an extender cable for it if the camera guy decides he wants to be VERY far away from the person speaking.