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Live wireless recording in Mexico

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Michael Cowan
Live wireless recording in Mexico
on Jan 3, 2013 at 4:17:11 pm

Hello,

I'm producing several hours of instructional video at a retreat center in Cabo San Lucas, MX. The requirement is to mic a presenter with a wireless lav (or two for redundancy) and also have a roving, handheld wireless mic.

The receivers will patch into a mixer and out to portable, flypack switcher.

I can pretty much rent whatever I need, but I'm not principally an audio guy, so recommendations are welcome!

Thanks,

m.

Michael Cowan
Heartbeest Productions, Inc.

- Everything Matters


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Richard Crowley
Re: Live wireless recording in Mexico
on Jan 3, 2013 at 4:20:18 pm

You didn't mention budget. If you have the $$$, you can rent the best: Lectrosonics or Zaxcom. Be sure and tell them where you will be using it because carrying it into MX may be an issue, and frequency coordination is always an issue.


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Michael Cowan
Re: Live wireless recording in Mexico
on Jan 3, 2013 at 4:30:53 pm

Richard,

Thanks and good point. Because of the way this is scheduled, I'll need to have the gear with me for nine days in May and nine in July, so essentially four weeks. I may be able to get a break on rates as I'm working with an organization who provides high-end gear from LA to this area of Mexico and they'll take care of any customs issues.

That said, I'm willing to spend a bit more for something that's going to be sturdy and reliable, so if Lectrosonic or Zaxcom is the way to go I'll spec those. Which is a better solution, do you think? What kind of mixer should I spec?

Thanks,

m.

Michael Cowan
Heartbeest Productions, Inc.

- Everything Matters


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Peter Groom
Re: Live wireless recording in Mexico
on Jan 3, 2013 at 5:04:31 pm

HI
Dont take this the wrong way, but in your 1st post you say youre not an audio guy?
It would seem to me that a job that is over many days, and out of your country must be "reasonably important"
If it is important (either to you or your client) then do consider wether you really have enough
time
brainpower
manpower
ability
confidence
spare attention to fix all the stuff that will go wrong

AND shoot the pictures, light it, media manage it, and get it ALL right 1st time.

You might be able to do it all, but the fact youre asking the question at all suggests to me that this is outside your comfort zone.
If so, do consider hiring a professional.

I doubt your client will be terribly understanding if you have problems, the audio is bad in places, then you say you were overstretched. If youre worried, recognise that now and hire in the necessary staffing. Youll get more respect for taking the right line even if it does cost a bit???

It doesnt seem like the sort of thing that can be recreated easily?

Just my thoughts.

Peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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Michael Cowan
Re: Live wireless recording in Mexico
on Jan 3, 2013 at 5:58:33 pm

Peter,

Thanks for your reply. I realize I'm running a risk by considering I can handle this myself and I won't fool myself into thinking that shooting in a remote, foreign locale isn't risky, I know it is. But, I'm trying to balance all aspects of this project. Perhaps the right thing to do is hire a pro (probably a local pro), if I can find one with competence and some of the necessary gear.

If I can't get a local professional I will likely have to go the one-man route for budgetary concerns. Our schedule is over nine days, with a two day break in the middle, and this occurs two times. I would have to pay for an idle pair of hands for several days, and that's not in my budget.

In the event that I can't get a local mixer/recordist, what kind of equipment should I rent?

Thanks,

m.

Michael Cowan
Heartbeest Productions, Inc.

- Everything Matters


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Richard Crowley
Re: Live wireless recording in Mexico
on Jan 4, 2013 at 2:33:51 pm

It seems unlikely that you can "handle it yourself". If you devote the necessary attention to getting a good sound recording, your video will suffer, and vice-versa. Everybody thinks they can cut corners and do a "one-man-band", but then they come back here asking how to perform nearly impossible repairs to their sub-standard audio recordings (or video).

Almost any mixer would work to provide the sound feed to the video. But the more critical part is having someone operating the mixer who has a good ear for sound mixing and knows what they are doing. At least feed the presenter's mic into one channel, and the audience mic into the other channel so you can postpone the proper audio mix to the editing step. Sound Devices makes several mixers (and mixer/recorders) which have a stellar reputation and include a very competent audio level limiting feature.


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Noah Kadner
Re: Live wireless recording in Mexico
on Jan 4, 2013 at 8:18:26 pm

Would you purchase a new sword and then expect to win a sword fight with a master? Probably not and yet...

Noah

Call Box Training.
Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and Panasonic AC160/130.


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Michael Cowan
Re: Live wireless recording in Mexico
on Jan 4, 2013 at 9:00:56 pm

Thanks for all the feedback, but I must admit I feel a bit ganged up on. I posted with what I thought was a pretty straightforward question and wound up with a set of replies suggesting that I'm an idiot and I should be begging the next, nearest audio engineer to please come and help me because obviously I couldn't possibly figure it out myself.

I'm not a total novice at sound recording, but I'm not a gearhead in the audio world either. I've been doing production for 30 years, so I consider myself to be relatively seasoned.

Many of the sound guys I know are pretty prickly folks and frankly I like that. They're meticulous and if things sound sub-standard they're not shy about it. But they're never quick to imply that if I don't understand something they're doing that I'm not worthy of their knowledge, insight or experience.

As a result of this thread I am looking into hiring someone to do the audio, because I will have more than enough to deal with on this project. So, thanks for that.

But, along with the knowledge, experience and insight you've provided, I request you use a little tact.

Michael Cowan
Heartbeest Productions, Inc.

- Everything Matters


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Peter Groom
Re: Live wireless recording in Mexico
on Jan 4, 2013 at 10:12:13 pm

Hey Michael

Speaking only for myself, I certainally wasny trying to gang up on you (or even be the ringleader as I was the 1st post)
I was merely keen that you consider issues on the audio side fully, and make up your mind from there.
Ofcourse I dont know your experience level, as you dont know mine (although you might gleam something about me by looking at my picture in the top panel) but its a lot to do even for an uber experienced op.

At least youve considered a lot of issues and thats all good.

Peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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Noah Kadner
Re: Live wireless recording in Mexico
on Jan 5, 2013 at 12:59:31 am

My bad- was merely a comment not meant to be 'ganging' up. We're a gang alright but not in any negative way. More like a band. Anyways- if you're still looking for audio help in Mexico- these folks can help fix you up:

http://www.simplemente.net

Ask for Iris or Veronica and they will find you someone for Cabo.

Noah

Call Box Training.
Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and Panasonic AC160/130.


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Ty Ford
Re: Live wireless recording in Mexico
on Jan 5, 2013 at 3:22:15 pm

Hello Michael and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

Please don't feel "ganged-up on." I think what you have encountered is a consensus that Richard, Peter and Noah all saw red flags and wan't only to have your production sound as good as it could. I don't see any post in which you were characterized as an idiot. Can you please point me to one?

"But they're never quick to imply that if I don't understand something they're doing that I'm not worthy of their knowledge, insight or experience."

Sorry, I see nothing that indicates that people thought you were not worthy of their knowledge. Could you please direct me to a specific sentence where you felt that?

"As a result of this thread I am looking into hiring someone to do the audio, because I will have more than enough to deal with on this project. So, thanks for that. But, along with the knowledge, experience and insight you've provided, I request you use a little tact."

That's a good choice, provided you find the right person. Please help us understand how you would have approached this situation with more tact? How can we do better?

Regards,

Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide
Ty Ford Blog:
Ty Ford's Blog


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Michael Cowan
Re: Live wireless recording in Mexico
on Jan 5, 2013 at 6:18:07 pm

Ty,

Thanks for weighing in. I apologize for turning this into something larger than just another run-of-the-mill post on CC.

I understand that everyone was simply trying to be helpful, and that's clear to me.

Often, writing fails to capture an expression of tone and it's possible to mis-interpret it. I'll give everyone the benefit of the doubt and say that I have done that.

I re-read the thread and realize that in the first post I never asked specifically for an equipment recommendation and that's my error. It was in the third post, my reply to Richard, where I asked, "Which is a better solution, do you think? What kind of mixer should I spec?" did I get to a specific question.

In the first post I said that, "I'm not principally an audio guy," which is accurate, but could suggest to the reader that I know absolutely nothing about sound recording, editing, mixing, etc. So, I'm aware that I set a precedent in the readers' minds. Again, my error.

I took the suggestions seriously (Noah, thank you for the referral, I will definitely follow up with Iris or Veronica) and disagreed with the delivery.

Maybe I'm being hyper-sensitive here and if so, again I apologize. Everyone has their individual style of expression; over in the engineering and integration forums, Bob Zelin is not exactly known for his gentle approach, but he's upfront about his direct delivery.

Ty, you've asked me what you could do better. I want you to know that I've been thinking about this thread for the past several days; it's been on my mind. What I've concluded is that I could have done a much better job asking the questions than I did.

So, I'll take the responsibility off of the shoulders of those who replied and put it on mine. Given what I requested and how I expressed myself, I'm solely accountable for the results. It's incumbent upon me to post with greater care.

Thank you one and all, once again.

Sincerely,

Michael Cowan

Michael Cowan
Heartbeest Productions, Inc.

- Everything Matters


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