Working in the Southeast means dealing with rain and lots of it. Keeping your gear dry is always a struggle. A rain cover for the sound bag is a must and one of the best rain bags made is by Larry Nolan https://www.versa-flex.com Larry makes many different products for the film, sound and photography industry. All of them are Made in the USA and can be customized. This large rain cover pictured below is great for almost any size audio bag . So if you need a rain cover check Larry and his company out.
NAB this year was a bit of a let down but one of the new items announced that has peaked my interest is the Sanken CS-M1. I got to listen to beta unit this past November and for the price point of $895.00 it should be a winner. It will be available early June from your favorite sound vendor below is some more specs and info on the microphone.
The Sanken CS-M1 is a compact and rugged supercardioid short shotgun microphone designed to deliver clear close and distant audio capture for boom operators, videographers, and audio engineers in film, television, and video production as well as ENG and music recording applications. Its short 4″ length and low 1.9 oz weight make it ideal for mounting on your DSLR or boompole. The supercardioid/lobar polar pattern yields precise directionality and low coloration at the off-axis sections of the capsule. An integrated RFI shield yields enhanced rejection of radio-frequency interference.
The electret condenser element is powered via 48V phantom power and produces a frequency response of 100 Hz to 18 kHz. An XLR 3-pin output ensures compatibility with most microphone preamps. Plosives and wind noise can be reduced by attaching the supplied windscreen. The CS-M1 ships with a vinyl case for safe and convenient transport.
Ideal for mounting on your DSLR or boompole
Compact 4″ body length doesn’t interfere with your camera lens
Weighing less than 2 ounces, it won’t weigh down your camera
Supercardioid/lobar polar pattern yields sharp directivity
Advanced RFI rejection
100 Hz to 18 kHz frequency response naturally attenuates commonly problematic low frequencies
One of the biggest challenges is mounting equipment to cameras as they get smaller and smaller. for years I have used these Ktek Hot Shoe Plates. They are well built out of aluminum and allow velcro to stick to them very well. I can attach wireless, timecode boxes and any other things. Available for around $40.00 at your local camera or audio retailer
Working for NBC News for many years has afforded me a front row seat at many events some good and some bad. This past week I had a front row seat to the week leading up to Billy Grahams’ funeral including his son Franklin Grahams’ first interview after his fathers passing. The whole Graham Family and organization were gracious and kind during our time with them.
When working live on high profile interviews there is no room for error and things must be right the first time every time. The best way to make sure we have no audio issues is to hard wire everything. In this case a hardwired Sanken Cos-11 with a Schoeps Mini CMIT over top for back up and a hardwired Audio Implements ear piece. Photo below shows me getting Franklin all set up before we went live. I had Comtek IFB which are wireless for me to listen in on the IFB feed and for our producers
Being a great sound mixer means having a bunch of “get out of jail free” cards or creative problem solvers. One of them is a Dinkum Systems Flexi Mount 3013 which is a flexible arm with clamp and threading for either a quick release or a shock mount. It can be used to hold microphones or antenna a very handy item to keep around available at your favorite camera or sound retailer. http://www.dinkumsystems.com/fleximount/
After being a Sound mixer for close to 20 years I have used many different brand and types of headphones. The classic recommended headphone for years has been the Sony MDR 7506 but I have never been of fan of them due to comfort and tonal quality. For cart based work and non fast pace bag work. I have become a real fan of the Audio Technica M-50 X Headphones for comfort , accurate sound reproduction and durability. One of the other positive attributes of the M-50 is the cable is user replaceable and comes with a straight/ coiled option depending upon what your doing. At a price point of under $150.00 they are also still cheap enough if you lose them its still going to be ok. So if your looking for a new set of headphones check them out from your favorite audio retailer.
Working live and on air requires a special breed of sound mixer. You have to get it right the first time every time you either do or you don’t then you move on. It is important to have the right gear for the job. The gold standard of on air IFB ear pieces is Audio Implements a small family owned company. Virtually every news network and station uses these ear pieces. They are well built and last forever at a fair price. So if you find yourself needing on air IFB ear pieces give them a ring. There website isn’t the best but call them and you will get great customer service