On Location: Alabama

Last month I was on location in a small town outside of Montgomery AL bringing awareness to the lack of proper sewer systems and sanitation.

Like many fast pace shoots with many locations being fast/ agile is always important. For this shoot I used my rock solid Sound Devices 833 mixer recorder running active Noise Asst plug in. Along with Lectrosonics SRC/ SMWB wireless and a Schoeps Mini CMIT on the boom. For all these uncontrolled shoots Noise Asst has really become a game changer in improving what I deliver to my clients. The story is below.

On Location Alabama

If you need a Location Sound Mixer in the South East Please contact us. We work often in many places including Charleston South Carolina.

On Location: Multi Cam Interview

Working as a Location Sound Mixer in Charleston SC means I work on many different types of productions with one of the most common being the high end multi camera interview. In this story for CBS we did a five camera interview trying to provide production with many different angles to cover this important story.

Since the start of COVID I have done countless COVID hospital stories this one was the most impactful since it was told through the unique point of view of a photo journalist/ nurse. The best part of this job is being able to tell stories like this. You can watch it below. If you need a Location Sound Mixer in Charleston SC, Columbia SC or Savannah GA please contact us.

On Location Charleston SC

Keeping Gear Safe in its cases when flying

Buying a Pelican or Storm Case is a great 1st step to protecting your equipment, however it is not the only step that needs to be taken:

1. Make sure your name and phone number is clearly written on the case, on a luggage tag and inside the case. All my pelican cases have the custom name plates and I have each case numbered as well S1, S2, etc… I just use a sharpie and write in on the outside of each case. I do not write sound equipment or what is in each case on the outside that is asking for theft. Inside each case I have a sheet of paper with My name, phone number and hotel address on it. I then inside my suitcase have sheets with my home address which are printed on bright orange paper and laminated since I reuse them.

2. I do not use locks on my cases anymore I had a bunch of nice and expensive TSA approved Pelican locks/ Well they have all since been cut off or lost by TSA. So now I use bright colored zip ties. I buy the brightest and wildest color ones I can find. I usually use two different color ties on each case too. This allows me to see if anyone has opened the case. If you use the standard zip ties it isn’t easy to tell. I also gaffer tape extra zip ties to the outside of the case so if TSA does open it they can hopefully re tie it though they usually don’t. I sometimes will Lock a case too but usually don’t

3.  On my Iphone I have pictures and the size of each case I also only buy bright colored cases easier to find.

4. Make sure you have a serial number and replacement value inventory sheet with you in your carry on when traveling so that when you file a police report if the item is stolen you have your info ready.

Hopefully your gear will travel safely.

Sound Devices Wave Agent A great program

As someone who does only Location Sound for a living. I normally don’t deal with files much except for when I need to FTP a transcript or a last minute voice over to a client. I have a small protools system which is more for me to just play around with and do my own personal work with. Occasionally I will do some simple editing on a low budget film or something but thats it. The other day I recorded some polyphonic wave files for a client, which I then burned to DVD for them for post. Well I get a call that they are having issues opening them (Trying to import them into a older version of AVID) and all they really wanted was the best channel of audio. I told them that even though the talent was wired the boom sounded good for the whole shoot. So I used Wave agent to quickly batch and exact track 1 of all my poly wave files. It worked quickly and allowed me to upload the files to my client within minutes. For a free download it is a great Mac and PC based program so check it out it may help you one day soon.

A Review of Lav Microphones

Sorry for the lack of posting I have been working like a dog the past few weeks and with barely enough time to sleep I haven’t had a chance to blog at all. Today I wanted to revisit something I have talked about before “Lav Microphone Choice”. I own the following Lav’s now:

Countryman B6, Countryman EMW, Sanken Cos-11, TRAM, Mk2, And the free Lectro M-150. Never did I think I would need such a selection of Lav’s in my kit but everyone has its own purpose and I will tell you what I prefer .

Countryman EMW I own six of these for reality tv I feel there is no better lav for most all around situations. They are cheap $180.00 or so each wired for Lectro they are water and sweat proof. They are also very rugged  some of mine have been dragged stepped on and keep on going. I find them very easy to hide most of the time if the talent is wearing non noisy fabric. With a piece of moleskin I can lav someone in under 30 seconds for the day. The only time the EMW doesn’t work well is noisy cloths and people wearing not enough cloths.

Countryman B6: I own 3 of these they are great for people wearing very little clothing and people wearing noisy cloths because they are easily hidden in close to plain sight. I don’t like how fragile they are and that they aren’t waterproof without the protective cap on then and at $310.00 each are more expensive but I love having them.

Sanken Cos-11. I own two of these I think they are the best sounding lav and work great hidden using a hush lav sleve and some transpore tape. They also are very wind resistant when using the metal windscreen. They are expensive though at $340.00 each and I don’t like them in Reality tv situations because I find the best way to hide them is to tape them to the talents body using the method above and I think that is distracting to the talent on a reality tv show and that it is ok for a film since they are actors. I will use one on a reality shoot though if I feel it is the only way to get good audio.

TRAM: I own 3 of these 1 which is hardwired (1) Black one and (1) White one. At $240.00 they are at a decent price point. I bought the Hardwired one used for very cheap and it is mostly for a few times a year I have a client insist on a hardwired lav. I think they are the best at dealing with very high wind in a news situation (Hurricane, Live shot etc) So I usually only use it in those situations. I have the white one for sitdown interviews which the talent is wearing white I don’t use it much but it is nice to have.

M-150 and Mk2- Both of these types came for free with my Lectro and G2 lav purchases. I keep them for spares and dangerous situations for equipment but that is about it.

So if you can only buy one lav to start with I’d go with Countryman EMW then I’d add a Countryman B6. After that it is all a personal choice