Tips When using a Zaxcom Wireless Camera Link

I think wireless camera links are the best advance in technology to happen to the location sound mixer because it gives you the freedom to do your job the best way you can, I have rarely had an issue with my zaxcom system but here is a list of things to do before shooting and a list of possible problems you may run into:

SETUP:

1. Make sure your camera man is always listening to the wireless feed via his camera headphone jack since you have no way of knowing what it sounds like.

2. Make sure all attennas and power cables are secure to the unit. The only issues I have ever had it a lose power cable or attenna.

3. Make sure the unit is secure in a saddle bag or BEC box. I have mine wrapped in velcro, which keeps them extra tight in the saddle bag or BEC box.

4. Have extra cables and attennas in case something breaks.

PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS:

1. Unit will not power on: Check power cables are tight by removing them and reinserting them. Check batteries if your using them. Check Power Switch.

2. Unit is on but Camera Op hears no audio: Check headphone volume knob on camera, check transmitter in your audio bag, make sure camera is set up to recieve audio correctly.

3. Poor Range: Check to make sure tx and rx attennas are tight and secure, Make sure they are in good condition. Scan for new clear frequency.

With these simple tips and tricks your Zaxcom should preform well for you and make your job much easier.

Spare and backup equipment always important

I wanted to say welcome to all the Fullsail students/ graduates who have emailed me directly. I thank you for reading.¬† A reader emailed me and asked me how much spare equipment I bring with me when working. Well it is sort of a loaded question. I own alot of gear, I only use all of it a few times a year so I own at least 2 spare of everything. When I am working most of the time I am using for 4 channel package, which consists of 3 wireless, wireless camera link, comtek IFB and sound devices 442 mixer. But when using this package I always have my 302 3 channel package with me which consists of my 302 3 channel mixer, (2) 201 wireless, BDS power system and cables for wireless camera link. I usually only use this package now as a 2nd package which I rent when I am on a show that needs a second package, as back up or if I am doing a show that requires me to have a small equipment bag like Cops or something that requires me to move faster and be more compact since the 302 package is about 8lbs while the 442 package is 22lbs ūüė¶ . In addition to these two full packages I also have a PSC 4 channel mixer and 2 Sennheiser G2 wireless (which is what I started my career with) I also have a spare 210D Lectro system as well. When I was starting out and had no money at all. I made sure I had spare cables, spare lav microphones and a soldering iron with me and it served me well. That being said I have never had anything but an XLR cable break on me while shooting but I would never chance not having spare parts with me at all times. I also have a rule of never selling anything when I buy something better. Sound gear holds its value very very well so don’t shoot yourself int he foot by selling stupidly. So in closing (So I can go to the beach) start with just spare cables and lav microphones then move on from there

The Boompole is always your best friend

It amazing me how much I have to fight to use the boompole sometimes. As an example on my current show we do alot of formal well lit sit down interviews in addition to on the fly interviews. This sitdown interviews are often very emotional and have caused the talent to starting moving alot while sitting and crying which has made the lav less than ideal in sound. By having the boompole set up for each of these sit downs I was able to deliver great sound without having to stop the interview because of an audio issue. Even though sometimes I am tired and don’t want to go get the C-stand and the mic mate but that is what I am hired to do get good audio and fight the good fight to get it. A shotgun microphone always sounds better than a lav and even though the lav may get ok sound it is my job as the sound mixer to get the BEST sound possible at all times and to never take the easy way out. I also get satisfaction from getting amazing clean high quality audio for at few hours everyday when I can and I know an editor somewhere will be greatful.