TV Timecard and Sound Report Writer apps

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I Don't Have The Power, Cap'n!!

In run and gun mode, which is what a lot of reality is, sound mixers are often thrown into a new RF environment without the time to properly coordinate frequencies. Granted, on most shoots, you'll know where you're going to be and will be afforded the time to at least scan the vicinity for a clear frequency. However, with over a dozen cast members and a few sound mixers, sometimes it's easier, and often necessary, to keep the assigned freqs as they were.

I've been less than impressed with the stock RF range and quality of my 4 Lectrosonics SR receivers I have in my bag with my Sound Devices 788T. A combination of IFB and camera hop transmitters seems to have caused a bit of RF chaos in my bag. After a little research and desperation, I found a solution that I could piece together from Pascal van Strydok on Lectrosonics's website. After speaking with Pascal, I decided to incorporate this setup into my bag. I have to say that I am thoroughly impressed. From top to bottom, this antenna array has dramatically improved my range and limited any intermodulation that I previously experienced with the stock antennae. The power consumption is extremely low. The way I currently have it set up, it uses it's own Li-Ion NP-1. At the end of a 12 hour day, it usually doesn't even go down a tick mark. I'll soon combine it into the single BDS rather than two separate ones.

The thing that I noticed that made the most difference in the quality of reception was the separation of the antennae from the bag. I tried them on the bag with mediocre results. Mounting them on my shoulders proved a little better, but was cumbersome when trying to put on and take off my bag from my harness. The next thought I had was to mount them on my headphones. Seemed a little absurd at first, but the more I thought about it the more it made sense. Better separation from the bag and ease/quickness of removal for me to get away came together for my final tweak.

So here I am, walking around set looking like an alien that just arrived from the mothership. But hey, look who can sit around the corner (probably comfortably) without any issues. Work smart, not hard. After all, you do want to last more than 10 years, right?
Location:Dallas, TX

Location:Dallas, TX

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