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Gyros and Dialogue Scenes


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#1 Nicholas Davidoff

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 12:54 AM

Would love to hear from some fellow operators about their experiences using gyros. Specifically as it applies to lengthy dialogue scenes on windy exteriors. I know gyros are great on vehicle rigs and for action shooting on blustery days. But do many of you use them to stabilize during conventional dialogue scenes? Long lock offs? How problematic is it for sound? Does noise become an issue enough that the gyros can't be used? Do you keep them powered full time or unplug before you roll? Does this practice cut down the noise level?

I've been using antlers and 6x6 grip doubles to good success but occasionally these don't do the trick. Especially when you're caught doing long holds on dialogue scenes, taking wind hits. Any input is much appreciated.

~ Nick
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#2 Sanjay Sami

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 12:51 PM

Would love to hear from some fellow operators about their experiences using gyros. Specifically as it applies to lengthy dialogue scenes on windy exteriors. I know gyros are great on vehicle rigs and for action shooting on blustery days. But do many of you use them to stabilize during conventional dialogue scenes? Long lock offs? How problematic is it for sound? Does noise become an issue enough that the gyros can't be used? Do you keep them powered full time or unplug before you roll? Does this practice cut down the noise level?

I've been using antlers and 6x6 grip doubles to good success but occasionally these don't do the trick. Especially when you're caught doing long holds on dialogue scenes, taking wind hits. Any input is much appreciated.

~ Nick


I use gyros if its windy, or even if its outdoors and likely to get windy. Most sound recordists dont have a problem with them exterior. Indoors is a different issue, but then , you dont really need them indoors.
I keep them powered full time, unless there is a long break. I plug them into block batteries when the rig is on standby, and plug them into the sled just as we are ready to go.
Terry West made me a great hot swap box for the gyros (not that you need to hot swap)
Unplugging before you roll will not affect the noise. For the gyros to work, they must be spinning, and it is the spinning that will make the noise, not the power source.
They can be great, but can also be a liability if the shot suddenly changes, and requires for you to do a quick pan. Then you are fighting the gyros.
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#3 RonBaldwin

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 01:15 PM

I have heard that the new gyros made by kenyon are a little quieter as the housings are no longer cast but machined by them. I do not own them (yet) but rent them a few times a year so I don't have a ton of experience with them. Once unplugged they quiet down quite a bit and are still effective for at least a minute or two while they are slowing.

I am wondering about the effectiveness, noise and power requirements of two k6's vs three k4's. Anyone?

rb
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#4 John Buzz Moyer

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 10:46 AM

Iggy, it really depends on the mixer and the direction of the wind. I've had, "Oh god, reallly...then we'll have to loop everything".. and I've had, "yeah okay, we'll make it work"... I used two insulated liter bottle holders cut to size to help with the whining...no not from the mixers... unplugging during the take did help.

I use two k-4's ... one on top of the camera and one on the back of the post below the gimbal. They just ended up that way the first time I used them and never tried anything eother configuration. Like I said, "It works great for me".
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#5 Sean Jensen

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 11:05 PM

Hi Nick.

I recently finished a feature where I used my Gyro kit more than I was expecting to use it. The sound mixer just shrugged when I told him what I was planning on using and said that the scenes we would use them for would probably have to be looped anyway because of the wind. That being said, the Gyros I have are not as noisy as most would think. Earlier this year I bought them from Jens Piotrowski and they work great. I am really pleased with how well they work. I have 2 KS6s with all 3 PRO mounting brackets, two inverters and all sorts of cables. I had used Gyros before I purchased these from Jens so I knew what to expect. I was shooting from a pontoon boat to a dock. The grips had built a large raft for a small crane with remote head. That was the plan until the water got choppy. The crane became unusable and we went to Steadicam, hard mounted to a dolly, with Gyros powered constantly. The shots were great and everyone was happy. We were anywhere from 10 to 40 feet away from the actors. The sound mixer even said he couldn't hear the Gyros over the wind and was surprised how quiet they were.

Last year I did a feature where we rented Gyros. I unplugged them when rolling due to the nature of the shot and my inexperience with them. The sound had to be replaced anyway because of the wind. If it was less windy I would have used my Antlers. Both are great tools. Both have limitations. Gyros, in my opinion, work better than Antlers for very windy conditions. Antlers are great when sound is an issue and when the wind isn't crazy. I'm glad to have both.

Sean
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#6 Nicholas Davidoff

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 01:08 AM

Thank you gentlemen for your great feedback. Looks like alot of this depends on the given situation and circumstances. I talked to our sound guy today who is an industry veteran, and he tells me he's had a handfull of experiences with gyros and close dialogue scenes where his microphones did pick up the whine. It was enough of an issue that it fell upon the director to make the call. What's more important to him, a stable shot or ideal sound? Every case will be different, i.e: Distance from the actors, sound level of the wind, sound level of the dialogue, sound level of the gyros, and how these all jive. I've definitely had a few situations where I could have used them. Seems like a great tool to have in the kit for those occasional times when they can really save the shot.

But now I have a question for Buzz. I thought industry standard steadicam gyros were KS-6's. I've also heard of some guys using KS-8's. But how well do those smaller KS-4's work for you vs. the KS-6's?

And another question: What type of sound barneys or material work good for gyros and does the heat become a factor?
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#7 John Buzz Moyer

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 06:48 PM

Thank you gentlemen for your great feedback. Looks like alot of this depends on the given situation and circumstances. I talked to our sound guy today who is an industry veteran, and he tells me he's had a handfull of experiences with gyros and close dialogue scenes where his microphones did pick up the whine. It was enough of an issue that it fell upon the director to make the call. What's more important to him, a stable shot or ideal sound? Every case will be different, i.e: Distance from the actors, sound level of the wind, sound level of the dialogue, sound level of the gyros, and how these all jive. I've definitely had a few situations where I could have used them. Seems like a great tool to have in the kit for those occasional times when they can really save the shot.

But now I have a question for Buzz. I thought industry standard steadicam gyros were KS-6's. I've also heard of some guys using KS-8's. But how well do those smaller KS-4's work for you vs. the KS-6's?

And another question: What type of sound barneys or material work good for gyros and does the heat become a factor?

Iggy,

Industry standard huh... I guess I'm just a "Yinzer" from Pittsburgh and don't know these things. The K-4's were all I ever used... I wanted light. I bought them for a film where we were using infrared film and the lightweight didn't have the pressure plate changed for it. I had to use a platinum with the auto base and the panavision Fitzac for ramping speeds. The majority of the shot was at 6 frames a second, the result was very long takes covering a lot of area... it became very heavy. The gyros helped the side to side movement significantly. I haven't used the k-6's so I really can't speak to there effectiveness. I've had the k-4's on many highspeed car rigs, quads, griptricks, and running shots... there were all I needed to help out.
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#8 RonBaldwin

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 10:54 PM

that's why I was asking earlier about the 4's vs the 6's...three k4's weigh about the same as two k6's.
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#9 Nicholas Davidoff

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 12:36 AM

.
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#10 Nicholas Davidoff

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 12:41 AM

Thank you gentlemen for your great feedback. Looks like alot of this depends on the given situation and circumstances. I talked to our sound guy today who is an industry veteran, and he tells me he's had a handfull of experiences with gyros and close dialogue scenes where his microphones did pick up the whine. It was enough of an issue that it fell upon the director to make the call. What's more important to him, a stable shot or ideal sound? Every case will be different, i.e: Distance from the actors, sound level of the wind, sound level of the dialogue, sound level of the gyros, and how these all jive. I've definitely had a few situations where I could have used them. Seems like a great tool to have in the kit for those occasional times when they can really save the shot.

But now I have a question for Buzz. I thought industry standard steadicam gyros were KS-6's. I've also heard of some guys using KS-8's. But how well do those smaller KS-4's work for you vs. the KS-6's?

And another question: What type of sound barneys or material work good for gyros and does the heat become a factor?

Iggy,

Industry standard huh... I guess I'm just a "Yinzer" from Pittsburgh and don't know these things. The K-4's were all I ever used... I wanted light. I bought them for a film where we were using infrared film and the lightweight didn't have the pressure plate changed for it. I had to use a platinum with the auto base and the panavision Fitzac for ramping speeds. The majority of the shot was at 6 frames a second, the result was very long takes covering a lot of area... it became very heavy. The gyros helped the side to side movement significantly. I haven't used the k-6's so I really can't speak to there effectiveness. I've had the k-4's on many highspeed car rigs, quads, griptricks, and running shots... there were all I needed to help out.



Hey Buzz,

By "industry standard", I guess I meant most operators I've heard of fly the K6's maybe since that's what GPI goes with. I'm sure plenty of people prefer the K4's. Smaller, lighter, quieter?
So this raises the question: What do operators out there prefer, 2 K4's. 3 K4's, 2 K6's, or 2 K8's???
Or some crazy combination thereof?
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#11 Andy Johnson

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 08:11 AM

I have a shoot in the UK on the 7th & 8th Dec, anyone know of places to get 2x KS6's for a nexus sled?
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#12 Brad Smith

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 07:09 PM

I have heard that the new gyros made by kenyon are a little quieter as the housings are no longer cast but machined by them. I do not own them (yet) but rent them a few times a year so I don't have a ton of experience with them. Once unplugged they quiet down quite a bit and are still effective for at least a minute or two while they are slowing.

I am wondering about the effectiveness, noise and power requirements of two k6's vs three k4's. Anyone?

rb


When did Kenyon start making their machined gyro's in house?
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#13 RonBaldwin

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 02:20 AM

Probably the last few years...last time I ran into Larry he was telling me about them (or was he telling me about the best martini he had while on location?!).
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