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Cinetape interferes with sound dpt


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#1 Frederic Chamberland

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 11:51 AM

Hi all ,
The sound department has a problem with our cinetapes , they pretend the high frequencies beaming out of the horns are interfering with the wireless boom. We have to sometime lower the sensitivity and they seem happy about it .
I have no knowledge about frequencies and how both units can interfere each other but was wondering if someone else has had similar issues and if so , how they took care of it .
Thanks ,
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#2 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 01:40 PM

Ultrasonic ranfefinders like in the cinetape work at somewhere between 40 and 300kilohertz.. Their wireless is in the upper megahertz or gigahertz range. If you are having problems with those frequencies interfering with each other you might want to ask them to not talk so loud because it makes it hard to see them.

That said it is possible that a cinetape could emit interference just like any other device but I have never seen it and I would bet the source is elsewhere.
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#3 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 02:58 PM

I have to say that I've seen a lot more sound gear interfering with the guns than the other way around and that is only because the damn boom is in the way of the guns giving an accurate reading to the actor. That said, we are all just doing our jobs and the AC needs to know when to ignore the numbers (and why auto-fcous is a bad idea). The reverse is true here; the sound department needs to understand your AC needs to use this tool. I'd swap the unit it out for another one in case it is a faulty unit as Jess suggests. If the problem continues, the Sound Mixer needs to look at his gear. I've personally never seen a problem.
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#4 Ian Thomson

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 07:17 PM

Hi, in my other life I'm a boom op, perhaps I can throw my 2 cents of experience in...

I have heard strange "ticking" noises that were trouble-shot as coming from the cinetape "horns" (ie: when the cinetape is switched off, the noise goes away)

can they hear the unit "acoustically" (actually making a noise that the mic can hear), or is it interfering with the wireless boom like a cell-phone?

I've seen/heard both, in the case of the "ticking" being acoustic our AC worked without, then swapped the system (rental-house) and the problem went away. In the case of the "cell-phone-like" interference it was eventually tracked down to being a faulty microphone (also susceptible to neon ballasts), which went away for a trip to the factory, but can also just as easily be a faulty grounding on cable feeding a wireless transmitter.

excuse my ignorance, but how do the horns actually work? is it a high frequency sonic pulse? what does lowering the sensitivity of the gun achieve? (less power? a lower frequency?)

wireless transmissions are a strange beast to try and understand, let alone "control". Thing are getting even worse these days with all the additional transmitting devices on-set clogging up the airwaves (cell phones, Wireless HD, needing to wire multiple cast, etc), its a rough-time tracking down interference; but as Alec says, we're all just doing our jobs.

sadly the boom mic position interfering with the use of the guns is a tricky one. Obviously a boom op isn't just trying to mess with the AC, the boom really can sound best when slightly in front of, and tilted towards, the actors mouth (which could obviously throw off the guns reading by as much as a foot)

on set-ups where it's a problem, I'll try to work with the AC and move the mic up and out of the field of the guns occasionally (so they can get an accurate reading), but in a world of no-rehearsal, noisy-location, ad-libs, where take one is your only one - sometimes the boom is just going to have to be where it needs to be. (ironically also the time when a pana-tape would be the MOST useful)

would be curious to find out how your problems are eventually resolved.

all the best

Ian
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#5 Frederic Chamberland

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 06:16 AM

Thanks to all for those in deph answers , both departments have been struggling with this issue for too long . I'll share those hints with my AC's and soumd guys . Will keep you updated.
Cheers
.
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#6 PeterAbraham

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 09:09 AM

would be curious to find out how your problems are eventually resolved.

all the best

Ian


Please excuse the tone this post is going to take. The resolution is an a.c. Who knows how to pull focus. With their eyes. Which is the only 100% reliable method. The finest assistants I worked with could glance at the lens, glance at the actors ( both moving objects ) and roll the remote focus wheel on th fly because their distance judgement acuity was so finely developed that they nailed it.

Every time. When they did not, they knew it.

It is a lost art, and the reliance on monitors and sonar cones adds milliseconds of delay in the mental processes.

My 2c.

Best to all,

Peter Abraham, S.O.C.

Peter@steadicamproductionservices.com
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#7 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 09:29 AM

Peter,

Love ya buddy, but the industry has taken some serious turns since you stepped away for a bit. In episodic, we rarely rehearse anymore. The Director shouts out major shot changes without cutting. Page counts are higher than ever yet expectations are through the roof. The world had gone HD with full sizes sensors. I used to firmly believe that Cinetapes were crutches and pulling off monitors was absurd, but I was wrong... things evolve. This is the way it is done now and the ACs who have survived these changes are the best I know. They use all of these tools to help support their magnificent skill set. Some times the guns may just be used to get a quick "measurement" while we are standing there holding the rig because time does not even permit a tape measurement.

Damn, I miss filmmaking.
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#8 Brant S. Fagan SOC

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 10:23 AM

EVERYTHING interferes with the Sound Department. Welcome to life on set.
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#9 Frederic Chamberland

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 10:31 AM

Hi Peter,

I second Alec on this one: I'm working with 2 of the top guns AC's in Montreal on that show and both have the Cinetape on their camera's. "Let's shoot the rehearsal" is now common on TV series and 8 pages a day is not an abnormal day anymore.
I have worked 8 years has an AC and the Cinetape was just a new toy at the time. I did not feel the need to use one at the time as it was very expensive to rent and no one had access to a 24" HD monitor in the video village.
The "magic fingers" AC's are a rare breed today and those that evolve with the technology will stand out.
One thing I find is a big step forward in technology for AC's is the lens mapping : paired with the cinetape, it offers them another great tool to work with.
The Cinetape, Disto, lens mapping, on-board monitors are among the tools I would personally use if I was still an AC today and I too, miss filmmaking.

Cheers.

Frederic
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#10 PeterAbraham

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 10:40 AM

Fair enough. I surely did not mean to disrespect. Rather to highlight skills opposed to tools. I've already experienced the " shoot the rehearsal " thing. Hell, soaps used to be Block, Rehearse, Tape. Now, it's Tape with a hint of Block. Funny, that...

Seems that the tools serve the skills, the skills serve the shots, the shots serve the story, the storytellers serve the popcorn.

And, on a separate note, my SD video XMitter used to give boom ops agita. Everyone played together and we got the days work done. In my case, I invested in a few attenuators to slightly suppress the strength. Boom Op adjusted as best as she could.
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#11 Evrim KAYA

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 11:01 AM

Seems that the tools serve the skills, the skills serve the shots, the shots serve the story, the storytellers serve the popcorn.



very good quote from my teacher.
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#12 James Davis

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 11:27 AM

That should be on a t-shirt, great quote !
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