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    What’s in your sound package?

    Just curious, for those of us who frequent the audio forum: who out there is a working production/location mixer? And if you are, what’s in your bag or on your cart?

    If you happen to listen to the Location Sound Podcast, you’re well aware that there are many, many different gear packages in use out there. It’s interesting to hear how different mixers set up their bags/carts, and I’d love to see what you’re working with! Pictures encouraged.
    Knoxville-based location sound mixer.

    Instagram @sonolocus

    #2
    I'm not a "dedicated sound guy", but I own a ton of audio gear, I know how to do audio at a good level(good enough that my regular full-time guys will send work to me) and have been doing a fair amount of audio over the last year(mostly jobs sent to me by my regular audio guys who can't do it and want to keep the work "in the family").

    All bags have a BDS that runs off an IDX Sony style BPU 98wh battery(but can run of any battery with a power tap) and a holder for tablet/phone for Wingman. There is usually at least one SR or 822 in a bag for wireless and if we're doing wireless hops, either two UM400a's or two SMDWB's. Each mixer is set up with a wingman, dedicated camera umbilical(664 had two 10-pin umbilicals)(have umbilical cam ends for both 5-pin return-ENG Cams- and 1/8"), dedicated cables for wireless hops and a coil-y for boom in ENG situations. The 664 bag also has a USB power splitter hub feeding off the BDS USB port for bag lights and power for Wingman tablet. I like plug 'n play, so I try to keep the mixers/bags wired so that wireless can just be swapped in and out as necessary. Cables are color coded corresponding to their channels.

    The highlights:
    Mixer/recorders:
    SD 664 & 633 (Wingman on each)

    Mics:
    Shoeps CMC641, 2x Sanken CS-3e's, Sanken CS-M1, Senn MKH-50, 2x K-Tek 102CCR poles w/quick releases, lots of COS-11's and Tram TR-50's, a couple of B6's and ECM-77's, plus a bunch of Senn MD-46 sticks and a couple of Coles lip-mics(remember when those were "musts" in the ENG world?)

    Wireless(all Lectro):
    1x DCR 822, 2x 411A's, 5x SRb's, 1x SRc, 8x UH400A's, 6x UM400a's, 2x UM400's, 2x SMQV's, 2x SMDWB's

    Misc:
    6x Tentacles, 4x Track E's, rechargeable Li AA's & 9V's, adapters, cables, mounts and "stuff" to hide lavs, BDS in all bags, Denecke TS-C slate, etc.

    A few little "quality of life" things that I've added lately that are nice are the Boom Buddy boom pole holder for interviews and the Orca magnetic boom pole holder for the harness.

    And even though I'm not a "dedicated" audio guy, I'm thinking about getting a Blackbird sound cart, now. Like a lot of other guys, I have a rolling vertical tool box set-up, that's ok, but is obviously lacking in a lot of ways. I'm sure my guys would love working with it, too...

    Comment


      #3
      Nice setup! Especially since you’re not a dedicated mixer!

      I have two Blackbird carts, the Grackle and the Mockingbird. The latter is my boom/utility cart. Matthew makes good stuff.
      Knoxville-based location sound mixer.

      Instagram @sonolocus

      Comment


        #4
        I'm actually eyeing the Grackle Double Down, but have some customizations I'd like to see about. I need to reach out and see if it can be made to collapse a little shorter to go into the back of my truck while still remaining vertical(I have a false/raised floor with gun cases underneath, so I don't have the storage height that you normally would and laid down horizontally would take too much space away from lighting cases).

        Comment


          #5
          Yeah, definitely ask. He’s made some minor customizations for me. The one thing about the Grackle for me is that the cart was built by a guy who is well over 6’ tall, and I’m very much not close to that tall. I had to scour the web and find an extra-tall camp chair so that I’m sitting at mix level.

          But I spent the last 10 months or so updating a bunch of stuff and ended up building out a hybrid bag/cart system. That’s why I went with the Grackle, so I can cart up when I can, but then grab the bag and go when I can’t. My sound package is built around a Sound Devices 888 with 8 channels of Lectro A1 wireless. SRc receivers, SMDWB transmitters, with a couple of SMWBs as spares, and an HMa for wireless boom. I have several K-Tek boom poles, from 9’ to 16’, and have started adding Ambient QuickLok releases to them. Client monitoring in the 941 block with an SMQV transmitter and R1b receivers. 6x Tentacle Sync E for time code, and Denecke TS-3 and TS-C slates. Lavs are COS11D and Countryman B3. Boom mic kit includes Sennheiser MKH8060, Sanken CSM1, and AKG CK93. Audioroot power distro with Inspired Energy smart batteries. Power distro covers everything but the 888, which is power hungry and has its own smart battery cup. Antenna distro for SRc receivers is a PSC RF Multi with Betso Bowties for the bag and PSC skeletals for the antenna mast on my cart. Icon Platform M+ mix controller for the cart. Camera hops are all Sennheiser G3 G-band.

          Backup kit is a MixPre-10 II with AudioRoot smart battery distro and two SRc receivers.

          Photo is me at my cart and Jerry, my boom op, at the boom cart, from a recent shoot.
          Attached Files
          Knoxville-based location sound mixer.

          Instagram @sonolocus

          Comment


            #6
            Briefly, a small kit for corp and doc work. Very little narrative drama.

            Schoeps 541 and 641 hypers, Schoeps CMIT 5U and Sanken CS3e short shotguns, Sennheiser 416 (not used much these days), a couple others.
            Sanken and Countryman lavs (a bunch of COS11, EMW, B3, B6, E6), one DPA 4060, and some others.
            K-Tek boom poles (and a couple old LTMs that are fine for sit-down interviews)
            Six channels of Lectro wireless- 2 SRC, 2 411A, SMQV, etc. St
            Sound Devices 633 mixer/recorder
            Sound Devices 442 mixer & 744T recorder (preamps are nice for music, backup, and such)
            Sound Devices 302 because it's still a useful problem solver.
            Cables cables cables.
            Problem solvers

            On the to buy (or at least to check out) list:
            Another 641 (for sure)
            Another short shotgun (not sure which)
            DPA lavs
            New wireless (maybe Shure Axient, Audio LTD, whatever Lectro announces soon, maybe Zax)
            Maybe a small MixPre 6 II or a more expensive recorder from SD or Zax.

            But the new wireless is going to be expensive. Need to give this a think...
            ----------
            Jim Feeley
            POV Media

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Jim Feeley View Post
              Sound Devices 442 mixer & 744T recorder (preamps are nice for music, backup, and such)
              A classic! I still have slight regrets for selling off my 442, but I keep reminding myself that I hadn’t actually used it in a couple years. But still...

              Originally posted by Jim Feeley View Post
              On the to buy (or at least to check out) list:
              Another short shotgun (not sure which)
              I recently picked up a Sanken CSM1 and absolutely love it. It loses at little on the low end, but for dialog that’s not as big a deal. So small and lightweight, and it really cuts through the noise when needed.
              Knoxville-based location sound mixer.

              Instagram @sonolocus

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Jim Feeley View Post
                Briefly, a small kit for corp and doc work. Very little narrative drama.

                Schoeps 541 and 641 hypers, Schoeps CMIT 5U and Sanken CS3e short shotguns, Sennheiser 416 (not used much these days), a couple others.
                Sanken and Countryman lavs (a bunch of COS11, EMW, B3, B6, E6), one DPA 4060, and some others.
                K-Tek boom poles (and a couple old LTMs that are fine for sit-down interviews)
                Six channels of Lectro wireless- 2 SRC, 2 411A, SMQV, etc. St
                Sound Devices 633 mixer/recorder
                Sound Devices 442 mixer & 744T recorder (preamps are nice for music, backup, and such)
                Sound Devices 302 because it's still a useful problem solver.
                Cables cables cables.
                Problem solvers

                On the to buy (or at least to check out) list:
                Another 641 (for sure)
                Another short shotgun (not sure which)
                DPA lavs
                New wireless (maybe Shure Axient, Audio LTD, whatever Lectro announces soon, maybe Zax)
                Maybe a small MixPre 6 II or a more expensive recorder from SD or Zax.

                But the new wireless is going to be expensive. Need to give this a think...
                Still have my 442 and 302 in my office. Next to worthless on the used market, but essentially bullet-proof back-ups, if you only need to feed into something.

                I just started migrating to digital. Bought a Lectro 822 and am integrating it/using it with my "A" Lectro kit(block 22 SRb, 2x SMQV's[250mW] and 2x UH400A's). Obviously rotated the SRb out and am using the 822 with the Tx's. Next wireless purchase, probably this month or next with be a pair DBSMD's, then before/by the end of the year will be a pair of DPR's. Then I plan on selling off my oldest block 22 SR system(the one with 2x UM400's and 2x UH400A's). Then the fully digital system will be my "A" system. And that will still leave me with two fully kitted block 22 SRb systems and two fully kitted block 22 411A systems. Plus an SRc A1 system and block 26 SRb system that I only run for cam hops. Who knows how much longer the 26 system is gonna be useable...? So far, so good. I bought the SRc, because I was afraid I couldn't get coordinated in frequency coordinated venues/events with the 26 when it got phased out, but I'll run them for hops for anything else, as long as there is "clean air".

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Alex H. View Post

                  A classic! I still have slight regrets for selling off my 442, but I keep reminding myself that I hadn’t actually used it in a couple years. But still...



                  I recently picked up a Sanken CSM1 and absolutely love it. It loses at little on the low end, but for dialog that’s not as big a deal. So small and lightweight, and it really cuts through the noise when needed.
                  I run the CS-M1 as the nat mic on my F55 and it's great. I shot some stand-ups a few months ago, and they weren't running audio to me, only recording in the bag and that night when I was backing the cards up and checking them, I watched the stand-ups and was on probably the second or third one before I remembered that there was no "real" audio coming to me. It was the Sanken on the camera. Now I'm not advocating working that way, and it was kind of a perfect scenario(in the woods/national park, quite and I was directly in front of talent about five to seven feet away), but they could have used that audio and no one would have been the wiser. The M1 does not have the balls that the 3e has, but one of my guys really likes it with voices, especially when you are using it off camera and can get it close.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thanks guys. Ya, the $900 Sanken CS-M1 is definitely a candidate for my additional shotgun mic. Along with the Schoeps MiniCMIT (but it's over twice as expensive), DPA 4017 probably with the C preamp (only 1.5X as expensive as the Sanken). I'm curious what Rycote's up to with their HC-22 mic; they've hired some interesting people these last few years. And I'm not closed to Rode and Deity.

                    I just need to figure out (ie- guess) what sort of work I'll be doing for the next year or two....and figure out how little money I'll have left over after buying new wireless.
                    ----------
                    Jim Feeley
                    POV Media

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I think, pound for pound, you probably can’t go wrong adding the CSM1. It’s versatile and sounds great, and the price can’t be beat for the amount of performance you get out of it.

                      Regarding wireless, there’s a pretty impressive Lectro package discount going on right now with their SRc bundles. I think it runs through October. All my wireless is Lectro SRc in the A1 block. I’ve used the 822... it wasn’t as stellar as it was touted to be, but it’s certainly a good piece of gear. It runs extremely hot, and I had one on a recent shoot with an LCD screen that failed due to the heat (looked like every other vertical pixel column was dimmed or dead). Shutting it down and letting it cool off fixed the issue. I’ve also noticed that, again probably due to heat, response can slow down when trying to navigate menus and change settings. Of course, it covers both A1 and B1 blocks, and works with the digital hybrid TXs as well as the new all-digital TXs, so there’s that.

                      But I think running hot is going to be a new normal. The 8-series mixer/recorders also run hot. As they pack more processing into these little boxes, it’s just going to happen. I wonder when we’ll get to the point that we all need to install cooling systems in our bags.
                      Knoxville-based location sound mixer.

                      Instagram @sonolocus

                      Comment


                        #12
                        With the discounts they are running, I was thinking about getting another SRc set(B1) and trading in one of my SRb systems to offset it(got a quote from one of my dealers on a full SRc set and what they'd give me for one of my SRb systems), but If I was going to be spending 'real money', I decided to just go ahead and start going towards the fully digital system. And the 822 being pretty much a "universal" receiver, really made it seem like the best decision, to me.

                        It's funny, different peoples different takes/experiences with the same gear. I just worked with an audio guy on a national show a few days ago(he's a big reality guy) and he dislikes his SRc's and had just bought two 822's. Personally, I haven't really had any issues with my SRc(A1). I've had my 822 for a few weeks, now. I haven't really stressed it, but used it on my camera as a hop receiver today. The audio guy I was working with has the digital camera hop system and I just tuned into it. The only issue was the output seemed really low running in DCH mode, even at +7(line). But he said when he uses his digital hop receiver with other cameras, he has to crank the camera gain, too. My levels seemed fine in my bag the other week(line/+5), running it with one of my SMQV's in hybrid mode.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Jim Feeley View Post
                          Thanks guys. Ya, the $900 Sanken CS-M1 is definitely a candidate for my additional shotgun mic.
                          I've had a Sanken Cs3-e in my audio case for 15 years. Literally the best money I ever spent on any production gear in 20+ years.
                          w: Noel Evans TV

                          e: noel@noelevans.tv
                          p: +61 (0) 408 455 374

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Noel Evans View Post

                            I've had a Sanken Cs3-e in my audio case for 15 years. Literally the best money I ever spent on any production gear in 20+ years.
                            Ya, I have a CS3e. Totally useful in typical doc and corp situations. But not as lovely sounding as my Schoeps CMIT... I just need to think about what's likely to be best for most of the situations I expect to be in. As I mentioned,

                            As for wireless, since I'm traveling some (finally), I really lean towards wanting something with as wide a tuning range as possible, like 144MHz or more (ha!). Lectro SRC is like 75MHz or so, right? I'm also open to other frequencies and approaches...but basically I want lots of frequency options so I'll have a good chance of finding something open(ish) and solid(ish).

                            Thanks for everyone's posts so far! I don't want to hijack Alex's thread any more...

                            So what's in everyone else's sound kit?
                            ----------
                            Jim Feeley
                            POV Media

                            Comment


                              #15
                              These are some of my little “quality of life” toys:

                              Tablet/phone holder for the bags
                              https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

                              Angled platform to set bag on go work out of(was only like $9 so I figured I’d try it, instead of constantly sticking a battery under it)
                              https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

                              Battery Powered Hand Held Label Printer primarily for slate
                              https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

                              Boom Buddy(instead of fishing pole holder)
                              https://www.boom-buddy.com/

                              Orca Magnetic Boom Pole Holder system
                              https://www.orcabags.com/product/or-...ompole-holder/

                              Divided Silicon Tray to place lav’s, pack’s, etc. in when prepping on-site
                              https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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