C200, Ursa Mini Pro: Workflow & Choosing a Cinema Camera

In this episode our special guest is Jacob Fenn, a filmmaker and colorist. We discuss workflow and how your workflow can help you choose a cinema camera like the Canon C200, the Blackmagic Design Ursa Mini Pro, or the Sony FS5.

In short: map out your production and post production workflows. This will make choosing a camera easier.

See Jacob Fenn’s work over at FennWorld.

Links to gear discussed and used to record this session:
Canon C200 Cinema Camera (Jacob’s main camera for corporate, commercial, and short film work)

Blackmagic Design Ursa Mini Pro Cinema Camera (This is my main camera for corporate video work)

Sony FS5 Cinema Camera

Sennheiser MKH 8050 Supercardioid Boom Microphone - The mic was farther away than I would have liked, probably 1.5 meters. But it did pretty well

Aputure C120D LED Light - this is my corporate video workhorse light

Aputure Light Dome Soft Box - this is almost always on my COB120d to soften the light for talking head video.

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Tentacle Sync E: Timecode Generator and Demo

A couple of years ago, Tentacle Sync released their first timecode generator which was not only easy to use but also more affordable than other generators. Now they have released their next generator called the Sync E with wireless setup and monitoring from iOS or Android devices. Here we show how timecode can help simplify the process of capturing professional quality sound separate from the camera and easily and quickly syncing the sound to picture in post. We also look at the new features on the Sync E and how they make the process of shooting with timecode easier than ever.

Demonstration with many video and sound clips:

Links to gear discussed and used to record this session:

Tentacle Sync Sync E Kit (2 Sync E timecode generators and license for Tentacle Sync Studio

Tentacle Sync Sync E (single timecode generator and license for Tentacle Sync Studio)

Sound Devices MixPre-10T Audio Recorder/Mixer

Sennheiser MKH 8050 Supercardioid Boom Microphone

Tentacle Sync to BNC Bidirectional Timecode Cable

Tentacle Sync Cables for all other cameras

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Sound Devices MixPre-10T: Initial Impressions

Links to gear below. If you found this review helpful and are planning to buy one of these lights, please use one of our links below which will help fund our ongoing efforts to make high quality filmmaking gear reviews.

Sound Devices added some nice options to the prosumer audio recorder market earlier this year with the introduction of their MixPre-3 and MixPre-6. And now, they’ve added the MixPre-10T which takes the MixPre line legitimately into the professional recorder realm for $1800 USD. I pre-ordered and the 10T arrived yesterday. Let’s take an initial look with a full review to follow in a few weeks when I’ve had more time to work with it.

Links to gear discussed and used to record this session:

Sound Devices MixPre-10T Audio Recorder/Mixer

Sound Devices MixPre-6 Audio Recorder/Mixer

Sound Devices MixPre-3 Audio Recorder/Mixer

Voice Technologies VT Duplex Headset Microphone

RODE Reporter Handheld Dynamic Microphone

Sennheiser MKH 8050 Supercardioid Boom Microphone

Adapter Cable for Mini XLR outputs (TA3F to XLRM)

AC to Hirose Adapter (useful if you plan to use the 10T as an audio interface)

Sound Devices MixPre Battery Sled for Sony NP-F Style Batteries

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Sound for Video Session: Tools for Dialogue Sound De-noising Audition, RX

In this week's episode we cover three tools you can use to help reduce noise in your dialogue audio recordings: High pass filters, de-hum, and de-noise plugins. We cover most of this in Adobe Audition but also jump over into Izotope RX to show the same set of tools. The same principles apply for other audio editing apps as well.

Links to gear discussed and used to record this session:
Sennheiser MKH 8050 Supercardioid Boom Microphone

Voice Technologies VT-500 Lavalier Microphone

Sound Devices 633 Audio Recorder/Mixer

Electrovoice RE20 Dynamic Microphone - used to record this session

Antelope Audio Orion Studio Audio Interface

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

LED Light Color Quality: Aputure, Falcon Eyes, Kamerar BrightCast, Linkstar

LED lights have several obvious advantages when it comes to video lighting: They don’t use nearly as much power so they can often be battery powered and they run cooler. But are LEDs as good as the sun or tungsten lights in terms of color quality? In this episode we answer each of these questions and measure the CRI (Color Rendering Index) for each of the LED lights I have reviewed over the last three years.

Links to gear discussed and used to record this session:

Review of the Kamerar BrightCast Flexible LED Light:

Review of Falcon Eyes RX-18 Flexible LED Panel Light:

Linkstar RL-24VC LED Edge-Lit Soft LED Light (Review Coming Soon)

Falcon Eyes FELUX 160 LED Fresnel Light (Review coming soon: Big, Powerful, wide color temp range)

Aputure LS1s Daylight LED Panel Light Review:

Aputure Light Dome Soft Box Review: 

Sekonic C-700U Color Meter/Spectrometer - used to make the CRI measurements

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Sound for Video Session: Sound Jobs and Recording in Noisy Places

This week we answer a couple of sound questions:
- What types of sound jobs are most in demand?
- Which microphones can you use to record in very noisy places like factories?

Example of how much noise isolation you can expect from the RODE Reporter handheld microphone: 

Links to gear discussed and used to record this session:

Voice Technologies Duplex Cardioid Headset Microphone (this will provide more isolation from noise than most other options)

RODE HS2 Headset Microphone (another headset microphone, slightly less expensive but with an omni-directional polar pattern)

RODE Reporter Handheld Microphone (I used this to record interviews at the NAB show with good results)

Sennheiser MD 46 Cardioid Handheld Microphone (More noise isolation but you have to keep it close to whomever is speaking)

RODE iXLR (Allows you to connect the RODE Reporter or Sennheiser MD 46 or any other dynamic XLR microphone to your iPhone and your phone becomes the audio recorder or camera - also used this in the interview with Paul from Sound Devices above)

Electrovoice RE20 Dynamic Microphone - used to record this session

Antelope Audio Orion Studio Audio Interface

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Wireless Headphone Feeds (Comtek)

What do you do when the director or producer come to you and say, "I need 4 headphones..."?

Here's a brief overview of setting up wireless headphone feeds for producers, directors, and others on set. You can do this a variety of ways, even using a spare wireless lav system (but that only gets you one set of headphones). On the pro sets, they often use Comtek or similar wireless systems which are nice in that you can send the same feed to as many sets of receivers as you need from a single transmitter in your sound bag.

Links to gear discussed in this session:

Comtek M-216 Transmitter (Option P7) - expensive but sturdy and up for several years of service on rough and tumble sets and locations.

Comtek PR-216 Receiver - This is the thankfully less expensive receiver. You can use as many of these as you need with a single transmitter. Also well built for years of service

Comtek XLR to 3.5mm adapter cable - If your mixer/recorder has an XLR  output that you'll use to feed audio to the Comtek transmitter, here's an adapter cable to make that work. If your mixer/recorder has a 3.5mm output, any 3.5mm TRS to 3.5mm TRS cable will do. Just keep it short so it doesn't pick up interference.

Sony ZX110 Headphones - Good enough to get the job done with comfort, plenty loud. They fold and have flat cables which help prevent tangles. Not too hard on your pocketbook if they get destroyed by a crew member (about $15 USD each).

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

3 Professional Indoor Boom Microphones: Sennheiser, Schoeps, Audio Technica

Several requests came in to look at more professional level microphones for recording dialogue sound for film and video. So let’s have a look at and a listen to three higher-end microphones that are well suited for recording dialogue while indoors. We’ll have a separate episode on shotgun microphones which are better suited for outdoor use.

The Schoeps CMC641 is used in many mid to large budget film and TV productions. It's one of my favorite all-purpose microphones when recording dialogue indoors. It's only potential downside, and not an issue I've encountered yet, is that it can have issues when recording in very wet/humid environments (e.g., jungles or rain forests).

My newest addition is the Sennheiser MKH 8050. This one is also a good all-rounder but does have its own signature sound that works particularly well for voices with a lot of mid-range energy. For these voices, it seems to smooth them out in a rather pleasant way (this definitely applies to my voice).

Then there's my long-time friend the Audio Technica AT4053B. This one is actually a hyper-cardioid microphone. It works really well and sounds great for many voices. The only time I don't love the sound of this mic is when recording people with particularly sibilant voices (lots of "S" and "C" sizzling energy). It also has high pass filter and -10dB pad for recording especially loud sound sources.

If I could only choose one of them? Wow, that's tough but it would probably be between the Schoeps and the Sennheiser. Please don't make me choose. ;-)

Links to other gear discussed or used to shoot this episode:

Rycote Shockmount - Shockmounts are a necessity when you're handling a boom pole with a microphone on it otherwise you'll end up with a bunch of handling noise in your recording.

Aputure COB120t LED Light - My main light for headshots and product shots

Aputure Light Dome Soft Box - I use this for almost every interview/talking head shot

Sound Devices 633 Audio Recorder - a pro-grade recorder/mixer which makes most microphones sound their best

Blackmagic Ursa Mini Pro - The camera I used for most of this episode. It's pretty good.

Panasonic GH5 - The camera I used for the product shots in this episode. It's a good all-rounder as well.

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Aputure COB300d BIG LED Light for Film & Video

Since Aputure announced the new Light Storm COB 300d at NAB earlier this year, I’ve been looking forward to getting my hands on it! The 300d is a daylight balance single point LED light which draws about 320 watts which is a ton for an LED. They say this is a 2K tungsten equivalent - if that really means anything, but it is a much more powerful LED light than I’ve ever worked with before. In this episode we run it through its paces and look at its build quality, included accessories, features, color quality and light output. I hope you find this helpful!

Thanks to Aputure for providing the COB300d for this review. They have not paid me beyond providing the light and previously provided accessories. All of the opinions shared here are my own.

Links to Gear Discussed and used to shoot this review:
Aputure COB 300d LED Light

Aputure COB120d LED Light - The little brother

Aputure COB120t LED Light - The other little brother with tungsten color balance. I use this one as a key light in studio in most cases.

Aputure Light Dome Soft Box - I use this for almost every interview/talking head shot

Aputure Fresnel Lens - great when you need to focus the light beam and throw the light farther

Photo Basics Barn Doors - nice way to cut the light for dramatic light and shadow

Sennheiser MKH 8050 Super-cardioid Condenser Microphone - Review/comparison coming.

Sound Devices 633 Audio Recorder

Blackmagic Ursa Mini Pro Cinema Camera

Nikon 50mm f/1.8 AF-D Lens

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Sound for Video Session: Sync, Timecode, Noise, Preamps, Monitors and More!

In this week's question and answer session, we tackle the following topics:

00:04 Audio Sync
02:15 Timecode, Breakaway Cables
05:16 Noise Reduction, External Preamps
08:06 Mixing Monitors
12:19 Sound Blankets vs Moving Blankets vs Quilts
15:17 Sennheiser MKE 600, Shock mounts, Wind Protection, Audio Interfaces
23:22 Monitor Placement
25:42 Compression Ratio, Sound Floor

Gear and links to previous sessions discussed in this session:

Remote Audio Breakaway Cable

Avantone Pro Mix Cube Powered Monitor (set)

KRK Rokit 5 G3 Powered Monitor (one)

Sennheiser MKE600 Shotgun Microphone

Rycote InVision Lyre Shock Mount:

Sennheiser MZS 600 Shock Mount for MKE600:

Rycote Hot Shoe Adapter - Mount your shock mount on your camera's shoe

Rycote Softie Furry Windscreen (good for light wind)

RODE Blimp Wind Cover (good for stronger wind)

Rycote Cyclone (the best wind protector I've used and own)

Electrovoice RE20 Broadcast Microphone - this is what I used to record this session

Producer's Choice Sound Blankets

Timecode demonstration:

Noise Cleanup:

Sound Design, Effects, Foley:

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!