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Problems with a simple remote
Old 22nd September 2012
  #1
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Problems with a simple remote

We did a remote audio and video recording of a candidates breakfast yesterday morning. It was for the local library. It should have been a simple remote and for the most part it was.

We set up and checked everything, I was using a RODE NT-4 for the speakers and the room. One capsule pointed at the speaker's podium and one pointed into the room. That was fed to a Fostex FR-2LE FR-2LE | CF Field Recorder | Fostex recorder. Sound was great and we got a good pickup from the podium and the room.

We video taped the event with a Sony FX-3 camera. We will sync up the audio and video in post. This is the third time we have done this breakfast gig and the setup always works GREAT.

There was a lady librarian who was in attendance. She must have weighed 400 pounds and she walked around a lot before the meeting began and ever time she got near our mic cable she would step on in and I would get a crunching noise in my headphones. She stepped on the cable about 6 times before the show. I figured that once the show got underway she would be sitting down so I was not worried. Well it turns out she must have drunk a lot of coffee and she had to go to the bathroom and right in the middle of the meeting she gets up and, of course, steps on our cable.

The other problem is that our library is located about 100 feet from the police station and they have a rather large antenna array at the police department and three times during the meeting there was a large burst of RF energy and it overloaded the inputs of the Fostex and caused the microphone preamp to output a large thump. The RF burst lasted for a second or less.

Other than that the remote went very smoothly and we got a good recording.

Oh the joys of remote recordings...I just wanted to share.
Old 22nd September 2012
  #2
PRH
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Are your mic cables rated for 400lb librarians? You might want to replace that cable - preventative maintenance!
Old 22nd September 2012
  #3
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JonesH's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Jeeez. You have the weirdest problems when you're on location...
Old 22nd September 2012
  #4
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🎧 15 years
Tom, sounds like your cable was faulty before the audience member stepped on it. Crunching noise on crush and radio pickup means the shield is no longer a shield.
Old 22nd September 2012
  #5
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OzGizmo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
The Rode NT4 is a stereo mic... was the extension 5 pin XLRF to 5 pin XLRM and then split out at the recorder end or was it 2x 3 Pin XLR cables with the break out at the mic end or was it an unbalanced 3.5mm extension?

Unbalanced cable runs should only be used for short distances.....
Old 23rd September 2012
  #6
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Don S's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Are you using star-quad? It does a great job or cutting RF. Can't say I've ever tested it with a 400 pound woman!
Old 23rd September 2012
  #7
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Thing is, you could probably make four nice 100-pound women from something like that.
Old 23rd September 2012 | Show parent
  #8
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don S ➑️
Are you using star-quad? It does a great job or cutting RF. Can't say I've ever tested it with a 400 pound woman!
WE are using the best star-quad cable from Canare and we bought the 5 pin extension cables from B&H and have had no problems in the past using this configuration.
Old 23rd September 2012 | Show parent
  #9
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by OzGizmo ➑️
The Rode NT4 is a stereo mic... was the extension 5 pin XLRF to 5 pin XLRM and then split out at the recorder end or was it 2x 3 Pin XLR cables with the break out at the mic end or was it an unbalanced 3.5mm extension?

Unbalanced cable runs should only be used for short distances.....
5 pin extension cables from the mic to 2 channel XLR break out cable. No problems in the past with this setup.
Old 23rd September 2012 | Show parent
  #10
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt ➑️
Tom, sounds like your cable was faulty before the audience member stepped on it. Crunching noise on crush and radio pickup means the shield is no longer a shield.
I will check it out. Never had a problem using this same setup before in other locations.
Old 23rd September 2012 | Show parent
  #11
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonesH ➑️
Jeeez. You have the weirdest problems when you're on location...
Well yes you are correct.

This town has a lot of really weird RF problems. We went to a very sophisticated grounding scheme at the college for all the facilities because the local radio station WOBL was bleeding into all the intercoms and the audio and video facilities in the buildings. We also have an FM station in town owned by the college, WOBC-FM, that use to have so many side bands on its signal it would interfere with TV reception all over town in the days when people used outdoor antennas. We also have a lot of heavy set people in town and they seem to be very good at finding our cables and stepping on them.

I am glad that you and others don't have these same problems.
Old 23rd September 2012
  #12
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boojum's Avatar
 
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Over at Taperssection they refer to the folks who run into mic stands and stand on cables as "Wookies."
Old 23rd September 2012
  #13
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🎧 10 years
I *ALWAYS* run my cables where they won't get stepped on - true, the cable has a problem and needs to be replaced, but putting them in harm's way is just unwise. If she had high heels on that cable would be permanently broken - as it is, it is not the fat lady's fault. Replace the cable and run them wisely in the future.

<L>
Old 27th September 2012 | Show parent
  #14
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by loujudson ➑️
I *ALWAYS* run my cables where they won't get stepped on - true, the cable has a problem and needs to be replaced, but putting them in harm's way is just unwise. If she had high heels on that cable would be permanently broken - as it is, it is not the fat lady's fault. Replace the cable and run them wisely in the future.

<L>
Easy to say hard to do sometimes. Most of the remote recording gigs we do are done in local concert halls. We have a very finicky Fire Marshall in town who goes ballistic anytime a cable is not taped down or improperly run in such a way that someone could possibly trip over it. He has been known to stop concerts when everything is not to his satisfaction.

In this instance we had very little setup time and I ran the cable the best I could given the time we had. The lady in question walked all over the room and unless our cables were flown from the ceiling there was no place she would not have walked on them. I hear what you are saying but sometimes circumstance prevent one from doing the best job possible. FWIW and YMMV
Old 27th September 2012 | Show parent
  #15
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe ➑️
... He has been known to stop concerts when everything is not to his satisfaction....
Fairly different culture out this way, I don't believe I've ever seen anyone other than the conductor decide what happens when. I hear tales of fire marshals, hassling club owners about occupancy limits and somesuch, but to stand there with an extinguisher and an axe, shouting, "Stop! In the name of the law!"? Sweet mother of mercy.
Old 27th September 2012 | Show parent
  #16
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelpatterson ➑️
Fairly different culture out this way, I don't believe I've ever seen anyone other than the conductor decide what happens when. I hear tales of fire marshals, hassling club owners about occupancy limits and somesuch, but to stand there with an extinguisher and an axe, shouting, "Stop! In the name of the law!"? Sweet mother of mercy.
This Fire Marshall is one of a kind (hopefully). He has walked into concerts at the Conservatory and stopped the concert when there were people sitting in the aisles. He has stopped concerts in a converted gym on college property when he felt that there were too many people in the venue. He has consistently been at odds with the college and the local merchants over "egress problems". Whole entry ways and exits have had to be redone at his insistence. No one knows how to rain him in including the city manager. He says he is doing all of this to "insure the safety of the occupants and concert goers" I think he takes himself and his position a bit too seriously.

FWIW
Old 27th September 2012
  #17
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Sounds like someone who was reincarnated from a previous life with some MAJORLY unfinished business... Triangle Shirtwaist?
Old 27th September 2012 | Show parent
  #18
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Richard Crowley's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by OzGizmo ➑️
The Rode NT4 is a stereo mic... was the extension 5 pin XLRF to 5 pin XLRM and then split out at the recorder end or was it 2x 3 Pin XLR cables with the break out at the mic end or was it an unbalanced 3.5mm extension?

Unbalanced cable runs should only be used for short distances.....
There appears to be no part of the setup that was ever unbalanced, even for a millimeter. I use miniature Canare star-quad as 5-pin (dual balanced pair) stereo extensions for my stereo microphones (including NT-4) around the PNW and in many places around the world with absolutely no problem at all.

OTOH, I once had my 8-pair snake pierced by the first-chair cello player's spike.
Old 27th September 2012
  #19
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🎧 15 years
First chairs are vicious people, they have to be.
Old 27th September 2012 | Show parent
  #20
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcrowley ➑️
There appears to be no part of the setup that was ever unbalanced, even for a millimeter. I use miniature Canare star-quad as 5-pin (dual balanced pair) stereo extensions for my stereo microphones (including NT-4) around the PNW and in many places around the world with absolutely no problem at all.

OTOH, I once had my 8-pair snake pierced by the first-chair cello player's spike.
a. split it to regular XLRs for less expensive damage.
b. ProCo Road Hog mic cables - I bought 32 of them eleven years ago when I re-fit my PA and not one has ever gone bad
c. stupid cell player! Must have been aiming carefully.
d. snake in wrong place if cellist can get at it with his weapon!

Sorry, just have to say all that. If you leave gear out on the sidewalk it will get stolen; likewise put cables in walkways and they get walked on.

I have a 5 meter tiny (one eighth inch) stereo extension for my VP88 that has proved to be extremely durable - but I try to route it our of harm's way. Drummers are dangerous too, with all those legs...

Or use WL mics!
Old 27th September 2012
  #21
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Most of my mike cables are made with Sommer club series cable and haven't been a problem even with vehicles driving over them (occasionally, and not from choice).

Sensible routing is key and I always have far more cable than I think I'll need precisely so I can go round hazards safely.

Similarly, I've come to use longer snakes over the years but with fewer cores to keep the weight down. I may have to roll out an extra snake, but it's easier in the long run.
Old 28th September 2012
  #22
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Tommy-boy's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Sometimes, you just can't win.
Old 28th September 2012 | Show parent
  #23
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcrowley ➑️
There appears to be no part of the setup that was ever unbalanced, even for a millimeter. I use miniature Canare star-quad as 5-pin (dual balanced pair) stereo extensions for my stereo microphones (including NT-4) around the PNW and in many places around the world with absolutely no problem at all.

OTOH, I once had my 8-pair snake pierced by the first-chair cello player's spike.
They probably thought it was a real snake...

I had a trumpet player, who was always rocking his chair, come down squarely on a mic cable and mashed the he!! out of it. I put a new cable in and he did the same thing to that cable. I finally got a piece of garden hose slit it on one side and put a three foot length over the mic cable that was running to his mic and we finished the recording.

I was recording a solo cello one time and we had a mic stand with a mic in front of him. He was coming back for a listen and when he got up from his chair he knocked over the mic stand and the microphone and almost fell over on his cello.

Worst RF problem I ever ran into was doing a concert of small children singing. Something went wrong and in the back ground was the local country and western station coming in strong. It started in the middle of the concert and there was no break to replace the mic lines. So you have a concert of small children singing with a C&W background. The director was not pleased. We checked out the cables and there was no problem with them. Not sure what happened.
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