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Has anyone auditioned these mics? Condenser Microphones
Old 6 days ago
  #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
I think the days of paying someone to document a concert are fast coming to a close.
Most concerts are probably not worth documenting professionally, though. Now that parents and loved ones can do it themselves, why not leave it to them? It's simpler and suffices for their purposes. I understand it's a blow to your business, but in the grand scheme of things I think the changes underway are not all bad.

I think people will continue to end up using professionals in the situations where a professional is warranted and worth the expense. All of music (and photography and video) is shifting or has shifted to this model. I'm a musician myself and we use this model: I record our own demos and do our own live sound for most gigs, because otherwise we'd lose money on every gig or recording (and we barely break even as it is; we certainly lost money on our CD but that's the norm these days for the majority of musicians). But if we're recording for something people will pay for (e.g., a CD), we'll go to a professional studio. And if we're playing at a large venue, we'll use professionals for the sound. For the small stuff that just goes to Soundcloud or for a live audience of 50-100 people, we do it ourselves. The economics don't work out otherwise. We don't make our living through music (it would be impossible given our very specialized niche), but we do try to at least break even or not lose too much money.

I'm sympathetic to both sides of the equation; I'm sure these new technologies have made it harder for many professionals (photographers, videographers, sound engineers) to make a living, but it has also opened up a lot more opportunities for independent artists who otherwise couldn't afford to get their art out into the world.
Old 6 days ago
  #62
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradh View Post
Most concerts are probably not worth documenting professionally, though. Now that parents and loved ones can do it themselves, why not leave it to them? It's simpler and suffices for their purposes. I understand it's a blow to your business, but in the grand scheme of things I think the changes underway are not all bad.

I think people will continue to end up using professionals in the situations where a professional is warranted and worth the expense. All of music (and photography and video) is shifting or has shifted to this model. I'm a musician myself and we use this model: I record our own demos and do our own live sound for most gigs, because otherwise we'd lose money on every gig or recording (and we barely break even as it is; we certainly lost money on our CD but that's the norm these days for the majority of musicians). But if we're recording for something people will pay for (e.g., a CD), we'll go to a professional studio. And if we're playing at a large venue, we'll use professionals for the sound. For the small stuff that just goes to Soundcloud or for a live audience of 50-100 people, we do it ourselves. The economics don't work out otherwise. We don't make our living through music (it would be impossible given our very specialized niche), but we do try to at least break even or not lose too much money.

I'm sympathetic to both sides of the equation; I'm sure these new technologies have made it harder for many professionals (photographers, videographers, sound engineers) to make a living, but it has also opened up a lot more opportunities for independent artists who otherwise couldn't afford to get their art out into the world.
All well said.

One problems for musicians in the future is going to be AI music. You tell the computer what genre of music you want, what key you want it in and at what rhythm and it will do the music for you it may even let you write the lyrics and work the music around the lyrics. It is not too far off. Now someone who needs some music for a commercial can get it done without paying for any musicians further exacerbating the money flow problems. AI music will probably not effect musicians such as yourself but it may put the "writing and performing" of certain kinds of music in jeopardy.Techno and house music is almost doing this today.

Have a good week!
Old 6 days ago
  #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
AI music will probably not effect musicians such as yourself but it may put the "writing and performing" of certain kinds of music in jeopardy.Techno and house music is almost doing this today.
True, although as I mentioned above I think the pendulum may swing back at least partially as people crave human-made music/music with humanity. A few days ago I went to a store downtown that sells paper journals, calendars, notebooks, agendas, and --ready for it? -- actual typewriters. The place was packed, not so much by Luddites, but by people who seemed to be seeking a kind of balance. Many of them had smartphones in one hand while browsing fountain pens or wall calendars in the other. I overheard one person remark to his partner, "it's like stepping back into an earlier century," and his partner replied, "it's so refreshing."

I think we're still at a stage where it's all bright and shiny and we're exploring what technology can do. It can do a lot, and AI is going to be very disruptive, but in the end there's nothing like human contact and human talent. There are a growing number of cafes that deliberately don't have wifi and have removed wall plugs in order to encourage people to sit and talk to each other or to sit and read a book. This is a Good Thing, and it doesn't have to be all black and white, one or the other. We just have to find a balance, and everything has to find its level. I'm pretty confident that 100 years from now, if anyone's still around, there will still be plenty of people making music with their own hands, voices, and feet, and there will be real live engineers recording them.
Old 6 days ago
  #64
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If students around the local college are any indication of what is ahead...They walk around with an earbud in one ear, their cell phone on the other ear and they are carrying on a conversation with their friends. At the local coffee shop most students are buried in the laptops or the cell phones or their IPADs. There is very little verbal communication going on. For a generation that is sooooooooooo connected they seem like islands unto themselves instead of part of the mainstream. My interns are always fascinated when I turn on my typewriter to type up their paychecks. When I invite them to use it they say "no thanks" and say I would rather use my computer and a printer. They ask how do I spell check my work and I reply with my mind. From what I see most people today are so attached to their cell phones that they become their reality. I also face the fact that most of my interns do not really know much of anything about audio or video if they are not attached to the internet. When I was growing up I had to know what I was doing or find out via asking someone more knowledgeable or by reading a book. I certainly do not want to go back to that era but...If young people today are so "plugged in" that they cannot reason or think for themselves then 1984 maybe right on the horizon.

I hope things turn around but I am not sure they will. FWIW
Old 6 days ago
  #65
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One problem in the United States insofar as it relates to college students and their families is the tremendous costs they are paying for a degree with so many of them going deep into student loan debt. The college may have the resources to pay for a pro recording, but I think it has to be a harder sale when it comes to the students and parents. It used to be that college students didn't have any money, but now they don't have any money and they have student loan debt the size of a mortgage.

Another issue that comes to mind is that a student performance might look great on a cellphone, but maybe one doesn't really want to see the same performance on a 4k monitor? It can be a little too real for comfort.

the iphone is an example of the impact of Ai already. It can make some amazing photos with the user hardly doing anything except aiming the camera and touching the screen.
Old 6 days ago
  #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
If young people today are so "plugged in" that they cannot reason or think for themselves then 1984 maybe right on the horizon.
Interestingly, the computer scientist Cal Newport wrote an excellent book on this topic called "Deep Work." His main argument is that people are so distracted nowadays that anyone who can cultivate and maintain the ability to think deeply will have a competitive edge in the job market because that ability is increasingly rare and thus increasingly valuable.

Again, this is about developing a niche. Newport is a professor (which brings many distractions, including administrative responsibilities, teaching responsibilities, advising responsibilities, etc.) and a researcher who works in the publish-or-perish ecosystem of academia. It's a hard balancing act for anyone, but even harder today. He has no Facebook or Twitter account, and blocks off big chunks of his calendar for deep thinking and deep work.

He demonstrates that reducing distractions and cultivating the skill to do deep work can play an enormous role in career development and earning potential. He's right, and I think that's another reason why the pendulum will eventually swing back, at least to some degree.
Old 6 days ago
  #67
Quote:
I am seeing quite the opposite. No one wants to pay for professional quality recordings anymore and prefer to have someone's grandfather, mother or sibling push the record button.
My explanation to them is this. It does not cost the school or group anything. I suggest what many of my clients do: add $1-$2 dollars to the ticket price. The parents usually do not notice, and if they do they will be told they will receive a recording at no cost of the concert. It is an easy sell for them. For the client, they get to ban the distracting use of personal devices during the concert, and they get a product that little Suzie's mother cannot possibly match.

And unfortunately, yes, the price does have to be manageable for the client. I say this without accusation as I have no knowledge of anyone's pricing practices. You cannot charge a high school choir $1000 for a simple concert video recording and expect them have any sort of loyalty. There is a point where sticker shock will lose the client. You need to find the sweet spot of profitability and client sustainability.

And no, the concerts are, for the most part, not demanding of the use or cost of a professional recording engineer, and I don't get any particular professional satisfaction doing them. But it pays well enough, and if they are getting a good, no effort or hassle deal, then they will hire one.
Old 6 days ago
  #68
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^that's a practical approach. Don't you also have to work with the college to be sure they either have a copyright license or are performing something in the public domain?
Old 5 days ago
  #69
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manyrocks View Post
^that's a practical approach. Don't you also have to work with the college to be sure they either have a copyright license or are performing something in the public domain?
I personally try not to get involved with that. I usually upload to an unlisted Youtube playlist. They have rather intense automated copyright detection which will either mute or monetize the video so the copyright owner will get paid. It is a nice, modern, legal workaround that publishers seem to be satisfied with. It has happened a few times that I could not upload something. The clients always understood in my experience. At any rate I give the client the full recording in file format and let them worry about distribution laws, it is not my property at that point and I am not claiming any rights to it.
Old 5 days ago
  #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumleymusic View Post
My explanation to them is this. It does not cost the school or group anything. I suggest what many of my clients do: add $1-$2 dollars to the ticket price. The parents usually do not notice, and if they do they will be told they will receive a recording at no cost of the concert. It is an easy sell for them. For the client, they get to ban the distracting use of personal devices during the concert, and they get a product that little Suzie's mother cannot possibly match.

And unfortunately, yes, the price does have to be manageable for the client. I say this without accusation as I have no knowledge of anyone's pricing practices. You cannot charge a high school choir $1000 for a simple concert video recording and expect them have any sort of loyalty. There is a point where sticker shock will lose the client. You need to find the sweet spot of profitability and client sustainability.

And no, the concerts are, for the most part, not demanding of the use or cost of a professional recording engineer, and I don't get any particular professional satisfaction doing them. But it pays well enough, and if they are getting a good, no effort or hassle deal, then they will hire one.
To a certain extent, you also act as an authority figure. You are probably the only person at the high school choir concert that looks like they know what they are doing. Parents like knowing their children are in good hands. By setting up microphones and making sure no one steals them, you give parents that "peace of mind" along with a reason not call the school and complain about the parking lot, etc.
Old 5 days ago
  #71
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celticrogues's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
The current "helicopter" or "hover" generation of parents doesn't help...they want to record everything their little darlings do in close up detail.
Right, but they're not actually accomplishing this with their i-devices are they? The iPhone camera is pretty decent but still no match for a professional camera wielded by a professional videographer. To say nothing of the sound quality of an iPhone mic versus real mics.

Maybe we should be marketing more toward parents and not schools - look how much better we can make your little sh... I mean darlings... look on a big screen with our fancy equipment!

-Mike
Old 5 days ago
  #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celticrogues View Post
Right, but they're not actually accomplishing this with their i-devices are they? The iPhone camera is pretty decent but still no match for a professional camera wielded by a professional videographer. To say nothing of the sound quality of an iPhone mic versus real mics.
Sure, but I think the point was that what they get from their phones and tablets is good enough for their purposes. They can film and post or film and save, immediately, no fuss, no muss, and no expense. It's really no different from home movies, although faster and more convenient.

You could show them how much better it could look, but in cases like this I don't think most parents would be swayed. They're not aiming for quality, just an acceptably good capture of a moment to be shared with others or saved for the future (or both). You wouldn't hire a professional photographer to live at your home 365 days a year to take photos of your kids, would you? Similarly, you wouldn't necessarily hire a professional to record audio or video of every elementary or high school concert.

On the other hand, if your kid was chosen to play in an all-county or all-state orchestra and they did one concert only, that might be something worth capturing at higher quality since it's such a special once-in-a-lifetime event.
Old 5 days ago
  #73
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emrr's Avatar
Yeah, people create so much media they forget most of it within a week and never revisit a thing because of the sheer quantity. That's as much of the problem as anything.
Old 4 days ago
  #74
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With regard to the media blitz that kids are immersed in these days: my daughter has just returned from teaching young primary school kids in Sweden: in that country, all electronic devices are banned in these schools - phones, computers, etc - and she said their concentration and focus was amazing: she could talk about a subject for half an hour, and all eyes were riveted on her for the whole time.
Old 4 days ago
  #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Milo1865 View Post
in that country, all electronic devices are banned in these schools - phones, computers, etc - and she said their concentration and focus was amazing: she could talk about a subject for half an hour, and all eyes were riveted on her for the whole time.
In many so-called advanced countries of the English speaking world, that would be deemed as of near human-rights abuse degree: "How dare that school delay my child's inalienable right to advance to cyborg status" !
Old 3 days ago
  #76
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About what size event is needed for there to be enough audience size to make a pro video workable from a financial perspective?
Old 3 days ago
  #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manyrocks View Post
About what size event is needed for there to be enough audience size to make a pro video workable from a financial perspective?
How do you assess the 'size of an event' ? Is it based on the number of performers, numbers in the audience, number of potential sales of the 'video product' afterwards ? Calibre and status of the performer(s) ?

I'd suggest it largely rests on the negotiations done beforehand to transform the 'pro video' into a financially viable item after it's been produced ie will it be marketed to the potential buying audience, have all copyright clearances been obtained, and so on ? Paul MacCartney playing a ukelele alone in a dirty city laneway would make a very viable video from a financial perspective, by virtue of prior reputation status.
Old 3 days ago
  #78
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 

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I did our first concert with the new MicPre3. Some problems with the menu system and the size of my index finger but besides that the sound was very nice for a shoe-box auditorium. I used my NT-4 for the concert since we had to do a quick setup. The bass sounded like we had gained an extra octave on the headphones. Everything was clear and no mid-range "honk". I always though that the TASCAM DR100 MkIIs preamps sounded OK but these mic preamps in the MixPre3 sound incredible. I will have a listen to what we got tomorrow in the mastering room. I think I am going to be rewarded with a really good recording. So far a winner. One problem I ran into even using fresh batteries was that the unit started saying the batteries were low about 15 minutes in and the MicPre3 would shut off the unit soon. I had USB power all set to go and was able to put that in without any problems. Another problem was the videographer showed up and told me that our mic stand was way to tall and was in all of his shots and could I lower it. I have been doing this gig for 7 + year and this is the first videographer that had a problem with our mic stand. He went around to all the "higher ups" complaining that I was ruining his video. He was shooting from the projection booth through non optical glass so I don't think my "mic stand" was not the only problem.

Videographers... except when I am doing the video work. <GRIN>
Old 3 days ago
  #79
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jimjazzdad's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
Another problem was the videographer showed up and told me that our mic stand was way to tall and was in all of his shots and could I lower it. I have been doing this gig for 7 + year and this is the first videographer that had a problem with our mic stand. He went around to all the "higher ups" complaining that I was ruining his video. He was shooting from the projection booth through non optical glass so I don't think my "mic stand" was not the only problem.

Videographers... except when I am doing the video work. <GRIN>
I wonder how far he/she would get complaining that the podium or the music stands were in all his/her shots. And one high angle shot from the booth is hardly going to look good or professional. I think videographers have their place and priority at a musical theater production, where body-worn wireless mics are used - that is an event that is at least 50% visual...but a music concert? Its up to them to weave their shots around us, when the soundtrack is king.
Old 3 days ago
  #80
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Another reason for the sound recordists to shoot the video. Can't imagine they saved money bringing in another person to do video...and then he has to sync your audio after acting badly.
Old 3 days ago
  #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
One problem I ran into even using fresh batteries was that the unit started saying the batteries were low about 15 minutes in and the MicPre3 would shut off the unit soon. I had USB power all set to go and was able to put that in without any problems.
You may already know this but while normal alkaline AA batteries only give about 20 min of recording time in the MP3, rechargeable NiMH AA's will give about two hours. Good on you for having backup power ready to go though.

-Mike
Old 3 days ago
  #82
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emrr's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
Another problem was the videographer showed up and told me that our mic stand was way to tall and was in all of his shots and could I lower it. I have been doing this gig for 7 + year and this is the first videographer that had a problem with our mic stand. He went around to all the "higher ups" complaining that I was ruining his video. He was shooting from the projection booth through non optical glass so I don't think my "mic stand" was not the only problem.

Videographers... except when I am doing the video work. <GRIN>
You could always leave and let him shoot his silent movie.....
Old 2 days ago
  #83
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 

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I have asked the conductor of the orchestra if she wanted us to do the video as well but she like to have different people doing the videos. Why I have nary a clue.

I listened to the recording and it was good and much better than the recording using the TASCAM DR100 MKII's mic preamps. The student orchestra was OK but not great. One problem I did not anticipate was that the MicPre 3 is ALWAYS recording 5 channels so when I went to open it in Wavelab it was a no go. I downloaded their app and was pleasantly surprised that it worked so well. Oh well live and learn.
Old 2 days ago
  #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celticrogues View Post
You may already know this but while normal alkaline AA batteries only give about 20 min of recording time in the MP3, rechargeable NiMH AA's will give about two hours. Good on you for having backup power ready to go though.

-Mike
Thanks I did not know that. Appreciate the information.

I can also get a back for the unit that would allow us to use Sony camera batteries. We already use them for our HD camera monitors. Any thought on how long those last. Thanks!
Old 2 days ago
  #85
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celticrogues's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
One problem I did not anticipate was that the MicPre 3 is ALWAYS recording 5 channels so when I went to open it in Wavelab it was a no go. I downloaded their app and was pleasantly surprised that it worked so well. Oh well live and learn.
I assume you are using advanced mode. You can go into the Record Menu option and set "Rec L,R" to "off" and it will not record the mix tracks. The three ISO tracks can be individually armed in their individual menus. No need to record all 5 tracks at once.

The MixPres DO always record PolyWav files however, if you're recording more than one channel.

-Mike
Old 2 days ago
  #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celticrogues View Post
I assume you are using advanced mode. You can go into the Record Menu option and set "Rec L,R" to "off" and it will not record the mix tracks. The three ISO tracks can be individually armed in their individual menus. No need to record all 5 tracks at once.

The MixPres DO always record PolyWav files however, if you're recording more than one channel.

-Mike
Still learning. Thanks for the info. This is what is great about this forum and the people who post here.

Be safe!
Old 2 days ago
  #87
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Old 2 days ago
  #88
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Old 1 day ago
  #89
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 

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I got everything transferred and the Wave Agent App that Sound Devices provides is GREAT! Sound Devices - Downloads. The sound is much improved over the TASCAM DR-100 MKII's mic preamps but interestingly we also recorded a backup on our trusty TASCAM DR-100 MKII though the line inputs and it too sounds much better. I guess the mic preamps are the downfall of TASCAM unit. Glad I got the Sound Devices.

Thanks for all the suggestions and help. I really appreciate them. Have a good weekend.
Old 23 hours ago
  #90
RPC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
Thanks. I am still learning about the unit. I wonder why it has such a heavy current draw?
Very good microphone preamplifiers -> high current through first stage transistors and probably also Class A -> high current draw. I.e. TANSTAAFL!
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