Sony F55 V Lock problem solved

Sony F55 V Lock problem solved

I have been using for some time a pair of Audio Ltd 2000’s as a camera hop, they make a great hop and I have a couple of different Hawkwoods bracket type arrangements that I use to attach them to a camera. My favourite puts the radio mic receivers inside a box which attaches between the V-Lock and the battery on the back of the camera. It has integral leads for connecting the receivers and the camera. My other option also involves a V-lock plate but places the receivers at the side of the camera on a bracket. I’ve used both these set ups on a variety of different cameras but recently came up against a problem with the Sony F55 and Sony FS7. The V-Lock plate appeared to lock on to the camera but any reasonable pressure from underneath – eg if the camera operator tried to guide the shot by putting his hand under the battery and the plate popped off. You can imagine this was pretty annoying. It took us a while to find a solution but it was simple in the end. HawkWoods supplied me with a new “V” for the plate. It’s the bit of plastic held on with three screws. You can see in the picture that the lower plate has an extra bit taken out of it. This allows the plate to latch on the F55, the plate above is the old one for comparison. One annoying problem solved – thanks HawkWoods. We didn’t like the Sony FS7 by the way. Lots of spongy buttons that can get annoyingly knocked and auto functions that trip you up. I hated the fact that you could only see the audio levels and the timecode in the viewfinder, it meant it was impossible for me to look over and check them every now and again which we were recording, which I like to do. Anyway the VLock is now as solid as a rock and I have had the XLRs on my the integral leads replaced with right-angled plugs which suits the F55 much...

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Kashflow – time saving accounts feature

Kashflow – time saving accounts feature

Kashflow has recently added a new feature to their online accounting software. You can now – if you are with certain uk banks  (listed below) import your statement data directly into the Kashflow programme. I’m looking forward to saving myself loads of time when they add the feature for my bank. What is so good about it? Well currently you have to download your statement from your bank, open it in a spreadsheet (and make some adjustments if you import more than one account into Kashflow) and the import it into the system. This new way will be a one click solution, it will make one of the most tedious procedures in Kashflow easy and quick! If you bank with any of the following you will be already able to log in to your bank account from Kashflow and make the transfer; Bank of Scotland Business, Barclays, Clydesdale, Co-op, Halifax, HSBC, HSBC Business, Lloyds, Lloyds Business, Matro Business Corporate, Metro Bank Retail,  Nationwide, NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland, Royal Bank of Scotland Business Digital, Santander, Santander Business Banking and TSB Kashflow is also quite economic as an online accounting system, there is a £5 starter package and the business package I use which does everything I need is only £10 a month (I don’t need payroll), which for keeping me a little bit organised seems a very fair price. You can try before you buy,  it’s all online and does not install anything on your computer, which means it also works great on a PC or a Mac. Once it’s all set up it works great, and if you do run in to problems the online support is very good and quick. You can pay your VAT with the click of a mouse… Sign up for a free trial of Kashflow If you follow my link above and sign up to the plan including payroll you will receive a discount for your first 6 months....

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Why do you need a sound recordist

Why do you need a sound recordist

Later this week I have the pleasure of speaking at the Northcape film festival – in the most Northern most city in Europe. Martin Harries will also be attending to do two talks about Post Prodcution sound. On Friday I will be giving this talk: ”Why your sound recordist is important to your film” A film’s soundtrack starts with the recording on location. It’s often an area that is underated, particularly by novice film makers but it’s an area that can make or break your production. In this masterclass we will look at what can go wrong and how you can avoid mistakes. We´ll use examples from difficult locations and situations. We’ll also talk about new technology and how that is beginning to change the way we work....

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Sound Devices 633 – First look review

Sound Devices 633 – First look review

I’ve been using my 633 for just over a week and I have to say I am loving it! All the things I thought might be a problem seem not to be so far and I’m slowly sorting out the settings and work flow that suit me. I had wondered if using my Audio 2040 radio mics would be a pain with it as they are mic level rather than line (and 3 of the mixers inputs are line level only) it’s been fine so far. I’ve had leads made up that feed from the headphone out of the 204o’s rather than the mic level output and this works fine. I have heard some people complain that the ISOs are low level if you do this – but you can increase the channel gain in the menu to suit the 2040’s so it’s not actually a problem at all. One thing I really like over the the 664 firmware I am running at the moment  is that when you switch monitoring to the confidence return and power down your mixer – when you power back up it’s still on the confidence return. This was a little trick I always used to use on my SQN when I unplugged from the camera and powered down. I’d always leave it switched to RTN so that I plugged back in when I switched back on for sure. It’s something I really missed when I switched to sound devices – so I’m glad it has been introduced. The main advantage of the 633 is the small size and weight of course, so space had had to be saved and some functions that are controlled with switched on the 664 have become menu driven on the smaller machine. Things I miss are the pan controls on channels 4-6 which are not menu driven – quick to change but I wish there was a permanent visual reference on the screen somewhere to show how they are set, as it’s the kind of thing that can catch you out when moving between set ups. Likewise, but not quite so annoying is the menu driven bass cuts on all the inputs, I’d like to see at a glance how those are set without having to push a switch. At least there are bass cuts on every channel – unlike the smaller SQN machines where this function was left off two of the channels completely. My only other minor gripe at the moment is that I would like a clearer indication of the battery condition. The battery indicator does not “empty” like the 664, it just changes colour which is not – to me – as obvious. The...

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World’s Weirdest Weather – More 4 – tonight

World’s Weirdest Weather – More 4 – tonight

Series 2 of World’s Weirdest Weather starts on More 4 tonight. I did a little work on this series – including a very early morning start to film the Severn Bore earlier in the year. Not only the famous wave which goes inland along the River Severn but a surfer – on the wave talking to camera. I was very pleased with the results at the time so I’m hoping there is a good slice of this used in the actual programme. Kit used was an Audio 2040 radio mic in an aquapac with a countryman B3 mic. The actual mic had a small furry windjammer on it and was wrapped as neatly as possible in a cut down un-lubricated condom.   It had to be clipped on the the collar of the surfer so I also tied the clip on to the microphone lead – I’ve lost too many in the past. He was wearing a hat, but as he thought he was likely to lose it at some point during the surf I did not go with that for placement. The transmitter pack was placed between the surfers shoulder blades to minimise the amount of time it would spend under water whenever he came off he board – which was lots! Signal breaks every time the aerial is immersed. It was one of the most hairy boat rides I have ever had but thankfully we had an excellent skipper. Even so it was very wet and very bumpy – particularly as we crossed the wave several times during filming. Worlds Weirdest Weather starts broadcasting in the UK on More 4, 9pm Wednesday 13th...

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