Auto Mix Discussion

Last week I had an interesting conversation with my new friend Allan Tépper about mixers and recorders under $1000 USD with an auto mix feature. Allen is a contributing author at ProVideoCoalition and also hosts Beyond Podcasting. You can listen to our conversation over at ProVideoCoalition.com.

For those not familiar with auto mixing, this feature is very helpful in situations where you're recording two or more people, each with their own microphone, for interviews, panel discussions, or podcasts. In such situations, it is common for one person's speech to bleed over into the other peoples' mics, at least a little bit. Also, the mics that are not currently in use will often pick up reverberation in the room as sound bounces off the walls. Auto mix helps solve this problem by fading back the microphones not currently in use and then quickly fading them back up when that person begins to speak.

bitLighter 2 Review: Flashlight/Torch for Video and Photo

How can you make higher contrast, more dramatic lighting for your video and photo projects? Hard light! In this episode, we demonstrate a few different dramatic lighting setups with the bitLighter 2, a very small, hard light designed for video and photography. It is super portable and renders colors well.

If you’d like to learn how to make great dialogue audio for your film and video projects, please have a look at my courses at the Learn Light and Sound school including processing dialogue audio, recording sound, how to use the Zoom F8 and F8n, and how to get the most from the Sound Devices MixPre series of recorders.

Links to gear used in this video:

bitLighter 2 - LED Flashlight/Torch for Video and Photography

Aputure COB120t - Key light for the talking head portions of this video

Aputure Light Dome II - Newer version of the big soft box with faster setup and gel holder

Lupo Superpanel Full Color 30 - RGBW 1x1 panel light for the funky background colors

LED GO E268C Bi-color Edge-lit LED Pad - super thin and light, making it a great soft light source for tight spaces

Vistek Canada (also ship to USA)

Holdan UK

Sound Devices 633 Audio Recorder/Mixer

Sennheiser MKH 8050 - This is the boom mic used to record this episode

Panasonic GH5 Camera - Used for all of the product shots

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens - this is the the lens I use more than any other on the GH5s

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd

Music Copyright 2018 by Cary Judd. Used with permission.

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are Amazon.com or B&H Photo 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!

Zoom F8n Review

The Zoom F8n is the latest F-series audio recorders from Zoom aimed at filmmakers. The F8n is an evolutionary upgrade from the original F8 with some useful hardware and software upgrades including advanced hybrid limiters, AutoMix, simultaneous recording to a computer as an audio interface and internally to the F8n, timecode generator that keeps time while the recorder is powered off for up to 2 hours, mic/line selectable inputs, pro line-level balanced outputs, and many more features that pros demand. And this is available at a groundbreaking price that makes it accessible to many independent filmmakers - $1000 USD at the time of this review. Let’s run through a few of the highlights in this video.

If you’d like to learn how to get the most out of the Zoom F8 or F8n, please consider my course over at our school.

Links to gear used in this video:

Zoom F8n Audio Field Recorder

Orca OR-28 Sound Bag - I have the slightly larger OR-30. Great, sturdy bag. The OR-28 was made specifically for recorders the size of the F8/F8n

TA3F to XLRM Adapter - to adapt the outputs from mini to standard XLR. This allows you to run sound to pro-level cameras, wireless headsets for directors, producers, or script supervisors, or any other audio device with balanced XLR inputs.

JuiceBox V-mount Battery - 95 Watt Hour

Aputure COB120t - Key light for the talking head portions of this video

Aputure Light Dome II - Newer version of the big soft box with faster setup and gel holder

Lupo Superpanel Full Color 30 - RGBW 1x1 panel light for the funky background colors

LED GO E268C Bi-color Edge-lit LED Pad - super thin and light, making it a great soft light source for tight spaces

Vistek Canada (also ship to USA)

Holdan UK

Sennheiser MKH 8050 - This is the boom mic used to record this episode

Panasonic GH5 Camera - Used for all of the product shots

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens - this is the the lens I use more than any other on the GH5s

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd

Music Copyright 2018 by Cary Judd. Used with permission.

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are Amazon.com or B&H Photo 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 COB120dII: LED Light for Video and Photo

For a couple of years now, the Aputure C120d and C120t have been my main lights for almost all of my video jobs. They’ve been super reliable and I love their flexibility to work as hard or soft light sources. The updated C120dII takes some very nice steps forward in terms of build quality, output, and overall usefulness. Let’s take a closer look now that I’ve had a copy for about 3 or 4 months.

If you’d like to learn how to make great dialogue audio for your film and video projects, please have a look at my courses at my school including processing dialogue audio, recording sound, how to use the Zoom F8 and F8n, and how to get the most from the Sound Devices MixPre series of recorders.

Links to gear used in this video:

Aputure COB120d II LED Light

Aputure COB120d - Original version, $100 cheaper. My take is that the mark 2 version is worth the additional $100. But if you’re on a tight budget, the original has been great for me for a couple of years.

Aputure Light Dome II - Newer version of the big soft box with faster setup and gel holder

Aputure Light Dome - Deep, big softbox for incredibly beautiful, soft light (original version)

Aputure Fresnel Lens - Original focusing fresnel lens to push a strong shaft of light. Great for effects. I’d wait for the new version coming soon if you don’t need it right away

Aputure Barn Doors - Great for cutting hard lines in your light. I love using this for product shots to add a bit of mystery to the feel.

Sekonic C-700U Spectrometer - This is what we used to measure the light output and color quality

Sennheiser MKH 8050 - This is the boom mic used to record this episode

Panasonic GH5 Camera - Used for all of the product shots

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens - this is the the lens I use more than any other on the GH5s

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd

Music Copyright 2018 by Cary Judd. Used with permission.

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are Amazon.com or B&H Photo 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!

RODE VideoMic Me-L Review: Better iPhone Audio

If you shoot video with your iPhone or iPad and are looking to improve the quality of your audio, the RODE VideoMic Me-L might be the solution for you. This little mic attaches to your phone via the lightning port and with its 1/2 inch capsule and directional pickup pattern, it helps focus the sound and reduce the noise you capture. Here we take a closer look at how it works in the difficult situations we often find ourselves such as windy outdoors, crowded, noisy spaces, and even in relatively quiet household rooms.

If you’d like to learn how to make great dialogue audio for your film and video projects, please have a look at my courses at my school including one that focuses on processing dialogue audio!

Links to gear some of the gear we used here:

RODE VideoMic Me-L for iPhone and iPad

Panasonic GH5s Camera - my favorite small camera for video, used for a couple of the b-roll shots

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens - this is the the lens I use more than any other on the GH5s

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd

Music Copyright 2018 by Cary Judd. Used with permission.

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are Amazon.com or B&H Photo 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: MixPre 10T Power Options

What are the options for powering the Sound Devices MixPre-10T? Here we cover the main options to keep your recording sessions smooth and trouble free.

This is an excerpt from my course, Getting the Most From Your MixPre-3, 6, 10T. Please consider my sound for film classes available over at the school.

Gear and links discussed/used to record this episode:

Sound Devices MixPre-10T Audio Recorder/Mixer

Sennheiser MKH 8050 Supercardioid Boom Microphone (used to record this segment)

AC to Hirose Adapter (B&H) If you’ve got AC power available, this will power the 10T for as long as you need.

12 Volt Battery Bank (Amazon): One of the more affordable powering options. There’s also a higher capacity version for twice the price.

DC Barrel to Hirose cable (Amazon): Required to connect the above battery bank to your MixPre-10T

JuiceBox V-mount (Amazon): Cinema style battery that will power the MixPre-10T for up to 10 hours, depending on how many mics and phantom powered channels you use.

D-tap to Hirose cable (Amazon): Use this cable to attach the V-mount battery to your MixPre-10T

Remote Audio BDS (Battery Distribution System - B&H): Pros use solutions like this - one battery will power everything in your bag, including wireless. Not for use with consumer grade wireless systems.

Hi-Q Style battery (B&H): Li-Ion battery with a microchip which optimizes the performance of the battery over time. This is the battery system I use.

Hi-Q Battery cup to BDS cable (B&H): I use this cup/cable to attach the Hi-Q battery to the BDS box.

NP1 Style battery. This is the “2nd option” I didn’t elaborate on in the video, very similar to the Hi-Q batteries, but without the microchip (B&H). If buying today, I’d go with the Hi-Q instead.

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd

Outro music licensed from Artlist: Call on Me by Kick Lee. Artlist provides high quality music tracks for your film and video projects. You can receive two months off an Artlist account by using our link.

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 LED Lights: Lupo, bitLighter, & LED GO

New LED Lights for video and filmmaking are hitting the market so quickly that I cannot possibly review them all. But here is an overview of three fairly unique lights I’ve had the pleasure to work with over the last couple of months. The first is the Lupo Superpanel Full Color 30, an RGBW light which effectively serves as a key or effect light with equal agility. It even includes special effects such as police car lights.

The second is called the bitLighter which is essentially a large flashlight (or torch for our British friends) that is specifically designed for video and photography lighting. It has a focusable beam which ranges between 10 and 56 degrees making it very useful for hard effects. You can also swap out the LED head to a variety of color temperatures between 2700K and 5700K.

And finally, we have a look at the LED GO E268C, and edge-lit LED pad about the size of the larger iPad Pro. This makes a very nice soft light to use as a key light or rim light. Because it is so thin, it is easy to use this light in places where traditional soft light sources (such as lights with soft boxes) could never fit.

Full Disclosure: Each of these lights was given to me free of charge from their respective manufacturers. None of them paid me beyond providing the light and they did not review this video before I posted it. All opinions shared here are my own.

Links to gear used in this episode:

Lupo Superpanel Full Color 30 RGBW LED Panel - my new favorite background and effect light that also works as a key

bitLighter LED Flashlight/Torch - Incredibly small form factor for a lot of hard light

LED GO E268C Bi-color Edge-lit LED Pad - super thin and light, making it a great soft light source for tight spaces

Vistek Canada (also ship to USA)

Holdan UK

Deity D3-Pro Shotgun Microphone - this was recorded in my car with the D3-Pro

Zoom F8n Audio Recorder

Panasonic GH5s Camera - my favorite small camera for video

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens - this is the the lens I use more than any other on the GH5s

Amazon: http://geni.us/uMsKam

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd 

Music Copyright 2018 by Cary Judd, Used with Permission

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are Amazon.com or B&H Photo 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 Timecode Setup

How do you set up timecode on a MixPre-10T? Let's take a look at free run timecode on the 10T where the 10T is the master clock.

This is an excerpt from my course, Getting the Most From Your MixPre-3, 6, 10T. Please consider my sound for film classes available over at http://school.learnlightandsound.com

Gear and links discussed/used to record this episode: 

Sound Devices MixPre-10T

Sennheiser MKH 8050 Supercardioid Boom Microphone (used to record this segment)

Copyright 2018 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!

Get a Grip - Filmmaking Discussion on Light & Sound

Last week I had the pleasure of sitting down for a discussion with my new friends Felipe Baez and Gabriel Spaulding to talk light and sound for film. Had a great time and I'm impressed with the quality of their production! These guys have years of experience in the video production world. Our hour-long conversation felt more like 15 minutes. Thanks for Felipe and Gabriel for inviting me on their show.

In this episode we cover the need to re-allocate filmmaking budgets to include lighting and sound gear rather than just cameras - the most common mistake people make when getting started in filmmaking.

Oh, and they shoot at true 24fps. These guys mean business!