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Try not to think of products that already exist. Try to think of what you want the next things to do here.

How would your ideal mobile sfx recording rig work?

Here's my thought:

I think I'd like a series of tiny modular devices that can plug into my existing mics.

Ideally each module would be about the size and shape of the schoeps cut filter that goes on the collette system mics (only with a female xlr on one side and a closed end on the other)
alt text http://schoeps.de/IMG/products/product_pics/cut1_0.gif

This module would house a phantom power unit, preamp, D/A converter, and wireless xmitter. It would also have an integrated pad and hipass. Each module would have integrated rechargeable power supplies that could be supplemented with external battery packs if required. If it were a little longer than the schoeps pad in order to fit all of that I'd still be ok with it. :P

when recording, each module would power and capture the signal, then wirelessly transmit it to a master base station with routable channels and monitoring. From the base station you could remtoely adjust all parameters on each module including on/off, level, hipass, pad, sample rate, bit depth, etc.

the base station would have usb or firewire ports available for HD connections, and could also wirelessly sync with ftp and other cloud based services. of course full recording templates including routing, naming scheme and other things would be included.

with a rig like this you could essentially just leave the modules attached to the mics during transport. you're wireless, so you don't have to worry about hauling tons of cables around. You also don't have to worry about cable handling noise. all of your setup can be done the day before the shoot, so that when the shoot date arrives you just set up your mics, turn on the system and start rolling.

Of course, the major prereq for a system like this is that it would both work and be bulletproof. a buggy or unreliable wireless rig like this would be as much of a nightmare as a rock solid one would be a dream.

  • @Rene, Make the USB lightpeak or thunderbolt and you've got a killer scene there, man. Only issue is the continuing proliferation of wireless everything and its eating into your transmission bands. – g.a.harry Apr 6 '11 at 19:35
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For myself, I'd like a pair of glasses with three omnis embedded into them. One at the curve of each arm and one at the bridge. Tri-aural recording!

Same again for shoes, a nice water and vibration-isolated faux leather acoustic membrane across the front of the foot and a cavity in the heels for wireless transmitters. Great for foley and traffic passbys.

A three to five channel, single-unit mic. 5.1 in one.

A remote control hover boom.

Sorry, I'm being silly.

Oooh, wireless nano mics that you can stick directly to surfaces. No more annoying packs, or having to hide them in the talent's hair.

I'm serious about the glasses though...

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    @g.a.harry Check out Holophone and Soundfield for single-unit surround options. I've never done surround recording with just one mic, but the FIFA 10 guys apparently got nice results with Holophone recordings. Not sure how prevalent these mics are in the film world – Tyler Apr 6 '11 at 20:34
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    @Tyler - we've got a holophone at work. it's awesome for picking up ambiences, or as a room mic in music recording, but I find we use it for very little else. it's just too damned big to lug around. the Soundfield SPS200, on the other hand, is something i'd really like to try out in field recording some time. – Shaun Farley Apr 6 '11 at 21:42
  • @Tyler, I'd love to get a holophone, but as @Shaun said, they're kinda clunky. I'm imagining an MKH416 shaped mic with 5 discrete channels. Basically a miniaturized version of the 5.1 rigs that some crazy camera ops mount on their cameras for nature/reality shows. – g.a.harry Apr 6 '11 at 21:58
  • Oh, and with the glasses, the idea is to be able to walk around recording without weirdos staring at you. It's like they've never had an unidentifiable gun shaped fuzzy thing pointed at them before. – g.a.harry Apr 6 '11 at 22:04
  • DPA makes a 5.1 mic. It's 6 discrete capsules sealed inside a compact enclosure. Recently have been working with ambiences and FX captured with it and they sound absolutely amazing. – Jay Jennings Apr 7 '11 at 8:45
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I'll expand on your idea, Rene... have the mics connect to your portable mixer that then wirelessly (we'll just invent some more wireless technology so this doesn't get in the way) sends the recording back to storage in your van. That way, if things go incredibly wrong and you fall into a river, everything you recorded is still fine. Also, you could be transporting hundreds of terabytes in your van -- hotswappable, of course.

Or am I taking a step in the wrong direction when I REALLY want an A-team van full of A/V racks?

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A recording system where you just put the mic up in the general area and it records 3 tracks and in post you can zoom in and out anywhere in the field with perfect presence.

Oh, they already have this. A buddy of mine invented it.

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