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Re: tail slates

Once again, the audio geek crawls out from under the console:

I'm a hybrid. I do location film mixing and post to pix mixing in my studio
as well (about a 20/80 split). As a consequence, I get to listen to
"stories" from both sides of the fence. I lurk here to learn about the art
of the picture.

Regarding tail slates: I would dare to say in present company that the
Sound Mixer and Asst. Camera are more often than not the two most
technically savvy people on the set. We *do* talk people out of using tail
slates when they are not essential. There are legitimate needs for tail
slating as noted by others.

Jim G. sez:
-> Try sorting out a shoot when the timecode has not worked for some
-> There's usually inadequate documentation from the camera crew, If you're
-> lucky, the recordist has provided idents which describe the shots.

I'm learning to include lots of info in my logs. I had a transfer operator
call to thank me for including film FPS in my notes since speed changes
weren't noted in the camera report!

Regarding DAT as an audio format:

It seems that some tranfser houses are taking DAT tapes from the field and

1) Dumping to Nagra T; syncing the sound; transferring the sound to
Beta/DigiBeta/D-1; and then making a "courtesy DAT" that's a dub from the
videotape with the transferred footage ("Cool!" says the client, "the time
code matches that on the transfer."). Duh.

2) Skipping the Nagra T dump and proceeding as above.

Now the client shows up in my mixing suite to post his spot with audio that
travelled this route:

1. Location DAT to (analog transfer)
2. Nagra T to (analog transfer)
3. D-1 to (digital transfer? [not likely])
4. D-1 edit master to (digital transfer? [maybe])
5. layover DAT

At this point I want to see the ORIGINAL field tape(s) and conform them to
the final edit. "Uh, I must have left them at the transfer house in (pick
eastern city) or maybe at the offline (pick a mid-western city), or maybe
at the online (pick another mid-western city) or they might have been sent
back to my office (pick a west coast city)." says the client. "By the way,
I know it's Thursday, but we've got to have the mixes ready for layback
tomorrow morning, cuz these go on the air Monday."

Audio folks are as concerned with generation loss as film/video folks are.
We need all of the help we can get to keep the AD/DA stages to a minimum.

Some questions:

Do you like DAT? prefer it? why or why not? Is it faster than 1/4" to
handle in a sync session? Does it make for faster work when you have to
deal with lots of short takes? Is 10 seconds enough pre-roll? Is non
continuous (ie: TOD) time code OK or would you much prefer continuous code
(ie: use a wired/wireless slate instead of a jammed smart slate when not
using a TC capable film camera). If you get a DAT recorded at 48.048k
instead of 48.0k will you go to the trouble of making a digital transfer
upon-pull down? For those of you dumping into DAW's, are you making digital
transfers? At what stage do you choose to make an analog transfer if the
source is 48k and you need to pull down?

Thanks for any info that will make all of our lives easier. So much that
gets recorder on set goes of to another place and time to be handled and we
never hear about it again (usually considered a good thing!).


John McDaniel <johnmcd at iac.net> Sonic Arts Digital Audio Srvcs, Inc.
 "The public are swine and advertising is
the rattling of a stick in the swill bucket."  G. ORWELL

thanks to Ken Robinson, Steve Robinson, and Lynette Duensing 
for support of the TIG in 1997
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