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Location Sound Package For TV

Published : 15th May 2005


>My name is Aren A., it's good to be a part of your newsgroup. I'm completing a run-and-gun package for TV with less than $2000 to spend. I was wondering what you think of the package below and if you think anything is missing, or should be modified.

>I'm using a low end lav wireless system until the budget is available to purchase a Lectro system. Do more people use the 400 or the 200 system? I'm wondering what the "standard" Lectro system out there is. Are the receivers from both systems compatible with the BDS power distro system?

>I use a traditional VDB boom pole and was curious if the internally coiled boom poles cause any operational noise (or other disadvantage, if any) when you're in jumping around doing typical ENG TV work.

>Any advice or recommendations would certainly be appreciated.

Purchase :

Sound Devices 302 mixer
Portabrace MXC-302 with RM-Multi Microphone Case
Remote Audio BDS-V2 Battery Distribution System v2
IDX IDX-400 Battery Charger
Sound Devices XLNPH NP-Style Battery Cup
Remote Audio CSQN BDS Power Output Cable

Existing :

Sennheiser MKH 416 with Rycote mount and Softie
Sony wireless lav and handheld systems (low end
VDB boom pole

>And any vendors outside New York with great prices that you could recommend?

>Thanks a lot

Aren A.
New York

class="Paragraph">>I use a traditional VDB boom pole and was curious if the internally >coiled boom poles cause any operational noise (or other >disadvantage, if any) when you're in jumping around doing typical ENG >TV work.

>When I used to regularly do news audio for the networks, the internally wired boom pole was far preferable, and no, there was no handling noise. External wires were a pain. Go the internal route for sure, with the butt plug XLR at the bottom of the pole, and a short coiled jumper to your mixer.

>Make sure you have a quick disconnect audio snake (about 12-15 feet) with two XLR sends, and a mini return path, to monitor return audio coming off the camcorder. It should have a quick breakaway (usually a limo connector) near the camera. Its crucial to monitor return audio off the camcorder for confidence, and to hear warning tones (low tape, RF, low battery, etc.).

>Or :

>The day there is no audio on the tape will be your last day of work.

>Lew Comenetz-Video Engineer & E.N.G. Audio Guy

Pass on the porta brace since it the worst bag you can buy, the petrol 302 is much better the remote audio bds is an excellent dc distributor , but why do you need it right now if you run only mixer , spend the money on additional mike.

>The Octava with hipper cardioid + cardioid ( about 250$) would give you spar mike and better sound in indoor situations for powering right now you can use npf-960 batteries the 6000 ,7,2 v ( 300 grams ), just make smart plate to hook it (lenmar chargers come with replaceable plates.

>Just buy another one and add mixer input cable) so the gag is about 150, 2 npf style about 120 , Lenmar charger s and additional plate is about 80 the cable to the plate is another 50$ incl work if you can’t solder it yourself the Octava + good shock mount from k-tek is another 400 that's your 2000.

The 7.2 v batteries can work with the Lectrosonic’s in the future thru dummy 9v battery in battery compartment without a problem.

>Oleg Kaizerman , soundmixer ,Israel

Oleg Kaizerman writes :

class="Paragraph">>Pass on the porta brace since it the worst bag you can buy, the petrol >302 is much better

>umm, well, actually ...the Portabrace is the BEST bag you can buy, for many reasons. One of which is their designs and modifications have truly withstood the test of time.

>Professionals just don't have the time to 'try out' a new piece of unproven gear only to have it 'fail' at the worst possible time.

>Petrol makes half decent products, but has its limitations - anyone who takes a close look will see that.

>And no, I have no ties to Porta Brace other than being a happy customer.


Duraid Munajim

>>run-and-gun package for TV with less than $2000 to spend. I was >wondering what you think of the package below and if you think >anything is missing, or should be modified.

For basic, (basic!) run and gun, the SD 302 mixer is a very good choice. The 416 you already have is great too. Your Sony wireless system should be replaced as soon as budget allows.

>Bag : well, with the limited budget get what's not too expensive, but I will say that I own a Petrol bag (eargonizer) that I wouldn't want to part with and that I highly prefer over similar Portabrace bags.

>Some reasons :

>Easy to adjust the interior for all kinds of set-ups, very practical side pouches for transmitter out to camera, excellent material and very nicely put together, fabric inside is light orange coloured which means I can actually find the little things inside my bag - that's a life-saver right there.

>I also have to defer with Duraid's assessment that these bags are unproven. I've been running around with this bag more days than want to remember - that's like 6 months run and gun alone last year - 6day weeks! I would buy another one in a second if I had too. A lot of thought went into this bag!

>RE battery system :

>Having no budget I would cut the BDS system. It's already a luxury item in your setup and you really don't need it. Solder a cable that goes from your battery cup with enough tentacles (and plugs) to feed all your items. Saves weight too!

>Lectro-wise :

>Don't sweat if you should buy the 200 or 400 series. Buy used diversity Lectro systems. They work for a long time and Lectro service is outstanding. You might be able to get three 195D systems for one new 400!

>Be careful with the frequency blocks! Having one system is nice but gets you pretty much nowhere. Standard (at least in LA) is having 6 in the bag. 4 incoming and 2 out to camera! Buy used stuff! A lot of sound-mixers sell off their package and buy new every year out of tax reasons.

>What batteries you're going to use depends on a number of factors :

>I tend to use NP1 style batteries because I've got them already and need them also for my DAT machines. I've never looked into using camcorder-style (Sony, Canon) etc. lithium batteries but it might be a good idea and save more money as well as additional weight! Doing sound for TV is a very unhealthy thing you'll find out quickly and you will survive only if you're a born masochist : welcome to our world!

>Interior cabled poles behave a bit different than others but for TV eng work it's a must and you'll learn how to handle them quietly. No worries here.

>Hope that helps somewhat.

>Karl Lohninger
Sound mixer etc.
Los Angeles

>after you would try the petrol 302 bag , you will defiantly sing other way >do you make sound for living or you just referring to all porta brace >bags?

>I did invest about 2 grand in all kind of audio bags in my life ( from 1992)and the porta was never the bag I wonted , but since there was no competition these days I had to buy it and modified almost every bag .

>If we are talking sound bags , the petrol and kts are miles away from the porta cheapness and stupidity design products. For the 302 stand alone situation the petrol is the best bag that you can find, and if you are looking for more stuff which would be in your case ,

>The eargonizer can be very good choice ( and yes I know it inside out since I was on the developing team after I tried the Portabrace , and no I don't have any % in petrol sales , they just good friends of my who where kind to make a bag for my needs( eargonizer ) and the 302 )

>Oleg Kaizerman ,production sound mixer , Israel


Hi Oleg,

class="Paragraph">>do you make sound for living or you just referring to all porta brace >bags?

>I'm referring to their complete line. Also, I've worked in over a dozen countries and have rarely seen a sound mixer without a Porta Brace bag. Have also used them on countless cameras.

class="Paragraph">>competition these days I had to buy it and modified almost every bag .

>Some see that as an advantage (easily modifiable to suit your own needs). But I see your point.


>Duraid Munajim
DP, Toronto

Kaizerman wrote:

>> after you would try the petrol 302 bag , you will defiantly sing other way

I agree with this statement. I’ve never REALLY been a big fan of the Portabrace, but for years it was the only kid on the block. that’s changing. fast.

>The new stuff out by petrol and especially kata (though not in the sound bag dept. in my opinion) has jumped over the stuff from PB. The petrol bag that I bought for my 302 is fabulous and EXTREMELY well thought-out as others have pointed on in this forum. (the eargonizer - not the smaller 302-specific bag) while some question their durability due to their recent addition to the market.

>I think its pretty obvious when you get this in your hands that this is tuff stuff. I've had the bag since November and couldn't be happier. Portabrace is just starting to get dated with their materials and design and construction.

>Just in case you're interested…


>Disclaimer : no affiliation to any of the above-mentioned companies outside of the fact that I'm a satisfied (or semi-satisfied) customer.

>best regards,
Brian Young
Flaca Productions
Miami Beach, FL

>I have to say that I'm surprised that people would express suchbrand-specific preferences.

>I've found that each case manufacturer has certain products that fill my needs better than others - that's very different from the generalization that one brand is generally better than another.

>I'll give you some concrete examples. I've always had Portabrace covers on my Betacams... Yet I found that when I was shopping for one for a Panasonic DVCPRO a few years ago, Kata's Camera Glove seemed to fit that camera to a tee. Yet I went back to Porta-Brace for my IMX camera, as the Portabrace seemed to work better on that camera.

>Another great example is the Petrol monitor cage/hard shell case. This is a spectacular product that I know has saved at least one of my monitors from a premature death at the hands of airline baggage handlers, and I'd recommend it to anyone. But I also keep one monitor in a smaller, lighter Portabrace case because there are times when that's more important than the extra protection of the Petrol.

>When it comes to the specific question of sound cases, I've got Kata and Porta-Brace cases that I've been very happy with... But I did take a good look at the Petrol line at last year's NAB, particularly with the Sound Devices 442, and I was very impressed.

>If I needed a new case, I would certainly be interested in giving them a try.

>George Hupka
Downstream Pictures
Saskatoon, Canada

George Hupka wrote:

class="Paragraph">>I have to say that I'm surprised that people would express such brand->specific preferences.

>George says it well. I own and like cases from Porta, Kata, and Petrol, and I know the designers at all three companies (they're pretty accessible and friendly), so I don't really have any bias.

>That said, for my SD 302 mixer (the item under discussion here), I talked to a bunch of other mixers and folded in my own experiences (including trying the mixer for at least a day in different bags) before settling on the Petrol PSDMB302 (or "Petrol 302 bag").

>Some may say that mixers and others don't have time to spend trying out different bags. But I like bags in general and I'm pretty particular...I don't want to be messing with my bag when I'm supposed to be messing with sound. So it was worth my time.

>The Kata Koala bag that I tried was a bit too fussy with zippers, tabs, and stuff for my taste. It also appeared to be designed for an FP32 or 33 and the main mixer bay was too big to fit the slender 302 well. I had to put in a foam spacer to make it work sort of well. The Koala bag doesn't show the recent design innovations Kata's applied to their other products. So perhaps it's next on the list.

>The Porta MXC-302 bag didn't really hold my NP battery that well (perhaps not a problem for Aren here), and didn't really hang that well for me. It sort of rotated away from me when loaded. Not a bad bag, but didn't really do it for me.


>The Petrol PSDMB302 really works for me. For this bag, that tends to mean a 302, two radio receivers and two radio transmitters, NP1, BDS, and other doodads. Rigid where it should be rigid, soft where it should be soft, everything accessible. Nicely made (I'm pretty tough on my equipment sometimes), and so on.

>Note that the brand new version is a little bigger...To the mixer bay and wireless bay they added another little slot that will hold a 744T recorder (or whatever else you want to put in there).



>One thing: In my experience, all three companies (and I'm sure other bag companies, too) are willing to modify bags for users for reasonable fees.

But for me right now, I have two sound bags, the 302 bag and an Eargonizer, both by Petrol. Many like the Porta Audio Organizer and I probably would too, but I'm happy with what I have...

Jim Feeley

Hi Aren,

>Sounds like you have a pretty good list together. I like my 302 mixer a whole lot. I basically concur with what others have said. Since we've all covered bags enough, I'll talk about some of the other stuff.

>A couple points :

>I see a lot of Lectro 200 series systems still in use, and I suspect I will in the future. Check what DTV channels are open or soon to be closed in your area, though. Consider buying used from a reputable dealer. Ask if the low-cost (relatively) 201 system will work in your bag. I've heard that it's not the best choice (compared to say a 211).

>Sounds like you're set with the Rycote stuff, but check out the new and nice mounts and softies from K-Tek. I like the mounts a lot (for ENG/Doc) and will probably get some of their softies and stuff. Rather inexpensive for the quality.


class="Paragraph">>And any vendors outside New York with great prices that you could >recommend?

>Many manufacturers now have minimum selling prices, so many dealers can match the prices of box houses such as B&H. Nothing against B&H, I buy some stuff there but not when I want or need support. And I don't buy any audio stuff there.

>For serious audio purchases, I want a good dealer who'll back me up and help me out, and provide good advice. Here are three worth contacting :

Nashville :


LA :


Connecticut :


>All worth talking to. There are of course other good dealers...

Jim Feeley … OK Mixer, Decent doc producer...

>From a UK POV, KT Systems bags –

>http://www.ktsystems.co.uk/ are the No.1.

>Ian Fraser who is the company, is an ex-cameraman who knows what is wanted in the field as far as bags are concerned. He will happily make any bag to your design and the prices are very competitive. Check with Ian as to US/Worldwide distributors.

>For the record I have no links with KT, I just love their products.

>Rob Miles
Professional Audio Services
St Albans

Rob Miles wrote:

class="Paragraph">>From a UK POV, KT Systems bags - http://www.ktsystems.co.uk/ are the >No.1.


>Thanks for adding that note. I've heard good things about KT, but have no personal experience with their stuff....but I'll be working on a couple docs in the UK this summer. Not mixing on this trip so perhaps I'll see Ian's bags in action.

>It's funny how worked up we can get about this subject....I guess we're all bag men at heart...(rim shot, please).


Jim Feeley
Mixer, doc producer, writer
Near San Francisco CA USA

> George Hupka wrote:

class="Paragraph">>Kata's Camera Glove seemed to fit that camera to a tee.
>Another great example is the Petrol monitor cage/hard shell case.

>Agreed on the Kata Camera Glove - they are great - easy to customize by myself (they use a special neoprene that doesn't 'tear' after you cut it) and its been great on my D50/PVV3 in a couple of instances.

>As for portable monitor protection, I was all set to go with a Portabrace until I saw the petrol. UNTIL I saw the products from David Riddle Co.



>The cases are about 500 for the Sony 9" series and have a waiting list. I’m on it, so I can't say that I actually have one (yet) but from everything I’ve read and seen on that website (he sells thru eBay) it looks very robust and well designed for my needs - which are in the ENG/EFP world.

>The monitor lives in the case that provides maximum protection (certainly more than any soft case by any manufacturer) and also provides multiple mounting and viewing positions and has the integrated shade. very intelligent product from where I stand - which is at arms length until my name floats to the top of the waiting list!!!

>Brian Young
Flaca Productions
Miami Beach, FL

>the monitor lives in the case that provides maximum protection >(certainly more than any soft case by any manufacturer) and also >provides multiple mounting and viewing positions and has the >integrated shade. very intelligent product from where I stand

>First thing I see when I look at it is lack of ventilation - how is the monitor going to breathe through that foam?

>Other than that it looks great...Although I'll stick by my Petrol. At one airport, I watched my monitor fall about 6 feet onto a concrete floor. The Monitor Cage/Hard Shell combo did its job - the monitor was completely undamaged, and continues to operate with no problems more than a year later. Can't ask for more than that!

>George Hupka
Downstream Pictures
Saskatoon, Canada

George Hupka wrote:

class="Paragraph">>First thing I see when I look at it is lack of ventilation - how is the monitor >going to breathe through that foam?

>Yes - I see that concern, but I think that the foam is in a 'ring' around the front and around the back - leaving the middle open to breathe.

>I’m VERY glad to hear about the petrol combo being so robust. nice to have some options!


Brian Young
Flaca Productions
Miami Beach, FL

Thank you for feedback.

>Well that's definitely got a lot of info about Petrol bags. If this many people say something is better than Portabrace it makes me very curious since I've used Portabrace products for a long time, close to 20 yrs, for general video work. So I got the Petrol 302 bag, and am trying to decode the design ideas behind some of the features. Is the bottom of the bag supposed to be flat so you when place the bag on the ground it'll sit upright, or is it supposed to be angled, where placing it down will make it tip backwards.

>Mine is angled, debating whether I should cajole it (force it, bend it) to be flat. This may sound silly but it would be nice if Petrol included a feature diagram of sorts, to explain what was in the designers heads behind the purpose of each feature, and then you could build on or modify the use to your own preference. I didn’t find such a thing on the site http://www.petrolbags.com

>So I opted for two Sennheiser Evolution G2 lav systems because lectros are financially not possible now. When I can get the Lectros the Senns will be backups. If someone doesn't mind, would you enlighten me on how to determine which frequency block to choose, where to refer to see what blocks are free etc.? I got the 626-666, based on weeing it work well (not that that means anything to the non-New Yorkers here).

>By the way, the Sony's I have aren't that cheap, a couple of WRT805 and WRR 805 systems, which don't seem to be made anymore.



>With those and the Senns I hope to get by until I can get enough jobs for to pay for Lectros. I've always rented Lectros, just a little tired of deducting on the expense.

>Any pros/cons with a tail plug XLR jack on an internally cabled boom vs. a right angle? I would think right angle facilitates anchoring the pole against your chest. I'm not seeing the advantage to tail/butt plug.

>The application for the rig is all broadcast btw. ie. cable network programming.

>Thanks for the help, glad I started participating here. Take care.

Aren A.
Cam/Dir./Eng./Aud/Editor etc.
New York

>Aren A. wrote:

>So I opted for two Sennheiser Evolution G2 lav systems because >lectros are financially not possible now. When I can get the Lectros the >Senns will be backups.

Go here :



>Sennheiser has a great frequency finder reference chart. Your system is in "Block B" and the only open frequency band is TV channel 42 which is 638-644 which still gives you a lot of choices. Follow the setup instructions in the manual.

>And get the right angle plug for the boom pole, otherwise you can't sit the pole down without bending the cable.

>Dave Marks
Sound mixer Pennsylvania

>Thanks Dave, that link was a huge help. I'm guessing if a manufacturer doesn't supply that you have to fish through the FCC site for frequency block information.

>Aren A.
Cam/Dir./Eng./Aud/Editor etc.
New York