Before the Zoom H4N there was the Zoom H4. When it first came out I purchased one to use for field recording interviews for my podcast – This Is Some Scene. It did its job well but since then I have been searching for the next portable field recorder. Press “PLAY” below to hear the Fairuza Balk Bumper.
The Zoom H4 has many problems that I just can’t stand. For one, the controls are a mess. Trying to manage the menu and moving between menu options is sloppy. It also is hard to use in the field. It wasn’t designed to be a film recorder. It was designed to record music.
The controls made it easy to lose recordings because of the poor design and terrible buttons. I had an amazing recording, or at least I thought I did, of Rowdy Roddy Piper doing a great bumper for my podcast only to find out when I got home that it didn’t record. Lesson learned, make sure you have what you need before you go home.
The H4 was great for interviewing celebrities. And I interviewed many with it. But when I started using it for video field recording its shortcomings came out. It is just too clunky and cumbersome for field recording.
I am currently looking at either the Tascam DR-60D or the Tascam DR-680. I am not sure which to choose but I will let you know when I do. I still have much research to do.
However, when I do replace my H4, I will still remember all the good times I had with the H4 and how the celebrities thought I had a stun gun and not a field recorder.
I just picked up this Sennheiser Mic on eBay. The original kit came with three mic capsule attachments, the ME-20 (omnidirectional), the ME-40, and the ME-80 (shotgun). Since the price was so low, I went for this in the hopes to pick up the ME-80 shotgun capsule on eBay in the future.
The reviews of the ME-80 as a shotgun have been very favorable as a rugged, reliable and good sounding shotgun. This is something I would like to have as a backup to my current Rode NTG 2.
This set only came with the ME-20 which I tested tonight. It sounds good, perhaps a little more noise than I would care for but again, it is an omnidirectional mic and it isn’t going to be my goto mic.
The batteries used for this setup were banned since they contained mercury. The good news is that they work with phantom power and if I want to get a battery, they do make safe batteries for these mics.
I am a little late on posting this but I have been very busy with many projects. The final retro commercial is up on YouTube. The idea from Chris Blake Sasser came together nicely. Chris and I are working on the next retro commercial which will be reminiscent of the classic Mego Doll commercials from the 70s.
We shot the Castle Kargosi commercial in one day and the kids were great on screen and with their voiceovers. Some of you might recognize the figures as the new MiniMate monsters and the castle as the old Fisher Price castle.
I edited in Final Cut Pro and used the color correction to get that aged film look.
If I can get my hands on a Super 8mm camera or possible a 16mm camera, I might want to shoot the next retro commercial on film.
Revenge of the Blob was a fun project but I learned quite a bit from the work. First, A crew of 2 is painful. Running lights, camera and sound, creating special effects as well as directing actors is just too much for only two people to work on without being completely drained. That said, Chris and I did a fantastic job if I do say so myself.
My actors, Stuart Myles and Liane Golightly worked out wonderfully. It was a pleasure to work with them both.
The project was created for the Colonial Theater’s Blobfest. Although it didn’t screen, I think the film is a great success and any true fan of the Blob would get every inside joke. But I think the film works on its own even if you never saw The Blob.
If you want to learn how to make your own blob, watch my Making of the Blob video below.
I have a few ideas in my head that I need to eventually shoot. One is a zombie series and the other is a web series about a man who goes through this life and the next to get the girl of his dreams. The zombies will have till wait for now but the second I have titled, Dead End Job. I don’t want to give away too much about the series but I do have the first season outlined. All I will say is that it will be set on Halloween in the late 70s/early 80s–not sure of the exact year yet.
If you want to see some of my inspiration for this first scene, check out the following link:
Although Steven Seagal proclaims to have some sort of Buddhist belief system, the image of Seagal comes off as very narcissistic. This post celebrates the exact opposite of the musician’s ego. For the majority of my music “career” I wrote and performed original music. Recently, I joined a cover band as the bass player. While some music snobs turn their nose up at the idea of a cover band, I find it refreshing. With any music, the purpose is to share an emotional experience between the musician and the listener. That can be through an original piece or even a cover song. It can be through lyrics or just melody.
However, when the song is an original piece the ego steps in. When I would play my own songs they were deeply personal and it wasn’t always fun playing an original piece to a drunken, apethetic audience. But with a cover band I can let go of the attachment I have to the song and just enjoy playing. The concept of non-attachment appeals to me as a musician. While others are out there trying to make a dent in a vapid industry, I can let go and just play. I don’t worry whether or not someone enjoys the song. I only care if I enjoy playing it. Hopefully, someone else finds joy in listening but if they don’t, my joy is not diminished.
Of course, there are plenty of big egos in cover bands–weird egos–the kind when the musician actually thinks they are the band they are covering – Tribute Bands, anyone?
Let’s face it, the majority artists are more about the ego than the art. More about the recognition than the expression. And that’s ok-it is what it is. We are all trying to leave a mark on this planet before we leave for good. But sometimes it is nice to step back from the art and let it speak for itself.