On set there are many challenges. The last thing I want to wrestle with is my equipment. I am constantly looking to improve my workflow, give myself more control, and spend less time managing equipment so I can spend more time focusing on the scene. There are many high quality options available in the location sound industry, but for me, ZaxNet made the Zaxcom system more capable, flexible, and efficient than any other system I considered.
ZaxNet integrates all of my equipment centrally, and gives me total control right from my cart or bag. Whether it’s feeding accurate timecode to camera and my recording wireless, or remote controlling the frequency and gain settings on my transmitters, Zaxnet puts all of my critical functions at my finger tips, ready to be changed at any time. I use the same transmission for feeding a mix to video village and camera, feeding timecode to camera, and remote controlling my wireless. Less transmitters, less gain stages and less complication equals less hassle on set.
Being able to set proper input gain levels is one of the most important elements in preserving the dynamic range of a scene. Too low, and the noise floor is really high. Too high, and you risk heavy limiting, which never sounds good. When using multiple wireless mics, the input gains are inside of clothing, roaming around on an actor, or at the end of a boom pole outside of your direct control. Having remote control of the input gain allows me to maximize my signal to noise ratio while avoiding limiters, as well as allowing me to make adjustments on the fly. Not having to stop down and access each wireless unit directly saves time, and when running 9+ radios, those adjustments add up quickly throughout the day.
In the digital era of film making, the expectations are high, time is short, and you never know what you may run into everyday on set. Wether I’m recording live music on a movie like Megan Griffith’s “Lucky Them”, or following a construction crew into the trees on Animal Planet’s “Tree House Masters”, the flexibility offered by ZaxNet allows me to handle any situation I encounter. I can work more efficiently, while recording better sounding tracks.
Kelsey Wood is a sound mixer specializing in sound for picture with experience in both production and post production sound mixing. His work includes Feature Films, Television, Commercials, and Video Productions.