Studio Necessities

I was doing some audio review of some recent takes I did from an audio standpoint, voice over work mostly, and I noticed that some of my previous takes using an XLR setup actually sounded much better.  I have 3 kinds of setups, one is your standard 3.5mm plug, an XLR that connects via USB to my PC, and a Zoom H1.  Now for doing field work, the Zoom H1 is hard to beat for the price at less that $100.  I can monitor it with a blutooth setup that I have up to 30 feet in real time and help whomever is holding the pole to adjust.  OR, in fact, let them just use the blutooth headset to monitor.

However, for studio work, the XLR setup is nice but I am still getting noise on the line.  It requires cleanup after each take instead of 1 or two layers of mastering.  When you remove noise, hum, hiss etc., you can always tell if the audio voice you are using is singular (no background noise).  If you have background noise that you’ll add in post, it’s not too bad but you still don’t capture that umph!  Sound is so so so very important, and I’ve learned this the hard way by buying cheap microphones and setups that should have worked, but instead cost me hours and hours of post processing time that in the end, it was only minimally usable.

badaax usb

I have decided to add another mic to my arsenal, a BADAAX USB, with a boom arm.  This should allow me to work a situation, even with reading without having to look down and keep my face away because this mic is designed for this.  While not the best mic by far, cost wise and time wise, it should be a good investment.  When I finish doing a reading, I’ll let you know how it goes and give it a solid review either in writing, in video or both.




So one thing that many may know, some may not, I started making Machine Based Cinema (Machinima) about 10+ years ago.  Actually, probably more like 13 years ago but just because I wanted to experiment.  It turned into a hobby of mine where I was actually able to make some money to fund this expensive hobby.

The last couple of years opportunity and changes in the market have made it unrealistic to make that a full time gig.  As much as I would love making Video Game movies, technology limitations for creating them has been very limited.  I’m not sure why exactly because it literally is an untapped market.


Be that as it may, there was one game which I would have LOVED to have been able to create in.  Skyrim from Bethesda Softworks.  Without giving to much away, I am working on something.  I conducted some tests to literally check function over feasibility within the game engine.  I can say that some of the Mod communities creations have been pretty amazing.  If you can’t rely on a game studio to create the options for you, well you can bet your ass some gamer will.  Some of the brightest most intelligent people I have ever met.  That’s PC guys, not Mac guys and surely not console bunnies.  Sorry if you were just offended there but I hate playing anything online via console because of the kiddy play.  Therefore I don’t but I digress…

After reviewing some mods, I decided to run a test and what a grand test it was.  If you are a film maker, what you see you will understand.  If you are a gamer, you probably will to.  If you are just a fan of games, you may or may not get it.  If you play console only and have no creativity, you will not understand.  That said, enjoy….

Yea… No… It’s not an Airsoft

“This is my rifle.  There are many like it, but this one is mine.”  (can you name the film?)

Anyway, I ended up selling my other .223 for many reasons, not because I didn’t like it, but I felt it wasn’t a good bug out rifle in the event things don’t go so well and all hell breaks loose.  Call me crazy, however I’d rather be prepared than not and with my military combat arms background, I felt this was a necessary thing to do.  Now, after selling my other .223, I went out to the gun show that weekend and picked up a Stag Arms .223.  I outfitted it mostly with Magpul stock, forward stock and magazine.  I made this photo to give you an idea just because, why not.  Guns are cool.  They’re a lot of fun to shoot, they provide protection against people trying to harm you and most of all, they are an outstanding deterrent.

I post this because at some point, I’ll probably use this for a scene or two in one of my shorts.  Yes, I will remove the bolt and yes, I will do it legally.


One of the reasons is because I don’t have funding to keep getting Airsoft Gas Blowback guns but I can easily use something this and place it into a non firing mode and there is NO doubt it will look real.

In “Despondent”, there were two scenes where we fired live ammunition with real weapons.  One scene was cut from the movie, the other is in.  We used real firearms in one other scene, that was cut as well.  I would even say, what we did probably wasn’t the the brightest thing, but we did take all necessary precautions as well as some risk.  Would I recommend it?  No.  I would not use “live ammunition” without making sure everyone on set had the proper training (Act of Valor)

The point of this post is more or less sharing yet another expensive hobby, but a necessary one in my opinion and one that has been on my mind lately since I live in MD.  (If you follow the National news at all, MD has been in violation of the Constitution since the late 60’s by taking the rights away to ‘keep and BEAR arms’.  Basically, a Conceal Carry Weapons permit)

Heck, you may HATE guns and that’s cool as long as you don’t try and tell me I can’t have one.  Simply put, last I checked, criminals will always have guns, that’s why they’re called CRIMINALS.  You may not like the fact that law abiding citizens can get conceal carry permits, but that’s the law of the land in the constitution, same as your right to life, your freedom of speech.  Can’t have your pick of which ones people can exercise.



Short Movie

I just did this yesterday…  This is only MY opinion, however I’m usually right.  So, for what it’s worth, hope you enjoy it.

Watch it HERE!

Don’t even ‘think’ about it…