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Mult box procedure and etiquette

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Johnny Dangerously, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Active Member

    For many years, at big NCAA events, I've complained about how hard it is to get a good recording of the pressers off a digital recorder. Put the recorder in front of the coach, and the recorder won't clearly pick up every word of the soft-spoken player sitting at the end of table. The loudspeakers are great, but they never put them low enough to put a table in front of them, which would be perfect for setting recorders down in front of the speakers. Instead, you have to hire Shaq as an intern and ask him to hold your recorder up to the 8-foot-high speakers.

    So, after manuevering around this for years, I bought a thing that plugs into the mult box. As a print guy, I know nothing about this, so I ask Long-Haired Soundboard Guy for advice, and he tells me how to plug it in and says to make sure it's set on LINE, not on MIC. When I go to plug it in, I see no such option. The TV folks there, who have already taken up most of the plugs, are helpful and tell me each mult box has one such option, and on this night it's on MIC. So I have no choice. I plug it in, and when I have to listen to the interview, it sounds like the people were talking in a swimming pool inside a tin shed in the middle of a windstorm. So, what I gained in clarity of sound was offset by the inability to know if the player said "Surely" or "Swoooshurleee" and whether he said "I think he was safe" or "Rahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh thrinkeeeeeeessss siiiyyyyyyyyaffeee."

    Can someone explain LINE and MIC and why, if it's so important, each plug-in on the Mult box doesn't give you that option? Long-Haired Soundboard Guy stressed I needed to do it his way, but clearly I was outnumbered by the TV folks and radio people tapping in who needed it the other way. (I may have reversed in my head who said MIC and who said LINE, but the bottom line is the box wasn't set the way LHSG said it should be.

    What's a print guy to do in such situations? Plug in and be ready for whatever comes out, or just return the gadget and go back to asking, "Did he say they dropped the ball or that they stopped at the mall?" Or, "Did he say MALT box or mult box??"

    ;D

    Yes, I have a notepad and pen, and I pay attention, but sometimes it's hard to hear that last syllable, last mutter, that can make all the difference after a big game. I thought this thing would help.

    Anybody know how all this stuff works? I still want to see if I can get my money's worth out of this thing. Thanks.
     
  2. Stone Cane

    Stone Cane Member

    Re: MALT box procedure and etiquette

    sounds like a hell of a lot of trouble to go through unless you're posting audio on the web or something

    plus, the less time we spend actually speaking with TV and radio types the better off we are!
     
  3. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Active Member

    Re: MALT box procedure and etiquette

    Well, one day soon we will be posting audio, so I might as well learn how it works now.

    Any info and advice is appreciated.
     
  4. Lugnuts

    Lugnuts Well-Known Member

    Re: MALT box procedure and etiquette


    First of all, the proper term is "Mult Box." ;D

    ;D I love the reference to "Long Haired Soundboard Guy." I think that kind of hair is a prerequisite for the job.

    Line audio is just that -- uses a hard line or cord. Mic is for wireless mics-- the receivers are on the back of the cameras, and the mic part is on the bottom of the 'stick' we're always throwing in folks' faces. If you unhook that end from the stick and plug it into the box, the receiver on the back of the camera picks up the audio.

    It's hard to diagnose the problem without seeing the equipment, but it does sound like your device was recording both the audio being fed from the box and the audio from the load speakers. That would make it sound tinny. Either that, or the audio was 'over modulated,' meaning too loud on the output of the box or the input of your device. Over modulated audio distorts something fierce.

    Believe it or not, it's actually long-haired's JOB to help you. That's what he's getting paid his exorbitant, union-negotiated hourly rate for. If he hasn't a clue, find the smartest looking camera guy/gal you can.

    Preferably someone whose station you haven't taken a shot at in print. :D
     
  5. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Re: MALT box procedure and etiquette

    Good luck with that...
     
  6. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    Re: MALT box procedure and etiquette

    "Malt box" is a cooler filled with ice and Colt 45.
     
  7. ink-stained wretch

    ink-stained wretch Active Member

    Re: MALT box procedure and etiquette

    Pardon my ignorance. But was it a single malt or blended?
     
  8. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Active Member

    Thanks, Luggies.

    I wish you TV and radio folks would learn how to pronounce mult, then. Otherwise, I'm going to have to throw all of you into the Golf of Mexico.

    8)

    I'll ask Long-Haired Soundboard Guy.
     
  9. writing irish

    writing irish Active Member

    I'm no wizard audio engineer, but I know a few things. PM if you have questions.
     
  10. Ty Webb

    Ty Webb Member

    I don't know what recording device you are using but be aware that it could have two mic cable inputs, one for line level and one for mic level. Also, many mult boxes have a toggle switch for each input area that allows you to switch from line to mic.
     
  11. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Oh sure. Confuse him more...
    Don't you have a goff game to play?
     
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