Jump to content

I think I want a fire truck...


Recommended Posts

No, I haven't gone mental. ;)

 

OTOH, maybe I have. Here's what I'm thinking about getting:

 

NA-943A-lg.jpg

 

http://www.hobbytron.com/RCWorkFireTruckRemoteControlFireEngine.html

 

It's supposed to be about 30" X 14" X 7". The ladder is supposed to ascend, decline, and rotate left and right, as well as extend and retract - all via remote.

 

I'm thinking I might be able to use it in the studio.

 

Anyone guessed yet where I'm going with this? If you could attach a mic clip to the end of that ladder, and it could handle the weight (of say a small dynamic mic like a Audix D2), you could adjust mic positioning from the other room. :idea:

 

Sure, there are purpose-built, motorized mic positioning systems out there, but the ones I've seen are pretty expensive...

 

The fire truck is probably not heavy-duty enough for what I would like to be able to do with it, but OTOH, if it didn't work, I'd only be out about $35, and I'd still have something to terrorize the cats with. ;)

 

I kind of wonder though, why someone hasn't built a relatively affordable, remote controlled mic positioning system. :confused: If one (that actually worked well) hit the market for under $200-$250, I'd buy it. :phil:

 

Would you?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

Depending on the sound source, I don't know if the firetruck would resonate or not, so you might have to cushion the mic a little bit. Other than that, if you can control the ladder fairly easily, I say go for it. It's a great conversation piece, and if it serves a practical function, cool!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

Some bands get spooked with the red recording light on.

If you have that red emergency light flashing while recording it might totally chase the good vibes away.

However, if you can fit a lava lamp on the back of the fire truck then it should work fine. :cool:

 

I have an image of an challenged engineer calling 911 and then having six of these trucks fitted with mics speeding up to a drum kit- sirens on and red lights flashing. ...The studio first responders. :p

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

The only problem I can see is with the weight of the mic and the boom extended tipping the truck over.

 

I would think it wouldn't require a lot of effort to take off all the body work and glue on some lead counter weights to get the center of gravity lower.

 

But my first and most urgent thought was....Hmmmm...what an interesting thought process..who'd a thunk it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Moderators

25 years ago, a friend of a friend worked as a camera man on Mork and Mindi and did a lot of feature work as well. He quit it all to invest in his idea of a remote controlled camera mount. The idea was to put the camera where you never could with a man operating it because of danger. A car speeding directly into the picture, fire shots, high perspectives, etc. all with full control of angle and camera adjustments remotely.

 

I remember thinking how cool that would be for a mic mount. Fresh in my mind were the sessions we were doing and the engineer asking for a mic to be moved an inch that way.... no, no, no, that way!!! On and on. Imagine tweaking mic placement on a cab in the other room.

 

I'll take one.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members


I kind of wonder though, why someone hasn't built a relatively affordable, remote controlled mic positioning system.
:confused:
If one (that actually worked well) hit the market for under $200-$250, I'd buy it. :phil:


Would you?

 

Great idea and one that I had thought of also, as I am sure others have. I was trying different bass drum mic placement at the time the idea came to me.

 

 

Definitely a produce that would sell well if the price was right in my opinion.

 

Day

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

Several years back there was a robotic mic positioner device on the market but it was pretty pricey and dissappeared rather quickly.

 

It moved the mic around a bit but didn't do the other stuff that the original biological model did like making coffee, picking up lunch, and sweeping the floor.

 

Today the robotic version could probably sell ok if the price was a lot lower than first time around and it was marketed properly, in other words aimed at the home studio where it is more likely someone is working without an assistant.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The only problem I can see is with the weight of the mic and the boom extended tipping the truck over.

 

Counter-weights or ballast in the base would probably take care of that issue. My bigger concern would be the motors being able to handle the weight of the mike, and holding it in position.

 

A simple RC tank (with treads, for better maneuverability) with a small, manually adjustable (for height) mike post / stand on the top would allow you to change the mic placement in terms of closer / further away, and left / right, but not the vertical angle of the mic, by repositioning the base (via remote) by "driving" it into position. And it would probably take a bit of time for the user to become proficient enough with controlling it via remote to get just the placement they wanted. Add in the elevation control and rotary control of the "ladder" and it gets more flexible in terms of placement, without having to reposition the "base" by "driving" the vehicle to a different location...

 

Maybe I should talk to someone in the embedded systems classes at UCR... gsHarmony, if you have a name and contact info for one of the professors over there, I'd appreciate a PM with the info. :wave:

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

I think it was called The Positioner.

 

It went onto a regular mic stand so not a lot of up and down or side to side beyond a tilt and rotate kind of thing.

 

It went for something like five or six hundred bucks if I remember correctly.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

Yeah I've been wanting to collaborate with someone to make something like this for a while. I have have some pretty good ideas but I am not much of a technical person. My invention is actually a motorized device that clips onto the end of any mic stand and is controlled by a cheap remote. If anyone has the tools to help me create this, hit me up.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey! Excellent idea! (Really!)


Now I consider if a small RC plane (with a wireless mic attached) flying around a cabinet would make a nice Leslie effect...maybe not.
:D

 

Hmmm... if I throw the motor noise out of phase, maybe it will cancel out the motor noise from the Leslie... ;):D

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

Whoa...cool gadget! Looks like this is the right thing for those dangerous jobs...recording time fuses or musicians@home in their stinking bachelor dens..:) This could be it! But I'd try the firetruck first. If it doesn't work, it will still be a nice gift for a kid (or adult).

 

"RC Frequency 27 MHz"

 

You better don't have an active CB enthusiast in the vicinity then... (I guess same goes for the firetruck)

 

Hmmm... if I throw the motor noise out of phase, maybe it will cancel out the motor noise from the Leslie...

 

Or we use a glider...("play faster Jimmy! Can't find no thermals after sunset!") :D

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I thought about that RC frequency potentially being an issue... especially since my studio is practically a concrete bunker, and there are concrete / rebar filled concrete block walls between the CR and the studio and iso booths. :(

 

2.4 GHz would be better. The 2.4 GHz Frontier Tranzport works great in here (fantastic product), but lower frequency stuff might be a problem.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

Naaaah.. it's just the other way around. That's why communication with submarines works best at VLF. If 2.4GHz is no problem, 27MHz won't be either.

But when I had CB back then, it was always fun to bother kids with RC toys a bit...:) I meant that the VEXplorer could start exploring your studio on its own when a nearby CB station transmits... (But maybe modern 27MHz RC units are a bit more sophisticated and CB operators become rare, at least over here.)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...