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Old December 16th, 2007, 11:43 PM   #1
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Mixer to go with the 744T

I don't want to get into full detail about what this is for but hope that my question is a simple one.

The Sound Devices 744T is known to be compatible with the SD 442 mixer but was wondering if there was a tabletop mixer I can plug in to that won't compromise the audio quality of the 744T.

I know the Cooper or the Audio Developments mixers are used in sound cart work but have seen the Mackie 1402 VLZ used as well as a MUCH cheaper alternative.

My concern is, would I be severely compromising audio quality if I plugged into a 1402 and recorded into the 744T? Are there other alternatives to the Cooper and the Audio Developments? I'm partial to the Allen & Heath mixers. They can pack a punch. Are these compatible alternatives? Also, is this a stupid question?

I've used the Fostex PD6 before as a standalone, by plugging straight into it and adjusting levels on the unit. I know there's gain structure to consider when you're adding an extra element.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.
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Old December 17th, 2007, 12:00 AM   #2
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please don't even consider a Crackie. low headroom despite what the ads claim, meters that mean nothing. run 1khz tone thru to get everything even, then run program thru and find it doesn't match the meters on the crackie VS the recorder. pure garbage... and I am being kind. G&L makes decent analog mixers, Yamaha does too, or stick to what you know like a 422
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Old December 17th, 2007, 02:28 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Anna Harmon View Post
My concern is, would I be severely compromising audio quality if I plugged into a 1402 and recorded into the 744T? Any input would be greatly appreciated.
Gack! :)

The lowest I would go would be an Allen & Heath MixWizard and I would swear I never said that if anyone asked me.

It has more gozintas and gozoutas than a 442, but, if pressed to use a MixWizard (or even a good Soundcraft), I'd still stick the 442 between it's outputs and the camera or a 744T, cause of the 442 limiters.


Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old December 17th, 2007, 10:05 AM   #4
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Hey Ty,

was just looking at my options. Not really looking at price range right now. I just am curious. I've seen people mod the 1402 and I've seen people with the audio developments never anything in between.

So if the mixWizard is the lowest you would go, what's a really good one aside from the 442 and the cooper and the ADs?
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Old December 17th, 2007, 11:29 AM   #5
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For use on a cart, for use on a table, does portability matter? Battery, AC?

Number of inputs needed? Wanting to mix to any of 4 record channels? Mix to 2 channels?
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Old December 17th, 2007, 12:01 PM   #6
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One of the big flaws in the 744T is the lack of using it in a stand-alone mode without a mixer. The other flaw being the lack of four pre-amps. I was initially very excited about the 744T until I discovered I would still have to use my mixer alongside it. My goal was to reduce the amount of gear used, not increase it.

That said, Anna you could always put a Sonosax SX-PR mixer in front of it. However, that would cost you more than the 744T. I've always had a soft place in my heart for Wendt mixers. They are pretty bulletproof and I like how they sound. Anyhow, some food for thought.

Wayne
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Old December 17th, 2007, 01:19 PM   #7
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Use on a cart. Portability doesn't matter though would be a good idea to have the option. Battery and AC though most mixers can be modded to add battery option so that really doesn't matter to me.

Thinking 4 inputs max on this particular production but would like to have the option of 8. Will mostly likely have to have 4 channel independent recorded and also 2 channel mix.

I'm still researching options. Not sure if I'll be renting or buying, depending on how long the shoot is.

P.S. Have you guys seen the PSC Miranda? What the hell?! It's gorgeous!

http://www.pro-sound.com/Miranda.jpg

Wayne, I hear you on Wendt mixers. I'm nervous about using them with the SD though. I know you have the Deva you lucky dog. Would the PD6 be a better idea? Haven't compared the audio quality between the PD6 and the SD 744 though I have a feeling the SD would win by a landslide. Been looking at the the older DEVAs as well. Used electronics worries me but checking out all my options.

Oh and yes, the Sonosax looks tasty! Found a used one online for $2200. Though not sure what it sells for new.

Last edited by Anna Harmon; December 17th, 2007 at 01:55 PM.
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Old December 17th, 2007, 03:30 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Anna Harmon View Post
Use on a cart. Portability doesn't matter though would be a good idea to have the option. Battery and AC though most mixers can be modded to add battery option so that really doesn't matter to me...
Well, I'll only say that that would seem to keep you in the realm of pro field mixers. There's all kinds of great recording and sr mixers out there, but you'd need AC for the mixer and for an outboard limiter or comp/limiter.

The list of mixers with 4-8 input channels, post-fader direct outs, limiter and stereo mix is pretty short I think. Sorry I don't have direct experience of such other than the SD 442 which is a real winner. With the 442 you could always use the mix bus to link another (rental) mixer when you need 8-in.
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Old December 17th, 2007, 03:58 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Anna Harmon View Post
I know you have the Deva you lucky dog. Would the PD6 be a better idea? Haven't compared the audio quality between the PD6 and the SD 744 though I have a feeling the SD would win by a landslide. Been looking at the the older DEVAs as well. Used electronics worries me but checking out all my options.

Oh and yes, the Sonosax looks tasty! Found a used one online for $2200. Though not sure what it sells for new.
I do know a mixer who is selling his Deva V, so if you're interested let me know. I just worked with him on a show and the unit is in great shape.

The Fostex PD6 is an interesting beast. I have mixed feelings about recording direct to DVD-RAM, on the one hand it saves you from having to mirror a disc for telecine. However, the downside is if something goes wrong at telecine and they ask you for another copy, unless you make multiple copies at the end of the day, you don't have a copy. The other issues are you have to make sure that telecine has an updated DV40 if that's what they are using or you can't go over 31 takes per disc. You also must make sure that track 1 is your mixdown track (this is true regardless of system used). Unless you're not going to telecine and you're doing something else for dailies or not doing a picture. In which case these don't apply.

Fostext updated the PD6 with the 606, it has a hard drive inside, so it's very similar to the Deva/SD744/Cantar.

Is this a one-time thing, or are you looking for something to use for other projects too?

Wayne
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Old December 17th, 2007, 11:04 PM   #10
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Hmmm...a Deva V is so tempting. What's he want for it?

The PD6 does have a hard drive but the only way you can extract data is through the DVD RAM which is so annoying and time consuming. The PD 606 is the newest version of the PD6. I think the only thing that's different is now it's DVD instead of DVD RAM. I still don't think you can dump the files from the hard drive straight into your computer.

Which is so stupid by the way!!!!!

Not a one time thing. I'm looking for something I can use for this project and for future projects. Right now I don't have a hard disk recorder. I rent them when needed. I'm forecasting that I'll need them more and more in 2008 so I'm doing the research and checking out my options.

With the Deva V it seems silly to use anything else but the higher priced mixers. I haven't used a Deva before but don't you need a mixer to operate it to it's potential?

Seth, you do make a good point by the way.
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Old December 18th, 2007, 12:05 AM   #11
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I believe you can also gang 744Ts

Regards,

Ty
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Old December 18th, 2007, 06:12 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anna Harmon View Post
Hmmm...a Deva V is so tempting. What's he want for it?
Don't know... Ron Scelza is the person selling it. If you need help finding him, let me know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anna Harmon View Post
The PD6 does have a hard drive but the only way you can extract data is through the DVD RAM which is so annoying and time consuming. The PD 606 is the newest version of the PD6. I think the only thing that's different is now it's DVD instead of DVD RAM. I still don't think you can dump the files from the hard drive straight into your computer.

Which is so stupid by the way!!!!!
This is how the Deva works too, you either mirror files via DVD-RAM (if the Deva has a built-in drive ... I ordered my Deva IV without the drive, I ordered my Deva 5.8 with the drive) or connect up an external firewire drive to mirror the data on. So, it works differently than SD's devices and doesn't mount directly on your computer as a device.

Wasn't the hard drive in the PD6 an option? For some reason, I thought it was??? hmmm....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anna Harmon View Post
With the Deva V it seems silly to use anything else but the higher priced mixers. I haven't used a Deva before but don't you need a mixer to operate it to it's potential?
Until the Mix-12 came out, I used the Deva without a mixer. In fact, I still use the Deva more without the Mix-12 than with the Mix-12. But that has to do with the types of shoots I'm usually working on. The Mix-12, by the way, isn't a mixer in the sense that most people use the term mixer here. No audio goes through the Mix-12. It simply extends the Deva's functions onto a mixing board, so you don't have to use the Deva's interface for any of the typical functions.

The Deva IV and V have four pots on the front that you can adjust the levels with. There are four/six more that use the touch-screen to adjust levels. Without the Mix-12, I tended to assign those on-screen faders to things that I didn't need to ride the levels on. The new Deva 5.8, now replaces those on-screen faders with hardware pots on the front.

So, you really don't need a mixer. In fact, there isn't a single thing a mixer would gain for me in the field. Even going back and using the Deva IV by itself, I was way ahead of the game because I had mix-down tracks and ISO tracks, and rarely do you need to ride more than four channels at once.

I hated to initially part with the 10K I paid for my original Deva IV four years ago, but it has time and again repaid me in what it can do. I only upgraded to the 5.8 because I was able to work out a special deal for it.

FYI, I've tried to use the 744T without a mixer on-location and maybe it was because I was so spoiled by Deva, but I found it nearly impossible to use without a mixer. In my mind the only real competition to Zaxcom's Deva is Aaton's Cantar, which looks cooler, but costs more and is probably going to cost even more with the Euro beating up the dollar.

Wayne
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Old December 18th, 2007, 06:19 AM   #13
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I believe you can also gang 744Ts
Yes, I've heard several people who have done this. However, if you need 8 channels of audio on a regular basis, purchasing two 744Ts is a bit expensive seeing as how you would have 8K tied up in gear, and still only have 4 pre-amps. If you would only need four channels normally and could rent another 744T when you need more, I could see this making sense. And I think this is really the way SD thought about it.

Wayne
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