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Old December 8th, 2008, 02:12 PM   #1
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Location Sound Mixing Board?

What are some good sound mixing boards for location sound recording? We would be using it for film-style shoots and some video shoots.
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Old December 8th, 2008, 02:45 PM   #2
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Old December 8th, 2008, 03:09 PM   #3
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In addition to budget, how many channels do you anticipate needing at once? Are you looking for a cart based akin to a portable studio or more of an ENG/EFP style of working with the soundie working from a bag and maybe doing double duty as a boom op in the process.?
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Last edited by Steve House; December 8th, 2008 at 04:43 PM.
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Old December 8th, 2008, 04:04 PM   #4
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Ravi, The more info you give us, the more accurate recommendations you will receive

An analogy of the question: What are good cars to buy, I will be using it for work and pleasure.
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Old December 9th, 2008, 02:48 PM   #5
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In addition to budget, how many channels do you anticipate needing at once? Are you looking for a cart based akin to a portable studio or more of an ENG/EFP style of working with the soundie working from a bag and maybe doing double duty as a boom op in the process.?
We have a Sound Devices 442 mixer that we plan on using for ENG-style, but for feature films we would like something with more controls. Not sure about the number of inputs, maybe 10, though it is unlikely we'd be using 10 inputs at the same time on a film-style shoot.

As far as cost, is under $10,000 reasonable for a sound mixing board like this? Does Mackie make mixing boards good for location film shooting or are their boards more for music and live event mixing/recording?
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Old December 9th, 2008, 03:03 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Ravi Kiran View Post
We have a Sound Devices 442 mixer that we plan on using for ENG-style, but for feature films we would like something with more controls. Not sure about the number of inputs, maybe 10, though it is unlikely we'd be using 10 inputs at the same time on a film-style shoot.

As far as cost, is under $10,000 reasonable for a sound mixing board like this? Does Mackie make mixing boards good for location film shooting or are their boards more for music and live event mixing/recording?
The problem with Mackie, Allan & Heath, etc is they all require AC mains power. It's possible to convert them to use battery - Location Sound used to offer a modification for Mackies. Cooper and Sonosax are familiar sights on location but the Coopers are out of production and used ones can run in the neighborhood of 10 grand. Was just looking at the Trew web site and they carry Sonosax -the 10 channel model is listed there for a mere 28 thou!
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Old December 9th, 2008, 07:20 PM   #7
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The Mackie Onyx series boards sound decent and can be adapted to run on 12VDC. They have direct outs and a firewire option.
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Old December 10th, 2008, 07:27 AM   #8
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It's not really a mixing board (i.e. it doesn't have faders), but have you considered the new Sound Devices 788T with the CL-8 Controller? The Cantarem for the Cantar is also pretty nifty if you've got a lot of cash to spare.
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Old December 10th, 2008, 09:24 AM   #9
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If you can find a Cooper, those are used quite a bit for film, but last year was the last year they were going to produce those.

You can use non-battery options, but if you do, you have to make sure you always have power available. On most larger sets, this is never a problem. However, there are a few situations where this could be an issue, but if you think you'll always have power, then go for some of the newer boards. You do want to consider size and your cart design when trying to figure out what mixer you want. Look at PSC's mixers too, they have a couple of them available.

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Old December 15th, 2008, 11:30 AM   #10
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How common are mixing tables on film shoots? Are they overkill? I'm considering Chris' suggestion of a 788T recorder.

We plan on having generators available on our film sets (for lights and such) but if for some reason we don't have one or we can't patch into it battery power would be nice.
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Old December 15th, 2008, 12:08 PM   #11
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Ravi:

Mixing boards/consoles, whatever you want to call them, are very popular. However, they require a cart. If you plan to bag it and not use a cart, then obviously a mixing board is out of the question.

I have a Deva 5.8 and have access to 8 hardware controls (and 4 more on screen touch faders). I find that I can mix very well with access to all the hardware faders. I also own a Mix-12 board, which allows me to control everything with real faders. I love the board, but simply don't do enough cart work to use it very often, so I tend to use just the hardware faders. It's all really a matter of what the sound mixer can handle or wants to handle. There really isn't any right or wrong here. It's all about ease of use and how comfortable the mixer is with the equipment.

Wayne
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Old December 15th, 2008, 08:09 PM   #12
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As Wayne said, carts are extremely popular for both large budget productions and smaller "indie" films. Whether an operator decides to use a cart or bag really depends on the type of production - specifically, the time that is allowed for the set-up of each shot, the location you're filming at (for example, you might decide against using a cart if you're filming at building that only has stairs), and the style of filming (if it's run and gun then maybe a bag is the better option). However - you can quite comfortably use a 788T in both a bag and a cart situation - it's extremely versatile. At the end of the day it all comes down to budget. If you can afford to purchase a cart, all the accessories and adapters that are needed for the cart set-up, all the bits and pieces needed for a bag set-up, and a Deva + hardware controls - then GO FOR IT! However, unless you're a serious audio professional who's going to be able to pay off all the gear, then maybe something like a 744T connected to a modified Mackie mixer is the better option for cart work.
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Old December 15th, 2008, 08:58 PM   #13
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Audio Developments make nice boards...
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Old December 16th, 2008, 07:14 AM   #14
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The No.1 = Sonosax.

(if you have to ask the price, you can't afford it) ;-)
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Old December 17th, 2008, 05:47 PM   #15
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Yamaha DM1000 if you have juice. Here's Gregg Kita on the set of "She's Got The Look."

Regards,

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