Sound Devices' 744T portable field recorder and MixPre help capture realistic battlefield sounds.
Audio Director Justin Drust and his team of professionals at Red Storm Entertainment have always prided themselves on recording the clearest, most authentic sounds for their genre-defining, award-winning video games. For Drust, the Sound Devices 744T Recorder and MixPre Compact Field Mixer are the portable audio field devices of choice.
Turned on to Sound Devices gear by expert weapons and sound recordist Charles Maynes, Red Storm Entertainment has used the 744T to capture incredible audio for the critically acclaimed Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon series of games, including the company’s most recent release, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier.
Featuring four sound designers and one audio programmer, the Red Storm Entertainment crew is responsible for the sound design, voice recording, casting, music production and implementation of the games it creates. It uses Sound Devices gear for all of its field recordings. In addition to voice recording, Red Storm has used its 744T to record an array of battlefield audio, including realistic weapon and vehicle sounds.
With 16- to 18-channels of audio, Drust and his crew use multiple 744Ts to record the required field audio. Most of the time, they aren’t syncing the devices together but instead will line them up later in post. The goal is to capture a quality source recording and not be as concerned with time synchronization for asset creation. Drust and his crew have done multiple recordings with the 744T and never had anything fail. The 744T can hit the levels really hard, often times going into the red, and will still sound great due to the high-quality pre-amps and limiters. A lot of additional source recordings Drust has captured involve extremely loud vehicles, such as helicopters and planes, and the 744T consistently performs and stands up well to the high sound pressure levels.
Drust also incorporates the Sound Devices MixPre Compact Field Mixer into his rig. When recording temporary dialogue for a game, he always runs everything through a MixPre, even if it’s recording straight into the computer, just to get that added level of audio quality from the pre-amp.
Sound Devices 744T is a four-input, four-track file-based digital audio recorder. The super-compact 744T records and plays back audio to and from its internal hard drive, Compact Flash cards and external FireWire drives, making field recording simple and fast. The 744T reads uncompressed PCM audio at 16 or 24 bits with sample rates between 32kHz and 192kHz. Compressed audio recording and playback from 64kb/s to 320kb/s is also supported.
The time code implementation makes the 744T ready for any double-system recording job — from over-the-shoulder to cart-based production applications. It implements a no-compromise audio path that includes Sound Devices' high-performance microphone preamplifiers. Designed specifically for high-bandwidth, high-bit-rate digital recording, these preamps set the standard for frequency response linearity, low distortion performance and low noise. The 744T, like all Sound Devices products, is versatile and designed to withstand the physical and environmental extremes of field production. It's this durability and functionality that professional sound mixers have come to expect from Sound Devices.
Sound Devices MixPre, like its present successor, the MixPre-D, is a studio-quality two-channel portable stereo microphone mixer. Its impressive audio performance and comprehensive features, including pan switches, a built-in slate microphone, 1-kHz tone oscillator and headphone monitoring, make it ideal for the front end of any studio or field production system. Film production engineers value the compact size and ability to withstand extremes in the field. The MixPre combines rugged mechanical and electrical construction, compact size and high-quality components.