—When Sound Mixer Richard Lightstone was looking to upgrade
his audio cart with a Dante-compatible digital recorder for Disney XD’s
semi-animated children’s program “Kirby
Buckets,” he turned to Sound Devices’ new 970. The Sound Devices 970, the company’s first audio-only
rack-mounted solution, has 64 channels of Dante and MADI.
For his audio recording needs, Lightstone networks the 970 with his Yamaha
O1V96 via Dante, which allows him to record up to 16 channels.
“I’m recording an average of about eight tracks a day on this project
and have even gone up to 13 on a couple of episodes,” he said. “The 970 can
handle this and so much more. While I’ll probably never get to the 64-channel
max on this particular project, it’s great to know I can, if needed. Also, as
this is a kids’ show, we only have the child actors for a short amount of time
each day of shooting, so having the ability to have as many ISO tracks as
possible is a real benefit.”
Lightstone’s cart also includes two Lectrosonics Venue wireless racks and a range
of microphones, including Schoeps CMIT5U shotgun microphones, COS-11D lavalier
mics and the DPA d:screet 4071 and 4081 microphones.
He simultaneously records to both an SSD and CF card which are mounted via the
Sound Devices PIX-CADDY and PIX-CADDY CF respectively. As with the majority of
TV programming today, “Kirby Buckets”
is shot in HD. This requires Lightstone to hand over the CF card at the end of
each session to the digital technician for transfer onto the master hard drives
that go to editorial.
Sound Devices’ 970 records 64 channels of monophonic or polyphonic 24-bit WAV
files from any of its 144 available inputs. Inputs available include 64
channels of Ethernet-based Dante, 64 channels of optical or coaxial MADI, eight
channels of line-level analog and eight channels of AES digital. The 970
records to any of four attached drives, which include two front-panel drive
bays and two rear-panel e-SATA connected drives. Material can be recorded to
multiple drives simultaneously or sequentially. With its built-in Ambient
Recording Lockit time-code technology, the 970 is suited to operate as a master
The 970 features an embedded Web-based control panel for machine transport and
setup control over Ethernet-based networks, as well as file transfer over the
data network with SMB. File metadata editing of scene name, take name, notes,
track names, and reel folders can be done during, before and after recording
across all drives. In addition to RS-422 and GPIO control, the unit also acts
as a bridge between analog, AES digital, MADI and Dante interfaces. Sound Devices
970 is designed with a five-inch screen for metering of up to 64 tracks and
fast and intuitive menu control. It also features the Sound Devices proprietary
PowerSafe and FileSafe technologies.