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Sound Devices 688 and MixPre working in tandem

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Hi all,

This is going to sound super dumb, but I am curious if anyone has experimented with slaving a MixPre (3, 6 or 10) to a 6-series Sound Devices recorder. I sup this series of house reality shows that generally consists of 8 primary cast and (when in the field) 4 "guest mics". On our next shoot, the production company has up'd the primary cast to 10, BUT(?!!!?) they will undoubtedly still want the master recorder (me) to have a safety of the additional 4 guest mics. 

 

I have, on occasion, slaved two 664's via the system link and once I slaved two 788's (output bus of unit one, into inputs 7&8 of unit two) with the janky ethernet connection (supposed to control both transports and TC...but don't rely on it). **quick note: not stealing work from anyone...these are redundant systems**. 

 

With the MixPre series, they have LTC timecode on 1/8", which can handle transport and timecode from a camera. Has anyone ever tried slaving a MixPre to a 688 via the 688's timecode output? Does it work?

 

I was considering populating tracks 1-11 on the 688 with my 10 primary cast and guest mic #1, THEN putting guest mics #2-4 on the MixPre 3/6 and feeding the headphone out, into input #12 of the 688 (monitoring purposes only). Before you comment, panning is irrelevant. 

 

On these shows, I have up to four field mixers with me, following story, but range can become an issue for them and they have to "party dial" to follow story. My "big dumb bag" is outfitted with batwings and RF distro, and is meant to be the master/safety recorder...doesn't always work out, but I have to try. 

 

The company is glued to a particular VEndoR (if you catch my drift), so getting a Scorpio is also not an option. Thanks in advance.

 

:::lord

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I think the sensible thing is to tell them they are simply pushing at the limitations of their current workflow/setup. 12 mics is the max or you need to start looking at a larger cart based system maybe. 

 

Maybe you wire 14 and do some party dialing yourself? There’s no reason you can’t gang two recorders but everything becomes so much more complicated in terms of mixing and sends.  

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Not to mention data management and reports.   I slaved 2 744s and 664+744, as well as 633+552+744 with just TC and got away with it but it was a pain in the ass to operate and manage.  If you are going in knowing you need more channels for something fast moving like a reality show that you'll be rolling on for a lot of days I'd really advise getting what you need and not doing a kluge.  Kluges are for one-offs....just get through the day etc....

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Thanks for the advice.

@Derek H, this bag does not have sends as it doesn't follow a camera. We tried a cart once on one of these shoots back in 2011...it did not go over well. Although that is how it "should be done". 

 

@Philip Perkins, you're right...sound reports on multiple bags is a pain. Your comment reminds of solution I had for my dual 788 set up. I'm thinking I keep the MixPre 6 and it's two SR's in a tight/small bag, have the leads (rf, audio and power) taped together and hanging off the side of the 688 bag. Since I know ahead of time how many (if any) guests will be present, I could quickly attach the "sidecar bag" to the side of the 688 bag or my belt and add it to the system on-the-fly. I hate adding kit that makes the bag extend further away from my body, as it pulls more on my lower back.

 

I would not be using this all day. Just for a few hours when we leave the cast house. Everything is done from a board for the majority of the day. I will send gear porn of my final solution and share my thoughts, if anyone is interested. #McGuiver-ing

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Or convince them to hire a second sound person with a 633. That way you could cover the main 10, and the other person the extra mics. Just jam TC and you're good to go. One person Mic'ing 14 people and managing all that seems like madness.

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@Johnny Karlsson I actually have four other mixers and an A2. Its just the way they want it. Their post team likes to start with my bag, and then fill in the gaps with whatever the mixers have. If possible, they like to avoid the mixers recordings because they "party dial". I can't tie down my A2 either. Its dumb from a sound guys perspective, but I rarely get to apply "sound guy logic" to the stuff I do. 

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