Sound Devices 552 & 664 mixers excel for sound mixer Brad “The Sound Guy” Martin for projects like the TV show Mississippi Snake Grabbers.
CALGARY, ALBERTA — Ever since Production Sound Mixer Brad Martin launched his audio recording company, Brad The Sound Guy, four years ago, he has relied on Sound Devices as his mixers of choice. Martin has traveled throughout Canada and the United States, capturing dynamic audio for his clients, relying on the durability of his Sound Devices gear to help him attain the best audio quality required for his projects.
Martin was first introduced to Sound Devices while working in the rental department of the Toronto branch of Trew Audio, where he was mainly setting up rental packages comprised of Sound Devices 302s, 442s, 702Ts, and 744Ts. Fresh out of school, where he had learned sound mixing on SSL and Avid ICON D-Control ES audio consoles, he appreciated the sound quality delivered by Sound Devices portable mixers. The first mixer he worked with on a regular basis was the Sound Devices 442.
“The 442 is a great machine,” says Martin. “For the ENG-style work I was doing regularly, it was fantastic. The ability to feed multiple cameras with return feeds, and just the absolute reliability that came along with it, were second to none. These days I mainly use a 552 and a 664, and they both come with that same rock-solid performance I’ve come to expect.”
That performance was put to the test when he worked on a show called Mississippi Snake Grabbers for Country Music Television Canada. “The shoots took place in Lake Washington, Mississippi, where it was incredibly hot and humid,” adds Martin. “Between the sweltering heat, the humidity, the ice-cold air conditioning and the intense daily thunderstorms, my 552 never missed a beat. While mics were failing due to the extreme temperature swings, my mixer always kept up and performed exactly as I would expect. Because we were sending audio to camera via wireless hop, it was always great to know I had a broadcast-quality recording happening simultaneously, just in case.”
Martin’s setups always revolve around either his 552 or his 664, giving him the flexibility he needs to tackle the busy Calgary market. Sometimes he is faced with a boom-only kind of day; other times, he builds out his kit with multiple wireless booms, sync boxes, camera hops and IFBs. He uses Lectrosonics wireless, exclusively with Sanken COS-11 and Countryman B6 lavs. His boom mics include a Sennheiser MKH 416 and MKH 50, and a Neumann KMR 81 i. He also relies on a few Peter Engh Omnigoose® mics.
“I really love my Sound Devices equipment,” adds Martin. “I know that no matter where I take it, from the extreme cold of a minus 20-degree winter day in Northern Alberta, to a 100-degree-plus day in a Mississippi swamp, my machine will always work.”
Martin has also recently worked on Canadian Broadcasting Corporations’ The Nature of Things, an Alberta tourism project with ice climber Will Gadd, a commercial project for the HGTV special Property Brothers at Home on the Ranch, and the feature film Cas & Dylan.