Jon Kalish

Veteran journalist Jon Kalish uses high-quality recordings from his MixPre-6 to work remotely for major radio networks.


Manhattan-based radio reporter Jon Kalish has seen firsthand how much technology has changed journalism during his 43-year career. “I used to go to NPR’s New York bureau when we were still cutting tape. I would dub my sound from cassette to reel to reel. When it went digital, it was a profound change – I started working at home and it became easy to send radio stories to people all over the world. I’ve worked for NPR, the BBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and Radio New Zealand.”

Kalish was looking to replace his well-loved 722 recorder when the MixPre-Series was first released. “The 722 cost nearly 3x what the MixPre costs, but as soon as I started recording with that machine people were amazed at the quality of the recordings, mainly because of the preamps. I sold my 722 after 8 years. I put it through a lot of wear and tear – in the field, in nature, banging around.”

“I went to an open house at Gotham Sound in Queens and Sound Devices was there and they had a couple MixPre’s on display. I saw how well designed it was and said ‘I gotta get this machine’.”

“I’ve spent a lot of time recording what we call Tape Synchs for NPR and other public radio networks and programs. Instead of recording someone over the phone, they will send a recordist to that person and make a remote high quality recording and send it in. I will record just the person being interviewed.”

“Sometimes I’ll get the call in the morning and they’ll ask if I can be somewhere in the afternoon and if I can send the audio from the site. The MixPre is very easy to do that with. Often I’ll just find nearby WiFi and send an uncompressed WAV file as soon as the interview is done. The ability to pull it from an SD card and send it right away has been an important tool in my toolkit.  Often the interview will be 10-15 minutes and they might cut it down to 5 and it will be on the news program All Things Considered that night. The flexibility of the tech allows me to do that.”

“I’ve been around long enough to remember the days when it required an investment. The kind of money you would spend back then compared to what you would spend on a MixPre is phenomenal. You can make an amazing pristine recording with a $600 MixPre and $200 microphone. This has been a great boon to independent journalists and independent filmmakers. You don’t need a ton of money to get really great tools to work on your craft.”

“Many years ago I used to dream about the future and what it would hold to send audio right away on the spot. I never could have imagined all this, but it’s really played out to be very easy to record on the spot and send it in right away.”

For more information on Jon and his current projects, visit http://www.kalish.nyc/