As Production Mixer for season seven of the NBC comedy Parks and Recreation, George Flores, CAS, was charged with capturing all of the show's witty, laugh-out-loud banter. Knowing full well the rigors of weekly production, Flores relied on Sound Devices, specialists in audio and video products for broadcast and film production, and its 664 Field Production Mixer for the final season of the hit show.
Flores has used Sound Devices equipment on previous projects, including NBC's critically acclaimed police drama Southland and the hysterical FX sitcom It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. "The high-quality of engineering that goes into their products makes Sound Devices one of the best at what it does," says Flores. "They empathize and relate to audio professionals working in the field, which translates to how they formulate their products. The 664 is straightforward and user friendly, yet delivers sophistication in its routing and recording capabilities."
An ensemble comedy that features multiple actors, Flores considers Parks and Recreation to be an ideal production for the 664. "Parks and Recreation is a fast, efficient show, so it's ideal to have a compact and powerful multi-track system like the 664," notes Flores. "It's standard to have seven to ten actors wired during a scene with this type of filming, so having a recorder that can handle that in terms of separate tracks is wonderful. The simplicity of the 664 is that it has up to 12 designated inputs that correspond to their own recording tracks. It's certainly nice to have flexibility with routing tracks as is with other recorders, but it is also nice to have a plug-and-play system that is straightforward in its approach and design. Sound Devices broke new ground with its 7-Series and continues to do so with its 6-Series and PIX recorders."
Flores also employed a Sound Devices 633 recorder, which he found particularly useful for the "off-the-cart" demands of the show, such as actor-driven car shots. Having the two recorders available came in handy, especially as it allowed him to switch the CF card back and forth between the two devices. For backup recording, Flores used a Sound Devices 744T. In addition to Sound Devices, Flores used DPA d:screet 4071 and d:screet 4060 miniature microphones, a combination of Sennheiser and Schoeps for his boom and the Lectrosonics Venue Wireless system.
"Inputting metadata into the machines is very user friendly, either manually through the menu section or with a keyboard," says Flores. "Retaining client, show, episode and contact numbers is optimal, especially when working on various projects or projects that you will return to. I can burn a sound report into the metadata information, giving the post-production team access to timecode, track assignments and folder names. There is a CF card slot and an SD card slot on the 664 and 633. The machines can record the same information to each card creating a full copy/safety. I send off the CF card at lunch and wrap, but I can archive the SD to my laptop and easily check my work through Wave Agent if any issues or questions arise in post. The 664 provides intuitive user-friendliness with a high track count in a compact area. Certainly it has proved its worth on this final season of an incredibly challenging and fun show!"
Sound Devices, LLC designs and manufactures portable audio mixers, digital audio recorders and related equipment for feature film, episodic television, documentary, news-gathering, live event and acoustical test and measurement applications. Video Devices is a brand of Sound Devices for their digital video recorders and related products that address a range of multiple-source video productions, including fast-paced, mission-critical studio applications, live sports, live events, and mobile production.
Founded in 1998, the company designs and manufactures both brands from their Reedsburg, Wisconsin headquarters with additional offices in Madison, Wisconsin. For more information, visit the Sound Devices and Video Devices websites: www.sounddevices.com and www.videodevices.com.