Production sound mixer David Husby is in high demand these days, having worked virtually nonstop on more than half a dozen films over the past two years. While traveling from location to location, he has come to rely on Sound Devices. With a Sound Devices 788T Digital Recorder and its CL-9 Linear Fader Controller and CL-8 Controller in tow, and a second 788T serving as a back-up, Husby’s trusty sound rig accompanies him to capture the sound on each filming location. His more recent portfolio includes last years’ The A-Team and Tooth Fairy, as well as titles scheduled for release later this year such as Rise of the Apes, The Big Year and Final Destination 5. He is also currently working on the upcoming animated film, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked.
Husby had been using another digital recorder in his main system and a Sound Devices 788T as a backup, but last year while on location in Tofino, B.C. on the set of The Big Year, an unfortunate transportation department accident destroyed his entire rig. “All these components, mostly new equipment, which I was in the process of soldering cables for, were trashed,” says Husby. “Fortunately, I’d been working on a back-up plan involving Sound Devices 788T. I typically like to put new equipment through the paces before I include anything into my rig, especially if I think a project is going to be a bit rough and tumble. However, the situation I was in forced me to immediately put Sound Devices into service, under duress, and it performed flawlessly. It’s been non-stop ever since; I’ve barely had a weekend off since working on The Big Year. I’ve done four feature films in a row and the 788T has performed absolutely perfectly for every one of them.”
With the influx of multi-camera film set-ups, recording isolated tracks has become increasingly important, and so has how these tracks are labeled. The CL-9’s flashing channel strip lights make it simple for a sound mixer to correlate these tracks with the channels on the 788T, thus enabling on-site troubleshooting. While strictly involved in the on-location side of production, Husby has found that postproduction staff not only interface well with the sound captured on his Sound Devices equipment but some even say the tracks are easier to work with in post due to the quality and naming of these iso-tracks.
Currently on set for Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked, Husby recorded an important dialogue scene deck side on a cruise ship as it steamed away from Roatán, located off the coast of Honduras. This presented a unique set of audio challenges, as the production crew is battling engine noise and waves slapping against the hull. Sound Devices once again stepped up to the challenge.
“My gear has seen plenty of water, being based in the Pacific Northwest, it has been subjected to torrential rain, been covered in snow, exposed to the humidity, and all extremes of heat and cold and has never given me any issue whatsoever,” adds Husby. “I have used it in nearly every possible environmental condition one could imagine and my Sound Devices equipment has never let me down.”