Sound Devices heats up Chicago Fire audio

Blair Scheller, Chicago Fire’s production sound mixer, uses Sound Devices 788T and 744T digital audio recorders, 552 and 442 production mixers, and a CL-WiFi interface for 788T, to provide consistent deliverables.
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A range of Sound Devices gear has been deployed to record dynamic audio for the NBC show Chicago Fire, chronicling the lives of the men and women of Chicago Firehouse 51. Blair Scheller (pictured, middle), the programme’s production sound mixer, uses 788T and 744T digital audio recorders, 552 and 442 production mixers, and a CL-WiFi interface for 788T, to provide consistent deliverables. Along with his sound team, which includes utility Jim Gaudio (pictured, right) and boom operator Jason Johnston (pictured, left), Scheller’s approach to production sound on Chicago Fire is typical of today’s dialogue-oriented episodic productions. Much of the photography is done with two cameras, so boom mics, typically Schoeps CMITs, are not practical for large ensemble group shots. In these cases, all actors with speaking parts have a wireless microphone. Scheller utilizes 12 channels of Lectrosonics wireless with SR transmitters and Venue receivers. The production recorder on set is Sound Devices 788T, recording simultaneously to both CompactFlash and the 788T’s internal hard drive. For backup, a Sound Devices 552 records the mix to SD cards. CompactFlash cards are turned in, transferred and then cleared after breaks in the day. “The more I can provide to post production, the better the chance of getting great audio, as the post-production team can do quite a bit with isolated tracks,” said Scheller. “We often shoot in on-location environments that may not be ideal for sound, but with both my mix- and iso-tracks, we dramatically minimize the need for ADR.” www.sounddevices.com

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