Sound Devices 788T Digital Recorder and Cl-8 Controller Keeps the Boss Happy

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Versatile Gear Holds Up to the Rigors of STARZ Series’ Busy Production Schedule


— When Riordan Sound Services President and Production Sound Mixer Alex Riordan was called upon to record sound for the second season of Boss, a STARZ original television series, he turned to Sound Devices for his audio needs. Relying primarily on the

Sound Devices 788T digital recorder and CL-8 controller

, Riordan and his crew captured the dynamic sound for the hit show.

An American political drama series,


stars Kelsey Grammer as Tom Kane, the mayor of Chicago, who has recently been diagnosed with dementia with Lewy bodies, a degenerative neurological disorder. Determined to remain in charge, Kane conceals the disease from everyone around him except his own physician. The first season premiered in October 2011, with the second season debuting in August.

For his work on


, Riordan built a new sound cart featuring Sound Devices gear. “I used a 788T as my main recorder and had the CL-8 connected to it,” he says. “I would move the 788T and CL-8 off the cart and into a bag for some of our more mobile locations. After a while, production was moving so quickly that after a month into the show I bought a second 788T and incorporated it into a dedicated bag rig, with all the wireless gear. This way, it was ready to go at all times. It got to the point where I actually had that bag rig live on the bottom shelf of my mixer cart, so all I had to do was reach down, throw a battery in it, turn it on, grab my CompactFlash card out of the cart 788T, throw it in the bag 788T, set up my folders, jam my time code and check scene and track names, and I was off.” In terms of tracks, Riordan sent a mix to channel one. His main boom was iso’d on track two, and he used the remainder of the tracks for isos of the wireless lavs, second boom and plant mics. Boss was the first show Riordan recorded completely with wireless booms. As a result, he didn’t need to run any audio cable, saving considerable time in the show’s fast-moving production environment. Just before production started, Riordan also purchased a Sound Devices CL-WIFI and an iPod Touch that he put on the cart for displaying meters and track names. “The CL-WIFI and iPod were a last minute addition to the cart and I quickly became reliant on the display to help me keep the ever changing track names straight. Not to mention everyone on set would ask me about it and say how cool it was,” adds Riordon. In addition to the 788T, CL-8 and CL-WIFI systems, Riordan also employed a Sound Devices 442 field mixer and 744T portable four-track audio recorder on the Boss set, for times when he didn’t need as many tracks. This way, he could easily place the rig in the trunk of a car. “For most of the car scenes, we used wireless plant mics in the cars, so we had a few options in case a seatbelt rubbed up against the lav or something,” he says. “As we moved so fast and didn’t get a rehearsal, I put a lot of mics out there, just to give us more options. Since we didn’t get another take for sound, we tried to get a lot of things recorded and then see what worked.” In addition to his work on


, Riordan and his crew use his large inventory of Sound Devices gear for various film projects, television shows and commercials produced in the Chicago area and beyond. Since


Riordan has mixed the Chicago portion for season 3 of


and mixed some additional unit sound on the new TV show,

Mob Doctor

. “Sound Devices gear has always provided me the functionality, reliability and portability, I need to be able to pack and go with confidence,” concludes Riordan. “I can’t wait to see what Sound Devices comes out with next!” The Sound Devices 788T boasts eight full-featured inputs and records up to 12 tracks. It accepts either microphone or line-level signals, provides 48-V phantom power for condenser microphones, offers peak limiters for microphone inputs and features fully adjustable high-pass filters—all in a compact package. Based on the 788T, the Sound Devices 788T-SSD includes a factory-supplied 256-GB solid-state hard drive, allowing for superior performance in the field. Sound Devices CL-8 is a portable mixing control surface for its 788T recorder. Its large rotary faders and push buttons bring extensive mixer-type control to 788T inputs. The lightweight CL-8 can be used either mounted or remote from the 788T. The Sound Devices CL-WIFI allows users to control the already powerful 788T from anywhere on set. CL-WIFI works together with its companion iOS software app to allow iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches to control a connected 788T. The CL-WIFI turns an iOS device into a simple, portable control surface, enabling a sound mixer to move around on set, away from the sound cart, while still retaining extensive control and monitoring of the 788T recording system.

Sound Devices, LLC

designs and manufactures portable audio mixers, digital recorders and related audio equipment for feature film, episodic television, documentary, news-gathering, and acoustical test and measurement applications. The fourteen-year-old company designs and manufactures from its Reedsburg, Wisconsin, headquarters with additional offices in Madison, WI, and Highland Park, IL. For more information, visit the Sound Devices website



More than 55 of the 2018 Fall Television and Streaming Series Rely on Blackmagic Design

More than 55 of the 2018 Fall Television and Streaming Series Rely on Blackmagic Design

Blackmagic Design today announced that the company’s production and post products were used to complete many of the fall 2018 season’s new and returning television shows and streaming series. More than 55 shows rely on Blackmagic Design’s digital film cameras; Fusion visual effects (VFX), compositing, 3D and motion graphics software; and DaVinci Resolve editing, color correction, VFX and digital audio software; as well as its switchers, routers, monitors and capture and playback devices.


Jingle All the Way: Luxul's XMS-1208P Managed Gigabit Switch is Available for All CI Integrators this Holiday Season

Luxul, the leading innovator of IP networking solutions for AV integrators, today announced that it's giving CI integrators the gift of enterprise-level performance at affordable price points this holiday season. It doesn't matter if they've been naughty or nice, the company's XMS-1208P 12-port/18 PoE+ managed Gigabit switch — that delivers high-speed performance while enabling simple network expansion — is now available for all. And to ring in the new year, Luxul will begin shipping its AMS-1816P 18-port/16 PoE+ L2/L3 managed Gigabit switch in early January.


HoverCam Transforms Classrooms Fit for Future-Ready Students at Val Verde USD

HoverCam, an innovative technology leader in the digital education market, announced that Val Verde Unified School District (USD) in Parris, California, successfully installed HoverCam's Pilot digital teaching stations and CenterStage interactive flat panels (IFPs) in new STEM labs in the elementary schools, with plans for an eventual rollout to the district's middle and high schools. As part of the district's goal to create future-ready students, Val Verde USD chose HoverCam digital education solutions to address the rising challenge of updating classrooms and introducing curriculum with advanced systems that will prepare students for a rapidly changing career landscape.


The Sigma Holiday Sale Is Back!

Nothing makes gift giving as enjoyable as special prices on award-winning Sigma lenses and accessories; get the lens you’ve always craved or surprise a fellow shooter with the perfect present.


Global News Agency Ruptly Relies on Riedel's MediorNet and Artist on Board New OB and DSNG Vehicles

Riedel's MediorNet real-time media network and Artist digital matrix intercom are providing the decentralized and redundant signal routing and communications backbone on board two all-new, state-of-the-art OB vehicles for Ruptly, a Berlin-based international news agency. Qvest Media, a world-leading system architect and integrator for the broadcast and media industries, designed and built the new broadcast van and DSNG vehicle.