Parade of Production Sound Carts Seminar

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“I got my start when things were much simpler,” said veteran production sound mixer, Jeff Wexler, CAS, as he showcased his current sound cart, the seventh in his decades-long career. His first cart, adapted from a rolling television table from Sears, which only “made it through one movie,” was followed by a sturdier cart originally intended for use in the food industry. And so the evolution of his carts began.

Organized by CAS board member Paul Vik Marshall, the Parade of Sound Carts was held April 20 at the Local 80 Sound Stage in Burbank. Mixers were on hand to present their sound cart setups and bag rigs, each individually developed for the unique situations experienced recording various show formats – film, television, commercials and reality TV. The variety and originality of the sound equipment, along with the explanations of their intended purpose, made for an educational experience for everyone, from veteran mixers to students aspiring to a career in sound. CAS vice president, Mark Ulano, conducted the Q & A.

James Berek, CAS won “best of show” for his compact rig intended for commercial shoots. His favorite piece of equipment was a Cooper 208 board with its “wonderful” preamps. “Most of the time when I step in and I’m working with a new client, they can hear the difference and they know stuff sounds good,” said Berek. “They think its me, but it’s a good board with a good microphone. The rest keeps it reliable. Good wireless, good recorders, but preamps go a long way.”

One of the topics on the minds of the pros was the need to upgrade equipment to remain current. The Sound Devices Pix 260i, which will record 32 tracks of audio, seemed to be the piece of gear on the wish list of a number of mixers including Phil Palmer, CAS, who admitted that if he could buy anything, the Pix 260i is where he would put his money. Palmer had one of the more elaborate carts, used for Glee. Equipped with three monitors to follow the multi-camera set-ups, Palmer had a separate utility cart to store, among other things, the multitude of radio mics needed for the complex musical productions and multiple character scenes. The only thing that seemed to be missing was the Cappuccino maker.

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Photos courtesy of Joel Geist and Mark Ulano, CAS.

Last modified: March 30, 2017

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