Namibia, Africa (June 1, 2015)—Veteran production sound mixer Ben Osmo and vehicle FX recordist Oliver Machin used Sound Devices’ 7-Series digital audio recorders for Mad Max: Fury Road, which was filmed in the desert in Namibia.
“I used four 788T-SSDs plus four CL-8s, and did mix down to each recorder, plus a two-track mix down to a 744T for dailies,” said Osmo. “I also had a 788T rigged in my sound cart and kept that in a larger truck for a couple of months, next to video split.” In addition to that equipment, Oliver Machin brought a sixth 788T in a bag to record extra vehicle FX when necessary.
Osmo said, “The use of multiple 788Ts became necessary when the challenge was to record multiple tracks under extreme conditions. The 788Ts were very versatile. As well as ISO tracks and mix downs, we were able to set up mix minuses with AUX sends into a monitor mixer. We had available 42 channels of radio mics. This was because of the repeater systems and different RF blocks in play, so we could pre-rig vehicles ahead of time, and in my van, I would then cross over to the correct receiver blocks once they were in action.”
Machin said, “It was kind of ridiculous trying to keep track of that many transmitters. We were planting mics on the vehicles…and Mark Wasiutak would also travel with a boom mic to grab the slates and sync effects at the time with the shots.”
“It was lucky that I had all SSD 788Ts,” Osmo said. “So, even though most of the filming was off road, they performed exceptionally well under extreme vibration.” Separately, a 744T was suspended in a pouch so it could absorb the shocks of the Namibian desert during the six-mouth-long production schedule. “They never skipped a beat, especially when traveling and recording on very bumpy and dusty terrain.”