Sound Devices Record a Hero

When production sound mixer Frank Stettner needed a new digital audio recorder with sufficient tracks for HBO’s new mini-series, Show Me a Hero, he chose the 64-track Sound Devices 970.
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New York, NY (August 21, 2015)—When production sound mixer Frank Stettner needed a new digital audio recorder with sufficient tracks for HBO’s new mini-series, Show Me a Hero, he chose the 64-track Sound Devices 970.

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Show Me a Hero is based on the real-life story of former Yonkers Mayor Nick Wasicko’s battle with the federal courts over the construction of public housing. The events divided the city, with several heated city council meetings disrupted by yelling and protests. Stettner knew that successfully capturing the audio of these recreations would require the recording of multiple iso tracks.

In addition to two Sound Devices 970s running redundantly, Stettner used a Yamaha QL5 Series digital console and Rio1608-D input/output box connected to 12 Shure SM57 microphones. Audio was then routed over Cat 5 to the LAN. The mics were routed to two places, the Dante iso inputs on the 970 and the channel inputs of the Yamaha QL5.

Stettner needed to record cast members playing the council, the mayor and the clerk, each seated in front of a microphone, plus four to five speaking parts from the actors depicting hecklers in the crowd. His second mixer captured the council’s audio, while he concentrated on the lines of the hecklers. Since there were three cameras shooting at the same time, the 970s were tasked with capturing the fast-paced dialogue from the whole scene—all angles, all the time.

“With the 970, I had access to 64-tracks, all of which were Dante-enabled, so I could route all the fixed mics via a LAN to the individual iso tracks. I also sent them to a second mixing board with a second mixer where they were combined to a mono mix, which I incorporated into my mono dailies mix,” Stettner explained. “Gotham Sound was great in helping set this up for me, and even had one of their technicians on site so that I could correctly interface between the two boards quickly.”

Sound Devices
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