Reedsburg, WI (April 7, 2017)—Brendan Beebe, CAS, who got his first break handling communications on Titanic, has been using a cart-load of Sound Devices gear on HBO’s Big Little Lies and FX’s American Horror Story.
Beebe first heard of Sound Devices on the set of American Idol in the early 2000s, he recalls. “I bought one right away, my first purchase. It was the best sounding bag mixer of its time.”
He has stuck with Sound Devices, owning three 788Ts, a CL-8, a CL-9, and a 664. His gear now includes two 633s, a 688 mixer/recorder with a CL-12 Alaia linear fader controller, and the Wingman wireless interface application, running on an iOS-based mobile device.
“For my cart, I like to be pretty light and power efficient, so I’ve got the 688 with the CL-12. I’m also running a 633 for ISO backups,” Beebe says. “For the television I do, I’m able to get 12 tracks, which is plenty for me. I can always use my 633 if I need a few more tracks.”
“Being in reality TV has helped me become a bag mixer very quickly. I carry a full bag rig on my cart. Within probably one minute, I can leave the cart and be mobile,” which Beebe had to do on Big Little Lies, he says.
“We were in a house filming all day, and the director liked the sunset, so they wanted everyone out on the beach. Right now. The cameras never cut. They started running out of the house. I always have CF cards loaded and ready. I just turned the 633 on, put the SD card in, jammed timecode from my 688, ran down to the beach, and we filmed for an hour and a half.”
Beebe adds, “They’re faster, more forgiving recorders that are capable of doing multi-tracks. The power-up options, where you can start recording within a second, the QuickBoot is incredible. And the power efficiency—right now I can run my cart for 20 hours on batteries alone.”
Beebe even appears on screen in one American Horror Story episode. “The producers asked me to actually be in the show because they were going to shoot documentary-style of a show being made. So I’m well featured in episode 6 of season 6 wearing the 688,” Beebe says.
“I had nine ISO tracks and two mix tracks in the bag as I’m running around on camera, acting, and we had zero looping. The 688 allowed me to get all of those tracks and do everything I needed with eight actors in a scene, including me. It’s so efficient, and the limiters are so forgiving that it’s just a pleasure to work with.”