How the move towards 32-bit recording at Sound Devices gives audio professionals an essentially infinite dynamic range to play with.
Sound Devices makes mixer recorders and wireless audio products that form an ecosystem designed to capture audio on-set, on location, or in any setting where accurate audio capture is critical. That means most films and TV programs.
“Sound Devices” is a remarkably generic-sounding name for anyone outside the audio business. It’s a bit like Ferrari calling their latest supercar a “Moving Thing” or a Michelin-starred restaurant naming their award-winning dish “Eating Substance”. But, for the Reedsburg, Wisconsin-based company, it’s a stroke of genius. Because when people hold your products in such high esteem, it portrays a kind of quiet confidence, and that’s exactly what you want from a critically important piece of audio gear: confidence that it “just works” all the time.
Audio is at its most vulnerable in the early stages of capture and mixing. Low noise and a wide headroom are essential to avoid degrading the signal. Sound Devices has always achieved remarkably high-performance levels in its products, but now it has taken off into an entirely new dimension with 32-bit recording. This new technology gives audio professionals what is essentially an infinite dynamic range, which makes it almost impossible to clip audio unintentionally. It provides an incredibly valuable new margin of safety for audio professionals on-set and probably fewer sleepless nights, too.
It’s also worth mentioning that Sound Devices’ products are tough. They’re used in some of the harshest environments on the planet. Excellent audio performance, constant innovation, and an unsurpassable built quality. Oh, and they’re nice people, too!
Our camera crew caught up with Sound Devices’ Gary Trenda, who gave us this tour of the company’s products at IBC2023.