Saving Sound with Sound Devices 644 Field Mixer / Recorder

Recently I sold my Sound Devices 744T 4-Channel Portable Audio Recorder with Time Code and Sound Devices 442 Portable 4 Channel Field Mixer. The end game was to replace them both with the SD 644. The 664 Field Production Mixer is the flagship in Sound Devices’ line of portable audio mixers. It has 12 analog inputs, four output buses, and records these 16 tracks to both CF and SD cards. This unprecedented amount of I/O connectivity and recording capability makes the 664 perfect for a wide range of production applications. I was able to put it to work as soon as it arrived. As is the trend, a lot of hardware such as the former tiny switches for phantom power, etc. were replaced with software controls. It was daunting at first but the functions are quite intuitive for the little knowledge I have in this discipline.  It is a compact solution and offers redundancy while recording simultaneously to SD and Compact flash. The only complaint I had was the media has to be removed in order to download files whereas my previous recorder had the option of using a USB cable connection. I even connected it to a Zoom recorder just as an added security.




Zoom recorder
Blue Microphones Baby Bottle Cardioid Condenser Microphone

  • Acoustic Operating Principle: Pressure Gradient
  • Directional Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Sensitivity @ 1 kHz into 1 kOhm: 33.5 mV/Pa
  • Rated Impedance: 50 Ohms

664 Field Production Mixer
User guide


Covering BioMed SA’s 9th Annual Julio Palmaz Award Banquet – presenting to Dr. Francisco Cigarroa

The Julio Palmaz Award for Innovation in Healthcare and the Biosciences was launched in San Antonio by BioMed SA, a non-profit corporation founded in 2005 to help grow and promote the city’s thriving healthcare and bioscience sector. The award honors individuals who have made significant contributions to advances in these fields. Dr. Palmaz accepted the first award, named in his honor, at BioMed SA’s Annual Meeting in 2006.

This year’s recipient is Dr. Francisco Cigarroa and here are some images from the celebration:


Cick here for more information about BioMed SA and the Palmaz award.


In an effort to get better control over lighting I used a ratcheting tie down to steady and secure a lightstand to concrete pillars that happened to be in an optimum location. Securing them in this fashion eliminated a need for sand bags and removed the hazard of expanded base legs to passers by since this venue is tight on space. I faced two Canon EX600RTs toward the stage from either side of the main table and faced two toward the speaker and audience (~45 degrees) to get some light back into the audience for candids. The edge/rim lighting adds something special to the shots of the speakers on stage.


Photos by Joel Spring /


Canon 1Dx
Canon 600EX-RT
Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L EF II (USM) LENS
Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS EF II USM LENS
Canon CP-E4 Compact Battery Pack

Beautiful brides make beautiful pictures – easy…

Bridal sessions can be my favorite thing, especialy when the bride is as pretty as Helen. I was shooting with another photograher so it did not offer much flexibility and he did not want to spend time on lighting, nevertheless I made do and managed a few shots worth posting. In these situations I’ll experiment with gear and in this case I actually used a Canon 300mm f/2.8 II in addition to a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 II and Canon 85mm f/1.2. These all produce pretty “bokeh” at wide aperture though the 85mm is very touchy on precise focus at f/1.2. I make sure to get a few extra frames since at shorter distances the depth of field can be only millimeters – but worth it as seen in the sample photos.

All the images were post processed in Lightroom 5 and some were then manipulated further using OnOne Software’s Perfect Photo Suite 8.


Photos by Joel Spring /

Canon 1Dx
Canon 600EX-RT
Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS EF II USM LENS
Canon 85mm f/1.2 II
Canon 300mm f/2.8L EF IS II (USM) LENS
Canon WFT-E6a