Rich Topham III and Eric Perez from the Sales Department show
NEW Sound Devices 552 Portable Sound Mixer on the show room floor
at Professional Sound Services in NYC for the first time.


552 Sound Devices Mixer/Recorder Review
by Ryan Carroll, Professional Sound Long Standing Customer 

I recently had the opportunity to test drive the latest mixer innovation on the market, Sound Devices 552.  The job was a reality show for Green Planet on the Discovery Channel.  It was an active day that required speed and agility so I wanted a lighter rig but I was not so lucky.  The system I had setup for the day was the 552 going into the 744T, via direct output from the 552.  I had a boom, four dialogue wireless sets, a Comtek, and two different camera sends.  The 1st was to a Panasonic HDX-900 and 2nd to the Sony Z1U cutaway camera.  I sent the cameras a mix down each, with boom on the left and lavs on the right.  My lavs were all ISO’d on the 774T and the Boom track was ISO’d on the cameras and the mixer.  I figured this was the best situation because it was such a jam packed day.

I did like the 5th channel, especially for the reality TV world, it comes in handy.  Other useful additions include better knobs, an improved PFL switch, a sleeker cleaner side panel design, and the convenience of having an all-in-one unit.  However, there were some drawbacks to this highly anticipated product.  For example, the tone switch. Now it serves more than one purpose, which doesn’t really simplify things.  The user has to hold down the toggle because it doesn’t latch.  The USB connection didn’t make much sense either when it doesn’t transfer data to the laptop.  It just writes to card.  The headphone volume pot is difficult to get to inside a soft case bag. The flash card record joystick can easily be bumped and effect your recording. Overall the 552 is a great machine for the reality TV monster.  The 5th channel is what we all have been anticipating from Sound Devices and it has finally arrived!  

For more information on Ryan Carroll can be found HERE.

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