Looking for the most professional 8-track hard drive recorder? Here it is! If you ever wonder what the professionals use to capture multi-channel audio for movies and music out in the field, this is it. The 788T's robust design makes it the perfect sollution for field recording.
Sound Devices 788T review
I've tried all different brands of recorders but This is my all time favorite 8 track field recorder (I call it an 8 track). Because I live and often work in super hot areas, this thing can withstand temperatures exceeding 110 degrees. Sound Devices Finally included mic pres for All 8 tracks, unlike the previous 744T (which only has mic pres for the first two tracks). The 788T is the best all around field recorder to record subtle ambience and foley sounds to Super Loud race cars as well as Big machine guns!
Notes: during the purchase of this recorder, remember to also buy four XL-2F cables (adapter cables for tracks 5 through 8, from mini XLRs to standard XRs), a Portabrace or Petrol case, extra Sony L batteries with other external rechargeable batteries (like NP1s). This monster is power hungry so Buy More Batteries!
My Sales Engineers Matt Wood and Kenny Bergle are great to work with. I used to shop at other places, but these guys just know me so well.
Easy Shopping = Happy Customer!
What more could you want?
I record music on location, mostly live classical music. For such an application, the 788T may be too good. Not that I don’t appreciate the eight very good and quiet mic preamps, the redundant recording media and power sources, the small size and light weight. It’s just that I’ve never needed the extreme ruggedness of this unit, and I never used the time code. And since I believe, in general, the fewer mics the better maybe 8 mic pres are too many. On the other hand, it’s sure nice to be able to have 4 channels for the main mics (two Sennheiser MKH800 Twins) and a couple of channels for solo mics, with 2 more channels for a backup stereo pair in another location. Then to be able to pick and choose and mix the channels in post is great, even if the final mix only uses two of the 8 recorded channels. Even though I only record 24bits/48kHz, the 788T has recently been updated to be able to record 8 channels of up to 24bits/96kHz.The 788T has 8 inputs, but it can record up to 12 tracks. Each of the 12 tracks can be a mix of any combination of the 8 inputs. Even though you mix to a track, you don’t have to record that track. This can be helpful when you want to set up a monitor mix (that is not recorded) for mic placement, but you record the individual mics for post. Or they are shooting video and you can send them an audio mix. The 788T is very small and light. I love being able to haul in and haul out 8 channels of recording gear in one trip; mics in one bag, recorder in another, and stands & cable in a backpack. One trip is much faster and much more secure. You can run off batteries for hours, and you can swap batteries without interrupting recording since the 788T has two power sources. Being able to record to two (or even three) media at one time has saved me on a couple of occasions.
Sound Devices has excellent customer service; they respond to emails quickly and thoroughly answer your questions. They frequently update the 788T firmware and will incorporate customer suggested features.
Is the 788T perfect? No, there are a couple of minor changes I like to see, but I’m hoping to see them in future firmware updates. But at this point, is there any better portable audio recorder?