Grills Gone Wilder

Here are a few photos from a shoot that I worked on a few months ago. Grills Gone Wilder is airing now on The Travel Channel. This shoot was fun because of the subject matter… barbecue… and the fringe benefits. Since everyone else on the crew was flying, they couldn’t accept the “on-camera-Q” that was offered, so I ended up with about five pounds of whole-hog pork from Martin’s Barebecue Joint in Nolansville, TN.

Shooting around the Martin's massive smoker, which can handle multiple whole hogs.

Shooting around the Martin’s massive smoker, which can handle multiple whole hogs.

I’m a bit of a barbecue junkie… I love to try out different Q stands when I travel, so I’ve sampled quite a lot. My top two places are Stanley’s in Tyler, Texas (we hit that one pretty hard when we were shooting on The United Bates of America) and Martin’s.

This shoot wass one of the first I did with my new Sound Devices 664 mixer/recorder, and I can say without reservation that I LOVE this unit. It’s a little intimidating at first, as it has ten times the functions and options of my old 442. But the folks at Sound Devices seem to appreciate the pressures of bag work, and they’ve made all the menus and functions very quick to get to & change. There’s an option to connect a USB keyboard, but I’ve entered the metadata using the rotary encoder & it works fine.

I'm running the risk of getting pig fat on my nice new mixer here, but it was so tasty I had to risk it.

I’m running the risk of getting pig fat on my nice new mixer here, but it was so tasty I had to risk it.

That’s not to say that there aren’t a few small details that I’d like to see changed. It really should ship with an external power supply, since the battery tube just doesn’t really work. I understand that a tube of AAs lasts about a half hour. I’ve never tried it, since that much time isn’t really worth the weight of the batteries, so the tube stays empty. Instead I use a Remote Audio BDS with an NP1 battery cup to power the whole bag. I get around two hours use out of a NP1, depending on the age of the battery.

I’m also using a PortaBrace 664 bag on this photo, which is currently for sale at Trew Audio. I love the company, but they have got to innovate if they are going to stay around. This is the same basic bag design as the FP32, just with bigger dimensions. Thats fine for small mixers, but this one is large and heavy, and the bag flops around and distorts in use, giving me the feeling that things aren’t secure. I’ve since gotten a Petrol bag which is quite a bit better  (though I wish it were more like the Petrol 442 case.)

The Grills Gone Wilder crew, April, Ilsa, and Joe.

The Grills Gone Wilder crew, April, Ilsa, and Joe.

Another change I’d like to see in the 664 Mark 2 is the way that data is transferred. Right now, you need to eject the cards and insert them into a reader in oder to transfer your data at the end of the day. The CF card is very difficult to remove, as I can’t get my fingers around the edges. And fragile… I’ve already experienced a bent pin on my card reader. The SD card is easier, so I write data to both cards but use the SD for transfers. The better solution is to have the data available at the USB port so the cards could stay in place.

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