As someone who shoots even


As someone who shoots event videos using a switch, I would highly caution you that it may be wise to save for the right equipment than to blow what money you do have on something that won’t fully suit your purposes.

I dug all around on the internet looking for a screen shot of that mixer’s monitor (keep in mind that you’ll need a TV to use as a monitor, so you can see what the other cameras are shooting), and I couldn’t find a shot. I would assume it shows you all three inputs, but if not, you could have issues, forcing you to buy a monitor for each camera, thus increasing your cost. Additionally, that thing only has composite outputs. That may be good and all in some cases, but composite outputs are the lowest quality signal there is, and it’s going to be greatly inferior to the quality on your MiniDV tapes.

Also, experience is a big thing to consider. I spent four years at the switch console for a live-mixed television program before I went out on my own. Even with that experience, I sometimes miss shots, and find myself editing them back in place in post. It’s rare, but it happens. So when you do your first few shoots, assume they’re practice, and always have your tapes recording.

In truth, if you’re happy doing SD mixing, your best bet may be to save up more and shoot for a nicer mixer. I have a slightly older version of this mixer, which B&H has for $2500 used. It’s truly awesome, and worth every penny if you’re serious about live mixing. The best part about this board is that it has firewire output, which means that you can bring in your video, mix it, and output it using a high quality DV feed. Additionally, you can bring along a laptop with a DV jack, and record directly to your hard drive, making editing rediculously easy. Well worth the cost.

Now, you could go with the mixer you’re looking at, but my question would be how will you capture the video and edit it later? That’s fairly important to consider. If you can live with the quality of a composite feed, it will work for now, but really consider saving up a little more. Roland makes some nice gear for about half the price, but the downside is that you have to buy moniors for each feed, which brings you back to about the $2500 of the board I mentioned anyway.

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