If you are working 1 x boom 2 x radios, and a couple of camera mics,
then I wonder why you dont find a way to make it work with a SD744. The
744 is way smaller, way lighter, and after a long runaround day would
be far, far easier on your back than either Cantar or Deva. The
difference in size is great, but the difference in weight is huge.
Would it not be possible to record the camera mics on the cameras,
leaving 4 x tracks available on the 744. You might need a 302 mixer to
get you decent level control for IPs 3 & 4, but again this is a tiny
unit that weighs next to nothing.
If you really do nee to go to greater track counts, and therefore
bigger machines, there are a few things to consider.
The Cantar has a built in 6 into 2 mixer with 6 x slider style faders,
that eneables you to mix a 2 channel 'guide' mix for post prod. This is
a great feature, and works very well in my experience. The Cantar is
also dead good inasmuchas it can 'remember' a number of configurations
that can be recalled at the turn of a knob wheely thing on the side.
This makes it very quick indeed to change from one configuration to
another. The flip side of this is that if you have not memorised the
configuration that you want to go to then it is clunky to set up a
configuration from scratch. It is possible to set up configurations
from a Palm type device and Bluetooth, but this relies on your Palm
device being handy and charged up. Cantar has only 5 mic IP's, and 4
line IP's - so be aware that if you want more of either then you need
to either pre amp up to line level, or pad down to mic level, which can
be a bit clunky.
The Deva 5 has an 8 into 2 mixer built in, and 8 x switchable mic/line
IPs. This allows easy configuration of IPs for sure. There are only 4 x
hardware knobs on the Deva, plus 4 x onscreen faders. You can assign
any fader to any IP channel, so this can work well so long as you
proritise which Ip's go to the knobs (i.e. are available for level
adjustment at all times). My Deva spends a lot of its time on my cart,
but I had a day on and around the London Underground yesterday and the
Deva was excellent. I was running 1 x boom, and 4 x radio mics, which I
receorded as Iso's plus a 2 channel mix. I sent a feed to headphones
via another radio and everything was good. The Deva used less than 1
NP1 for the morning, and another for the afternoon. Credit where it is
due - these machines are so lean on power that I find it incredible.
Both design teams should be congratulated on doing amazing stuff.. As
regards to routing and setup configurations. The Deva can also memorise
setups for recall later, but does have an advantage when it comes to
routing. The touch screen is a real bonus and timesaver here as the
graphical representation of IP's along the top and tracks along the
side makes it incredibly simple to alter the current setup by simply
touching the crosspoint. Its far easier to show than to explain but
suffice to say that if you set up a Cantar and a Deva to do the same
thing, and then changed your mind about the config, I would have the
Deva ready to go far quicker then the Cantar. This assumes that you are
changing to a new config which is not already in either machine's
memory. Be aware that there is a virtual Deva program that you can
download from the Zax website. This allows you to see and alter all the
setup and config screens as if on a real machine.
If you are seriously considering one of the bigger machines, then I
would consider all three (I am including HHB Portadrive here).
Portadrive has 6 x mic line switchable IP's plus an onboard 6 into 2
mixer which has 6 x knobs. Although Portadrive is heavier, and not as
sexy as Cantar, it is a good solid machine and has an advantage in
rushes delivery. If you are shooting many gigs of stuff each day then
you can put the PC docking station onto your post ingest machine and
plug the HDD's directly in. This makes for a very fast delivery of your
stuff, so long as you are geographically able to get the HDD's to and
I would definitely reccommend that you try all three machines
extensively before you buy. Are they likely to do a test shoot? It
might be worth having one of each machine for a test shoot and see how
Its not an easy decision to make as all of the machines are so good,
but I would start by working out whether you are heading for small or
large, and moving on from there.
How lucky you are to be spending someone else's money, spend it
Good luck - and please let us know which way you go.
Post by adhocsound
I agree, Cantar meters are less legible than the Deva display but when
working "over the shoulder" I have a lot of things to look at but the
Looking at Zaxcom Deva photo gallery I see only huge sound carts with a
lot of mixing consoles. At Cantar's photo gallery, you see a lot of
crazy Cantarists with their machines around neck. That's the difference!