First of all I am a big fan of using a mixer on all of my shoots. Ive been having an on going debate on purchasing the Sound Devices 302 mixer that I like. He was told by another industry professional that you dont need a mixer you can just use the gain on the camera. From my expierence that camera will not always give you the greatest control or if you are getting a feed from another source you might want to mix mthat down or be ble to control the levels before it gets to you camera. I just want to get the taughts of other professionals working in the field. George
Mixers are more than knobs that let you vary the volume.
1. They let you vary volumes without shaking the camera or getting in the way of the camera op.
2. You may need to do that a lot with some people. I ride gain even if one person is talking if their voice fades on the end of each line. You can only do this in a relatively quiet environment, otherwise you bring up the ambient noise.
3. Mixer preamps (good ones) sound better than camera preamps.
4. Good mixers have input transformers that scrape off RF before it get into your audio.
5. Good mixers have limiters that allow you to record hotter, keeping your audio further above the noise floor without distorting.
6. Good limtiers have EQ that lets you roll of LF HVAC noise before it gets into your audio.
7. Good mixers have mulitple outputs so you can feed more than one camera, or separate recorder simultaneously.
8. Good mixers make your sound better. If they didn't pros wouldn't use them.