Walter van Dusen Documents the Trade Show Floor with ‘Rolling Interview Studio’ Stand and Sound Devices MixPre-3 II
LEXINGTON, MA, November 9, 2023 — If you’ve been to an industry trade show within the last few years, chances are that you’ve seen Walter van Dusen at work. The photographer, YouTube content creator, and self-described ‘trade show lifer’ has carved out a unique niche in trade show reporting with his straight-forward, interview-focused approach designed to educate on the companies, products, and people that populate the country’s largest A/V trade shows, including NAB, Cine Gear Expo, B&H Bild Expo, and more. Enabling him to do this at the consistent high quality and volume that he does, is van Dusen’s custom-designed ‘Rolling Interview Studio’ — an ever-evolving A/V cart which allows him to operate effectively as a ‘one man band’ and capture more of these interviews in a day than anyone else in his position. Key to meeting that critical junction between economy of size and quality of sound, van Dusen has made the Sound Devices MixPre-3 II portable recorder an essential part of his workflow.
Sharing the love of gear, one interview at a time
A driving factor in van Dusen’s approach to his interviews comes from a genuine desire to stay current on the latest technology, and use that knowledge to educate others. A photographer by trade, his interest in audio and video grew organically as he saw an opportunity to offer a fresh take on the trade show interview experience. “I don’t think these videos should be about me; they should be focused on the company’s spokesperson, with soft direction from me to get the experience on camera for people who really want to learn about the gear.”
“I’m trying to provide an in-person experience via my interviews, but being at the show is much better in my opinion. The goal of my trade show interviews is to show the audience that going to an in-person show, meeting and getting the opportunity to be hands-on with the gear, and ask questions to these manufacturers directly is something they should consider for themselves.”
Custom designing his workflow for the cart became a labor of love for van Dusen, allowing him to perfect both form and function into a single, seamless operation that allowed him to work quickly and effectively. Although his photography background prepared him well for the video and lighting components of the cart, he realized early on that quality of audio would require special attention. “Viewers have varying tolerances when it comes to video quality, but bad audio will turn everyone off instantly,” he said. “I knew that I needed something compact and easy to use that would also sound great in all of these circumstances — which is what led me to the Sound Devices MixPre series.”
Rigging up for a one-man show
Currently van Dusen’s cart can mount up four different cameras, multiple lighting elements, and stands for mounted or boom mics that track directly into his MixPre-3 II. The setup allows him to quickly roll up to a booth, shoot an interview in one take, and have multiple camera angles and high-quality sound for the finished product. “What’s great about the MixPre-3 II is that it was really easy to learn ‘in the wild’,” he explained. “I didn’t come from an audio background, but it was very clear how important it would be for these videos so I knew I had to learn it quickly. The MixPre series is very intuitively designed and between that and Sound Devices’ own YouTube channel it was quick for me to pick up all of the helpful features it has. Once it was integrated into my setup my audio immediately sounded much better.”
One of the most important features for van Dusen was the fact that The MixPre-3 II supports 32-bit float audio streaming, something incredibly useful when having to navigate the dramatic dynamic ranges of sound within a crowded, loud, trade hall. “It just made things that much more efficient because I don’t have to ride the gain dials when I’m recording an interview,” he said. “Ultimately it gives me better control of the end product and ensures that the audio will sound great no matter what is going on in the hall around me. The days of me blowing my audio out are long past since I started using it.”
As a working creative, van Dusen continues to thrive on the opportunity to teach himself new skills. As his channel has expanded he has continued to develop new content for his audience, while tirelessly working to perfect a format that he believes will make doing the same easier for others. “I’m trying to do something that shows there’s a better way — it’s not about me or just for my own gratification,” he says. “Everyone needs professional quality video that is shot well, with good lighting, and great sound, and done quickly. I think this format is something that could be used by anyone who’s willing to invest in doing it right and the applications are endless.”
“The MixPre-3 II was really a ‘buy it once, buy it right’ situation for me and I know it’ll keep being exactly what I need for this. I think for anyone else looking to invest in a similar idea, it’s the perfect solution.”
To learn more about Walter van Dusen, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/@
About Sound Devices:
For 25 years, Sound Devices has created premier audio equipment that helps sound professionals capture superior audio. The company’s products have been used on the sets of award-winning movies, TV shows, and documentaries. Sound Devices designs, assembles, and supports its products at their Reedsburg, Wisconsin, headquarters and their Madison, Wisconsin, and Rickmansworth, UK, offices.
For more information, visit www.sounddevices.com.