With the CL-9, Sound Devices adds a new dimension to his 8-track recorder. After the ultra-portable CL-2 recorder, and the semi mobile CL-8 recorder, here is the static but compact version, the CL-9, which can be used on a sound cart for example.
The CL-9 is more than a simple remote control for 788T faders. It incorporates a transport remote, management of two communication channels, but mainly provides the 788T with a one track parametric equalizer on each input, and a right left pan control. So, for each input, we have, from top to bottom:
- A latching track push button
- A notched rotary encoder with a three state level circular LED
- A 100 mm linear fader.
The linear faders are very light to the touch, with a notable lack of sliding feeling, they don’t have the Penny & Giles touch, but respond very well to level changes without any audible latency. This allows for responsive mixing, with precise level modulation.
The rotary encoder can change settings for gain input, panning, and EQ (gain, frequency, Q), and it enables by a push solo monitoring. Function choice for the encoder is made through four push buttons set on the left of the control surface. These four buttons are also programmable to be assigned to functions in the setup menu of the 788T, functions quickly accessible through a blue shift key.
On the right of the CL-9, we find four notched knobs that can adjust gain for left/right and aux1/aux2 outputs, and for 1-6 outputs, two communication channels with level adjustment and push slate/order microphone and a recording/stop transport control.
Communication between 788T and CL-9 is USB, on 788T keyboard entry (unfortunately set on rear panel). A keyboard for editing metadata can be plugged in control surface rear panel and an offset of 788T headphone jack allows direct monitoring on CL-9 front panel with 1/4" or 1/8" jack.
Once again, Sound Devices surprises with the high quality of CL-9 ergonomics and functionality, even if it is fairly large compared to the compactness of the recorder itself. But one can be disappointed by the type of material used, folded sheet metal, extremely loud and resonant. Any manipulation of the control surface is noisy, whether using the mix faders (which have no high and low stop), solo interlocking (which produces a noisy click), or notched rotary encoders.
Come and try it by DC Audiovisuel!