Detroit, MI—November 2016… Ric Viers is a noisy fellow—and proud of it. He loves shattering glass, blowing things up, smashing fruit, and a plethora of other cacophonous endeavors. In short, he’s one of the top sound designers in the business, with a list of credits that includes location sound for nearly every major television network. Noteworthy clients include Universal Studios, Dateline, Good Morning America, and Disney.
Viers’ Blastwave FX was the world’s first all-HD sound-effects publishing company, and his SoundEffects.com site presents sound-design tips, as well as sound effects and music libraries. In 2015 he released Haunted FX, his 666th sound library, which included 666 sound effects. Plainly, the man has a wicked sense of humor.
Like most sound designers, Viers is always prepared to record interesting sounds. “I bring my TASCAM DR-40 handheld recorder whenever I’m traveling,” he reveals. “If I want to record a sound in a plane, or if the hotel’s bathroom door is making a great squeak, I’ll grab the DR-40 and capture the sound.”
In Viers’ business, one has to be ready to take advantage of sound-capture opportunities instantly, often in demanding environments. “I’m looking for reliability: gear that I know is always going to work,” he discloses. “I don’t want to constantly update firmware or deal with bugs. I need something that I know can handle the rigors of the field and that I can use quickly. TASCAM handheld recorders are easy to use and very intuitive, and they’re reliable, even in challenging conditions.”
The Full Sail University graduate and Hall of Fame member has a long history with TASCAM recorders. “I’ve been with TASCAM since the beginning,” proclaims Viers. “My very first recorder, when I was 16 or 17 years old, was a TASCAM 4-track cassette recorder. I recorded the sound effects for my first sound library with a TASCAM DA-P1 DAT recorder. In fact, that DAT recorder is now in the Full Sail Hall of Fame museum in Orlando, Florida.”
Today, Viers passes along his love of TASCAM recorders to his interns. “The interns are all furnished with TASCAM DR-680MKII 8-track recorders for their field recording throughout the summer,” he specifies. “I chose the DR-680MKII because it’s easy to use, it’s a quality product that will last, and it’s affordable. It can record at up to 192 kHz and has a built-in mid-side decoder and other useful features. The DR-680MKII is perfect for the students and semi-pros who intern with me.”
The “rock ‘n’ roll professor of sound” also relies on TASCAM at his Detroit Chop Shop studios. “I use the TASCAM Celesonic US-20x20 USB audio interface in all of my studios,” Viers confirms. “It gives me ten analog channels and ten digital channels of I/O in a single rackspace. I use the US-20x20 for the same reasons I’ve used TASCAM equipment ever since that first 4-track cassette deck and DA-P1 DAT recorder: It’s easy to use, reliable, affordable, and has the features I need.”