Frank Serafine (pictured), one of Hollywood’s most sought after sound designers, field recordists and sound library producers, recently recorded all of the sound for the upcoming television documentary Off the Path at the Grand Canyon. For this project, Serafine monitored exclusively with Ultrasone PROline 550 headphones.
“Out in the field you’re relying on your headphones—it’s one of the most important parts of the process,” Serafine says. “I’ve been gathering SFX for over 20 years, and I’ve found that getting the right material is a very complicated art form. A big part of that is knowing how to mic it, and the other part is knowing how to hear it in the headset.”
Ultrasone HFI and PROline headphones are Serafine’s standard for recording and reference, whether on location or in his studio in Simi Valley, Calif. “Ultrasone has blazed a new trail in headphone technology,” he states. “Whether I’m monitoring for stereo, 5.1 or 7.1 surround, with Ultrasone headphones I’m hearing the sound in 3-D. It accentuates the sound for the most accurate image and sound quality.
“The way that Ultrasone has positioned the speaker inside the headphone also allows me to listen without fatigue for longer periods,” he adds. “That’s extremely important to me, because in the studio and the field I often find myself 100-percent under headphones.”
Serafine also benefited from other advanced features of his headphones in the often perilous conditions presented by recording in the Grand Canyon. “They come with two detachable cables—one coiled and one straight. That’s extremely handy to me, because I’m constantly on the run. The detachable cables help me to get in and out very quickly, instead of trying to get them unsnarled.
“During the shooting, the crew was often separated on two different edges of the canyon, and we slated everything with walkie-talkies. It was fairly windy out there, which made the closed design and tight seal of the Ultrasone PROline 550 essential because I needed to keep that wind noise on the outside.”