Sound for this year’s David Lean Lecture at BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) was recorded on the HHB Portadrive. Entitled “Forty Years Of Change” and given by the legendary British director, John Boorman (Point BlankDeliverance,Hope And Glory), the lecture was captured in a three camera shoot by the National Film and Television School (NFTS), with HHB’s ground-breaking location sound recorder handling virtually all the audio tasks.
As head of sound production at the NFTS Andrew Boulton explains, the decision to use the Portadrive paid considerable dividends during the shoot, and later in post-production. “The Portadrive allowed us to rationalize our equipment set-up and produce a much more sophisticated result. We were able to capture both microphone cleanfeeds and a stereo mix, as well as outputting a separate feed to the cameras. Our students found the Portadrive to be operationally intuitive and the unit’s headphone section allowed us to keep on top of all of the various audio signals. As we synched the Portadrive to house timecode and the session was saved as AES31 files, the audio recording could be transferred directly into our post systems.”
Developed and manufactured in the UK, the Portadrive provides eight channels of 24-bit/96kHz recording to a rugged, removable hard drive: three on-board digital mixers for recording, headphone monitoring and for creating a director’s mix; simultaneous recording of rushes to an external drive; and comprehensive timecode facilities. A full range of accessories includes an external DVD drive and a Docking Station to facilitate the quick and easy transfer of session-based files to Mac and PC workstations.
Speaking for HHB, Portadrive product manager, Paul Isaacs, says, “The Portadrive packs a lot of creative options into a single compact package, while maintaining logical and intuitive operation at the heart of the system. The NFTS were able to achieve an ambitious sound recording design easily and reliably, and that’s what the Portadrive is really all about.”
With the project at BAFTA now successfully completed, Boulton concludes, “The Portadrive’s creative flexibility and technical performance have made a big impression at the school and we are eager to further explore its capabilities as our students produce their graduate fiction films over the summer.”
HHB products are distributed exclusively in the United States, Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean by Sennheiser Electronic Corporation.