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Capturing Film Sound Underwater

47 Meters Down sequel cast was recorded via DPA

Alleroed, Denmark (April 4, 2019)—Film and TV sound mixer Ivor Talbot was able to overcome a multitude of communication issues on his most recent film project by using DPA’s new CORE by DPA amplifier technology.

Talbot, whose filmography includes Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and The Woman in Black, used CORE by DPA while working on 47 Meters Down – Uncaged, an action movie involving sharks that was mainly shot in a water tank at Pinewood Studios in England.

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Talbot already owns a selection of the company’s d:screet 4061 miniature omnidirectional microphones, which he uses as lavalier mics. However, for this project, DPA’s U.K. distributor Sound Network suggested trying d:screet CORE 4071 miniature omnidirectional microphones with presence boost.

“Getting the right microphones was crucial on this film because they were providing a means of communication, which was just as important as trying to record the actor’s dialogue,” Talbot said.

“We had four or five actors in the water tank, and they all needed to communicate with each other as well as with the director and dive coordinator above water. I spent a couple of days testing different microphones and found that most systems were not clear enough and couldn’t cope with the air pressure inside the mask. In fact, they were so hard to listen to that it became physically painful.”

In contrast, continues Talbot, “The CORE by DPA technology made a massive difference to the sound quality. From a communications point of view, they delivered clean, consistent sound. What really surprised me was that we also managed to record some usable dialogue. I certainly wasn’t expecting that. Their low sensitivity and ability to deal with air pressure made them very suitable to underwater work—and they even made the oxygen tank regulator and bubbles sound better.”

DPA Microphones •