Sound designer and editor Dane Davis and the staff at his Danetracks facility have just begun working on the two sequels to Matrix: Matrix: Reloaded and Matrix: Revolutions. Most recently, Danetracks completed Eminem’s 8 Mile, The Good Girl, starring Jennifer Aniston, and Disney’s Treasure Planet.
“We do an enormous amount of sound effects recording, not only real things in the field but also raw material recording,” said Davis, who has amassed a library of almost 150,000 effects during the past 25 years. To assist him in creating raw material from which he will sculpt the unique sound effects for the Matrix sequels, Davis used Neumann’s Solution-D digital microphone system. “The Solution-D had a clarity about it that is a real breakthrough. There is a lot less other stuff going into the recording, in terms of thermal noise, electronic junk and also just the usual problems that you have between a microphone and the A-to-D converters.”
Davis used the Solution-D to capture metallic, crystalline and aqueous sounds for the two forthcoming Matrix features. Initially, metal swords and sword-like objects were suspended and struck. “We were interested in the essence of sharp steel. That will all eventually find its way into the sounds of swords being fought with.” Davis also said that the Neumann digital micwas used to record water flowing through a “Dr. Seuss-looking” pipe construction. “It was a very low-level sound, as opposed to the sword sounds, which were very high level and very clangorous. The Solution-D described the sounds beautifully and shone just like we wanted it to. We got an almost crystalline recording of these things. It really captured the liquidity and the metallic aspects that we wanted. We also did glass shattering and breaking.
“The high-definition sampling rate [of the Solution-D] is a gigantic thing for us,” Davis continued, “as we slow things way down and speed them way up and do everything extreme to sounds. It’s a very clear sound, and when we slow things down, Solution-D is giving us access to harmonics that are usually removed. It just happens to play into one of our fascinations: Capturing the harmonics of sounds that we don’t normally hear.”