Charles Maynes with the Sanken CSS-5
Sound designer and recordist Charles Maynes used the Sanken CSS-5 stereo shotgun mic on such films as Spiderman, Tomb Raider, Starship Troopers, and The Alamo, to name a few. Developed by Sanken in conjunction with NHK, the 5-capsule design offers shotgun directivity in the mono mode, stereo localization in the stereo mode, and expanded 140-degree stereo in the wide mode, making it suitable for cinematic ambience and sound effects.
"I record a lot of guns and explosions and the CSS-5 can definitely take a really high energy signal, a dynamic range in excess of 140 dB,” says Maynes. “But it is also terrific for recording soft backgrounds. In the stereo mode, or the wide stereo, it has a lot of output, so you an avoid the hiss you would get from having to bump pre-amps up to capture low level detail."
To create the sound of bullets for such films as The Alamo, and the upcoming film, The Great Raid, Maynes explains, "I made an interesting discovery. If you use a wrist rocket slingshot and shoot pennies past the Sanken mic, it makes a sound that is repeatable and creates the image of a really tantalizing bullet going by."
To create the web sounds for Spiderman, Maynes took the CSS-5 to a remote area near the Angeles National Forest where he has found near-natural silence. "I set the Sanken up on a stand and then swung objects around the mic which were suspended from fishing poles and ropes. I recorded tennis balls, baseballs, etc. going at high speeds whooshing past the mic and it worked perfectly for the web sounds in the film."
For more information on Sanken, distributed by plus24, visit www.plus24.net.