LOS ANGELES, CA — As the complexity and quality of motion picture images and visual effects continue to make strides, audio elements require the same life-like intensity – even sound effects. To fill this void in the motion picture industry, Mammoth Sound and Vision is currently developing its own 3-D Sound effects for the upcoming 3-D animated feature film, “Food Fight,” as well as other motion pictures. For many of its challenging on-location recordings, the company is utilizing Holophone®‘s H4 SuperMINI camera-mountable surround microphone for its accuracy, durability and sleek design.
Mammoth Sound prides itself in capturing unique sounds for unique pictures. Produced by Threshold Animation Studios and Distributed by Lions Gate Family Entertainment, “Food Fight” chronicles the adventures of typical supermarket products that come to life when the store is closed. For this project, Mammoth Sound recorded “cartoon” biplane sound effects. Animated in 3-D, “Food Fight” required 5.1 sound effects. According to Mammoth Sound & Vision Sound Designer Mike Darren and “Foodfight” Producer George Johnsen, the H4 SuperMINI‘s manageable size in combination with its extremely accurate sound capture was a real asset to this project.
“When you‘re flying in the back of a biplane or riding in the back of a racecar, carrying around a giant microphone is difficult, so that caused Mike to use equipment that would withstand harsh conditions without taking up a lot of space,” Johnsen explains. “That‘s why the H4 SuperMINI has become a very good tool for us; we can team it with a solid state recorder and easily record in encoded or discrete. Of course, it only works because the sound quality is excellent.”
The H4 SuperMINI packs all the power and sonic quality of the larger Holophone surround microphones, the H2-PRO and H3-D, but in a compact size. Its mic head measures 2.5in x 1.5in and encases 6 mic elements to capture 5.1 channels of discreet audio with minimal setup and calibration. The H4 SuperMINI‘s Dolby Laboratories‘ Dolby® Pro Logic II® encoder allows the Mammoth Sound crew to continue to use their smaller solid state recorders as opposed to a larger multi-channel recorder; another space saver. In addition to using the mic directly connected to a recorder, the team also likes the option of utilizing the H4 SuperMINI attached to a camera.
“In many applications, I prefer to connect the H4 SuperMINI to a camera because it gives us a discrete picture of what‘s going on,” Darren explains. “The ability to use the center zoom point for voice recording, while at the same time recording ambient sounds on the rest of the channels, is a major convenience.”
“From a producer‘s perspective, having the discreet channels in the field makes choices and modifications later in the process far easier,” according to Johnsen, “which allows the director to have their say, regardless of being on location or not.”
Holophone‘s SuperMINI includes an audio zoom button, which increases the forward bias of the pick-up pattern. In addition, the mic comes equipped with an auxiliary center channel microphone input (XLR) for attaching an external shotgun or wireless lavalier microphone. For monitoring in the field, the H4 SuperMINI also has a virtual surround headphone output with gain control on the 3.5mm stereo jack.
“Food Fight” will be coming to theaters in spring 2008. For more information on Holophone’s products, visit www.holophone.com.