Fred Wiseman speaks!
Gotham got a chance to catch up with legendary documentarian Frederick Wiseman, who mixes his own sound while directing. (Let's see Scorcese do that!) We asked which scenes he was particularly proud of that combine his skills as a sound mixer and filmmaker:
"The sardine factory scene in BELFAST, MAINE where approximately 5 hours of material was reduced to 9 minutes, with 250 shots and no dialogue. The story is told in the way the pictures and the sound of the assembly line are edited together. Similarly, in BASIC TRAINING, hours of material is reduced to 7 or 8 minutes and 70 shots in the night crawl sequence where the sound and the picture are combined to suggest a primitive war dance."
Watch for Wiseman's newest documentary STATE LEGISLATURE on TV this month. PBS will be broadcasting it nationally tonight, Wednesday, June 13th. Other affiliates will be airing it throughout the month. Check your local listings for details.
Some notes on the Zaxcom stereo camera hop
Gotham rental tech Nick Masiuk recently took a Zaxcom TRX900 Wireless system with him on a shoot as a lark. What he discovered surprised him.
Ultralife 9V Lithium battery sale!
We goofed and ordered too many Ultralife 9V lithiums! But our mistake is your gain - buy 100 for $410 while supplies last, a savings of over $100!
In 2003, shortly after legendary soul singer Reverend Al Green reunited
with record producer Willie Mitchell for the album "I Can't Stop", Seth Mnookin
spoke with them about their favorite microphone:
No. 9 is the microphone that Mitchell first used to record Green, more than
three decades ago. He hasn’t allowed anyone to sing into it since. “Willie loves
that mike, man, he does,” Green said. “It sounds full and it sounds wholesome.
Every time I come down there, he takes No. 9 down off the shelf and out of that
same box and polishes it just like a baby."
“When I first got Al to come into the studio,” Mitchell said, “I knew he was
special and I knew I had to be perfect to capture it. So I tried to use all
kinds of mikes for his voice. And when I heard him on No. 9 I said, ‘Oh my God,
this is the real thing.’ I put numbers on the mikes we used that day so I could
keep track of them. At least I think that’s why I put numbers on them—I was
drinking vodka. But when I got to this one I put a nine on it. It has a real
romantic sound, a soft, warm sound. Like on ‘How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?’
when he breathes on the mike, you hear that.”
No. 9 is an RCA 77DX ribbon microphone, one of those iconic capsule-shaped
mikes similar to the ones that Larry King and David Letterman keep on their
desks. Ribbon microphones are extremely delicate and can pick up the subtlest
variations in volume, which is why Green’s recorded murmurings and half whispers
sound as emotional and intense as his shouts and yell.
Lectrosonics premiered a peck of new products at the NAB show in Las Vegas later in April, including the UM450,
a new Digital Hybrid Wireless™ belt-pack transmitter with a current-servo
input and 250mW RF output for increased range and resistance to
interference. There will also be new versions of the UM400a, SMa, SMDa, SMQa,