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Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Jun 15

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6/15/2010 4:41 PM  RssIcon

~Surround Mic Used to Capture IED Explosion Effects for Humvee Simulator Training~

2009-10-21 20-13-49 - 0305FORT EUSTIS, VA / FORT CAMPBELL, KY — Sound mixer Ezra Dweck, who has worked in post production, mixing and editing for more than 15 years on projects such as the hit TV series Brothers and Sisters and CSI: New York, recently embarked on a project outside of his usual Hollywood realm, mixing effects for a Military Humvee (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle) Simulator Training project designed to protect U.S. troops from IED (Improvised Explosive Device) bombings and other insurgent attacks. Dweck, who recorded, edited and mixed the audio for the project, used Holophone’s H2-PRO to capture realistic surround sound recordings from the interior and exterior of the Humvee.

Surround sound was an important factor from the very beginning of the project, as the audio had to be fully immersive. Dweck needed to create coincident multi-channel recordings, which required a microphone that could handle a variety of audio levels. In addition, the audio needed to be accurate and realistic in order to offer the most value and experience to troops using one of two simulators, currently installed at Fort Eustis in VA and Fort Campbell in KY, to train at home before deployment. Dweck chose Holophone’s H2-PRO for this important project, using it to record surround sound from both inside and outside of the Humvee, including IED explosions and gunfire, re-creating the audio of a real-life military scenario.

“For the kind of recordings I needed to make, Holophone’s H2-PRO was hands down the best choice I could have made,” says Dweck. “Today’s military personal are very savvy when it comes to surround sound, due to the abundance of surround home theaters, so they understand the value of when audio is coming out of a little speaker in the dashboard versus something that sounds like it’s coming from all around you.”

Holophone Military Simulator Story - Holophone in the FieldThe customized Humvee, from which the engine has been removed, is located on a motion base in a 60-foot semi-circle surrounded by 260 degrees of large screens projecting realistic HD images. Dweck used the Holophone H2-PRO in conjunction with a Neumann 190 stereo shotgun with a Sound Devices 788T Digital Recorder to capture discrete surround sound for playback in the Humvee. The Humvee is equipped with five Meyer MM4XP speakers in an L/C/R, Ls/Rs position, with an additional speaker mounted on the dashboard and a subwoofer placed where the engine would be located. The exterior of the Humvee is also equipped with three JBL EON speakers arranged left, right and center.

In order to capture realistic audio, Dweck visited the Army's national training center in California's Mojave Desert, driving around the base in the Humvee to capture the realistic sounds of the vehicle in motion. For the IED explosion sounds, Army Explosive Ordinance Disposal personnel used several pounds of C4 to detonate a 120mm tank shell in a dry creek bed. Dweck also recorded the sounds of several AK-47s firing as well as some simulated radio communications, which can be heard on a radio speaker inside the Humvee training setup.

“The Holophone was brilliant for the Humvee recording,” continues Dweck. “For car recordings, I used to set up multiple microphones and they’d get loose and bump around and change angles. With the Holophone I was able to hold a single, coincident mic in my hand and just sort of pick where I wanted it to be. At one point I clamped it down; it’s just such a time saver. The combination of the Holophone with the Sound Devices 788T was such a huge advantage, as I had a one-stop microphone and recorder.”

About Holophone

Holophone is committed to developing and commercializing products that use patented 3-D audio technology to bring the physical experience of “really being there” to a new level for all audio and visual productions by professionals and hobbyists. Holophone provides customers and business partners with industry-leading product and service quality. Holophone is firmly dedicated to providing outstanding value, excellence in service, and product performance.

Holophone® surround-sound microphones are patented audio recording devices designed specifically to address the challenges audio professionals face in capturing, recording and broadcasting multichannel surround sound. Developed by Rising Sun Productions in Toronto, Canada, Holophone systems effortlessly capture discrete signals that are ultra-realistic and provide the most accurate spatiality, audio imaging, and directionality of any recording device. Entirely compatible with all audio mixing, encoding, and playback systems, Holophone also enhances mono and stereo mixes. Holophone systems provide the perfect front end for all professional and consumer audio applications including HDTV broadcasting, standard broadcasting of live sporting and music events, feature film location recording, and studio recording for music, films, and worship applications. Holophone surround sound technology has been used for numerous national and international broadcasts, including the Grammy Awards and NFL Super Bowl. As a scalable system, Holophone technology is also available for license to the consumer electronics industry.

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