REEDSBURG, WISCONSIN ― Sound Devices digital recorders recently rode shotgun for “Truth in 24,” an NFL Films production created on behalf of car manufacturer, Audi, which is centered on France’s annual 24-hour car race, 24 Hours of Le Mans (24 Heures du Mans). Sound Mixer Kyle Hartigan chronicled Audi’s journey toward winning the trophy again, after taking the grand prize home a total of seven times. Hartigan took Sound Devices 788T and 744T recorders to the track to record effects in both surround and stereo for the project.
The full-length film was shot in high definition and features a surround sound mix of the event, which included several pre-event races in Sebring, Florida; Long Beach, California and Monza, Italy before the big day in Le Mans, Sarthe, France. In order to capture the sounds of the pre-races, Hartigan used two Sound Devices 744T recorders as his multi-track, phantom power solution. His rig consisted of two 744T recorders allowing for access to six channels of audio. He also used Sound Devices 442 mixer for the mic-pre’s for 3/4 inputs on the 744T that didn’t offer phantom power.
As a loyal user of Sound Devices, Hartigan learned about the new 788T digital recorder at last year’s NAB show and decided it would be ideal for the surround sound mix he needed for this project. He began incorporating the 788T, a smaller, more compact alternative, once he arrived in France to begin capturing pre-event footage. He also used Holophone’s H2 surround sound microphone. Hartigan then spent three weeks in Le Mans capturing both the lead up to the race and the entire race itself.
“Sound Devices 788T was perfect for this application,” says Hartigan. “It’s one recorder with several mic inputs that feature phantom power on every channel. The 788T changed the entire way I recorded the first two races, because now I was using just one machine, instead of three. I linked all six input channels from Holophone together so the volume was controlled by one knob. This new setup was ideal because it was compact and portable; as I traveled all over the track and through different parts of the town, I was able to capture sound effects in surround or just record sound bites for the post-production mixers to re-create the action.”
As the lead sound mixer throughout the entire project, Hartigan and his four-person sound team captured most effects with stereo mics to Sound Devices 744T. The 788T was used to record the sounds of cars going by and the audience, giving viewers a realistic, re-creation of the event in surround sound. Hartigan was driven in a golf cart around the track in order to record different unique locations. The project involved five 744T’s and one 788T. While the 788T was focused on capturing surround effects, Sound Devices 744T’s featured jam time code running time of day for the entire 24 hour race, the 12 hours leading up to it and approximately two hours afterwards, totaling 38 hours of constant recording.
The project also incorporated inter-communication between drivers and their pit boss. Through a receive site, three radios were recorded onto Sound Devices 744T, reporting radio communication from driver to engineer, with one engineer mic’ed up – recording for 24 hours.
“Sound Devices is definitely my go-to multi-track recorder,” continues Hartigan. “Its compact design made it easy to pass off to other mixers during shift changes – the combination of the 788T and the Holophone was the ideal solution for surround, on-location recording. I used it every day, everywhere I went, even in rain storms – I literally recorded everything both on and off the track.”
The 24 Hours of Le Mans (24 Heures du Mans) is the world's oldest sports car race in endurance racing, held annually since 1923 near the town of Le Mans, Sarthe, France. Commonly known as the Grand Prix of Endurance, it is organized by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) and runs on a circuit containing closed public roads that are meant not only to test a car and driver's ability to be quick, but also to last over a 24-hour period. “Truth in 24” is available as a free download on iTunes.com.
Sound Devices, LLC designs and manufactures portable audio mixers, digital recorders and related audio equipment for feature film, episodic television, documentary, news-gathering, and acoustical test and measurement applications. The eleven-year old company designs and manufactures from their Reedsburg, Wisconsin headquarters with additional offices in Madison, WI and Highland Park, IL. For more information, visit the Sound Devices website, www.sounddevices.com.
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