Discovery HD documentary in Canada captures surround with Holophone

Michael Nunan, post sound supervisor for Toronto-based CTV Television, chose a Holophone H4 SuperMINI surround microphone to capture audio elements for the pilot episode of an upcoming series for Discovery Channel Canada.

Although he wanted a surround sound mix, he was using a Sony F900 HDCAM camera, which only offers four audio channels. The H4 SuperMINI mounted on the camera helped bring surround sound to the program.

For the pilot episode, the crew profiled a factory that is fabricating a new form of energy efficient light bulb as well as one manufacturing a Jet Ski-type product. Multiple channels of audio were needed to provide users with a realistic depiction of the factory environment.

Nunan said the production schedule and technologies at hand made this difficult. Yet, the H4 SuperMINI’s Dolby Pro Logic II encoder, which works with most current cameras, allows six tracks of audio to be condensed to two — leaving two additional channels free to connect auxiliary mics.

Using the H4 SuperMINI’s Pro Logic II encoder, the crew was able to convert the mic’s six channels of audio into two channels while simultaneously recording dialogue through a separate shotgun also connected to the camera. This allowed the video and audio to be recorded on the same tape, streamlining the process by taking out the need to sync up audio with video during the editing process.

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