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HHB PORTADRIVE Tops 100 MPH

Location recording on motorcycle for "The World's Fastest Indian" (January 24, 2005)

There can be few more exhilarating rides than topping 100 miles-per-hour on the back of a motorcycle but, if you're Mike Westgate's HHB PORTADRIVE location sound recorder, it's all in a day's work.

In Sir Anthony Hopkins' latest movie, "The World's Fastest Indian," the Welsh acting legend plays the true-life role of Bert Monroe, an illustrious motorcycle enthusiast from New Zealand who established a new world speed record against all odds on the salt flats of Bonneville, USA in the 1960s. The 'Indian' in the title refers to the classic American motorcycle and Monroe's feat is made all the more remarkable by the fact that he achieved it while in his seventies!

As an experienced sound mixer with many international film and TV credits to his name -- including "Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence," "The Bounty," and numerous Cousteau international expeditions -- Mike has been reunited with director Roger Donaldson on this latest project, which completed shooting in New Zealand just before Christmas.


An enthusiastic user of the PORTADRIVE since its launch early in 2004, Mike had no qualms about using the recorder to capture the wide range of music and sound effects required by Donaldson for the movie. "During the shoot I was required to record a five-piece dance band plus a vocalist, so I decided to create a real-time stereo mix of the instruments, while recording the vocalist on a third track so that it could be processed or mixed to picture later. The PORTADRIVE's pristine 24-bit audio became absolutely essential, since Tim Prebble's audio post team back in Wellington wanted some elements to be captured at higher bit rates to achieve the best possible quality."

For sound effects, the multi-channel capability of the PORTADRIVE proved invaluable. By using a high-quality stereo mic for onboard vehicle recordings, and a selection of appropriately positioned mono mics for other sound effects, the PORTADRIVE enabled Mike to work quickly and efficiently by capturing multiple sources simultaneously.

As for dealing with the high-SPL sound effects associated with vintage motorcycles travelling at full tilt, the PORTADRIVE took everything comfortably in its stride, as Mike recounts. "For the very high level on-board motorcycle recordings, I needed to use low output moving coil mics in conjunction with the 15dB internal pads of the PORTADRIVE's mic pre-amps. I must confess feeling some pangs of concern as I watched my PORTADRIVE fly past strapped to the back of rider travelling at over 100 miles-per-hour, but in typical HHB fashion the results were quite outstanding!"

"The World's Fastest Indian" is currently in post-production, and will debut at this year's Cannes Film Festival, with international release scheduled for autumn of 2005.

The HHB PORTADRIVE combines multi-channel 24-bit/96kHz recording on a tough, removable hard drive, simultaneous recording of rushes to an external drive, sophisticated on-board mixing, comprehensive timecode facilities and flexible, session-based file transfer with Mac and PC workstations.

Speaking on behalf of HHB, managing director, Ian Jones said: "We receive fascinating stories almost daily from all corners of the globe about the many and varied ways that the PORTADRIVE is being used in film and TV productions both large and small. However Mike's is the first 100 miles-per-hour plus recording that we've heard of!"

HHB products are distributed exclusively in the United States, Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean by Sennheiser Electronic Corporation. It joins a list of distinguished audio brands that Sennheiser distributes including Neumann Microphones, InnovaSON Digital Consoles, Rosendahl Synchronization Systems, Turbosound Loudspeakers and Australian Monitor.

www.sennheiserusa.com
www.hhb.co.uk


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Related Keywords:HHB PORTADRIVE, location sound recorder, audio post , Mike Westgate, The Worlds Fastest Indian

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