Friday, May 1, 2009
On sound ground
One thing for sure -- most American animated shows are all about the sound, and dialog in particular. This differs greatly from European animation, where much of what they do can be enjoyed with the volume turned down.
Look at any American animated series, past or present, and this is definitely not true. Indeed, you can almost enjoy the show just the opposite way -- by listening to it and not watching.
For our series, it all started with sound. It grew out of a Reader's Theater I do here at the retirement community I live in. I thought if I recorded some of the readings we did we might be able to animate them. To that end I bought a digital recorder to help with that.
The Zoom H2 (pictured above) is that device, and it's a remarkable one at that. A tiny equivalent to a digital recording studio, this thing records to solid state memory hours and hours of CD quality (or better!) stereo or surround sound (yep, you can even record your own 4 channel surround track to use in your next Dolby Digital production :>). It's lightweight, about the size of a pack of cigarettes, and runs forever on four AAA batteries.
If I had had to carry all of my old recording equipment with me to our meetings every few weeks I'd have never done it. As it is, the Zoom is the answer to almost anyone's recording needs. The biggest drawback is you need to be careful handling it as it will pick up some noise from your hands otherwise -- but even at that it's a superb microphone to capture sound in the field.
In our meetings I put it on a mic stand (it comes with a screw in holder for this purpose) and leave it alone and then transfer the results to the computer when I get home. We'll talk more about audio manipulation as time progresses, but for now if any of you ever need any recording device for any purpose whatsoever I can't think of anything I could recommend more highly.
Here's a link to it on Amazon.com (where I bought it):
For under $200 there is nothing finer for your audio needs.