— Ginsburg’s work on classic hit films and television shows including St. Elsewhere, A-Team, 90210, Caveman, The Island and Platoon has created a platform from which he is shaping a new curriculum for film sound that better incorporates the knowledge base for production sound —
133rd AES CONVENTION, SAN FRANCISCO, CA, October 27, 2012 — Audio-Technica (booth 705), a leading innovator in transducer technology currently celebrating “50 Years of Passionate Listening,” is teaming up with sound mixer/educator Fred Ginsburg to help students acquire the professional tools and skills needed for production sound recording.
A skilled Hollywood sound acquisition specialist who worked on classic television shows like St. Elsewhere and films including Platoon and Used Cars, Ginsburg uses his professional experience as a Production Sound Mixer and Sound Designer to refashion the educational curriculum of sound for picture. Audio-Technica provides microphones and educational materials for workshops Ginsburg offers throughout the country, helping students establish a base of knowledge about this critical but under-taught aspect of cinema and television sound.
Fred Ginsburg has a mission to empower the next generation of film-sound professionals with experience, understanding and expertise about cinema and television sound. Ginsburg, with a Ph.D. in audio and membership in the Cinema Audio Society (C.A.S.), has taught his courses in production sound at California State University Northridge and Chapman University, doing so with microphones and educational materials provided by Audio-Technica.
Ginsburg says that contemporary professional audio education programs have emphasized the post production elements of film and television sound, often at the expense of production audio, which is the foundation of a film’s or series’ sound, comprising dialog and authentic location ambience and effects.
“The emphasis has been on working with programs like Pro Tools and Final Cut Pro in post, but what’s lacking is what students need to know about sound acquisition on location,” Ginsburg explains. “Even at schools like Chapman, which has an ADR stage modeled after the one at Warner Bros. and a mixing room that rivals the one at Universal, there recently wasn’t enough emphasis on the foundation sound that is production audio. That’s what I’ve set out to do: integrate production audio into the curriculum at the level that things like post and mixing are at now.”
Ginsburg accomplishes this by demonstrating his techniques in classes and at workshops around the country, by showing and explaining how he chooses tools and how he uses them to create sound elements that combine with mixing and post production to produce exceptional soundtracks. For instance, when demonstrating how to take echo out of a small room so that dialog becomes more intelligible, Ginsburg shows how he sets up an Audio-Technica AT4051b Cardioid Condenser Microphone on a boom.
“That microphone was designed for music, but a lot of Hollywood location sound people have embraced it for their kit because it’s so great at mellowing out dialog and wiping out echo in a room,” Ginsburg explains. Similarly, he uses an Audio-Technica BP4071L Line + Gradient Condenser Microphone (aka long shotgun) to keep extraneous noises like traffic out of the background on exterior shots, again to keep the focus on the dialog. An Audio-Technica BP4073 Line + Gradient Condenser (short shotgun) allows the recordist to cover from 2 feet to 6 feet overhead for wider interior situations, as well as to serve as a secondary microphone to the long shotgun outdoors, or the 4051 indoors.
Lavalier microphones are critical to location dialog sound, and Ginsburg has hidden mics like the MT830R Omnidirectional Condenser Lavalier Microphone in planters and other props on a set, when close-in dialog recording is needed. He recommends using the AT899 Subminiature Omnidirectional Condenser Lavalier Microphone attached to the sun visor of a car, to capture interior audio and dialog without having to put a microphone on the actor, which could result in noise from clothing and body movements.
“Audio-Technica has fantastic warranties and repair services, and technical support is always just one phone call away. A-T always makes sure that there are good instructional materials available. It’s a big job making sure that production audio gets its due in the education mix, and I’m glad that A-T is there to help make that happen,” Ginsburg says.
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