Douglas Spotted Eagle with his latest instructional DVD available from VASST, Now Hear This: Superior Sound for Digital Video and Beyond. (This photo is property of Sundance Media Group and may be used by the press only for the purpose of one-time reproduction. Unauthorized use or alteration of this image is strictly prohibited.)
DVD recording demands the highest quality audio reproduction; the instructional programs to teach recording fundamentals also require the highest levels of audio acquisition. That’s why VASST (Video, Audio, Surround, Streaming Training—a division of Sundance Media Group) turned to Audio-Technica for microphones. Under the guidance of Grammy®- and Emmy®-award-winning composer and producer Douglas Spotted Eagle — who has also earned DuPont, Peabody and Telly Awards — VASST develops DVDs that teach videographers the essentials of audio-for-picture. Microphones and wireless systems from Audio-Technica are integral to the process.
“What Douglas is doing is raising awareness among video users about better audio,” explains Steve Savanyu, A-T Market Manager, Installed Sound, Broadcast & Theater. “In the process, he’s raising the bar of quality for the next generation of videographers.”
From a cozy spot nestled in the Utah mountains, Spotted Eagle explains how his instructional DVDs have ensured the highest quality sound reproduction: The AT899 is excellent on trainers’ voice-overs, he says, because “unlike a lot of omni lavaliers, it has a nice bottom end to its sound.” He also uses the AT4053, which he calls the “best general-purpose microphone around — it can be used like a shotgun on a boom or you can replace the hypercardioid capsule with an omni or uni. It’s really a three-point microphone and it sounds better than some costing three times as much money.”
In an era when a single person has access to more media technology than an entire television or recording studio of a half-century ago, VASST provides the critical knowledge necessary to be able to leverage that technology into creative and useful applications. “The key is clear communication of ideas and concepts,” says Spotted Eagle. “Audio-Technica gives us the ultimate tools to do just that.”
“Douglas has been using Audio-Technica microphones and systems on this project for three years, teaching videographers the important skills needed to make their sound as good as their picture,” explains Savanyu, a former video editor himself. “We’re proud to be a sponsor of what he’s doing, because media technology is only as good as the people using it. What Douglas is doing makes them better communicators, and the world benefits from that.”
VASST’s instruction makes use of a wide array of key A-T products, including the U100 camera-mounted wireless microphone system, AT897 short shotgun mic, AT899 0.5 mm subminiature omni lavalier mic, AT3060 phantom powered large-diaphragm tube condenser mic, and an assortment of Artist Elite® microphones. “Douglas uses our products to illustrate all of the possible audio-related situations that videographers find themselves in,” Savanyu explains. “For instance, he shows how to use a shotgun microphone in the wind, keeping your back to the wind to minimize noise.”
Spotted Eagle also likes the efficiency that A-T microphones bring to his commercial projects. “By sticking with one manufacturer, we get incredible consistency to the sound from one shot to the next,” he notes. “That also translates into less work in post production, because we got better sound right from the start.”
Finally, Spotted Eagle remains a dedicated recording artist; he credits A-T microphones with playing a key role in that part of his career. “I’ve used A-T almost exclusively on records and films for twelve years now,” he confirms. “I started with the AT4053 and have recently moved to the AT3060 tube microphone, which gives my flute a huge, solid tone. A-T has taken me to several Grammys and Emmys. They’re microphones that I’m going to stay with for a long time to come.”
The latest instructional DVD available from Douglas Spotted Eagle and VASST is Now Hear This: Superior Sound for Digital Video and Beyond. For more information, please visit www.vasst.com.