Miami, FL (November 16, 2005)–Hurricane Katrina hit Miami the night before the MTV Video Awards, taking down power lines and leaving most of the city dark, including Manhattan Transfer Miami’s Coconut Grove post production HQ. Booked into one of MTM’s studios for an ADR session was 50 Cent, in town for the awards and sidetracked into replacing some 40 lines for his new movie Get Rich or Die Tryin’. What to do?
Fortunately, the movie’s director, Jim Sheridan, was staying at the Ritz Carlton, and their power–at least for the time being–was on. MTM senior audio engineer Eric Williamson, along with audio engineer Juan Diegeuz, decided to take the session to Sheridan’s hotel suite.
Williamson explained, “Of course, we were not in the best controlled environment and we had no idea what ambient sound we would be exposed to, so I decided to dual-mic 50 Cent, because we wanted [not only] the intimate ‘voiceover’ sound quality of the Neumann U87 but the rejection quality of the Sennheiser MKH 60 shotgun. We also used a Tube-Tech MP-1 A preamplifier to further accentuate that voiceover quality. We brought two DAT machines, one as the master, one to run a simultaneous backup copy.
“We set it all up in director Jim Sheridan’s hotel room and decided to have 50 Cent sit on the couch. This was not only for the sake of 50’s comfort, but also because the couch had a high back, heavy drapes to the right, and a plush bed on the left. Ideal acoustics–well, as far as hotel room recordings go.”
Luckily there was little noise during the recording, Williamson reported. “Not only were the neighbors next door quiet, but there was very little foot traffic in the outside hall. The only big noise problem, ironically, was that we had a VMA party outside, nine floors down. Luckily, most of the sound bleed was of lower-volume and in the lower frequency range, so it [could] be filtered out by means of EQ.”
Manhattan Transfer Miami