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HomeAwardsWylie Stateman Saddles up with Sound Devices 788T for Django Unchained

Wylie Stateman Saddles up with Sound Devices 788T for Django Unchained


Wylie Stateman on location for Django Unchained
Wylie Stateman on location for Django Unchained

When supervising sound editor Wylie Statemen sought a field recorder capable of providing the high sonic quality needed to capture background and sound effects for Quentin Tarantino’s Academy Award-nominated film Django Unchained, he turned to Sound Devices’ 788T digital audio recorder. Stateman, who has been recognized in the sound editing category for Django Unchained — the sixth time he has been nominated for an Academy Award — chose the 788T for its small size, reliability and ease of use.

With more than 30 years of motion picture experience, Stateman has high standards when choosing gear for film projects. He bases his selection on sonic quality, robustness of build and reliability. As he typically works in “run-and-gun”-type recording environments, he also looks for small, lightweight equipment. “Although mobility is very important, there is no substitute for sonic integrity and reliability,” Stateman said. “Year after year, we compare Sound Devices with other machinery, and for several years now, the Sound Devices family of recorders has proven to be the best. Sound Devices equipment will continue to be a part of our field reconnaissance.”

For Django Unchained, Stateman used the 788T to record atmosphere, background, sound effects and samples for the film’s sound design needs. “We traveled to some pretty harsh environments, including Monument Valley and Death Valley, in order to capture authentic sounds for the film,” Stateman said. “I would say the majority of the postproduction sound in Django Unchained owes its roots to the recordings made possible by the 788T.”

For the movie’s fight scenes, Stateman not only recorded the sound of guns, but the shots’ echoes as well. The same holds true for other weapons such as whips, chains and various impulse devices, including signal cannons, blank guns and live firing weapons.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has nominated Django Unchained for an Academy Award in a total of five categories, including sound editing, best picture, original screenplay, actor in a supporting role and cinematography. Additionally, the Motion Picture Sound Editors Golden Reel Awards have nominated the film in the best sound editing: sound effects and foley category.

Throughout his career, Stateman has been nominated for industry awards, including six Academy Awards, four BAFTA Awards and 15 Motion Picture Sound Editor Awards. Stateman won the 1993 BAFTA Award for Best Sound for his work on JFK. He has also won the Motion Picture Sound Editors Awards for best sound editing for Inglorious Bastards (2010), Memoirs of a Geisha (2006) and Born on the Fourth of July (1990). Stateman is also the co-founder of the postproduction sound services company Soundelux.

With the influx of multi-tracking both in the field and on set, the Sound Devices 788T has become the next-generation digital audio recorder for sound mixers who require additional isolated tracks. It holds eight full-featured inputs and records to up to 12 tracks. It accepts either microphone or line-level signals, provides 48-V phantom power for condenser microphones, offers peak limiters for microphone inputs and features fully-adjustable, high-pass filters. Routing flexibility allows each input to be routed to left/right mixed tracks, isolated tracks or aux tracks.

The 788T has several options for recording media, including an internal SATA hard drive (solid-state in the 788T-SSD), CompactFlash cards, an external FireWire hard drive or DVD-RAM (with bus powering). Any or all of these can be used simultaneously. Additionally, when connected to Mac or Windows computers with high-speed USB or FireWire 400/800, the 788T functions as a high-speed mass storage device.

To simplify AES3 connectivity with mixers and cameras, the 788T has eight channels of balanced AES3 digital input and six channels of balanced AES3 output. The 788T can be clocked from an external word clock or from video sync. The 788T is also equipped with a high-accuracy time-code reader/generator. It also includes auto-record features to chase external rec-run video sources. To simplify metadata entry, the 788T accepts USB keyboards directly or can be operated remotely from iOS devices with the optional CL-WiFi. The 788T, like all Sound Devices products, is versatile and designed to withstand the physical and environmental extremes of rigorous field production.

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