Emmy Award-winning sound editor (Lost, Law & Order, Alias, Twin Peaks)
Emmy Award-winning sound editor Tom de Gorter has spent the last two decades working in the television industry, racking up diverse credits including legendary TV series Twin Peaks, Law & Order, The Shining, Alias and, most recently, Lost. During this time, staggering advances in technology have opened up a new world of possibilities, enabling him to do his job much more quickly and easily.
What drew you to using the MicroTrack II?
I fell in love with it immediately because the portability is great. I keep it in my bag, so if I ever hear a cool sound, I pull it out and record it on the spot. Because it’s so small, it’s very stealth. If I’m in a restaurant and want to get some ambient sounds, I just put in on the table and start recording.
How has the MicroTrack II come in handy during production of Lost?
I’ve used it on practically every episode of Lost for one reason or another. The most unusual MicroTrack usage was probably for the season two finale. There’s a scene where one of the characters, Charlie, temporarily loses his hearing because of a bomb explosion, and we’re experiencing his point of view. We had muted and muffled all the other sound effects, but we were missing the sound inside your head when you breathe. I took the very small microphone that comes with the MicroTrack, wrapped it in some tape, stuck it in my mouth and just breathed. It captured this really weird, cool sound that we used for the character reacting to his situation.
What other ways have you used the MicroTrack II?
I’ve also used it for looping. One time I had to loop an actor that was playing on our softball team, so I couldn’t get him on the ADR stage. I had to go to the game, drag him out to my car, do the ADR in my parked car, and then go back to the stage and cut it in. It’s always fun to figure out new ways of using the MicroTrack like this.
What microphones do you use with the MicroTrack II?
I’ve found that the Pulsar II Matched Pair are great mics, used either single or as a stereo pair. I’ve used them individually for recording Foley or ADR and as a pair for getting some great stereo background ambiences. These are quality mics that sound great and are comparable to other high-end microphones at a fraction of the cost. The IE-30s are also a great compliment to the MicroTrack II. They are compact, sound awesome and are very portable.
How has portability helped you get the job done?
All this gear fits nicely in the MicroPack. I take it with me everywhere. It holds the MicroTrack II, the Pulsar IIs, the IE-30s and miscellaneous cables I need for recording.
The sound effects heard in Lost are very detailed. How have you been able to create such realistic audio?
The Studiophile Q40s have allowed me to hear the detail necessary for fine-tuning the sounds heard in Lost. The sound quality and clarity is incredible—especially in the low frequency range—and they completely outshine the other headphones I have used in the past. I’ve also experienced excellent isolation—perfect for working amongst others in crowded sound design studios and loud mixing stages.