sE In The Studio

Recording 'Black Panther': Chris Fogel and the sE Electronics T2

February 20th, 2018 – Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ is currently shattering box office records worldwide, and its score – composed by Ludwig Göransson and recorded & mixed by Chris Fogel, blending material recorded across three continents – is as unique and powerful as the film itself. For the title character’s main musical theme, Fogel relied heavily on the T2 titanium-diaphragm condenser microphone from sE Electronics.

L to R: Chris Fogel, Score Recording & Mixing Engineer; Ron Webb, Music Editor; Ludwig Göransson, Composer; Steve Durkee, Marvel Score Supervisor. Photo credit: Joseph Shirley

In the film, Chadwick Boseman’s lead character has a distinct percussion theme that follows him throughout the film, and punctuates his character’s transformation into the Black Panther. “One of the challenges of recording talking drums and sabar is to get the percussive impact, but still have the tone,” reports Fogel. “The talking drum you hear in the movie is very sharp, very pointed – and the sabar sessions were some of the loudest sounds I’ve ever heard – but you can still hear the voice of the drums. All of this really loud ensemble percussion was done with the T2.”

Fogel has three sE T2s, and has used them on many drum and percussion sessions for his other recently-engineered film scores, including ‘Ghostbusters’ and ‘Central Intelligence’. “The T2s give me both things that I need – high SPL handling, but they still maintain the tone. I use them on toms almost exclusively for that very reason.” This SPL handling is due to the T2’s titanium-sputtered diaphragm, which also offers a more immediate transient response than the traditional gold-sputtered diaphragms found in most other condenser microphones, making it ideal for drums and percussion.

“Distance to the instrument, associated gear and processing can make a lot of difference as well, but if it’s not right at the microphone, it’s not going to be right anywhere else. The T2s do a standup job for that.”