David Belafonte is no stranger to Sennheiser. Son of music and civil rights legend Harry Belafonte, he grew up around audio equipment, whether in the studio or in a concert hall, and even had an impressive career spanning recording studios. , broadcast sets and live tours. As a Grammy-nominated sound engineer, Emmy-winning producer, facade engineer and film collaborator, a common thread has always been Sennheiser microphones and headphones. Today David is resolutely focused on honoring his father’s legacy, through the efforts of the Belafonte Family Foundation to give back to the local and global community. Even though he’s no longer on the road or no longer mixing in renowned New York recording studios, his Sennheiser gear is still an important part of his workflow.
In recent years, David has taken a less active role in the creative arts and channels his skills in a completely different way. He founded the Belafonte Family Foundation with his wife Malena to carry out his father’s work by supporting institutions and creating programs that enlighten, fight prejudices and promote peace. possible to create access, solutions and opportunities for disenfranchised people born in unfortunate circumstances, ”explains David.
Today, David uses his experiences in the professional audio world to give back to his community, most recently in support of Grace Outreach, an organization in the Bronx serving low-income women looking to improve their academic skills, to pursue higher education and find employment.
For Grace Outreach’s recent virtual fundraiser, which was a mix of pre-recorded and live-streamed content, David was commissioned to create a reel that featured some of the women the organization has supported by documenting their stories of overcoming situations. intense and trying. He made sure to bring his MKE 200 microphone to the camera in the Bronx to help him do just that: “It can be an intimidating experience when you’re in a team presence and the equipment is everywhere. . What’s so beautiful about this particular setup is that it’s so unintrusive and out of the way. The MKE 200 comes with interchangeable 3.5mm lockable coiled cables to provide compatibility with DSLR / M cameras and mobile devices, making it an ideal on-the-go companion for such high-speed movie shoots. stolen. “Most of my capture tools are iPhone based. The freedom it gave the subject to feel like they weren’t overrun while still capturing their stories – and avoiding the sound of the wind – is a prime example of how this wonderfully understated gear gets the job done.
In the words of Marguerite Grace, Founder of Grace Outreach, “The video had a huge impact on the success of our Virtual Breakfast. Each profile of the women in Grace Outreach was stunning and captured the unique paths these women have taken. Grace continues, “From a fundraising perspective, thanks to the exceptional quality of the video and information delivered, the program has raised almost 40% more funds than any past event. Everyone was so impressed with the quality of [Belafonte’s] job.”
While the compact setup of the MKE 200, XSW-D Portable Lavalier Set, and iPhone was a low-profile setup that allowed David to capture his subjects in a respectful and authentic manner, it also allowed him to record sound from excellent quality in a less than ideal setting, “For the run-and-gun stuff we were doing on the Grace Outreach project, at one point we were in a real windstorm at the back of the projects. housing, but the mic sounded amazing with just the dead cat included. The MKE 200 is highly directional and designed to isolate and enhance sound, with built-in wind protection and built-in shock absorption. It also comes with the windshield. – fur breeze MZH 200 in the box, which David used in this shoot to ensure crisp sound: “Is this the most expensive rig? No, but I’ll tell you what – there was a time in my youth as an engineer where often it was more material than music. At this point, for me, it’s just about being able to keep an eye on the quality of the content and making sure it’s the best you can offer. The Sennheiser parts of my versatile rig saved me time and time.
When it comes to monitoring and mixing video after the fact, David finds solace in Sennheiser, especially in his favorite HD 650 open back headphones: the door, no matter where the “door” is. It also uses a pair of Neumann KH 120 monitors when editing the sound.
As the Belafonte Family Foundation continues to scale up its activities, David is delighted to continue to pay it off and build on his family’s legacy. To sum up, “It is extremely rewarding to be able to use my engineering and production experience as we work to do good in this world.”