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Time Traveler: The Sound of History

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The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation has taken their Traveler FireWire audio interface to a place we never imagined: back in time! Todd A. Judge MPSE and Chuck Smith C.A.S., the audio experts of the Foundation's Productions Department, are using the Traveler to help bring 18th century America to life.

Chuck uses the Traveler primarily as a location sound recorder for Colonial Williamsburg's award-winning Electronic Field Trip television series. During the school year, the Electronic Field Trips are broadcast monthly on PBS and present both pre-taped and live segments. These broadcasts offer student viewers the opportunity to call in during the live portions of the show and ask questions answered by historians and costumed, in-character interpreters.

Why Traveler?

"We chose the Traveler because we need to be able to record more tracks in the field, have flexible powering options, and—in the case of our television shows—chase to SMPTE timecode. The Traveler provides all this at a fantastic price. Portable DAT recorders are becoming a thing of the past. We knew something like the Traveler was coming and MOTU was the first to provide exactly what we needed. Thank you MOTU!"

Todd uses the Traveler for CD products which he produces for the Foundation. Colonial Williamsburg's CDs offer a rich variety of 18th century music performed on historic instruments in the beautiful buildings on the Foundation's grounds.

Todd also uses the Traveler to preserve American history. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation has many buildings within its town-sized museum that were built in the 18th century. While the Foundation preserves them with a host of experts in architecture and construction, Todd captures the acoustic characteristics of these buildings by recording Impulse Responses of the rooms with his portable Traveler system.

That the Future May Learn from the Past.
—John D. Rockefeller Jr., a founder of Colonial Williamsburg

Located in Virginia, Colonial Williamsburg is the world's largest living history museum - the restored 18th-century capital city of the British Empire's largest, wealthiest, and most populous colony in the New World. The museum is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the origins of "the idea of America," conceived in the years leading up to the American Revolution. The Colonial Williamsburg story, "Becoming Americans," tells how diverse peoples, having different and sometimes conflicting ambitions, evolved into a society that valued liberty and equality.

In Colonial Williamsburg's 301-acre Historic Area stand dozens of restored, reconstructed, and historically furnished buildings. Costumed interpreters tell the stories of the men and women of the 18th-century city—black, white, Native American, slave, indentured, and free—and the challenges they faced. In this historic place, the Foundation helps ensure the future will learn from the past.

You can learn more about the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation at www.history.org.