Kid Tested, Production Sound Mixer Approved

DisneyKid-FinalHere is my story about how my UM400a TX took a beating and kept on ticking. 

Years ago when I was just starting out.  I was working on a project in Disneyland.  It entailed following around a family of 4 with two small kids.  I had just gotten my first Lectro set which was a 411a receiver and 400a transmitter.  I was told that the two parents wouldn't be speaking much, and that the dialog from the kids was the most important.  So I gave the 400a to one of the kids, and a Sennheiser g3 to the other.  The parents got g3's as well. 

About halfway through the day, just after lunch when I was walking over to turn the transmitters back on.  I came upon the two kids swinging their transmitters around their heads by the lavalier cable.  Naturally, time slowed down as I absorbed this situation with super human speed.  Before I could get to them however, the kids both ended up smashing the transmitters against the pavement.  

The g3 broke into 3 or 4 pieces.  No if, ands, or buts about it.  It was broken.  The UM400a on the other hand, was miraculously intact.  Only some of the black paint got scratched off of the corners.  Still, I was expecting that it wasn't going to power on anymore.  But again miraculously,  it did.  And then I figured that it almost certainly wouldn't be transmitting properly, but it did.  In fact, except for a little bit of the paint scratching, it was unscathed.  And let me stress that these transmitters hit the ground violently.  I can't blame the g3 at all for breaking.  But what I can absolutely do is praise the 400a for being a literal bomb proof tank.  

It saved us that day because I only had one spare wireless channel beyond the 4 that were already in use.  It took a decent amount of assurances that repairs/replacements would he covered in a timely fashion before I let those kids wear the mics again.  Thank you Lectrosonics! 

Jared Elkin
Production Sound Mixer