5-Story Field Goal

Rooftop Kick LayeredI once wired an older actor playing a night security guard in a TV show.  He was supposed to step out of a door and shine a light after some felons fleeing across a rooftop.  The director asked him at the last minute to chase the felons.  When he did his transmitter hopped out of his ankle pack and he punted it perfectly with his other foot, like a field goal, off of the roof, down five floors into the forest!  I found it buried in mud with just the antenna sticking up and the light still on.  

My lectros make a hero of me every day. 

Thanks for the great gear you crazy fanatics!

Mark Schroeder
Vancouver, BC

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

Racing Sizzle


I should start off the story with a link. 


Take a few minutes to watch a sizzle we put together for a friend who was trying to work his way up the stock car racing circuit. All wireless was Lectrosonics b/c I can trust them in the harshest environments. 

For every race I would put a mic in Roddey's helmet and tape the transmitter on the back. (The deedle function came in immensely helpful in these situations) and I would put a 411 and zoom recorder in the black leather bag and gaff them to a roll bar inside the race car. One race he was hit in the side and the crew had to cut some parts off. In doing so they somehow cut through some of the gaff and loosened the grip on the bag.  

After the race I went to retrieve the receiver and recorder from the car and they were gone. I freaked.

I looked over in turn 1 where a second wreck occurred near the end of the race and saw the black leather bag laying near the top of the track where it had fallen out the side of the car where they cut a panel off and slid to the top of the track.

I got an official to let me jump the infield wall and run up to the top of the turn to get the bag.  The batteries had popped out of the zoom but the 411 was still on and functional.  

That's jus one of the many stories I have to attest to the durability of Lectrosonics products.

Chandler Harkey

TA Films

Rapides Et Dangereuses



I worked on an 'action doc' about a woman who races highly-modified jeeps.

I had a um200c series transmitter on her. She wore it through her final race. At one point, the Jeep hit a huge jump, flies through the air, and lands in a massive puddle. The door-less and windowless Jeep was soaked! She was soaked and in the landing, the transmitter fell to the floor of the Jeep and was also soaked. I was worried. It was a bad drop and then all the water... When I got the mic back, it seemed dead. I turned it on and off...nothing. Put a fresh battery in, nothing. Dried it off as best I could (there was even water IN the battery compartment)...nothing. But after about an hour of drying out, I tried it again and it turned on fine. I checked the lav mic (Sanken cos 011), checked levels, listened for the sound and all was well. Not fragile!


The Guardian of Good Sound


Scott Farr of Farr Out Productions states that he was contacted to set up all the production equipment for a documentary about the U.S. Coast Guard, 1 month before Hurricane Katrina hit. "I went with Lectrosonics MM400B's along with Countrymens B-6 lav's for the Rescue Swimmers to pick up the audio of the people they would come into contact with."

"Little did we know that a rather large Hurricane was about to change the entire playing field. The crews worked 24hrs and more rescuing for 30+ days. The swimmers were put into situations they had never trained for, including swimming in water that was contaminated with raw sewage as well as raw petroleum. The MM400B's never failed. They kept right on sending audio, allowing the documentary crews to capture some of the most heroic sights and sounds of our USCG in action and those whom they rescued."



The Deer Valley Challenge


"The terrain at ski events presents big challenges to sound production at the Deer Valley International Ski Competition. To run cable from the mountain top all the way to the finish areas would be almost impossible," reports Hoyt Atkinson, after completing his company’s twelfth year as the live sound producers for Deer Valley's competition. "The Lectrosonics R400A receiver and UT400 transmitters made a big difference for us this year. Even when we were using the microphones a good 300-350 feet from the receiver...the sound quality was indiscernible from a wired mic.

"Event organizers mentioned that they'd never had a wireless mic like that before. They were very impressed with it. We hadn't used Lectrosonics previously at Deer Valley, and for the first time in twelve years we didn't have to worry about wireless microphone issues. Just turn it on, give it to the talent and you'll have no problems or worries."



The Art of Good Audio


For Art Rochester, veteran sound mixer for American Graffiti, Cellular, and Poltergeist, the water-tight design and rugged dependability of the Lectrosonics MM400B miniature transmitters and ultra-compact, splash-proof SM transmitters has been a lifesaver, film after film. "We have a lot of rain in Déjà vu, our latest movie, as well as some boat chases," he says. "I use the Lectrosonics systems to send information to and from the actors on the boats, and they've proven very durable in these situations.

"Because we're in distant locations most of the time we don't have the opportunity or luxury of replacing gear. Therefore we need a microphone system that's so reliable it won't break. When we were filming Master & Commander on the far side of the world - like the Galapagos Islands - we couldn't afford breakage or unreliability, so we chose Lectrosonics. When you're expected to get every word of every take, there's no room for error."



Tank You Very Much


This UM300B transmitter was run over by a Leopard tank while shooting an instructional film for the Dutch Military forces. The head of maintenance was laughing loudly when he fired up the transmitter and concluded that it was actually working 100%!

Fortunately, no talent was attached to the transmitter when it was run over.



SMs Capture Russian Planes


Sergey Karpenko is the sound mixer for the Russian production of the sci-fi film "Paragraf 78". Sounds were gathered from actual aircraft to give a realistic sonic environment, and part of the challenge was to use radio mics. In some cases, these were used onboard the aircraft. Although several brands of wireless mic systems were tested, only the Lectrosonics could provide an un-interrupted signal for the duration of a shoot.

Paragraf 78 stars Gosha Kutsenko (II), Vladimir Vdovichenkov, Yusup Bakhshiev, Anastasiya Slanevskaya, and Aziz Beishenaliyev. The film is directed by Mikhail Khleborodov.



Long Ranger: "Hit and run" or "Hit and still runs"?


I wanted to share this picture this morning. Someone ran over our Long Ranger with a car at the back of the field while we were in marching practice. The funny thing is that it still works! The metal casing saved the unit! I know I will need a new horn since the plastic was cracked. However, I was amazed that the brains of the unit survived. Please pass this on to your design guys!

I will send a second picture right after this email.


Wayne King

Smithville Band



Flight Risk?...No Problem!


To whom it may concern,

I'm writing you today to share a major success story from a recent experience with a Lectrosonics SMV (250mw) with Sanken Cub-1 connected.

I was working on a show two weeks ago with sound mixer Aron Siegel and Utility Paul Sorohan at an airport. The small, 6 passenger airplane was taking off and landing on a runway and due to the limited space, only the pilot, talent and 3 camera department members were allowed on board.

Paul put the Cub-1 and SMV where talent was sitting (looking out the window) while I ran out the shark fins as far as the airport would allow which wasn't far. Surprisingly, when airplane was in line of sight to the shark fins, we had a fairly constantly signal from the SMV with an occasional drop out which Paul and I (Aron was away meeting with a producer at the time) were impressed by. We heard almost constantly, with very few dropouts, during every take off, landing and touch and go.

Of course, the signal would start dropping after the plane got up around 100 ft off the ground. Impressively, as the plane would circle around for landing, there was a time where it was flying right to left in the sky (parallel to the runway) in front of us. Despite being a LONG way away, we'd start picking up the transmitter again with heavy noise at first but from about 10 degrees to the left and right of straight in front of me, the signal was very strong with limited dropouts. Paul (mixing) and I were tripping out at how good the signal was. The ADs and PAs were useless at telling anyone at the hangar what was going on so me and Paul would tell people around us what was about to happen because we'd hear the pilot requesting permission to land, touch and go, etc as they flew by. It was very cool!

Thanks for making solid products and I look forward to seeing what you come out with next!

- Allen Williams (boom op)


Peace of Mind in War with Elements

Josh Talbot does everything from interviews with the Tamil Tiger leader in Sri Lanka to Jungle expeditions with the President of East Timor to BBC Reality series in the deserts of Africa to Amazing Race Asia. He says "conditions can be difficult, not only for us crew, but also for equipment. So it has got to be reliable because there are no retakes."

"In the jungles of East Timor, it was raining, humid, and sweaty, so I used the MM400 on the President Xanana Gusmao. In Africa it was sand, heat and more sand. Lectro systems never let me down, from sub zero temperatures, desert heat, to being drenched in contestants body sweat in South East Asia. Peace of mind with Lectrosonics!"



Keep On Truckin'


Our techs received this transmitter after it was dropped in the water and then run over by a truck. We opened the battery door and saw corrosion, and felt that it was likely the transmitter wasn’t worth repairing since it was crushed and corroded. However, we decided to test it for operation despite it’s appearance (and a small side wager was placed).

After cutting the housing off, the corroded circuit boards were powered up. Although it was out of spec (2dB low on RF power and 7kHz low in frequency), the transmitter worked!



It's a Goodyear for this SM


Our service department received this SM transmitter that had been run over by a car. The weight of the car deformed the aluminum back cover and actually pushed into the RF board with such force that the components on the board were imprinted into the metal (circled in red).

Even though the components were subjected to enough pressure to leave marks in the aluminum, the RF still worked fine on this unit. The case and antenna were undamaged.



Going to Extremes


Tough jobs require tough equipment, and for Scot Charles' "Life at the Extremes" gig, that meant using Lectrosonics. "The Lectrosonics systems are designed to be rugged and easy to use," Charles insists. "The way Lectrosonics designs their stuff may not seem like a big deal when you're sitting in your shop or sitting on a sound stage, but when you're trying to wrangle three or four microphones, the ship is pitching and rolling, and there's salt mist floating in, that stuff becomes much more important. Everything must be quick, easy, and reliable."

Charles utilized four Lectrosonics UCR205 receivers, which ran directly to his mixer. The mixer's output feeds were split and sent to a satellite codec and HD recording decks simultaneously. "The signals were coming back live from a big satellite feed," Charles explains. "They went from the ship's site, up to the satellite, and down to the University of Rhode Island where the whole program was directed and switched.



The Net Result: Great Audio


Coleman Metts (CAS) was mixing on location for the film "Bobby", starring Martin Sheen and Helen Hunt. The scene involved the two main stars playing tennis, and Shia LaBeouf and Brian Geraghty are playing two guys high on Acid, trying to play tennis on the next court, disturbing Martin Sheen and Helen Hunt's characters. Coleman wired all 4 of the talent with SM transmitters. The actors started fighting, jumping over the net, and fighting around on the ground!

The audio was great, and after the take was over, the equipment was still in great shape. Shia LaBeouf, and Brian Geraghty mentioned they forgot they had the wireless stuff on!



El Capitan Skyscaper


The M185 VHF transmitter was worn on the belt of a climber attempting the first ascent of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park by a paraplegic. The eight-day climb was covered extensively by NBC news. Tom Zannes, a New Mexico news photographer and climber freelancing for NBC, climbed alongside, getting spectacular footage and audio. Another journalist, David Jackson, was able to capture the transmitter audio nearly two and a half miles away. The climber, unable to hold himself away from the cliff faces, actually slid up a good portion of the mountain on the transmitter itself, wearing away both paint and metal.

In spite of inclement conditions, icy cold nights and hot days, this transmitter performed without fail throughout the entire climb.


photo elcapitan