Audio quality, RF agility, and ease of use are key attributes
Paris, France… The process of producing a commercial requires a high level of attention to detail. From the ‘crafting’ of the company’s message to its final delivery, there are seemingly countless considerations to both the visual and audible aspects of the project. For French insurance stalwart MAAF, Paris-based sound engineer François de Morant was contracted to capture the project’s audio. To ensure the highest quality sound, François de Morant relied on Digital Hybrid Wireless® technology from Rio Rancho, NM-based Lectrosonics.
A veteran of French TV and film production, de Morant has worked as a sound engineer on approximately 70 movies and TV shows, including the film B13-u (also known as District 13: Ultimatum), the television series Boulevard du Palais, as well as the romantic comedy television series Une Famille Formidable. To ensure superior audio performance for the January 2012 MAAF commercial project, de Morant deployed a 4-channel wireless setup consisting of four Lectrosonics SMDB/E01 variable power super-miniature transmitters and a Venue receiver mainframe outfitted with four VRS receiver modules. IFB equipment included one Lectrosonics T6 transmitter and twelve R1A/E01 receivers. Two Lectrosonics ALP650 Log Periodic Dipole Array (LPDA) antennas and an RM remote completed the equipment arsenal.
When queried about those aspects of the Lectrosonics equipment that made this gear the ‘right tool for the job,’ de Morant emphasized a variety of factors. “Sound quality is the first and foremost consideration,” de Morant explained. “In this regard, I find the Lectrosonics equipment delivers performance on par with cabled microphones while providing the freedom to move about the set without worrying about the cables. I’m also very impressed with Lectrosonics’ RF agility. Being in Paris, there was a lot of RF congestion in the area in addition to the wireless signals being used on the set. The ability of the Lectrosonics equipment to quickly and easily identify open frequencies and lock them in with a simple push of a button is invaluable.”
“I’m equally impressed with the very small form factor of the SMDB transmitters and the capabilities of Lectrosonics’ RM remote,” de Morant continued. “These transmitters can be very easily hidden on the talent and with the RM remote, I have the ability to adjust audio input gain, RF operating frequency, front panel lock / unlock, and sleep mode on / off. With the RM remote, I can make all the important adjustments I’m likely to need—without ever having to disrupt the talent’s wardrobe. In my opinion, this capability is absolutely invaluable.”
For location sound professionals, the ability to gain access to the gear one requires for any given project and to have questions addressed authoritatively is of paramount importance. Here, too, de Morant is quite impressed with Lectrosonics. “I’ve been very pleased with Tapages, my local sound services equipment provider,” de Morant reports. “It’s also very reassuring to know that Jim Bakker, Lectrosonics’ factory representative for Europe, the Middle East, and South Africa is very responsive as well. Together, I feel like Lectrosonics always has my back.”
Reflecting on the MAAF project, de Morant summarized his Lectrosonics experience, “This project turned out really well—thanks in no small part to the Lectrosonics equipment I used. The audio quality was terrific and this, of course, helped the post production work to proceed faster, which impressed the producer. From start to finish, my Lectrosonics experience was very positive.”
About Lectrosonics Digital Hybrid Wireless Technology
Lectrosonics’ Digital Hybrid Wireless technology uses a proprietary algorithm to encode 24-bit digital audio information with no compression and low distortion into an analog format that can be transmitted in a robust manner over an analog FM wireless link. The result is much higher dynamic range—free from sonic artifacts— than wireless systems using a compandor are able to offer. Digital Hybrid Wireless technology delivers long operating range, graceful signal decay, and a small spectral footprint, facilitating more channels to be operated simultaneously.
Well respected within the film, broadcast, and theatre technical communities since 1971, Lectrosonics wireless microphone systems and audio processing products are used daily in mission-critical applications by audio engineers familiar with the company's dedication to quality, customer service, and innovation. Lectrosonics is a US manufacturer based in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.