For a range of on-campus activities that include concerts, theatrical productions, worship services and more, Fremont Christian School/Harbor Light Church in Fremont, CA, audio director Randy Benitez utilizes a selection of Countryman microphones and direct boxes.
Specifically, Benitez depends on a collection of Countryman E6i and E6 Earset microphones, a B6 Omni lavalier mic, plus Type 85 direct boxes, utilized more recently for a production of The Wizard of Oz.
“Our presentation of The Wizard of Oz involved students from the elementary grades all the way through high school,” Benitez explains. “Depending upon the role each student was playing, I outfitted the talent with a combination of 13 Countryman E6i Earset mics, eight E6 Earset mics, and one B6 Omni lavalier, which I purchased specifically for the Lion. I’ve been a big fan of Countryman microphones since the mid 90’s and, over the years, have used these microphones in all sorts of applications.”
“I’ve always chosen Countryman mics for my production shows because I know I can count on the quality and reliability of Countryman products,” Benitez continues. “I find them to be visually discreet and easy to hide. Most importantly, the mics have a very natural sound quality and they work beautifully in a pinch for violin and other instruments.
“Both the E6 and E6i hold up great with the rough handling typically encountered with students. Here at Fremont Christian School/Harbor Light Church, I use the Countryman mics with a combination of Shure and Sennheiser wireless systems and they work beautifully together. I always know what I’m going to get when I put a Countryman mic on a performer.”
For The Wizard of Oz, outfitting the Lion was particularly challenging due to the nature of the costume. Ultimately, Benitez deployed the B6 Omni lav. “The Lion costume was quite a challenge,” he recalls, “but the B6 came to the rescue! By placing the mic on the actor’s forehead just below the costume’s head dress, it picked up every nuance of the character. I simply couldn’t have done that with just any mic. And the B6’s moisture resistance capability was definitely needed. Between the lights and the costume, the actor perspired quite a bit—to the point where perspiration was actually dripping from the mic. And, yet, I never experienced a single issue. That mic just kept on performing night after night.”
In addition to the various microphones, Benitez used four Countryman Type 85 Direct Boxes on members of the orchestra. “The Countryman Type 85 DI’s are a great tool for feeding various instruments into the mixing console,” he says. “Like all Countryman products, I know I can count on them for a clear, musical sound.”