Looking to provide contestants with professional-quality monitor coverage while maintaining a low visual profile on the sets of CBS’ Survivor and NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice reality television programs, Red Hook, New York-based Firehouse Productions relies on JBL CBT Series column speakers.
Both television programs needed a loudspeaker option that could provide tight vertical coverage patterns while being easily hidden amongst the design of their sets. To do so, Firehouse Productions provided JBL’s CBT 50LA—a compact, 50-centimeter-high column that utilizes a straight line of eight 2-inch drivers.
Dan Gerhard, mixer for both shows, stated, “The CBT 50LA is perfect for a set where unobtrusive monitoring of dialogue is required.” Gerhard was able to keep the speakers visually unobtrusive on both sets by attaching them to the palm trees on the set of Survivor, and attaching them to a vertical window frame on Celebrity Apprentice. At just three inches wide by 21 inches high, they provided the perfect low-profile solution with plenty of power.
“The tightly controlled pattern is ideal in reducing unwanted reflections from nearby scenery, but also throws intelligibility for some distance,” Gerhard added. “By placing the columns at head level, the speakers project the high-quality sound that we were looking for.”
“Other solutions do not have the pattern control that the CBT’s do,” said Mark Dittmar, Lead Design and Integration Engineer at Firehouse Productions. “They also help with feedback and eliminate any problems we’ve had in the past. It really is a spectacular solution and a unique way to use the CBT’s.”
Being used even with a lapel microphone, “there is concise phase coherence at low levels, making them perfect for television studio purposes,” Gerhard added.
“It’s great that the CBT’s can be used for this application and really shows their versatility and ability to provide direct, accurate and high-quality sound,” Dittmar added.