George - Aris Anastassopoulos, one of the location sound engineers for Back2Back Productions’ Pedal to the Metal, is tasked with capturing the roar of the engine as the car passes the camera—challenging work with little margin for error. In order to accomplish it he relies on Digital Hybrid Wireless microphone technology from Lectrosonics.
Anastassopoulos has been working in professional audio for better than fifteen years—starting as a recording engineer for classical and orchestral recordings in addition to handling live sound reinforcement for open air festivals as well as surround sound system installations.
His location sound work has taken him to Germany, Spain, Italy, Brussels and the Greek islands for fourteen feature films, commercials, TV shows, and documentaries.
“Pedal to the Metal showcases host Brian Johnson’s expertise on specialty cars and driving and also gives viewers a glimpse at his personal life when he’s not performing on stage,” Anastassopoulos explained. “There’s a wide range of shooting scenarios. For this project, I’ve been using Lectrosonics SMB single battery and SMDB dual battery transmitters as well as an HM plug-on transmitter.
“On the receiving end, I use two SRb dual channel slot mount ENG receivers outfitted with the Lectrosonics Quadpack power and audio interface. I also use the Lectro RM app for Apple’s iOS-based smartphones and tablets, which lets me adjust transmitter level, change frequencies, or just put the unit into sleep mode.”
“I’ve been working with Lectrosonics gear for about one year and I’ve become very fond of the equipment,” Anastassopoulos continued. “The sound quality is excellent and nothing beats the rugged build quality.
“The transmitters’ Safety Combo Menu Locks offer protection from accidental menu selection and their backlit LCDs are a godsend during night shoots and in other low light conditions. I also love the fact that the HM plug-on transmitter is a great tool for wireless boom operation and for 48V phantom feeds.”
Anastassopoulos notes that Lectrosonics’ RF Scan and precise RF tuning steps add a great deal to RF agility and make the system very flexible and versatile in crowded RF environments. These features make the equipment very well suited for use in the UK.
“The UK has the world’s most crammed PMSE RF block (Block 606),” he adds. “Further, being able to use the receivers in true diversity mode or as dual single receivers is extremely useful. For one specific shoot, there was a lot of on-the-fly improvisations and a lot of unexpected performances—requiring on the fly decision making and flexibility from the crew.
“Being able to accurately monitor the receivers’ antenna reception strength provided considerable peace of mind and enabled strategic placement of my receivers for the best possible reception.”
Lectrosonics build quality gives Anastassopoulos peace of mind for what is unquestionably one of the most important chains of the location sound engineer’s setup—radio systems.
“Their constant upgrades and tweaks on the SRb means the company is constantly fine-tuning their product, improving the unit’s performance and value, and at the same time making it even more future proof,” he concludes. “I’m very happy that I made the switch to Lectrosonics.”