When your business is capturing sound in some of the world’s toughest locales, such as the jungles of Nicaragua or on the slopes of Mount Everest, there is usually only one chance to get it right.
Considering the perilous working conditions—for both man and machine—these are not the places for temperamental electronics.
That’s precisely why location sound engineer Joe Knauer relies on his arsenal of Lectrosonics wireless microphones.
Joe Knauer and his four associates operates Joe’s Location Sounds, a firm dedicated to sound recording services for TV, commercials, and feature films. Joe got his start in this business as an ENG (Electronic News Gathering) camera assistant—where he was responsible for all aspects of sound.
Over the years, he’s worked on numerous documentary films and television shows in remote and desolate locations
Joe’s arsenal of Lectrosonics equipment is extensive. Currently, he has ten sets of Lectrosonics UCR511 (the European spec UCR411) receivers and UM500 (the European spec UM400) beltpack transmitters.
For communication between production crew and talent, he also uses the Lectrosonics IFBT4 compact IFB transmitter with two R1a beltpack IFB receivers. His associates, Roland Winkler and Axel Traun, also have several sets of UCR 511/UM500 receivers – transmitters, along with SMa super miniature beltpack transmitters, HM plug-on transmitters, plus UCR401 compact receivers and an SR dual channel slot mount ENG receiver.
Collectively, the Joe’s Location Sounds crew has access to a total of twenty sets of transmitter/receiver equipment—all of it employing Lectrosonics’ highly acclaimed Digital Hybrid Wireless technology.
“I’m very impressed with the fact that the Lectrosonics equipment makes it easy to change frequencies,” said Knauer. “Further, the fact that this equipment routinely operates in a variety of harsh conditions such as heavy rain, hot sun, dirt, and sand is equally impressive.”
“On The Wildest Dream, a documentary for cinema that follows Konrad Anker and Leo Houlding up onto Mount Everest, the recording of the sound files was done on the north shoulder of Mount Everest at an elevation of roughly 7000 meters,” Joe said.
“The climbers, however, went up to the summit and main filming took place at about 8600 meters. Operating over this far a distance was quite a challenge, but with technical assistance from Lectrosonics’ Larry Fisher, we were able to build a system that handled the situation perfectly.”
“My Lectrosonics equipment has endured some of the most brutal conditions I can imagine. We’ve actually had to dump water out from the equipment’s housing on a few occasions, but after letting them dry, the gear was ready to work in the morning.”
“I’ve had a really positive experience with my Lectrosonics gear and I’m planning on updating it to European versions of the SMa, UCR411, and SR models once they become available. You just can’t beat Lectrosonics.”