Point Source Audio EMBRACE on-ear microphones were deployed production sound engineer Thomas Zaccheo in his work for a documentary about the American Ballet Theatre’s (ABT) artistic director Kevin McKenzie, who will retire from the role at the end of 2022 following three decades of leadership.
The EMBRACE mics proved themselves during the rehearsals for the summer season at The Metropolitan Museum in New York City, where their mounting capabilities helped ensure the artistic director could instruct dancers in his normal style without needing to worry about miking. And, in fact, Zaccheo chose the mics for rehearsals based on McKenzie’s style.
“Mr. McKenzie is a hands-on choreographer who will dance with the performers as a way of expressing his thoughts and ideas, as I was advised before the shoot,” explains Zaccheo. “There were discussions about what we could do to prevent any booming, given that three cameras would be present and, of course, clothing noise would be unavoidable.”
He adds that the mics needed to complement the user: “When I was packing up, Mr. McKenzie commented on how comfortable and inconspicuous the mount was, which he enjoyed because he didn’t want to be distracted from his directing.”
The EMBRACE mics are a recent addition for Zaccheo, who is known for mixing across a variety of film genres, podcasts and post-production in delivering sound with an emphasis on creating the director and writer’s vision, sonically. “Any sound engineer’s kit should have this item,” he says. “These mics offer so much – I love the feature of being able to just pop out your connector and put something in just in case you want to use something else. They’re also the only mics I’ve seen where I can confidently say I don’t need to use bobby pins thanks to the EMBRACE earmounts.
“They not only worked really well, but they also never came loose and were incredibly quick and efficient when it came to mounting and demounting when we were finished,” he concludes. “The microphone gave exceptional sound that I’ve been very happy with in comparison to other mics I’ve been using for the last decade or so. When Mr. McKenzie had to direct a rehearsal while wearing a mask, the Point Source Audio mic was able to recover any lost frequencies from the mask and sound natural and beautiful.”