For the past three years, Audio Operator Patrick Wilson has had the privilege of working on the popular Australian TV cooking show, Everyday Gourmet with Justine Schofield. The show travels all over the world to inspire home cooks to get more out of their kitchen by simplifying great gourmet food. Wilson and the shows crew often find themselves shooting in front of breathtaking backdrops of open seas, white sandy beaches or steep foggy mountains covered with snow. While the scenery is pristine, capturing clear, uninterrupted audio can be challenging in these locations. For consistently successful results, Wilson relies on equipment from Wisycom, designer and builder of the most sophisticated RF solutions for broadcast, film and live production.
Wilson first heard about Wisycom while working on an outdoor broadcast with Gearhouse Broadcast in Melbourne. I was very intrigued by what I was hearing about Wisycom, says Wilson. The OB supervisor explained how operation is much easier when we have the Wisycom kit and can just run fiber back to the truck. I purchased some secondhand gear and was hooked. I bought Wisycoms MTP40S and MCR42 with BPA42HPN slots. I really like using the MTP40S for its limiter and great battery life.
One of the features that really impressed Wilson was Wisycoms reliable radio performance. Being invisible on set is key to impressing clients, he says. Not having RF breakups or artifacts from a weak signal, and being able to handle unpredictable high-SPL with the MTP40S limiter means less interruptions during production. These features separate high-end equipment from the low-end gear and help to build my reputation with all of my clients. In addition, the amazing ENC compander setting is a must for me now. When in the studio, it flawlessly handles the transients of kitchen sounds, including oil and fat sizzling on hot pans, and bowls and knives chiming very well, without introducing horrid artifacts or not being able to capture them at all.
Wilson also found Wisycoms wideband features allow him to shoot in confidence when traveling. I no longer have to research clear frequency blocks before I travel to a new city, says Wilson. I just arrive, do a scan and am always able to find clear working space. Another great feature is the ability to switch from ENC to ENR modulation quickly and without hassle. In Japan, the director surprisingly wanted to shoot using a long lens. We were located atop a high mountain with a fair amount of stray RF noise from surrounding towns. I quickly switched the talent transmitters and my receivers to ENR. I placed the transmitter on the front of the talents body to try and achieve some more gain. Everything went great, even without the time to run to the crew bus and switch to high-gain antennas. We got the shot with no issues and moved into a kitchen setup where I effortlessly switched back to ENC.
In addition to his Wisycom gear, Wilsons sound kit is made up of DPA, Sanken and Sound Devices products. For mics, I use either DPA d:screet¢ 4060s or Sanken Cos-11d, depending on wardrobe. I find the DPAs work really well with the new concealers. Everything is mixed on a Sound Devices 633 and stored in an Orca 0R-30. I power my bag off a Lightpro 95wh V-Lock and Powerex Recharge AAs for the MTP40S. I also use Rode NTG3, K-Tek Boom and Beyerdynamic DT 770 Headphones on monitor duty.
Wilson commends the toughness of his Wisycom gear. The transmitter build quality is great, he says. I have dropped my Wisycom transmitters into sand, rocks and concrete from a fair height and they continue to work just fine. When anyone on set watches me drop the transmitter, I usually laugh and assure the crew I am not worried, as I glance to my receivers and see full RF strength. The Wisycom transmitters allow me to mic up the host at the start of the shoot and not have to change batteries for the entire day. This is key to keeping everyone happy and I think this is where good sound recordists shine. I look forward to bringing my Wisycom kits along for the remainder of this seasons studio shoot schedule and on any other projects I work on in the foreseeable future.