New Orleans, LA – December, 2014… As the newest addition to the highly popular NCIS franchise, NCIS: New Orleans, starring Scott Bakula as Dwayne Cassius ‘King’ Pride, is one of the hit television shows that debuted this fall on CBS. Like its sibling shows, NCIS: New Orleans combines elements of the military drama and police procedural genres and airs on Tuesday evenings at 9 PM Eastern / Pacific. Capturing the show’s audio is a challenging job that takes both skill and the right tools. And to ensure the best possible results, the legendary sound quality and reliability of Lectrosonics’ Digital Hybrid Wireless® microphone technology has become a regular part of the show’s production.
New Orleans, LA-based Robert C. Bigelow serves as the Production Sound Mixer for the show. With a career in music and film that spans the better part of 30 years, Bigelow’s credits include work with Grammy® Award winning artists such as The Neville Brothers, Dr. John, Elvis Costello and Rebirth Brass Band while his film work encompasses everything from documentaries to major motion pictures. He is particularly proud of his work with the BBC’s Pulitzer Prize nominated documentary In the Land of the Free and HBO’s Emmy® Award winning Tremé. For NCIS: New Orleans, Bigelow reports that his Lectrosonics arsenal includes eight SMV, four SMQV, and six UM400a beltpack transmitters as well as two of the company’s HM handheld transmitters. On the receiving side, he uses four SRb dual channel slot mount receivers in an Octopack on his main cart along with UCR411a compact receivers in his bags. He discussed his use of the equipment.
“I’ve been working with Lectrosonics equipment for over 12 years,” Bigelow states. “The sound quality is truly, hands down, second to none. Lectrosonics’ Digital Hybrid Wireless technology delivers pure, unadulterated low noise signal with full frequency range with no companding. I experience none of the pumping and other sonic artifacts that I’ve encountered with other manufacturer’s wireless equipment. Lectrosonics wireless technology is the only wireless system I’ve found that delivers the sonic quality necessary for critical music recording.”
“In addition to the transmitters and receivers,” he continued, “I’m also using New Endian LLC’s LectroRM remote app for the iPhone plus Lectrosonics SNA600a adjustable dipole antennas and ZSC24 passive RF splitters. The ability to scan quickly for open RF is invaluable and the durability of the equipment is impressive. The ability of my Lectrosonics equipment to endure perspiration, water, plus all the running and stunts that occur during production is a hands down necessity. In my line of work, the pace is fast, hard, and ever-changing. No two environments are the same. When it's time to roll, I need to know that my gear is solid and reliable. From the wet, humid swamps to the chaotic hustle and RF congestion of the French quarter, Lectrosonics delivers every single day.”
Wireless range is yet another very important consideration for location sound engineers like Bigelow. Here too, Lectrosonics gets high marks. “Hands down, bar none, no other wireless system offers the range with such smooth, consistent RF reception and the ability to adjust the wattage as I have with Lectrosonics’ SM series,” Bigelow says. “We do a lot of work around the area’s shipping channels and ports. We have ships from all over the world using the full spectrum of high powered radio frequencies. Without the ability to go to quarter watt, I'd be ‘dead in the water’—pun intended! If you want pure, clean, powerful unadulterated sound, there's only one choice—Lectrosonics.”
Bigelow reports that Lectrosonics service and support are equally impressive, “Any time I've needed anything, even the simplest question answered, the response from customer service has been terrific! Even the Big Man [Larry Fisher] himself, has bailed me out on occasion when I'm drowning in my moments of technical ineptitude. I can’t say enough about Lectrosonics’ customer service. They really stand behind their products and the people who use them.”
Before shifting his focus back to preparation for another day in the field, Bigelow offered these parting thoughts, “With first rate audio performance, build quality, and RF agility, I simply could not imagine working without my Lectrosonics products. This is a very competitive business and there’s little patience for error or anything that holds up production. Without the quality products and outstanding support of Lectrosonics, I would have never made it to where I am today. Lectrosonics will continue to be a critical element of keeping me on top of my field!”
To learn more about Robert Bigelow’s services, contact him via email at Robertcbigelow@me.com.