PARK CITY, UTAH: There were two ways to attack the intimidating slopes of the Chevrolet Freestyle International Competition held recently at Deer Valley Resort: with gold medal skiing if you were an athlete, or rock-solid wireless mics if you were a sound engineer. As owner of Atkinson Sound, Hoyt Atkinson was definitely the latter, and the wireless microphone systems he used at this NBC-broadcast event, loaded with Olympic-bound talent, were from Lectrosonics.
"The terrain at ski events presents big challenges to sound production. To run cable from the mountain top all the way to the finish areas would be almost impossible," reports Atkinson, fresh off his company's twelfth year as the live sound producers for Deer Valley's annual competition. "The Lectrosonics R400a receiver and UT handheld microphones made a big difference for us this year. Even when we were using the microphones a good 300-350 feet from the receiver, there were absolutely no dropouts, pops, or hisses. The sound quality was indiscernible from a wired mic.
"Event organizers mentioned that they'd never had a wireless mic like that before. They were very impressed with it. We hadn't used Lectrosonics previously at Deer Valley, and for the first time in twelve years we didn't have to worry about wireless microphone issues. Just turn it on, give it to the talent and you'll have no problems or worries. With the Lectrosonics systems on hand, we could focus our time on other aspects of the production."
Superior audio production values are a must at Deer Valley, which consistently ranks as one of the top ski resorts in the nation. With the Lectrosonics wireless mics being used to interview winning athletes in the aerial and mogul competitions on Deer Valley's 2002 Olympic runs, pristine sound needed to be delivered directly to both the NBC mobile production truck and a live sound system for the 15,000-person crowd on the hill.
"With so many people and skis packed in together, the microphone system has to be wireless and it's got be good," Atkinson explains. "The Lectrosonics R400A receiver proved very easy to use, with a lot of user options that make setup very easy. It can scan the frequency range it's in, and it will show you where the other wireless microphones or systems are, so you can avoid those frequencies. That's critical for dependable performance at an event like this, where there's a great deal of RF interference happening. Every athlete is being covered by a wireless-equipped TV crew from their own country, and there's wireless communications going down the hill to support the athletes themselves."
The Lectrosonics R400A is a high performance, triple-conversion, frequency synthesized, UHF receiver featuring the company's patent-pending Digital Hybrid Wireless™ technology. A revolutionary new design that combines 24-bit digital audio with an analog FM radio link provides outstanding audio quality, Digital Hybrid Wireless™ displays the extended operating range of the best analog wireless systems. In addition, the R400A has 256 selectable UHF frequencies, RF-controlled digital noise filters, and features a powerful menu-driven LCD graphic display operated with a push-button switch and a dual function rotary encoder control as a convenient means of viewing and altering settings.
Lectrosonics' UT400 handheld transmitter is a state-of-the-art, 100mW handheld transmitter that also features Digital Hybrid Wireless and incorporates many advanced features that give the user a wide range of possibilities for high-quality speech and vocal performance. The proprietary VariMic(tm) element allows custom tailoring of the microphone's frequency response, while a digitally-controlled input limiter ensures distortion-free audio over a very wide dynamic range.
Hoyt Atkinson shows up every year at the Chevrolet Freestyle International Competition at Deer Valley Resort to work, but from now on, he may get the chance to enjoy the action a lot more. "With Lectrosonics, I can sleep better at night knowing that I don't have to worry about my wireless microphones," he says. "This year, everything went off like clockwork. We had Lectrosonics and we just went to work."
Since its formation in 1971, Lectrosonics has grown to become a premier firm specializing in the design and creation of professional audio technologies. Alongside creating audio processing gear such as the DM Series, Lectrosonics is a leading innovator of wireless audio technology with many professionals as ardent fans within the broadcasting, motion picture, and television industries.