Based in St. Petersburg, Fla., TrueFire is a leading provider of video-based guitar instruction. The company produces a wide variety of interactive music education materials and distributes them to more than 500,000 students via the Internet, video software discs and mobile apps. Recently, TrueFire upgraded its production studios by adding Line 6 XD-V75 headset wireless microphones for on-camera use. The change provides total freedom of movement for guest instructors, without compromising sound quality.
“We’re constantly in production mode, and we’re known for our quality,” says Tommy Jamin, TrueFire Director of Production. “The vocal mic is obviously a key element of that, and the Line 6 wireless has been a nice upgrade for us. The headsets allow the talent to move around, and the sound quality is every bit the equal to the wired solution we were using previously.”
As producers of interactive instructional videos, primarily for guitar and bass, TrueFire was already familiar with the Line 6 brand. “We have various ways of achieving the guitar tone we want, and one of our options is the Line 6 POD HD500,” notes Jamin. “So when one of our instructors suggested the Line 6 digital wireless as a microphone solution, we gave it a try. We now have three systems in our production studio, and it’s worked out great.”
The TrueFire production environment is similar to a live broadcast setup, with minimal post-production; they record the content and turn around a final product in less than one week. A typical guitar course is recorded using three Sony HD robotic cameras to capture left-hand and right-hand views, along with face time with the instructor. They capture and edit audio with Avid Pro Tools software, and use Sony Vegas Pro for video editing. All production is done in 1080p hi-def format.
“We try to keep our workflow as streamlined as possible, so the Line 6 headset wireless is a great fit for us,” says Jamin. “We create a live program mix in the studio that we capture with the video, and the headset gives us consistent mic positioning and sound quality.”
In addition to sound quality, TrueFire chose the Line 6 wireless vocal solution for its reliability and ease of set-up and use. “We move at a pretty fast pace here, so issues like interference were obviously a concern. The Line 6 systems are in the 2.4GHz band.” explains Jamin. “We have several routers here in the office, but we’ve never had any problem finding open channels. The system has a frequency scan function, shows me which channels are clear, I select those channels and away we go. And I love the fact that that the entire system setup procedure is essentially one button and one knob on the receiver. Very intuitive, very easy to set up, and we literally have had no interference issues since we got them.”
The XD-V75 headset system has been a hit with TrueFire talent as well. Wireless provides freedom of movement during video recording, and makes it more convenient between takes, as well. “It allows the artist to come into the control room to talk to us between takes, or just take a break, without unplugging and slowing things down,” explains Jamin. “They can just mute the bodypack and get up, then just sit back down, unmute and go. Very easy, very professional.
“We can’t afford to use anything that compromises the production,” Jamin concludes. “We have over a half-million subscribers in virtually every country on the planet depending on us to provide them with a quality educational experience. The Line 6 headset mics give us great sound quality, reliability and ease of use. They fit right into our studio production workflow, flawlessly and seamlessly.”
Visit TrueFire at truefire.com.