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Capturing Audio for Real Estate Reality TV

Audio supervisor Marcos Contreras, CAS, captures sound for Netflix real estate reality TV series 'Selling Sunset' and upcoming spin-off 'Selling the OC.'

Audio supervisor Marcos Contreras, CAS
Audio supervisor Marcos Contreras, CAS.

Los Angeles, CA (June 23, 2022)—Audio supervisor Marcos Contreras, CAS, captures sound for Netflix real estate reality TV series Selling Sunset and upcoming spin-off Selling the OC with the help of an arsenal of Lectrosonics wireless systems.

Selling Sunset is one of the most popular shows on Netflix,” Contreras reports. A native of San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico, Contreras has been doing production audio for 15 years, ever since he moved directly to L.A. right after graduation. He gained familiarity with Lectrosonics products, like the UM400, while pursuing a BFA in Film and Television at the Savannah School of Art and Design (SCAD).

Since then, over the years he’s had to deal with what he terms “rowdy cast members” in various productions. One person even tried to light some pieces of his gear on fire.

Selling Sunset has a cast of 10, while the upcoming OC show’s cast numbers total 11. The West Hollywood and Newport Beach offices of the Oppenheim Group, the realty agency at the heart of the show, serve as live sets for the shows, and the lavish homes on location are featured prominently as well.

Location Sound Pros Talk Kitchen Chaos

Contreras main go-to units are the SMDWB, which are basically a double-battery version of the SMWB. He typically mates them with a Sanken COS-11D omni lavalier mic, but sometimes with a DPA 6060 or 6061. In the LA/OC area he uses the Block 22 frequencies.

Contreras has 18 SRc portable ENG receivers, and in a typical Selling Sunset or Selling the OC shoot he uses six of them in a bag feeding a Sound Devices Scorpio portable mixer-recorder. He describes the setup as “really quick” on the transmitters and receivers.

Other Lectrosonics apparatus that he keeps at the ready are five SMQV belt-pack transmitters and two HMa plug-on transmitters. A rolling equipment rack houses three DSQD digital receivers, more SRc receivers, a mixer and recorder, and a diversity antenna system, useful for location work.