Vancouver, BC, Canada (March 2, 2015)—Mark Barry, lead sound consultant for extreme reality television series Cold Water Cowboys, employed Lectrosonics Digital Hybrid Wireless systems during the current season, which wraps soon.
Key to the success of Cold Water Cowboys, which focuses on Canadian trawler crews fishing in the stormy North Atlantic off the coast of Newfoundland, is Lectrosonics’ WM watertight belt-pack transmitter. “Everyone has a brand-new WM Lectrosonics set up; we run the packs all day. And we run everyone on Countryman B6 lavalier microphones,” Barry reports.
Barry, who designed, bought and built all of the audio packages, installed the recording systems on each of four fishing boats at the end of April 2014 with assistance from Marco Dölle, a sound mixer based in Newfoundland who maintains the equipment during the season. “We basically create a soundstage on the boat,” explains Barry. “We have a Venue rack with five receivers and we run 100-foot custom-made, low-loss cables to the top of the mast where we have ALP650 [LPDA “Shark Fin”] antennas pointing at the deck and out to the sides.”
At roughly 64 feet in length, the long liners only have room for two extra people—in the case of Cold Water Cowboys, the director/cameraman and the director of photography (DOP). “The director, who’s usually in the wheelhouse, has a UCR411a compact receiver on his camera. His five guys are pre-programmed into his 411, so if he wants to do a standup interview he just quickly changes to the guy’s frequency and he’s recording straight to camera,” says Barry. “We just send a broad spectrum average mix to the DOP.”
A Sound Devices 664 recorder on each trawler records 10 tracks, 24 hours a day. Each fishing trip typically lasts seven to 12 days.
Discovery Channel’s Cold Water Cowboys, produced by Vancouver-based Paperny Entertainment, was recently nominated for a Canadian Screen Award in the category of Best Factual Program or Series.