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Birds and Crickets and Golfers, Oh My

Veteran golf broadcast mixer Lawrence “LJ” Cirillo captures the precise details and overall ambience of tournaments, from tees to greens

Stow, Ohio (September 8, 2022)—Audio-Technica’s BP28L shotgun mic is the new go-to long-distance audio capture tool for Lawrence “LJ” Cirillo, a veteran golf broadcast mixer. 

Cirillo, who has been working on golf broadcasts for most of his 35-year career in television sound, first encountered the new BP28L shotgun mics at a golf event in Japan during the pandemic. He and his crew had to make a few minor adjustments, such as modifying the windscreens, to reduce the microphone’s overall footprint for use as the “landing” mics on greens, and dual mono mics on tee-boxes—two techniques that he himself pioneered. 

From its first moments on the course, Cirillo knew he had discovered his new golf shotgun to capture the birds and crickets and listen in on strategy conversations between golfers and caddies on challenging greens. 

“I was floored!” he says. “I kept pushing the fader, and more of the sound I wanted kept coming through. Sounds that were off-axis were quiet but natural. That’s because the BP28L, in my opinion, has a lower noise floor than any shotgun microphone on the market today, allowing the audio mixer to increase gain with minimal self-noise.” 

Cirillo has been a fan of A-T’s transducers for years. “I use Audio-Technica’s AT4050ST stereo mics at the 127-degree internal setting,” he notes. “They help create the fullest, sweetest sound and can handle the threshold of a Ryder Cup roar, which is the biggest explosion of sound in golf.” 

He has been using Audio-Technica side-address mics for years but didn’t add their shotguns to his arsenal until this year. “The BP28L at The Ryder Cup worked great in tandem with the AT4050ST. The directionality of the shotgun gave the rovers superior control at this emotionally charged event, while the AT4050ST blended nicely to create a big, accurate sound.” 

Cirillo continued to embrace the BP28L and chose to use it on more of golf’s signature events, including The Ryder Cup, the Hero Challenge, the PNC Championship and the Opens. “The Ryder Cup provides the most expansive landscape, as there are literally 18 mini stadiums,” he says. 

Two of the BP28Ls are used as landing mics, picking up the plop of the ball as it hits the green, a role they’ll be playing in his kit going forward, he says. “You often have to use processing and microphone choices together to get what you need,” he says. “That’s why I was so happy get hold of those BL28L shotguns. They get me around the wind noise and the ‘Ryder Cup roar’ like other shotguns can’t.”