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Capturing Good Sound for Bad Sport

Sound mixer Nico Pierce recently wrapped work on the first episode of the new documentary series Bad Sport.

Sound mixer Nico Pierce
Sound mixer Nico Pierce

Los Angeles, CA (October 14, 2021)—Sound mixer Nico Pierce recently wrapped work on the first episode of new documentary series Bad Sport, for which he used Lectrosonics RF equipment, chiefly SMV and SMDWB transmitters paired with SRc receivers slot-mounted in his audio bag.

Bad Sport’s debut episode, “Hoop Schemes,” chronicles the 1994 point-shaving scandal that engulfed Arizona State University basketball. “We spent a week in Phoenix and a week in Vegas, shooting 12-hour days to get the episode done,” he says. The wideband reception capability of the SRc receivers was useful in a new setting, he found: “This was my first time filming outside of the L.A. area since being in school, so being unfamiliar with the blocks and availability in these cities, going wideband let me not worry about finding frequencies.”

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The integration of the SRc receivers with Pierce’s Sound Devices 688 field recorder and SL-6 powered slot-mount frame helped as well. “With the receivers mounted in the SL-6, the 688 becomes aware of them and I can scan for frequencies right from its screen,” he explains. “Basically the 688 displays the results that the SRc modules find. I can then zoom in and tweak frequencies if I need to, but once an SRc channel finds something, it holds on and doesn’t let go. I’ve never had a problem with audio dropping out or anything like that.”

Back in his native L.A., the wideband tuning capability of the SMDWBs is still provingitself useful. “I worked on a couple of Christmas movies scheduled to be out this season, plus a film called North of the 10,” says Pierce. “I’m in Burbank where all the TV studios are, and as you can imagine, the airwaves are just saturated with RF. Likewise for North of the 10, where we were shooting just across from the Six Flags amusement park in Valencia. This is where wideband comes in really handy. Plus, if the RF situation is just impossible, the SMDWB can record internally to a microSD card, and the audio I’ve gotten from that always sounds great.”