Audio mixer Dirk Sciarrotta gives Neumann a spin on The Price Is Right.
Come on down! Two of the most popular U.S. game shows, The Price is Right and Family Fued, have chosen Neumann mics for both hosts and contestants, according to Dirk Sciarrotta, the audio mixer on both shows.
“On The Price is Right, I use seven Neumann KM 140s for the contestants,” reports Sciarrotta, who has been the show’s audio mixer for two years; the show is recorded at CBS Television City in Hollywood. “On Family Fued, I use 12 Neumann KM 150s, with the hypercardioid 50 capsule. All the contestants use those. Each KM 150 has a gooseneck and they’re hard-mounted into the podium.”
Now in its 34th season, The Price is Right is hosted by Bob Barker, winner of 12 Daytime Emmy Awards. The show is shot on The Bob Barker Stage, formerly Stage 33, the best-known soundstage on the lot and the former home of The Carol Burnett Show.
“On The Price is Right Bob Barker has his own KM 140, which was made for him onto a custom lightweight shaft,” Sciarrotta says. “It has the Neumann 40 capsule on the head of the shaft. And the body of the mic—the 100—is at the input patch on the wall on a 60-foot cable. I’ve also made a cool pop filter that fits under the windscreen. All of the microphones are hard-wired.
“On Family Feud we have to have the hypers, because the contestants are standing shoulder to shoulder,” Sciarrotta continues. “The podiums are quite low because the director likes to get a nice camera shot, so the microphones are in turn lower, so that microphone gives more isolation from the contestant next to them along with a longer reach. That’s why the 50 capsules work so well.”
In contrast, he says, “On the The Price is Right we use the 40 cardioid capsules, because there’s so much SPL from the audience and so much going on overhead, Bob Baker’s foldback monitors.”
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