Toronto, Ontario, Canada – November 2011… In the world of television, the most highly respected symbol of achievement is the Emmy Award. So it goes without saying that receiving a 2011 Creative Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Mini Series or a Movie is quite a ‘feather in one’s cap.’ Such was the case this fall for Henry Embry, CAS, a Toronto-based production sound mixer who handled location sound for the highly acclaimed made for TV movie The Kennedys—specifically, the episode Lancer and Lace. Capturing sound for this project was a big job, and to ensure the finest audio quality possible, Embry relied on his wireless microphone equipment from Lectrosonics.
Embry, whose work spans roughly 20 years, works in both dramatic films and TV. With feature film credits that include Lars and the Real Girl, American Psycho, and Grey Gardens, Embry knows what it takes to deliver world-class audio. He discussed his experience with Lectrosonics equipment on The Kennedys project.
“The Kennedys, which chronicles the lives of the Kennedy family, stars Greg Kinnear, Katie Holmes, Barry Pepper, and Tom Wilkinson, and was directed by Jon Cassar,” explained Embry. “The movie—co-produced by Muse Entertainment and Asylum Entertainment—premiered in the United States in April on the ReelzChannel cable network. There were a variety of considerations that required special attention on this project and I’m pleased to say my Lectrosonics SM transmitters, RM remote, Venue receiver system, and IFB transmitter really delivered the goods without so much as a hiccup.”
Embry’s setup included a 6-channel Lectrosonics Venue (VRMWB) receiver system that was fully stocked with the company’s VRS receiver modules. He used six SM transmitters, which are very small and make a great choice for wardrobe considerations where the transmitter must be completely hidden. And to access a variety of functions on those transmitters, the Lectrosonics RM remote was extremely useful. This equipment—plus an IFB transmitter for the boom operators—all use Lectrosonics’ Digital Hybrid Wireless technology, which employs a proprietary algorithm to encode 24-bit digital audio information with no compression and low distortion into an analog format that can be transmitted in a robust manner over an analog FM wireless link.
“Lectrosonics’ sound quality is excellent,” says Embry. “When you combine this with the fact that the SM transmitters are extremely small, can be easily hidden in a costume, and then accessed with the RM remote, this is a very powerful setup. As an example, the Marilyn Monroe character wore a very tight fitting dress. As in Marilyn Monroe’s real life, the actress had to be ‘sewn into the dress’ and, as a result, the transmitter required special placement. We used what is commonly known as the ‘Vegas mic’ – a technique from the Las Vegas shows where the transmitter is placed into specially created underwear with a pocket in front. The transmitter’s small form factor made it very easy to hide and the RM remote was absolutely invaluable.”
“The RM remote enables adjustment of audio input gain, RF operating frequency, front panel lock / unlock, and sleep mode on / off,” Embry continued. “As a result, I was able to switch the unit off to save batteries, make level adjustments, and even alter the operating frequencies in the event we encountered interference—all without having to bother the actress. This was a huge benefit that both the talent and the wardrobe people consider invaluable.”
To feed the boom operators, Embry relied on the first-class sound quality and range of his Lectrosonics IFB transmitter. “I used the IFB to send an audio feed that we were recording—the booms plus my mix—to the boom operators,” he said. “By providing them with a really good audio reference, they can do their job more effectively.”
Embry reports, “I’ve been using Lectrosonics equipment for years. I started with an M185 transmitter and have stayed with the company’s products because they sound terrific, they’re easy to operate, and reliability is outstanding. Likewise, the company’s support services are the best. Whenever I’ve sent a piece in for service, it comes back looking like new. I truly believe Lectrosonics has helped immensely with my career success. The compact size of the transmitters, combined with superior audio quality, frequency agility, and range is as good as it gets. Even if I could afford any equipment I wanted, I’d still be using Lectrosonics. I love the company’s products.”
To learn more about Henry Embry, contact him via [email protected] or 416-574-1086.
Well respected within the film, broadcast, and theatre technical communities since 1971, Lectrosonics wireless microphone systems and audio processing products are used daily in mission-critical applications by audio engineers familiar with the company’s dedication to quality, customer service, and innovation. Lectrosonics is a US manufacturer based in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Visit the company online at www.lectrosonics.com.
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Photo Info: The Kennedys sound mixing team: (from left to right) Frank Morrone, Stephen Traub, Larold Rebhun, and Henry Embry. Photo credit: PictureGroup.