Doha, Qatar (September 16, 2011)—Location sound mixer Baldev "Bal" Rayat and his arsenal of Lectrosonics wireless equipment were recently put to the test in the desert heat of Qatar.
Bal, a Birmingham, UK-based mixer, recently found himself battling the desert heat while on location for the production of two Qatari television shows: Desert Heroes and Serious Hobbies. His equipment on hand was four Lectrosonics UCR411a compact receivers, five SRa slot mount diversity receivers, five SMQ super miniature beltpack transmitters, two SMQV super miniature beltpack transmitters, a UH400A plug-on transmitter, and an RM remote.
"I was working these shows during May and June," Bal says. "While there were several cameramen on these projects, I was the only sound guy, which only made matters more challenging. The heat in Qatar proved to be very difficult for both the crew and the equipment. Temperatures were hitting anywhere from 113 degrees to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Considering the desert sand gets into everything, I was really impressed with the fact that my Lectrosonics equipment kept operating without any issues. At the end of each day, I simply gave the gear a quick vacuum and that kept everything in check."
"For Serious Hobbies, I had to shoot a guy paragliding. He was flying above our heads at a height of about 328 feet, maybe more. I had no problem hearing every word he said. There are no reflections in the desert, so the RF range was really important. The SMQ transmitters gave me range I believe no other radio mic could possibly achieve and the sound quality was fantastic. Because I was the only person who could hear the paraglider, I ended up relaying everything to the director!"
Bal's credits include location sound work for the BBC's Countryfile, as well as Gears and Tears. He has also worked with legends such as Robert Plant and Tom Waits.