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Let Them Hear Cake

Capturing audio for Food Network show Vegas Cakes keeps Neil Curschman busy.

Las Vegas, NV (July 11, 2018)—Las Vegas-based independent production sound mixer Neil Curschman of NC-Sound must be prepared for anything—and “anything” happened over and over during eight months that he spent recently as the audio supervisor for seasons one and two of the Food Network’s Vegas Cakes reality show.

The show centers on Freed’s Bakery, a Las Vegas institution for almost six decades, and showcases the extravagant custom cakes that the multi-generational, family-owned business creates for high-profile clients such as Wayne and Kathleen Newton, Cirque du Soleil’s Ka, Blue Man Group and Donnie and Marie Osmond.

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“There are so many challenges, and you can’t mess up,” he said. “It’s all about your skill set, your professionalism and the way you interact with people, but the equipment is a big part of it, too. It cannot fail; it has to be consistent; it has to be reliable.”

For the show and other work that he does for networks, film companies, ad agencies and more, he used Lectrosonics Digital Hybrid Wireless equipment, including SMQV belt pack transmitters, bagged SR Series receivers and a pair of racked Venue2 receivers, to get the job done.

“The main location is the bakery; that’s when I use my Lectrosonics Venue2 receivers,” he says. “I set up antennas at different locations in the bakery to get RF coverage everywhere; mic-up six to eight people with Sanken COS11D lavs, put SMQV transmitters on everybody and let them run wild.” The receivers are racked with a Sound Devices 970 recorder, with all three units networked over Dante.

When Vegas Cakes participants move outside, to deliver a cake to a customer on the Strip, for example, Curschman transitions to a bag system: “I have a field kit with a Sound Devices 664 mixer and Lectrosonics SR receivers, all tuned to the same frequencies that I have on the Venue2 rack system. That way, I don’t have to change freqs when I go from the bakery out into the field.”

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Cake deliveries to the Strip present Curschman with another challenge. “All these shows keep their transmitters on throughout the day and sometimes it’s difficult communicating with the techs, or they aren’t even there yet. There is a lot of RF, but we have to plunge ourselves right into it. Time and time again, my Lectrosonics gear has proven itself to overcome the challenges.”

Lectrosonics •