Los Angeles, CA (March 10, 2016)—Capturing the contestant dialogue of the contestants in the rough and tumble world of reality TV is challenging work, but audio supervisor/sound mixer Rian Engelen and his Countryman Associates B3 omnidirectional lavalier microphones are up to the task.
Engelen’s experience includes four seasons as the sound supervisor and production sound mixer for CBS’ popular Survivor, as well as 22 seasons as one of the sound mixers on the show. “Survivor features 18 or 20 castaways who compete against each other” for the $1 million prize, he said. “We use 48 Countryman B3 omnidirectional lavalier microphones in Challenge and Tribal situations. These mics are worn by both the contestants and [show host] Jeff Probst. The Countryman mics are used with WM and SMQV wireless transmitters from Lectrosonics and, together, they make a great combination.”
He continued, “The amount of abuse we’ve put these mics through is astonishing, such as submerging them in saltwater—with the cap on, of course.
“The red bands don’t distort. Even with the talent screaming their lungs off, they provide an incredibly high SPL tolerance and yet still perform fantastically in low SPL sound capture situations. The B3’s frequency response is terrific, and the mic delivers what I feel is a beautifully transparent sound. I also like having the option of adding a little presence peak with the crisper response caps when I need it.”
Engelen approached the company with a design to waterproof the B3 and was impressed with the result. “The day I called Countryman’s offices, I was put through to Chris Countryman himself, who, in a matter of days constructed a sample of this ‘water cap’ for me to test—a sample that he had personally made. It worked beautifully.”