Lectrosonics Captures Star Guitar

Sound mixer Paul Toohey used a Lectrosonics SSM transmitter to capture the sounds of the iconic six-string guitar at the center of feature film La Barracuda, which premiered recently at the South By Southwest festival in Austin.
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Austin, TX (June 7, 2017)—Sound mixer Paul Toohey used a Lectrosonics SSM transmitter to capture the sounds of the iconic six-string guitar at the center of feature film La Barracuda, which premiered recently at the South By Southwest festival in Austin.

“This is a story about a musical family, with the guitar acting as a stand-in for the late father,” says Toohey. “So when the directors contacted me, I already knew that capturing the music would be extremely important to telling the story.”

There were a variety of scenes which presented challenges in capturing the sound, including one scene in a big Texas dance hall, another at the famous Saxon Pub in Austin, and a pivotal bonfire scene. “The bonfire scene was the one where I had the most questions and the most challenges; it was mainly lit only by the bonfire and there wasn’t really an easy way to hide microphones anywhere,” says Toohey. “So we had lavalier mics hooked up to wireless transmitters in four of the guitars. We used the Lectrosonics SSMs, as they are very tiny and could easily fit through the sound holes of the guitars. We used them mainly with DPA 4060 mics, and held them in place with an adhesive called Joe’s Sticky Stuff.”

Boom operators Tiago DaSilva and Lee Caffee also captured audio for the fireside scene with a Schoeps CMIT5u and a Sennheiser MKH50 using a Lectrosonics HMa UHF plug-on wireless transmitter.

“We used SRb and SRc receivers, which are slot-mount,” Toohey explains about the format which can piggyback onto most cameras and sound recorders used in filmmaking and news-gathering. “Each is dual-channel so it can pick up two transmitters at once. These fit into a Sound Devices SL-6 and in turn fed a Sound Devices 688 recorder.”

Toohey also used Lectrosonics SMV and SMQV belt-pack transmitters and an UCR411a receiver on the film.

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