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Water-resistant transmitters provide up close and personal action during
championships

Huntington Beach, CA - August 2011. While the top four American sports have
the audio advantage of being on land, the NBA's Wired for Sound or Inside
the Huddle with the NFL, to name a few, the world of surfing has a much
bigger obstacle to overcome - water. Technology and the elements seem to be
always battling one another in the field and up until recently, H2O has been
the rain on audio's parade. For A1 mixer / sound designer, Gary Vahling,
putting the plug on this obstacle and other technical issues were resolved
by using Lectrosonics' wireless technology. 

The US Open of Surfing was a nine day live event that ran from July 30th to
August 7th and was one of the world's largest competitions on the ASP
(Association of Surfing Professionals) tour for both men and women. The
men's side featured a North America ASP Men's Prime event with valuable
points on the line right before the coveted ASP Top 32 cut-off. For the
women, fans witnessed the final event of the 2011 ASP World Title Tour and
the crowning of the women's world champion. This year's event was unique
because it featured an "All Star" segment where online viewers were able
hear all the action of the championship rounds as if they were right next to
the surfer. Gary Vahling of the Coffey Sound rental department looked to the
Lectrosonics MM400c water-resistant wireless transmitter to capture this
flurry of surfing activity.

"I knew we needed something light-weight, reliable and most of all, water
resistant. The Lectrosonics MM400c is absolutely perfect for a job like this
one," mentions Vahling. "I was looking for a transmitter that could deliver
great sound quality, but wasn't cumbersome to the surfers. These athletes
are not as used to being wired for sound like the actors in Hollywood, so it
was really important to find a solution that wouldn't hinder them in any way
during the competition. The Lectrosonics MM400c transmitter is small enough
not to add any of those further distractions."

Working together with Tim Denmark of H2audiO, Denmark came up with the idea
to wire the surfers with the MM400c for competition. Paired with a
Countryman B6 that was strung along the inside of the collar, the unit
became the perfect combination for the day's event. Denmark and A2 Mike
Gatzios were in charge of field operations during the surfing competition
and relayed their audio cues and notes to Gary in the production truck a few
hundred yards away. "It's incredible to help build a   new audio platform in
sports," says Denmark. "We were pioneering innovative techniques to bring
the viewer closer than ever before. One of the surfers mentioned to me their
mother called them up after a heat and was so excited that they could
actually hear them while they were on the board. The stuff we can do now is
just amazing." The MM400c's were used in combination with Venue receivers to
help transmit the "gnarly" sounds of the surfers from 150 yards away. "We
gave T4 IFB transmitters and R1A's to our sideline reporters which coupled
with ALP-620 antennas which worked out great," adds Gatzios.

With Vahling's work at the US Open of Surfing, sound quality and performance
were crucial during his live webcast to everyone across the globe. "You
don't have second chances with a live broadcast, and Lectrosonics gave me
the confidence that there wouldn't be any hiccups during production," adds
Vahling. "Frequency coordination is a must with events like this. With all
the broadcast equipment and smaller ENG shooters running around we made sure
to police everything so RF problems could be eliminated. Using the
recommended IAS program (Intermodulation RF Analysis Software) from the
Lectrosonics website is a very valuable tool in a sound designer's arsenal."


As the competition slowly wound down, Vahling noted that when he has to do
this all over again in a few months, Lectrosonics and, especially, the
MM400c will be something he has in his kit without question.

To learn more about the US Open of Surfing, visit
http://www.usopenofsurfing.com/

About Coffey Sound
Providing the film and television industry with professional audio gear and
services for over 20 years, Coffey Sound prides themselves on having a huge
inventory of sound equipment for purchase or rent. From the newest digital
wireless systems and multi-track recorders to industry standard boom mic
kits, we have what you want and are experts on how it works. To find out
more, visit the company online at www.coffeysound.com

About Lectrosonics
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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