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Could you tell us a bit about yourself, how and why you got into sound engineering?

I’m a location sound engineer and supervisor for television and music production. I’ve always been interested in sound, the quality and texture of it, and I also like working with technical gear; so it makes sense that I’d have a profession that combines the two. But somehow, I didn’t know this at first. In college, I began by studying Electrical Engineering but made a change and got my degree in political science. It wasn’t until I moved to New York and fell into film and television production that I found location sound engineering.

How did you discover Jazzmutant’s controllers?

Peter Schneider at Gotham Sound in New York suggested the Lemur as the controller for the system. He said it was the best touch screen system for my purposes. And he was right.

Why did you choose to use it above other products on the market?

The Lemur “feels” right. It’s responsive and not finicky. It does what it’s supposed to do and the operator doesn’t have to worry about it being “in a bad mood.”

How are you using it?

I’m the sound supervisor on “Next Food Network Star,” a program on The Food Network that was their top-rated show last season. We are currently in production for season 4…
The show has up to 14 people which may appear on any one of, or a combination of, 6 handheld cameras roaming the kitchen-equipped studio. Conversations may be held in concert by all of those appearing on the program, or may be held separately by smaller groups. The producers want to have an individual audio mix for each camera but wish to avoid having mixer personnel on the floor. The solution is to send wireless mixes to each camera from the board. In the past, this meant potting up and down from a myriad of rotary auxiliary sends on the mixer, a method which proved inefficient and frustrating.
However, Peter Schneider at Gotham Sound has designed an elegant and sophisticated system, the first of its kind, that meets the unique requirements of this television program’s production needs using Lectrosonic wireless, and a Lemur multi-touch control surface to control two Lectrosonic DM84 Digital Matrix Processors.
The infinitely flexible Lemur touchscreen is the controller for a system based around Isadora software that allows the operator to create six individual mixes on the fly. In our control room, The sound department sees the images from all six cameras on a six-split video screen, 1-3 on top and 4-6 on the bottom. The graphics on the Lemur are arranged accordingly, with the names of all individuals wearing microphones appearing as “buttons” contained within each “camera’s” graphic parameters. The audio mixer sees who is appearing on each camera and, using the Lemur to route audio in the Lectro DM84s, switch each mic on or off for each camera mix individually, creating individual camera mixes on the fly that are then wirelessly transmitted to each corresponding camera.
Here, the Lectrosonic wireless prove their robust performance characteristics. With talent wireless, wireless feeds to the cameras from the board, wireless feeds to the cameras from ENG mixers that may be working concurrently, wireless communication between production and the camera operators and wireless for control room monitoring, there are at least 68 individual wireless frequencies operating, not including walkies.

Are there any anecdotes about the previous controllers you used that made you switch to the Lemur?

On previous television productions, to complete the same task, I would route the signals through aux sends on the mixing board and I or Joram Schwartz, my A2, would manually turn the aux sends for each channel as the audio needed to be introduced or subtracted from each camera send. This was tedious and, quite frankly, maddening. People came and went on and offscreen very quickly as they moved and as the cameras moved. The operator could never quite catch up, so the audio was never going to be what the engineer would want it to be. It was a Sisyphean task.

How has using the controller changed the way you work?

The Lemur makes the task much more manageable. I was excited when Peter described the system to me even before the programming in Isadora was completed. He showed me prototypes along the way as he and Nick Masiuk were developing the system.

What do you find most useful about it in terms of features?

I like the touch response, I like being able to have several patches available to me. The communications in/out screens are helpful.

Thanks for your time Michael !

Thanks to you guys for making this excellent controller !
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