UK Sound Recordist Jono Cary and Presenter Andi Peters on comms and Bubblebee Industries The Sidekick 2 IFB
Jono Cary, one of the UK’s most in-demand sound recordists and production sound mixers, has switched to our Sidekick In-Ear Monitors because they are so small, they can even be worn underneath headphones. “Comfort is such an important factor, especially when you have a long day ahead of you,” he says. “Sidekick fits into my workflow perfectly and makes monitoring the IFB feed when doing ‘lives’ so much easier. I’m able to wear the earpiece all day without any pain or discomfort.”
Designed to be virtually invisible, Bubblebee’s Sidekick In-Ear Monitor features the world’s first micro driver solution where the driver fits invisibly in the ear canal, eliminating the need for acoustic tubes outside the ear.
For TV Presenter Andi Peters, comfort and aesthetics were the deciding factor. “I’ve really enjoyed using the Sidekick,” he says. “Earpiece technology in TV hasn’t really moved on in 20 years but this new technology has been a tremendous game changer. It’s so lightweight that I’ve often forgotten that I’m wearing it. The sound quality is excellent and the cable VERY strong. I highly recommend it.”
Read the full article here…
PRESS RELEASE: Sanken Microphone Company honoured with the AMPAS Academy Scientific and Engineering Award
The award was presented for the original innovation and continuous refinement of the Sanken COS-11 series of miniature lavalier microphones.
Sanken’s early engineering work in microphone orientation and miniaturization has inspired the current generation of lavalier microphones. The exceptional sound quality and durability of the COS-11 series have made them the predominant lavalier microphones used in motion picture production sound recording.
PRESS RELEASE: Bubblebee Industries – The Sidekick IFB Monitors help cast and crew of America’s Got Talent
For Sound Supervisor Daniel S. McCoy, owner and operator of Los Angeles-based location and post-production audio company ToneMesa, Inc., it is The Sidekick In-Ear IFB Monitors that are currently making his life a lot easier. These virtually invisible communications earpieces have proved invaluable for McCoy who used them to great effect during the most recent season of America’s Got Talent, which was filmed in a very different way because of Covid-19 restrictions.
“With today’s productions requiring an element of ‘social distance’, getting comms sorted out is absolutely critical,” McCoy explains. “You can’t expect technicians to show up and place 10 wires on people because it is just not safe. That’s probably not going to happen again for many months, if not years. What’s important now is having comms equipment that talent are comfortable with. It also needs to have a high useability factor so people don’t need technicians to fit it because they can do it themselves.”
Bubblebee’s Sidekick IFB monitor fits the bill perfectly because it delivers high speech intelligibility, as well as a very comfortable experience for the end user. The Sidekick features the world’s first micro driver solution where the driver fits invisibly in the ear canal, eliminating the need for acoustic tubes outside the ear. This gives it an extremely small and lightweight footprint and makes it a popular alternative to earwigs.
McCoy first heard about The Sidekick in 2011 when he was working on X-Factor USA and was introduced to them by a Front of House engineer…
PRESS RELEASE: Bubblebee helps sport broadcasters cope with new social distancing measures at Formula E
The sound recordists responsible for delivering this year’s ABB FIA Formula E coverage to the BBC made good use of Bubblebee Industries technology to help circumnavigate the impact of Covid 19, which had threatened to scupper the sport’s 2019/2020 season.
Like so many sports, Formula E faced challenges because of the pandemic. Normally the fully electric, single seater cars race around major city centres in front of thousands of spectators but due to the pandemic that was deemed unsafe. After months of deliberation a solution was found – namely to complete the season by holding six races over nine days, behind closed doors, at Berlin’s iconic Templehoff airport. Live TV coverage was provided by host broadcasters Aurora Media Worldwide and North One TV, known as Formula E TV, who supply the international and English host broadcast feed to channels such as the BBC, Eurosport and Mediaset.
Formula E’s Sound Supervisor is Paul Halstead, who heads a dedicated crew of sound engineers, many of whom have extensive live broadcast experience and have been involved in Formula E since its first season six years ago.
“We work as a team but we have very distinct roles,” Paul Halstead explains. “Scott Morton looks after ENG crews and is involved with the live presentation element, while I handle mic allocation around the track and mixing the international feed, along with any additional race support presentation.”
For the Berlin races, Scott and Paul had to contend with the German Government’s social distancing rules, which meant making changes to how the audio was captured. Handheld microphones shared between interviewers and drivers were obviously out, so they switched to boom microphones and used Bubblebee Industries’ Spacer Bubble to get the right balance between wind protection and audio transparency.
“Switching to boom mics was a major safety protocol and we used them for more than 80% of our ENG and live presentation audio,” Scott Morton explains. “In this new landscape, presenters can’t get close enough to the drivers to share a handheld mic, and our sound engineers are not allowed to touch the talent so we can’t easily fit lavaliers. Our solution was to give presenters their own stick mic and use a boom mic to capture the interviewee’s responses.”
Scott adds that the Spacer Bubble system proved a real winner during the event because it can be easily adapted to suit the weather and ambient noise levels. This three piece windshield solution for shotgun microphones is specifically designed for changing conditions and features a noise-free mesh base with coarse foam inside and a specially designed rubber mount that can be left on the boom or camera mic. The foam and mesh are ideal for indoor recording, while short and long haired fur Spacer Covers are available for outdoor recording and can be quickly fitted to provide wind protection in all kinds of weather.
Designed to deliver comfort and intelligibility, Bubblebee’s Sidekick In Ear Monitor features the world’s first micro driver solution where the driver itself fits invisibly in the ear canal. Because it is so small and lightweight, it makes a great alternative to earwigs and can be comfortably worn for long periods of time.
Scott adds: “Our presenters (Nicki Shields and Vernon Kay) were very happy with the Sidekicks and were able to wear them for long stretches of time because they were so comfortable. From an aesthetic point of view it looked better on camera because you couldn’t see the presenters were wearing an earpiece at all. There was one occasion where I gave Nicki a telling off for not having her earpiece in when we were about to go on air, only to have to issue a grovelling apology when she pointed out that she did have it in – I just couldn’t see it!”
The presenters fitted and cleaned their own earpieces, which they found very easy. This was especially important because Covid restrictions meant they had to be responsible for their own kit.
“I work on a number of other live shows such as Gogglebox and I shall certainly be recommending Sidekicks to them because they are so invisible,” Scott adds.
Formula E racing will hopefully be returning in 2021 with the first event currently scheduled to take place in Chile in January. Bubblebee windshield and in ear products will be on equipment list as both Scott Morten and Paul Halstead are happy with their performance this year.
WIN! A colour-matched DPA 6060 and Bubblebee accessory kit every week during march each valued at over $1000!
The Colours of Great Sound Giveaway with DPA Microphones!
To celebrate the expansion of DPA’s CORE 6060 colour range, Bubblebee Industries have teamed up with DPA Microphones to offer you the chance to win one of four incredible lav mic kits worth over $1000 each!
Up for grabs are 4 DPA 6060 mics, one in each colour within the range (black, white, beige and brown). With every mic, we’ve created the ultimate Bubblebee Industries colour-matched accessory kit for all you mic’ing needs!
To find out more and details on how to enter, click the link below!
The Spacer Bubble gets the perfect balance between wind protection, audio transparency and changing conditions, because the sound of your microphone matters – which is why you bought it in the first place. Watch the Spacer Kit in action, bringing just the right amount of wind protection in play to keep the sound of the mic as true as possible.
Director Reed Ingram Weir shares a trick he uses to make sure their mics survive the rigours of everyday use on productions: “The moment they arrive at our warehouse, every single mic with a thin gauge cable has a Bubblebee Cable Saver attached to it…”
PRESS RELEASE: Bubblebee Industries – Kevin Bellante: Rainforests, Snakes, Planes, Volcanoes and Production Sound
From Brazilian rainforests and mountain treks in India to volcanos in Nicaragua, production sound mixer Kevin Bellante never fails to raise an eyebrow with his photos from the field. He grew up in Chatsworth and now calls Los Angeles, California home, in the San Fernando Valley.
When he’s not recording sound for productions near and far, which is seldom, he enjoys camping and scuba diving (most recently at the Great Barrier Reef).
With such a busy schedule, we’re thankful that he managed to talk to us a little about his career and give us a behind the scenes perspective on some of his recent adventures.
Watch what happens when Allen Williams tries to rip apart his “The Sidekick” IFB In-Ear Monitor review!
And here is a further follow up…