B3 Omni Round Lavaliere microphone delivers high SPL, robust performance
Menlo Park, CA – December 2013… From exotic cars, jets, motorcycles, and yachts to electronics, hotels, restaurants, and more, Carlyle’s Picks provides informative recommendations of today’s top products and services. When you’re working to convey the experience of being behind the wheel of a Lamborghini or cruising aboard a luxury yacht, a huge part of the challenge is accurately capturing the sound. That’s why Carlyle Murciélago, Executive Producer for Carlyle’s Picks—a leading destination on YouTube—and Steven Aleman, principal photographer, rely on their B3 Omnidirectional Lavalier microphone from Countryman Associates. Carlyle’s Picks has been operating for better than two years, but it was only recently that Murciélago found a microphone that could really deliver the audio quality he had long sought. He discussed the factors that led to his choice of the Countryman B3. “I had been searching for a microphone capable of addressing the wide range of applications encountered on this show for well over a year,” Murciélago explained. “The ability to accurately capture the engine sounds of a Ferrari, for example, is critical to the credibility of the videos we produce. You simply can’t ask for an exhaust microphone because, obviously, no such thing exists.” “One critical aspect of choosing the Countryman B3 was its high sound pressure level (SPL) rating,” Murciélago continued. “Typically, a lavaliere mic has a relatively low SPL rating, which makes it unsuitable for much of our work. I really didn’t want to purchase a large microphone, as it only complicates the video shoot in terms of discreetly keeping it out of the camera’s view. During my research, I discovered the B3 can handle SPL’s up to 150 dB on 48V Phantom power. Finally, I had found a microphone that was really well suited to our type of production. The other mics I had worked with simply couldn’t handle these levels. They just couldn’t tolerate, for example, the level of vibration from a high performance engine and, as a result, we’d routinely get distortion.”
Mated with a Sony UTX-B2 wireless microphone transmitter / receiver system, Murciélago reports he uses his Countryman B3 for accurately capturing more than just motorcycle or automobile engine sounds, “We use the B3 for the majority of our work, including the dialog that starts and ends our videos. At this point, it’s my ‘go to’ mic for just about everything we do.” In addition to accurately representing the sounds of the products showcased on Carlyle’s Picks, reliability is a vital concern for Murciélago. “We work in some very harsh production environments—particularly with the motorcycles and automobiles—so there’s a lot of stress on the equipment,” he says. “There are frequent situations where the cables get yanked and pulled. Recently, the B3’s cable ended up caught in a motorcycle wheel near the brake pad and surprisingly, it was barely scuffed. Most other cables would have simply snapped. The fact that the B3’s cable is manufactured from Kevlar enables the microphone to endure some truly unthinkable punishment. I’ve been really impressed.” Murciélago is equally enthusiastic about Countryman’s customer and technical support services. “When I’m in production, I can’t be waiting on hold for an answer,” he says. “The Countryman staff has been really terrific. Of the few times that I’ve called them, I’ve received answers from highly competent people—they’ve been very responsive.” In the relatively short timeframe the Countryman B3 microphone has been integral to the production of Carlyle’s Picks, Murciélago has come to rely on it far more than he ever envisioned. “After finding the Countryman B3, I experienced a tremendous sense of relief,” he said. “Finally, I have a microphone that can handle the challenges of our production environment—both in terms of SPL and the physical abuse the equipment routinely encounters. I’m now able to deliver the accuracy of sound I consider so essential for the audience to gain a true representation of what they would experience if they were with us. The B3 is a valuable component that helps us deliver the audio quality necessary to set our production apart from the competition. This mic is absolutely first-rate.” To learn more about Carlyle’s Picks, go to http://www.youtube.com/user/carlylespicks or view one of his many videos at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mChPDDJQtC4&feature=youtu.be.