Nashville, TN (January 31, 2023) – Anthony Leo’s Nashville-based audio/video production company 800 Pound Gorilla Media specializes in capturing comedy, recording everything from albums to live specials. Live comedy recording brings with it some rather unusual challenges, and Anthony relies on Lectrosonics wireless products – including the DCR822 Compact Digital and UCR411a Digital Hybrid Wireless® receivers, HMa and SMQV Digital Hybrid Wireless® transmitters, and HHa Handheld Wireless Transmitter – to get the job done right, every time.
Anthony has been doing audio and video production in Nashville for 16 years. He originally co-founded 800 Pound Gorilla Media as a comedy record label, but the firm now does much more. “We do albums, shoot comedy specials… we aim to be a supportive service for every stage of a comedian’s career.”
Comedy venue recording isn’t like capturing a room for music, Anthony explains. “You want to grab stereo ‘pockets’ around the room, where the crowd mics don’t pick up too much of the comic’s voice through the PA. If there’s too much of the comic in the crowd mics, you can’t raise the crowd level without also raising the comic’s echo – that’s why some comedy albums sound like they were recorded in a tunnel. The PA is almost your enemy.”
Added to this, the production team has to work within the comic’s preferences for their project. “Comics get to select where their specials are shot, because they know the venue and their audience. We have to find places to mount mics for good capture without showing up on camera.”
Recently, Anthony’s team recorded a Leanne Morgan comedy special at the famed Lexington Opera House in Lexington, Kentucky. One set of mics was placed above the highest balcony, angled down 60º to pick up the seats clearly.
“That’s all the way at the far end of the theater, and I’m all the way backstage. The Lectrosonics wireless has a range that I absolutely love! I could be backstage, around the corner with huge concrete walls in the way, and I’m going to get a clean signal every time. I can place mics wherever I want and I don’t have to worry about range.”
To capture a wide crowd sound on the main floor, Anthony’s team had to mount mics on the theater’s ornamental columns. Once placed, the mics had to be ready to go – and stopping the show to replace batteries wasn’t an option.
“I can throw two Lithium batteries in the HMa Plug-On transmitter and it’ll run phantom power for almost five hours. That’s fantastic, because we have to turn them on, make sure everything’s good – and then they open the doors, seat the crowd, run the opening comics, do announcements, deal with various delays… I don’t have to worry about losing a mic toward the end of the headliner’s act, when the crescendo is happening.”
Anthony also relies on Lectrosonics for the comic’s primary and backup handheld mics – including the Lectrosonics HHa handheld transmitter with HHC or HHVMC capsule – as well as a lavalier with SMQV Belt-Pack transmitter to capture the comic when they go off mic or use the handheld mic as a prop.
When capturing once-in-a-lifetime events like this, Anthony doesn’t believe in taking chances. “Being in production for 16 years, you quickly find that if something’s reliable, you want to stick with it. Something is going to fail regardless, so you want to hedge your bets with gear that has the lowest possible failure rate. Our Lectrosonics gear has been so reliable for so long that it’s hard to find a reason to switch.”
Leanne Morgan’s comedy special at the Lexington Opera House is coming soon Netflix soon – another successful project for the comedy lovers at 800 Pound Gorilla. As Anthony says: “We giggle all day. It’s a good gig.”
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 received an Academy Scientific and Technical Award for its Digital Hybrid Wireless® technology and is a US manufacturer based in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Visit the company online at www.lectrosonics.com.