Clear Channel Communications in Asheville, NC, runs six separate stations that span genres from AM talk and news to FM classic rock, contemporary and country music. All stations are active in the community and frequently gather local news and on-location interviews. Until recently, gathering location sound involved shoulder-slung DAT or minidisk recorders with a cabled microphone, then uploading to a computer editing environment in real time for eventual editing.
Clear Channel engineer Ken Ray was aware of the HHB FlashMic as a potential solution, with its integrated flash recorder, Sennheiser microphone element and USB connectivity promising a smoother, faster post-production workflow. With the recent 25 percent reduction in price, Ray purchased an omnidirectional FlashMic and added it to Clear Channel’s Asheville inventory.
"It's vastly easier just to have one mic and no cables," Ray said. "The automatic gain control is flawless, so we never have to worry about levels. We recently sent a guy out to cover a pro-am golf tournament with the FlashMic and a camera on his shoulder. With our old system, that would have been a tremendous hassle, but with the FlashMic, it was easy. Getting everything into the computer is simple, too. We have a lot of people that are pretty much the opposite of computer savvy. They can upload files from the FlashMic without a hiccup, which tells me that anyone can."
Ray and his colleagues have found that the sound quality of the FlashMic dramatically exceeds that of their previous system as well. They use the highest quality format, 16-bit, 48kHz, and have never come close to consuming the three hours of record time afforded at that quality. As a result, three employees have bought their own FlashMics to use with their bands to document riffs, ideas and performances with greater simplicity and organizational efficiency.