K-Tek boom resolves 'House Hunters' production challenges

Grant Waters is the sound mixer on HGTV‘s “House Hunters,” a reality show that follows a pair of home shoppers and a real estate agent into houses for sale. The production relies heavily on sound from his K-Tek boom when the show is being recorded and mixed.

"House Hunters" is essentially a two-camera show shot with one camera. Often the audio stream is recorded directly on the camera, so there are only two channels for all the audio. Waters records the boom mic on most of the shots on the right channel, and that’s the sound used most frequently in the final mix. Often the most daunting audio challenge is whether or not the boom is going to be used.

Much of "House Hunters" is shot inside actual houses, where standard height ceilings can be a visual and aural issue. The challenge is to keep the boom mic close enough for good sound yet out of the shot. The boom Waters uses is perfect for this type of work. Some shows are all boom; typically there’s no wireless.

Waters still has the first K-Tek boom he bought on Craigslist 10 years ago. Some poles are bigger; some poles are lighter. The 20in stereo boom K-Tek pole fits Waters’ hand perfectly. He does a lot of reality shows, and if he is running to keep up with the action, it’s light, and it fits his body. Another reality show Waters works on is the A&E series “Duck Dynasty.” He has built up a collection of K-Tek poles, but he still relies mostly on his original boom. He recently had his original boom rebuilt by K-Tek.

Waters' other projects include the television series "The Governor’s Wife" and "Gold Diggers," and the films "Return to Zero" and "The Fix," which are in post-production. He is currently working on the Sci-Fi thriller "Lost Time."