Countryman battles the elements for 1000K to Tokyo
JAPAN: Life Recycled founder, Michael Reid, selected Countryman’s B3 omnidirectional lavalier microphone to capture audio on his recent 1000km kayaking expedition up the coast of Japan. Life Recycled is a community-based environmental action group aiming to raise awareness of coastal pollution. Documenting the entire expedition, the B3 microphone needed to endure close proximity to seawater for long periods of time.
The lavalier microphone is fitted with Countryman’s flat frequency response capsule and mated to a Zoom H4n digital field recorder using a custom made XLR female to male 90-degree elbow that allows everything to fit inside an Aquapac waterproof case.
‘The Countryman B3 has proven to be a real workhorse in regards to the audio requirements of the expedition,’ Mr Reid commented. ‘It was used to capture everything from ambient ocean/paddling sounds to the audio for expedition update videos. The B3 was also extensively tested in kayak wet exits and rolls, which included fully submerging the mic and, upon emerging, checking to ensure audio quality. The B3 was attached to the top of my PFD (personal flotation device) just above the zipper – about three inches below my chin. When I was doing wet exits, the mic’s position was placed upside down so it could clear any water that happened to be on the top of the B3 when I emerged from the water.’
When asked about those features that made it well suited for this type of project, Mr Reid commented: ‘The B3 excels in both audio quality and speech intelligibility, which is critically important for the viewer in order to understand what’s being said. I was really impressed by how authentic the sound was. This was especially evident when I was doing rolls with the B3 attached to my PFD. Even the water passing over the mic as I’m completing the roll had its own authentic sound – and as soon as I resurfaced, the B3 immediately picked up my commentary.
‘Equally important for me is the microphone’s build quality, which is a must for the harsh expedition environment,’ he continued. ‘After experimenting and experiencing equipment failure with a number of other audio capture systems due to the demanding salt water environment, the Countryman B3 is literally “the only tool for the job” as far as I’m concerned.’
Mr Reid is presently preparing for the next leg of the expedition and refocusing on business. ‘Everything has been working out really well and having the B3 microphone in my audio toolbox has given me so much more flexibility in regards to rough weather audio/video capture,’ he concluded. ‘I know the results of this endeavour will be an invaluable asset to the kayak expedition community, not to mention anyone on the water who wants to capture some great audio – complete with immersion sounds. After better than 620 miles, my Countryman B3 mic has been expedition tested and approved.’