“The great thing about Lectrosonics is that you don’t have to get a full RF blast to have a good signal. The transmission is still flawless.”
Knoxville, Tennessee (July 11, 2023) — Maintaining a career in production sound in Knoxville, Tennessee takes versatility and resourcefulness, and John Puckett has amassed these qualities in quantity. “With Knoxville, you can’t really specialize, you’ve got to do a little bit of everything. If you say ‘I’m only going to do movies, or only going to do reality TV,’ you’re going to be really hungry.” His kit of Lectrosonics equipment — SRb and SRc portable receivers, a UCR411 receiver, two SMWB transmitters, and two SMV and one SMQV belt-pack transmitters with a legacy UM400 transmitter as a backup — help keep him busy working production in TV, commercials, industrial video, corporate training, feature films, and any other media that need good audio. He’s also just ordered a new HMa plug-on transmitter.
After earning a history degree in college, Puckett made an abrupt turn into TV production at the Home Shopping Network, where he “sampled a little bit of everything,” not just sound, for about five years. In 2012, he moved into location audio as a freelancer. Audio attracted him largely because of his lifelong interest in music and sound gear. “Music led to turning knobs on amplifiers and all that,” he explained. “Recording, Pro Tools, and that led to TV, and that led to location audio.”
Puckett came to Lectrosonics after about a year and a half of doing location audio. He tried a lot of different gear, but he says Lectrosonics is what he found he needs working out in the field. It was always so solid. “The speed and flexibility of being able to tune frequencies, and the durability,” he explained. “I work in the freezing cold, I work in the blazing heat. I work with sweaty people.” He told of recently working with a cast that went four-wheeler ATV riding, dealing with the mud and the elements. Lectrosonics products offer him durability, quality RF transmission, and flexibility. He also speaks highly of LectroRM, the 3rd-party remote control app for Lectrosonics SM and L Series transmitters that allows him to change audio levels, adjust frequencies, control transmit power, and more. All of his jobs are five mics or less and a boom, and a lot of “run and gun” work, so the ability to adapt quickly is an important plus.
One product Puckett says he’ll never, ever sell is his SMQV belt-pack transmitter — because it has a 250 mW mode. And therefore, it has an amazing range. With that unit, his UCR411 receiver, and a good antenna, he jokes that he can pick up from “states away.” Yes, he’s exaggerating a bit. He explains it this way: “You put a person in the middle of a field for a drone shot, and the crew can only be 500 yards away … and I can still get them. It’s ungodly the range it can pick up.” Even when the RF levels start to “dance on the meters,” as he put it, you don’t get dropouts. He adds, “The great thing about Lectrosonics is that you don’t have to get a full RF blast to have a good signal. The transmission is still flawless.”
His current project is a new reality series for Discovery+ that will keep him busy until August. He also works on livestreaming production from the annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. Other credits include NFL Films; an episode of Say Yes to The Dress; various TV series such as Bringing Up Bates, Homicide Hunter, Renovation Realities, and Handcrafted America; feature film The Last Movie Star; and several short films.
What’s in the near future? Aside from the current Discovery+ and Bonnaroo projects, nothing yet. Puckett says, “Most of the time I get a call for something maybe two weeks out. I’m lucky if I ever have anything planned further out than that.” But those calls do keep coming in.
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. For spare parts and a full line of accessories, visit the company’s online store: Lectrosonics U.S. Online Accessory Store.