K-Tek, known throughout the professional audio industry for its rugged and lightweight microphone boom poles, accessories and audio equipment bags, hosted location audio professionals to an open house and seminar at K-Tek’s Vista, CA headquarters.
Tours took the audio professionals through the K-Tek plant where they saw the precision machining fabrication and assembly of boom poles and mic suspension mounts, and even the sewing area room where K-Tek fashions its windscreens—all made in the US.
Attendees included Glen Trew of Trew Audio, Robert Noone of Location Sound, Gene Martin of Audio Dept, Lori Wilcox Saldana of Wilcox Sound, and scores of California’s top boom operators, audio utility and sound mixers including Thomas Curley with his shiny new Oscar® and BAFTA awards for Sound Mixing on “Whiplash”.
Sound mixer Chris Howland, CAS explained the importance of the event. “We all have equipment that we invest money on, and we often never know where it comes from and who puts it together. An event like this gives us a look at all that--who conceptualizes it and fabricates it into being, and the steps they go through to get us the tools that makes our job easier.”
After lunch, K-Tek president Brenda Klemme welcomed the crowd and kicked off the event with a look back at the founding of K-Tek by her father Manfred Klemme, who enjoyed a long career dedicated to bringing much-needed technology to audio engineers.
A lively panel discussion (streamed for those who could not attend) was moderated by legendary production sound mixer Jeff Wexler. The panel featured renowned colleagues Agamemnon Andrianos, Richard Lightstone, Paul Marshall, Patrushkha Mierzwa and Thomas Popp. Several panelists showed their legacy home-brew boom poles that they employed before K-Tek began providing the purpose-built graphite and aluminum boom poles sound professionals now rely on.
The increasing challenges location sound professionals are facing were major topics of discussion at the session. Veterans on the panel encouraged those newer to the industry to politely but firmly collaborate with the other departments for lighting and framing that will permit boom mics to best capture location sound.
The event closed with a raffle of door prizes that included some of K-Tek’s most coveted gear, won by smiling attendees.