Capturing audio for NBC’s Parks and Recreation


NBC’s Parks and Recreation, now in its final season, has its audio
recorded by production sound mixer George Flores, CAS, who employs DPA
Microphones’ Discreet 4071 and 4060 omnidirectional miniature mics to capture all
of the program’s hysterical dialogue. The show is shot in an interview style, similar
to that of a reality program. The mic combinations have proven well suited for
capturing dialogue while events play out behind the actors.

Parks and Recreation stars Amy Poehler who plays, a mid-level
bureaucrat in the Parks and Recreation Department of Pawnee, Indiana.

“This style of show presents its own unique set of challenges,” explains Flores. “It’s
not a conventional situation, where you shoot the wide shot with everyone in it and
then you go in for the mediums followed by the close-ups. In this pseudo interview-
type show, you have to mic each actor and we have a multitude of actors to wire.
We try our best to be diligent about mic placement and getting the best quality that
you can, and that’s why microphone selection is so critically important. In choosing
DPA microphones, we knew we are getting a reliable, high-quality microphone right
off the bat. Even if the microphone is moved a little bit or being covered by
something, they still sound great.”

For the seventh season of Parks and Recreation, Flores chose to use
his tried-and-trusted DPA Discreet 4071s and 4060s, along with his Lectrosonics
wireless system and Sound Devices multitrack recorders.

“The DPA miniatures have been great on this project,” he notes. “For most wireless
lavalier microphone situations, quality is dependent on isolation from clothing or
jewellery. We usually place a lav on an actor in a spot that sounds good, and then
five minutes later it’s not so good. The combination of the built-in ‘low-cut/soft-
boost’ feature gives these DPAs a huge advantage over other manufacturers in that,
once a lav is placed, it needs very minor, if any, adjustments to keep it sounding
consistently on-axis. The Discreet 4071, in particular, is very important in attaining
the entire voice range in an equal, full way for delivery to post production.”

Flores also supported the production using a collection of overhead booms.

Additionally, for situations when they needed to plant a microphone somewhere on-
set, he would use the Discreet 4071s or 4060s with a boundary layer concealer to
capture ambient sounds.


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