Sound quality, compact size, and remote control capability are key attributes
Santa Fe, NM… Internationally known for introducing new and innovative operas as well as for its productions of works from the standard operatic repertoire, The Santa Fe Opera has grown to become recognized as one of the world's leading cultural festivals. This highly acclaimed opera company treats theatrical and musical values as equally important, and the organization also plays a vital role in the development of aspiring young opera singers. The Santa Fe Opera recently made a substantial investment in wireless technology and, after careful evaluation; they selected products from the Lectrosonics catalog.
According to Dave Dillman, Audio/Video Manager for The Santa Fe Opera, contemporary operas frequently require modern day logistical support. “Just as Mozart relied on the orchestra for his operas,” said Dillman, “many modern day operas incorporate signal processing and other audible effects. A perfect example of this is our current production of the opera Adriana Mater.”
“Adriana Mater” takes place in an unnamed country at war,” continued Dillman, “and its themes include revenge, forgiveness, and redemption. For this production, there is a dream sequence that requires reverb on the voice. Wireless mics become a necessity. As we examined our options, it became increasingly clear that, for us, Lectrosonics was the best possible choice.”
The Santa Fe Opera ultimately selected a 12-channel Venue receiver system with twelve VRS modules, twelve SMDa Super-Miniature Digital Hybrid Wireless™ UHF beltpack transmitters, and an RM remote control for the SM Series transmitters. “As a precautionary measure,” notes Dillman, “we place two transmitters on each performer for redundancy— configured for separate frequency bands. While we’ve never encountered a single issue, we wanted that extra measure of comfort. Since the performers wear two transmitters—we were particularly impressed with the SM’s small form factor. These transmitters get buried beneath the costumes, so their diminutive size was really important to us.”
The SMDa’s dual battery design was an equally important consideration for Dillman. “The extra battery life these transmitters provide means a lot to us,” says Dillman. “I’ve been very pleased with them. Signal strength is consistently strong, operating duration is very good, and the sound quality is first rate. It’s crystal clear, natural, and never sounds processed— unless we want it to sound processed. With no companding, the audio quality is everything we had hoped for. Combined with our DPA microphones, the entire system has been terrific.”
Dillman is also quite enamored with the Lectrosonics RM remote control. “With the transmitter buried under several layers of costumes, it can be a monumental task to get at the transmitter should it require adjustment,” Dillman said. “With the RM remote, we can make adjustments without having to dig down into the costume. Whether it’s waking the system up, changing the input gain, or altering the RF operating frequency, this is a tremendous benefit and was a very strong selling point for us.”
The Santa Fe Opera purchased their Lectrosonics equipment in mid April through TC Furlong of Lake Forest, IL. In addition to the responsive support provided by their dealer, Dillman also spoke very highly of Lectrosonics’ customer and technical support services. “Both the dealer and Lectrosonics took an active role in helping us select the right equipment for our requirements,” said Dillman. “Being roughly an hour away in Rio Rancho, NM, Karl Winkler from Lectrosonics even made a personal visit and performed a full spectrum scan to help us determine the best equipment. We were very impressed. At the end of the day, it all comes down to this: The system’s frequency flexibility, its remote control capability, and all the various features are perfectly aligned with our requirements.”
Well respected within the film, broadcast, and theater 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 is a US manufacturer based in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.