Sound quality and robust performance are key attributes
Charlotte, NC – July 2012… Blumenthal Performing Arts’ venues are home to premier Broadway touring attractions as well as the Charlotte Symphony, Community School of the Arts, North Carolina Dance Theatre, On Q Productions, Opera Carolina, Queen City Theatre Company, and The Light Factory Contemporary Museum of Photography and Film. As the cultural hub of the greater Charlotte area, there are high expectations for every type of event that takes place here. That’s precisely why—when it comes to wireless microphone performance—the organization relies on its sizeable contingent of wireless microphone systems from Rio Rancho, NM-based Lectrosonics.
Robert Schoneman serves as one of Blumenthal Performing Arts’ Production Managers. With an emphasis on the production and presentation of touring Broadway attractions, live music, and theater, Shoneman’s responsibilities include day-to-day production management in the Belk Theater and, occasionally, at the Booth Playhouse as well as helping ensure consistency across sound systems and control equipment in all of the organization’s venues. Tasked with ensuring trouble-free performance from all the audio equipment used, Schoneman discussed the factors that led to his selection of Lectrosonics’ Digital Hybrid Wireless® technology.
“Our top concern for our wireless microphone equipment was sound quality—primarily noise floor and a lack of HF artifacts caused by analog companding,” Schoneman explained, “and that’s where Lectrosonics equipment really delivers. Since the wireless gear is frequently used in a theater directly adjacent to a touring Broadway production, it was essential the equipment be able to operate capably in a crowded RF environment and that the ability to scan for and select open frequencies be quick and easy. We’ve also been very impressed with the rugged build quality of the Lectrosonics beltpack transmitters. When you consider how this type of equipment gets handled during costume changes and so forth, it’s a very important consideration.”
The Lectrosonics arsenal Schoneman selected includes twelve LMa beltpack transmitters that are used with Countryman B3 Omni Round Lavaliere microphones. On the receiving end, the system includes two Lectrosonics VRMWB Venue series receiver mainframes, each fully stocked with six Lectrosonics VRT receiver modules. This 12-channel system is augmented by two Lectrosonics SNA600 dipole antennas plus the company’s VRpanel software (part of LecNet2™) for remote monitoring of the system.
“We purchased the Lectrosonics equipment to be used for two annual productions,” said Schoneman. “The Blumey Awards, which takes place in the Belk Theater is to recognize and reward excellence in high school musical theater and is a feeder program to the national Jimmy Awards in NYC. Charlotte Squawks takes place in in the Booth Playhouse. This show is a locally produced revue of local/regional/national events and politics. The show is best described as ‘Broadway meets Saturday Night Live meets Charlotte.’ All the actors wore their transmitters in NeoPax mic belts beneath their undergarments. Since everyone changes costumes for almost every number, we’re not doing any crazy transmitter placements, but it’s very reassuring to not have to worry about the equipment’s reliability and performance.”
When queried about factors that, ultimately, led to the acquisition of the Lectrosonics gear, Schoneman offered the following thoughts about Lectrosonics’ customer service. “I never once got a demo of the equipment,” he reports. “I knew after calling the factory and getting a live human on the phone (on my first attempt and who spent over an hour talking to me) that our shows were in good hands. Equally noteworthy, Lectrosonics sales associate John Muldrow was extremely accommodating about helping us meet some time constraints. I was very impressed.”
Before turning his attention to some upcoming production tasks, Schoneman offered this closing thought, “I couldn’t possibly be happier with the decision! Everyone—including the talent—who has heard the Lectrosonics gear has commented about how great it sounds. This is the first time I’ve ever felt like the RF mics ‘disappeared’ into the audio path.”
To learn more about Blumenthal Performing Arts, visit them online at www.blumenthalarts.org.
About Lectrosonics Digital Hybrid Wireless Technology
Lectrosonics’ Digital Hybrid Wireless technology uses a proprietary algorithm to encode 24-bit digital audio information with no compression and low distortion into an analog format that can be transmitted in a robust manner over an analog FM wireless link. The result is much higher dynamic range—free from sonic artifacts— than wireless systems using a compandor are able to offer. Digital Hybrid Wireless technology delivers long operating range, graceful signal decay, and a small spectral footprint, facilitating more channels to be operated simultaneously.
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 is a US manufacturer based in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.