Compandor-free audio performance and robust build quality ideal for theatrical use
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada… As Atlantic Canada's largest professional theatre, the Neptune Theatre produces six shows a year running between September and July for its 500-seat proscenium main stage, the Fountain Hall. The renowned organization also produces world-class theatre in its Studio and operates a theatre school. Further, its Young Neptune Company Tour travels throughout Nova Scotia presenting shows that seek to present relevant issues from a youth-oriented perspective. Recognizing the importance of clear audio quality and the freedom of mobility only wireless technology can provide, the veritable organization recently took delivery of a new wireless microphone system from Rio Rancho, NM-based Lectrosonics.
Joe Micallef is the Neptune Theater’s sound coordinator. Now in his third season with the Company, Micallef is responsible for creating any required sound or video cues, designing and installing each show's sound system and, ultimately, mixing each show. After reviewing wireless systems from various manufacturers, Micallef recently decided to deploy Lectrosonics’ Digital Hybrid Wireless® technology. On that note, the Company is now the proud owner of a 24-channel system consisting of four Lectrosonics Venue Series Wideband receivers, with one mainframe fully stocked with six VRT receiver modules and the remaining three mainframes each outfitted with six VRS receiver modules. For transmitters, their new system consists of three Lectrosonics SMQV dual battery super-miniature transmitters, a single SMDa super-miniature transmitter, and eight LMa beltpack transmitters.
Purchased just in time for the end of the Neptune Theatre’s 2009/2010 season production of Peter Pan the Musical, Micallef discussed the versatility of the Lectrosonics equipment. “The Lectrosonics transmitters were placed on the principle characters while the chorus wore body pack transmitters from a competing manufacturer—with the Lectrosonics receivers operating in compatibility mode and, thus, giving us ‘backward compatibility’ with our previous wireless equipment. To ensure the utmost performance, we also used two Lectrosonics ALP500 LPDA antennas running through UFM230 boosters. The transmitters were in beltpacks under the costumes while the SM transmitters were placed on those performers whose costumes made concealment more challenging.”
When queried about those characteristics that made it a compelling choice for the Neptune Theatre, Micallef noted several key strengths of the Lectrosonics equipment, “Choosing Lectrosonics for the Neptune came down to three primary features: (1)the extremely rugged transmitter housing with its locking connector was ideal for withstanding the abuse of dance heavy musicals, (2) Lectrosonics’ Compatibility and Diversity Modes provide the flexibility I considered essential to give the theatre lots of options for future upgrades as well as the ability to address any challenges related to increases in radio interference, and (3) the unique clarity of sound afforded by Lectrosonics’ compandor-free free transmission path.”
In addition to his enthusiasm for Lectrosonics wireless technology, Micallef is equally fond of the manner in which the Neptune Theatre’s purchase was handled. “Everyone involved in this transaction was a pleasure to deal with,” Micallef notes.” I’d like to give special thanks to Sean Burke from Tour Tech East (the authorized dealer who handled the sale) and Colin Bernard, Lectrosonics’ Director of Canadian Operations, whose effort ensured our order arrived in time for the show—with everything working perfectly.”
Reflecting on the impact the new Lectrosonics equipment had on Peter Pan the Musical, Micallef offered this parting thought. “Lectrosonics’ Digital Hybrid Wireless technology has enabled me to create cleaner, more dynamic vocal sound,” he said. “With theatre being so inherently dynamic, our new wireless equipment has proven itself to be the right tool for the job and I’m especially appreciative of the peace of mind the transmitters’ machined aluminum housing provides me when putting a unit on a dancer or someone about to fly off to Neverland. We are very pleased with our Lectrosonics gear.”
For additional information about the Neptune Theatre, visit the Company online at www.neptunetheatre.com.
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.