Client: Carmel Community Players
Project: Provide a mobile community theater group with a reliable wireless microphone system to carry from venue to venue.
Project participants: Audio-Technica, Sight and Sound Productions, Online Manufacturers Representatives, Carmel Community Players
Solution: Audio-Technica 3000 Series Frequency-agile, True Diversity UHF Wireless Microphone System
Photo Credits: indyghostlight.com
A Community Theater Group in Central Indiana
Carmel Community Players (CCP) has been a Central Indiana mainstay community theatre since its establishment in 1993. The all-volunteer, not-for-profit group has staged more than 100 plays and musicals, and more than 30 cabarets and fundraising events, across its history. The performances have been presented in a variety of venues, from schools to churches to out-of-doors, with current play production most often in one of a pair of area theaters.
To address inconsistent microphone availability and performance at its venues, CCP reached out to Muncie, Indiana-based Sight and Sound Productions, Inc. for a solution.
Carmel Community Players
Provide a portable, 16-channel wireless microphone solution that would deliver reliable performance, high-fidelity audio and ease of operation for volunteer staff.
Relying on house audio systems at its various venues, CCP faced inconsistent performance and availability of microphone systems for its performances. On the recommendation of one audio-savvy community member, CCP reached out to Sight and Sound Productions for a permanent, reliable, state-of-the-art microphone solution – a solution that could be transported from one venue to the next and provide 16 wireless headworn microphone systems.
Audio-Technica 3000 Series Wireless Systems
The CCP system centers on 16 Audio-Technica ATW-3211/892X wireless microphone systems, each including an ATW-R3210 receiver, an ATW-T3201 body-pack transmitter and BP892xcH and -TH MicroSet™ omnidirectional condenser headworn microphones.
Additional system gear from RF Venue includes a Diversity Fin Antenna and four companion DISTRO4 antenna combiners plus a custom Horizon I/O panel specified by Sight and Sound.
The Carmel Players Mobile Wireless Rack
“They wanted to move towards a good, reliable system that would take their show to the next level,” says Jason Struble, Sight and Sound president. Except for the external antenna, the CCP system is housed entirely within a rolling rack, with a custom I/O panel to connect to the rack’s internal wiring. “They never have to pull the back of the rack off. Everything is accessible from the front,” Struble elaborates. Two BNC jacks are mounted in the panel for antenna A/B input to the DISTRO4s which are wired “hub and spoke” so every receiver is fed buffered RF signals. The 16 audio outputs from the ATW-R3210 receivers are extended to XLR jacks on the panel. Also on the panel, a powerCON connector is used for AC input and an RJ45 jack is provided to allow receiver networking if desired in the future.
Wireless microphone systems with headworn mics and bodypack transmitters
To consistently provide 16 channels of wireless microphones in various locations in the Indianapolis metropolitan RF environment, with ease of configuration and operation by volunteers, Sight and Sound Production’s experience with the reliability and performance of Audio-Technica 3000 Series wireless microphones made the gear an easy choice for the Carmel Community Players project.
The fourth-generation 3000 Series wireless systems provide the power and flexibility to operate within today’s congested and diminished UHF spectrum. 3000 Series systems have an operating range of 300' (100 m) and provide a class-leading 60 MHz tuning range across two available frequency bands – DE2 (470–530 MHz) and EE1 (530–590 MHz).
RF spectrum can be easily scanned and available frequencies selected on the receiver and then synced with the transmitter via IR sync functionality. A backup frequency can also be assigned for a quick swap, triggered from the transmitter in the event of unexpected interference.
“We did a frequency scan when we set the system up in the shop to test everything,” says Jacob Struble, who was CCPs main contact at Sight and Sound and oversaw the project. “We dropped it off at a board member's house and showed them how to use it,” he recalls, and he gave a refresher when he was on site for the first show with the system. In the months since, there have been zero calls for RF setup support.
The ATW-T3201 body-pack transmitter is equipped with Audio-Technica’s new rugged cH-style screw-down 4-pin connector for secure microphone and cable connections. The ultra-lightweight headworn microphones in the Series, available in either cardiod or omnidirectional pickup patterns, hook securely behind either ear and can be worn for hours without fatigue. For maximum stability and comfort, the included dual-ear adapter kit converts the MicroSet microphones to a dual-ear-worn units.
When Sight and Sound were delivering the system, the CCP realized they had neglected to specify a combination of mics in the standard black and the theater beige “TH” option. “We worked with Audio-Technica to get that changed over,” says Jason Struble. “A-T was very helpful in making that after-the-fact change.”
With the inclusion of the RJ45 jack on the CCP system’s I/O panel, the system is ready for networking in the future. When ATW-R3210N network-enabled receivers are networked, Audio-Technica’s powerful and easy-to-use Wireless Manager software allows users to scan the RF environment, generate a coordinated frequency plan, and push frequencies to compatible receivers on the network. The software also allows remote configuration and control of A-T networked devices and can display key system parameters in real time.
Important features that influenced the technology choice for this project include:
– Audio quality
– Microphone comfort
– Ease of use
Reliable, predictable wireless microphone performance.
Regardless of where the Carmel Community Players locate for performances, solid, dropout-free wireless microphone performance and exceptional audio quality are delivered.
Microphones are no longer a concern for CCP actors
thanks to the BP892x Omnidirectional Miniature Headworn Microphones
The room’s new solution:
The Audio-Technica 3000 Series wireless solution implemented by Sight and Sound Productions for the Carmel Community Players theater group delivers not only solid wireless performance, impeccable sound fidelity and ease of use, but also peace of mind. As the CCP moves between venues, they no longer must worry about microphone availability, reliability or performance.
Sight and Sound has integrated Audio-Technica products for more than 25-years and counts on A-T for their consistent reliability, performance, and availability.
The approach taken by Sight and Sound Productions for the Carmel Community Players project was so successful, that it’s inspired another portable Audio-Technica Series 3000 wireless microphone system for a high school client.