San Francisco, CA (June 16, 2014)—The San Francisco Symphony recently recorded its production of West Side Story
for release on SACD and digital download using Lectrosonics Digital Hybrid Wireless technology.
Jack Vad, producer/engineer for the San Francisco Symphony, and Denise Woodward, head audio engineer at San Francisco’s Shorenstein-Hays Nederlander’s Curran Theater, utilized numerous Lectrosonics products for the project. The equipment complement included 18 SMV, two SMQV and 16 UM400a transmitters along with six Venue receiver mainframes stocked with Lectrosonics’ VRT receiver modules.
West Side Story was recorded at Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall, home of the San Francisco Symphony, in late May and early June of 2013. “Since we had to capture everything from the live, semi-staged performance, the main challenge was trying to get a studio-type sound from the moving, acting vocalists,” says Vad. “Although there are many fine wireless systems that are adequate for live sound use, most are not acceptable for high-resolution audio reproduction. The Lectrosonics equipment provided us an audio chain that was both high quality and suitable for our SACD release.”
There was concern about RF interference, though it proved not to be an issue, as Woodward explained. “Our recording/live performance was scheduled during San Francisco’s Gay Pride celebration, a huge event with, according to some estimates, over a million attendees and extensive media coverage. The main stage for this event was at San Francisco’s City Hall—right across the street from Davies Symphony Hall. We constantly monitored the challenging and ever-changing RF environment, and were pleased with the RF agility of the Lectrosonics equipment. We experienced solid, drop-out free performance.”
“We used DPA 4088 cardioid electret condenser mics with the Lectrosonics equipment and, together, they made a great choice for capturing the vocal performers,” says Vad. “With Lectrosonics’ Digital Hybrid Wireless design, we were able to achieve a greater, cleaner vocal dynamic range than traditional wireless options.”