Oak Bluffs, MA (January 22, 2010)–School music teacher Brian Weiland, of Oak Bluffs, MA, has spent more than 12 years in a quest for clear sound reinforcement for his young actors, and says he found his answer with a Bartlett floor microphone.
Weiland stages two junior-high musical theater productions per year, plus numerous choral concerts involving students whose ages range from 5-13, and groups of singers whose numbers range from four to 100 or more.
“Unfortunately,” he says, “our performance space is of the dreaded ‘cafetorium’ variety, where the stage faces the school’s cafeteria. For shows, we simply take out the lunch tables and set up rows of chairs. The acoustics in this room are horrible. The space is huge–large enough to fit 400 chairs, with a ceiling 30 feet high, and the walls are constructed entirely of concrete cinder blocks with a linoleum floor. Can you imagine the overwhelming reverb of this room?
“Also, our stage is quite large–about 40 feet wide. As you can imagine, my students’ young voices get lost and overwhelmed in this space. Just trying to get their voices loud enough for their parents to hear them during performances has been the single greatest challenge of my job.”
So, after years of frustration, Weiland decided to try the Bartlett floor mics–three TM-125Cs. “They picked up my downstage voices, certainly,” he reports, “but they also surprised me by cleanly and clearly picking up voices that were fully upstage as well, and I’ve got a big stage! Feedback was not an issue; they were perfectly balanced and matched with each other. They did not pick up excessive foot noise, and neither did they pick up excessive noise from the audience or from the musicians who were set up in front of the stage. What they did was pick up all of my actors’ voices, from the smallest to the largest, pretty much anywhere on the stage.”
Weiland adds, “These are obviously meticulously made mics, which look as strong as tanks. I particularly liked that the TM-125C had a permanently attached cable, rather than the comparatively more fragile mini-XLR, which I was pretty sure would at some point be stepped on and broken by a student.”