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Tube UK invests in Sennheiser D6000 for ambitious theatre project

Tube UK has invested in a Sennheiser radio mic system for an ambitious theatre production which debuted at Manchester International Festival in June.

The equipment hire company delivered sound via a Sennheiser D6000 system for What If Women Ruled The World?, a live ‘performance experiment’ by Israeli artist Yael Bartana at the derelict Mayfield depot, a former railway station in the city.

As each performance was multi-track recorded each night – with the potential of it featuring in a future film project – Tube UK’s owner Melvyn Coote decided the time was right to purchase the technology from Sennheiser.

He said: “It was absolutely crucial [to buy the Sennheiser radio system]. The sound needed to be crystal clear, totally realistic, but also have warmth and fullness in what is a highly-resonant environment. The conversations, debates and statements that provided the drama, comedy and intensity of the situation had to be heard.”

With a post-apocalyptic war room setting in the vast Mayfield depot, a professional cast was joined by a group of female experts – including scientists, activists, politicians, thinkers – to confront and solve a global nuclear emergency against the clock.

The system was used with DPA4061 mic heads, which were attached to the 10 performers. As the set-up evolved, during discussions with sound designer Daniel Meir, Coote ordered 12 beltpack transmitters and 6 x D6000 dual receivers complete with infrastructure, which he described as “revolutionary” technology.

The D6000 also runs on rechargeable batteries, something that Coote reckons will be both cost-efficient and environmentally friendly. The hire company currently uses approximately 15,000 standard batteries per year.

Meir mixed the soundscape and effects, while Tube’s Martin Wallace took care of the mic mixing and integrating the two sonic elements – vocals and surround sound effects – using a Yamaha CL5 mixing console. This was running over Dante and fully integrated with the Sennheiser D6000 system. The loudspeakers and amplifiers were all D&B, running AES digital links straight to the amps to keep the signal digital.

Meir said: “They are a great team of people – very knowledgeable and the system has been excellent to work with. It’s delivered everything we needed.”

Coote added: “I am extremely pleased with the Sennheiser system. The success and acclaim garnered by the production has definitely underlined that it was the right decision”.