Sacramento, CA – September 2013… As a nonprofit organization, Best of Broadway is dedicated to bringing a live theatrical experience to the community of Greater Sacramento. Each year, the Best of Broadway troupe performs a musical and dance extravaganza to benefit charity. This year, they performed The Cotton Patch Gospel in support of Sacramento Family Promise. To help ensure the best possible audio quality, wireless technology from Rio Ranch, NM-based Lectrosonics was utilized.
Sacramento-based audio engineer Michael Strange serves as Sound Designer for Best of Broadway. Being responsible for the design and deployment of all aspects of the show’s sound reinforcement requirements, Strange not only encounters the usual challenges of gain, frequency adjustment, consistent sound coverage, etc., he also has the task of outfitting the actors with equipment and ensuring its proper use. To achieve the best possible wireless microphone performance for this year’s event (which ran during late April), he deployed a system consisting of four Lectrosonics LMa Digital Hybrid Wireless beltpack transmitters used in conjunction with a Venue mainframe outfitted with four VRS receiver modules.
“We experienced some equipment loss just prior to opening,” Strange reports, “so at the eleventh hour, I acquired the Lectrosonics gear to augment some existing equipment. I was very impressed with its ease of operation and its performance. The range on the Lectrosonics gear is amazing. The lesser brand I was using would drop out as the actor left the stage. By comparison, in one instance with the Lectrosonics system, the lead in the show left the stage wearing an LMa transmitter, went outside and around the building in order to later appear behind the audience. I was monitoring the RF levels via the VRpanel software and I was astounded by its robust performance. The actor and transmitter were well outside the line of sight of the receiving antennas. I was monitoring this transmitter through a brick wall over a distance of hundreds of feet and yet the signal hardly even dipped!”
“The Lectrosonics RF performance was so solid I didn't have to be finicky at all with antenna placement,” Strange continued. “This saved me a lot of time to deal with all the other challenges that one typically encounters during a show.”
Strange reports being equally impressed with the rugged build quality of the Lectrosonics equipment. “I've had many transmitters broken by exuberant actors and dancers over the years,” he said. “In this show, one of the actors was to sleep suddenly—falling to the ground. I'm quite certain that if he hadn’t been wearing the Lectrosonics transmitter, I would have been replacing that equipment on a regular basis. I used the Lectrosonics wireless systems with the company’s HM172 earset microphones and, together, the audio quality was exceptional.”
Quality customer and technical support is yet another issue important to someone in Strange’s position and, here too, he was very complimentary of Lectrosonics. “It’s very reassuring to know that, should I encounter any technical issues or have any questions, the good folks at Lectrosonics are there to back me up.”
With this year’s show now in the rear view mirror, Strange took a few moments to reflect on his first experience with Lectrosonics wireless microphone equipment. “At this point, I can't even imagine using anything other than Lectrosonics,” he enthused. “Lectrosonics has the best RF performance, transparent sound quality, and the equipment is durable to an extreme. I fully expect to build a complete Lectrosonics wireless system moving forward.”
Well respected within the film, broadcast, and theatre 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. Visit the company online at www.lectrosonics.com.
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Photo Information: The cast from Cotton Patch Gospel