Canada's Neptune Theatre Using New Wireless Mics

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As Atlantic Canada's largest professional theatre, the Neptune Theatre produces six shows a year running between September and July for its 500-seat proscenium main stage, the Fountain Hall. The renowned organization also produces world-class theatre in its Studio and operates a theatre school. Further, its Young Neptune Company Tour travels throughout Nova Scotia presenting shows that seek to present relevant issues from a youth-oriented perspective.

Joe Micallef is the Neptune Theatre’s sound coordinator. Now in his third season with the Company, Micallef is responsible for creating any required sound or video cues, designing and installing each show's sound system and, ultimately, mixing each show. After reviewing wireless systems from various manufacturers, Micallef recently decided to deploy Lectrosonics’ Digital Hybrid Wireless technology. On that note, the Company now owns a 24-channel system consisting of four Lectrosonics Venue Series Wideband receivers, with one mainframe stocked with six VRT receiver modules and the remaining three mainframes each outfitted with six VRS receiver modules. For transmitters, their new system consists of three Lectrosonics SMQV dual battery super-miniature transmitters, a single SMDa super-miniature transmitter, and eight LMa beltpack transmitters.

Purchased just in time for the end of the Neptune Theatre’s 2009/2010 season production of Peter Pan the Musical, Micallef discussed the versatility of the Lectrosonics equipment. “The Lectrosonics transmitters were placed on the principle characters while the chorus wore body pack transmitters from a competing manufacturer—with the Lectrosonics receivers operating in compatibility mode and, thus, giving us ‘backward compatibility’ with our previous wireless equipment. To ensure the utmost performance, we also used two Lectrosonics ALP500 LPDA antennas running through UFM230 boosters. The transmitters were in beltpacks under the costumes while the SM transmitters were placed on those performers whose costumes made concealment more challenging.”

When queried about those characteristics that made it a compelling choice for the Neptune Theatre, Micallef noted several key strengths of the Lectrosonics equipment, “Choosing Lectrosonics for the Neptune came down to three primary features: (1)the extremely rugged transmitter housing with its locking connector was ideal for withstanding the abuse of dance heavy musicals, (2) Lectrosonics’ Compatibility and Diversity Modes provide the flexibility I considered essential to give the theatre lots of options for future upgrades as well as the ability to address any challenges related to increases in radio interference, and (3) the unique clarity of sound afforded by Lectrosonics’ compandor-free free transmission path.”

In addition to his enthusiasm for Lectrosonics wireless technology, Micallef is equally fond of the manner in which the Neptune Theatre’s purchase was handled. “Everyone involved in this transaction was a pleasure to deal with,” Micallef notes.” I’d like to give special thanks to Sean Burke from Tour Tech East (the authorized dealer who handled the sale) and Colin Bernard, Lectrosonics’ Director of Canadian Operations, whose effort ensured our order arrived in time for the show—with everything working perfectly.”

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