RF Venue essential to traveling community theater’s wireless mic solution

To address inconsistent wireless microphone availability and performance at its various venues, central Indiana mainstay community theater group Carmel Community Players (CCP) recently reached out to Muncie, Indiana-based Sight and Sound Productions, Inc. for a solution. Audio-Technica 3000 Series wireless microphones were chosen for the task and flawless wireless performance at every performance is ensured by a support infrastructure from RF Venue, the leading global provider of wireless audio essentials including best-in-class antennas and RF signal distribution systems.

Established in 1993, the all-volunteer, not-for-profit CCP has staged more than 100 plays and musicals, and more than 30 cabarets and fundraising events, across its history. The performances have been presented in a variety of venues, from schools to churches to out-of-doors, with current play production most often in one of a pair of area theaters. Relying on house audio systems at its various venues resulted in frustrations for CCP. On the recommendation of one audio-savvy community member, CCP reached out to Sight and Sound Productions for a permanent, reliable, state-of-the-art microphone solution that could be transported from one venue to the next and provide 16 wireless headworn microphone systems for use in various locations in the metropolitan Indianapolis RF environment, with ease of configuration and operation by CCP volunteers.

The CCP system centers on 16 Audio-Technica 3000 Series wireless microphone systems, each including a body-pack transmitter and omnidirectional condenser headworn microphones. Guaranteeing consistent system results are RF Venue’s Diversity Fin Antenna and four companion DISTRO4 antenna distribution systems, plus a custom Horizon I/O panel specified by Sight and Sound.

“They wanted to move towards a good, reliable system that would take their show to the next level,” says Jason Struble, Sight and Sound president. Except for the external antenna, the CCP system is housed entirely within a rolling rack, with a custom I/O panel to connect to the rack’s internal wiring. “They never have to pull the back of the rack off. Everything is accessible from the front,” Struble elaborates. Two BNC jacks are mounted in the panel for antenna A/B input to the DISTRO4s, which, on the advice of RF Venue support specialists, are wired “hub and spoke” so every receiver is fed buffered RF signals. The 16 audio outputs from the Audio-Technica 3000 Series receivers are extended to XLR jacks on the panel. Also on the panel, a Neutrik powerCON connector is used for AC input and an RJ45 jack is provided to allow receiver networking if desired in the future.

Sight and Sound Productions’ experience with the reliability and performance of Audio-Technica 3000 Series wireless microphones made the gear an easy choice for the Carmel Community Players project, says Struble. The choice of RF Venue essentials for the system was also easy. “Since our Audio-Technica Rep introduced us to RF Venue products a little over two years ago,” Struble elaborates, “it’s our first choice in antennas and distros. We use them in our rental department as well as for systems we build for customers. It is professional-grade gear. We have never had a failure or quality concern.”

The RF Venue Diversity Fin Antenna was selected for the system for a few reasons. “For one,” says Struble, “it works great! So, that’s the main reason, but it’s also nice that it’s just one unit to set up instead of the typical two-paddle system.” The patented technology of the Diversity Fin Antenna incorporates, in a single package, a vertical LDPA “paddle” element for reception of vertically polarized signals and a dipole antenna in an orthogonal (right angle) orientation for horizontally polarized signals. The two antenna elements work together to deliver dropout-free performance regardless of how a wireless microphone transmitter is being held or worn. Use of a single external antenna also provides the benefit of improved line-of-sight to wireless microphones and belt-pack transmitters, along with improved signal strength while eliminating the intermodulation and interference issues that result from the interactions between small receiver-mounted whip antennas when multiple receivers are mounted close together.

To get the Diversity Fin signal to the receiver inputs, the RF Venue DISTRO4 has dual inputs that connect to the two outputs of the Diversity Fin Antenna for distribution to up to five wireless microphone receivers, along with regulated 12 VDC power (eliminating wall wart supplies inside the rack). Four DISTRO4s can be cascaded to feed up to 25 receiver channels.

Struble pronounces RF Venue as “excellent” to work with in system configuration and after-sales support. “We had some questions on the CCP project, and our rep got us in direct contact with a specialist at RF Venue, who was a wealth of knowledge and was super helpful.”

The approach taken by Sight and Sound Productions for the Carmel Community Players project was so successful that it has inspired another portable Audio-Technica 3000 Series and RF Venue essentials package for a high school client.

Info: rfvenue.com

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