Sandpoint, ID – December 2013… For enthusiasts of hot rods, antique automobiles and music of the 50s and 60s, Lost in the 50s was the place to be this past May. Featuring everything automotive from a 1926 Ford Model T through the ever-popular ’57 Chevy and beyond, the 4-day auto and music extravaganza was a huge success. This year, sound reinforcement for the popular event took a considerable step forward by transmitting audio wirelessly from one loudspeaker tower to another—and central to this endeavor was the IS400 Digital Hybrid Wireless Instrument System from Rio Rancho, NM-based Lectrosonics.
Sagle, ID-based Over the Edge Productions Northwest was contracted to handle sound reinforcement for this year’s event. Owner Eddie Fontaine, an audio veteran whose background includes extensive work with a variety of touring acts, was determined to eliminate the cables that typically extend from one loudspeaker tower to another—improving audio quality while eliminating the safety hazard of cables running throughout the streets of downtown Sandpoint. He found the solution with Lectrosonics wireless technology.
“The longer the cable runs, the greater the chance of inducing noise and other anomalies into the audio chain,” Fontaine explained. “Before using the IS400, I used to stretch cables from tower to tower and speaker to speaker to run the system. By integrating the Lectrosonics IS400 system, we've eliminated all the cables and have made sound reinforcement 100% wireless throughout the downtown area. Before using the IS400 system, I tried several other manufacturers’ equipment, but the other systems would drop signal and introduce various forms of interference. Since using the Lectrosonics system for Lost in the 50s with tremendous success, I have taken on several additional projects using the same basic process—distributing audio to the various loudspeaker towers wirelessly with the help of the IS400.”
“The setting up of the IS400 system is very easy and straightforward,” Fontaine continued. “The SmartTune™ feature makes it very easy to identify and lock in available frequencies and the system’s range is excellent. The quality of the sound reinforcement system remains clear and natural thanks to Lectrosonics’ Digital Hybrid Wireless technology. For Lost in the 50s, the loudspeaker towers stretched across a good 6 – 8 block radius throughout downtown Sandpoint. That’s a lot of cable and, with it, comes the increased chance for a cable to get damaged or unplugged—and let’s not to forget the potential safety hazard.”
Fontaine discussed his Lectrosonics ownership experience. “I have owned the Lectrosonics IS400 gear for approximately three years,” he reports. “I rented the IS400 prior to purchasing my own equipment and was always very impressed with the system’s performance. The gear works really well.”
Fontaine was equally enthusiastic about Lectrosonics’ customer and technical support services. “One of the great things about Lectrosonics is the fact that the company’s customer service and technical support center is very helpful. I remember having questions about one of my handheld transmitters with IS400. I called them while on the job site and within 20 minutes they had me up and running. While the issue turned out to be operator error on my part, I was really impressed with how helpful and patient they were.”
In summarizing his Lectrosonics experience, Fontaine offered these closing thoughts, “With the aid of my Lectrosonics equipment, my business is poised for considerable growth. I’ve gone from working one or two big events to the point where I now have a dozen projects in the pipeline—and I’ll be using my Lectrosonics IS400 gear on every one."
To learn more about Lost in the 50s, visit the organization’s website at http://lostinthe50s.org. For additional information about the services of Over the Edge Productions Northwest, go to the company’s website at www.otepnw.com.
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 compa