Clearwing Productions chose Sennheiser's new evolution G3 wireless microphone systems to handle the tough RF requirements for the Greendale High School Theatre.
GREENDALE, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 2009: The theater department at Greendale High School, located in a suburb of Milwaukee, faced a problem common to most other schools: its wireless microphone system was shoddy and unreliable. But an affordable and professional-grade solution was at hand in the form of the new evolution wireless G3 series from Sennheiser - the company that has been innovating wireless audio technology for over fifty years.
Greendale now uses twenty channels of Sennheiser ew 512 G3 wireless body-packs and receivers with ten Sennheiser SKM 500-935 handheld transmitters in its 900-seat auditorium. In addition to the school's four annual productions, the Greendale Community Theatre uses the space for three productions a year. A host of music-related events, both from the school's music department and the community, fill the dates in between.
Before the evolution wireless G3 system was installed, it was nearly impossible to achieve clear sound. "They were having dropouts and interference from day one," said Sean Dolphin, pro shop manager and installer at Clearwing, the A/V firm that won the bid to replace the old system. "In addition," he continued, "some of the plastic mic parts were literally falling to pieces and frequency coordination often involved screwdrivers!"
Clearwing's Bryan Baumgardner went in to Greendale to demonstrate Sennheiser's new G3 series with the help of Eric Reese, Sennheiser's area sales manager for Wisconsin and Illinois. Students and members of the community theater showed up, including Pat Doran, auditorium manager for the school and technical director for the community theater. Baumgardner and Reese showed them that with the new affordable G3 series, they would get lightning fast frequency coordination. The auto-tune feature is speedy, and belt-packs can be synchronized to receivers using an infrared "zap" that, in addition to being fast, is foolproof and stress-proof. They were also impressed by the small size of the belt-packs and the robustness of the wireless signal.
"Their only question was, 'can we get these in place by next week?'" Dolphin laughed. "It was very fast turnaround. We won the bid, and Eric worked hard to get all twenty of the units to us in a few days time. Then I was over there installing it, tuning frequencies, and strapping belt-packs on kids for tech rehearsal. That's it, they had one tech rehearsal and then two weeks of 'Rent.'"
While the theatrical performances will primarily use the twenty Sennheiser ew 512 G3 wireless units with the included Sennheiser MKE 2 ew lavalier mics, other events will have access to the ten Sennheiser SKM 500-935 handheld wireless transmitter/microphones. "The auditorium is now set up to accommodate any type of performance with an impressive level of sophistication," Dolphin summarized. "And if they need to re-coordinate their frequencies, it will take them literally ten minutes!"
"Our community theater put on the regional premier of the full Broadway version of 'Rent' and the new wireless system helped make it so successful,"
Doran said. "The quality was great and now we have enough channels to give every performer his or her own belt-pack. And the Sennheiser G3 system is set up such that any high school student can handle frequency coordination."
Sennheiser is a world-leading manufacturer of microphones, headphones and wireless transmission systems. Established in 1945 in Wedemark, Germany, Sennheiser is now a global brand represented in 60 countries around the world with U.S. headquarters in Old Lyme, Connecticut. Sennheiser's pioneering excellence in technology has rewarded the company with numerous awards and accolades including an Emmy, a Grammy, and the Scientific and Engineering Award of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.