When the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts opened in Franklin, North Carolina, its 1,500-seat theater brought state-of-the-art live-event capability to the region.
Performances since then have included musical productions, professional drama troupes, dance and choral festivals, recitals, and performances from varied musical genres including country, bluegrass, gospel, pop, contemporary Christian and more.
What it also offers all of these wide-ranging productions is an array of wireless microphones and systems from Audio-Technica, a leading innovator in transducer technology for over 50 years.
The Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts’ microphone complement includes A-T’s Artist Elite 5000 Series Frequency-Agile True Diversity UHF wireless system with 36 AEW-R5200 wireless receivers and AEW-T1000 beltpack transmitters, a dozen wireless handheld microphones (five AEW-T3300 cardioid condenser handheld transmitters, four AEW-T5400 cardioid condenser handheld transmitters and three AEW-T6100 hypercardioid dynamic handheld transmitters), 40 BP896 MicroPoint Subminiature omnidirectional condenser lavalier microphones, and an AEW-DA550C UHF Antenna Distribution system.
All of these have helped create the world-class sound that has made the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts a true destination for a variety of performing artists.
“These microphones have made my life so much easier, and the performers who’ve worked here have been very happy,” says Adam Drake, Chief Audio Engineer at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts. “Their flexibility is amazing – we’ve used the handheld microphones on everything from music to international folk dancing troupes, and they’ve responded fantastically to the sound.
“We’ve even used the AEW-T6100 on drums on our Folk Music Night, which is not necessarily what they’re intended to be used for, and the results were incredible. I like the BP896 lavalier microphones better than any lapel microphone because it lets you position it for better pick-up and intelligibility.
“And the performance of all of the A-T mics is excellent – I had a 23-act talent show in here using a lot of microphones, and I didn’t have to turn up the gain at the console on any of them.
“The wireless systems work anywhere – I’ve had performers go into the balcony for some shows and there was never a single dropout, even with a wall in between the microphone and the receiver. And the transmitters’ performance is great; for instance, battery life – we had them on for over five hours a day at a time. So many performers have used the A-Ts, and everyone just loves them. And so do I.”