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Reynolds Auditorium Upgrades Wireless Microphone Capabilities With Sennheiser Digital 6000

Pairs of pair SKM 6000 handheld and SK 6000 bodypack transmitters meet a range of live performance needs at Winston-Salem venue.

By PSW Staff April 9, 2018

Reynolds Auditorium manager Liz May backstage with the new Sennheiser Digital 6000 wireless systems.

Located on the campus of a local high school in Winston-Salem, NC, Reynolds Auditorium plays host to touring acts such as the Moscow Ballet and Sweet Honey in the Rock as well as community-centered productions, and it has recently upgraded its in-house wireless microphone system capabilities with Sennheiser Digital 6000.

The decision to upgrade the Reynolds Auditorium’s old wireless equipment came as a significant part of its wireless system had been recently rendered out of FCC compliance, venue manager Liz May explains. “Twelve of our existing 23 channels were no longer operable after the latest FCC frequency band auctions,” she says. “It was pretty significant.”

May conducted an evaluation of products from several manufacturers, including the Digital 6000, utilizing the local a cappella group as the sound source. She chose to purchase two channels of Digital 6000 and an additional four channels of G3 wireless to provide a solid foundation.

“We don’t do many productions where we necessarily need 24 channels of the highest-quality mics, but we do quite a few productions where I need a couple of high-quality channels for soloists or the like, and that’s where the Digital 6000 comes in,” she notes. “We have a competitive a cappella program here and we do three a cappella competitions throughout the year, so one of the nice things is putting the Digital 6000 mics on the soloists to pull them out of the mix even with 20 other voices on stage.”

The Digital 6000 also helped mitigate the effects of some of the less flattering acoustic characteristics of the century-old hall, May adds. “Compared to other mics we’ve owned, the Digital 6000 has amazing clarity on the top end that works really well in our space. Our facility was built in the 1920s, so it’s got old architecture with big halls and a lot of muddy sound characteristics. The Digital 6000 cuts through really well given the situation. The fact that it’s digital seems to allow it to retain that extra clarity that might otherwise be lost in transmission.”

The Digital 6000 platform has also simplified frequency coordination. “One nice thing about the 6000 is that it is very spectrally efficient,” she says. “Because we have so many wireless mics going at once, we’re getting pretty crunched for frequency space, so the Digital 6000 gives us some extra wiggle room.”

The venue’s Dante infrastructure also plays a role: “I use up 12 inputs on my stage box by default for my other mics, so with the Dante outputs I can just patch the Digital 6000’s channels wherever I want and keep those other inputs open.”

Specifically May acquired a pair each of SKM 6000 handheld and SK 6000 bodypack transmitters, and she states that the SKM 6000 transmitters, paired with Sennheiser MD 9235 capsules, have helped key vocals stand out while mitigating feedback. Meanwhile, the SK 6000 bodypacks, paired with Sennheiser MKE 2 lapel mics, bring versatility to theatrical productions.

“We’re constantly trying to make sure we have equipment and technology that meets the requirements of touring groups and big musical acts,” May concludes. “Having gear like the Digital 6000 in house opens doors for us.” Pleased with their purchase, May intends to acquire two more channels of Digital 6000 wireless as soon as possible. “It’s such a flexible platform,” she said. “It’s nice to know that we can even get another capsule set to increase our options down the road. The Digital 6000 is doing great things for us.”


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