Ellen’s Stardust Diner is known for its Broadway-themed decor, retro 1950’s decor and singing waitstaff. Located just footsteps away from the stages of The Great White Way, tourists from around the world come to experience the Diner’s Broadway-bound singers first-hand.
Recently, the diner stepped up its audio quality, opting for Sennheiser‘s XS wireless system.
With hundreds of patrons partaking in the Diner’s menu fare and singing talent each day, Ellen’s Stardust needed a reliable wireless system that could deliver clean audio — while handling the notoriously busy and hostile RF environment of Times Square.
An important requirement was that the system needed to be ‘always on’ — with no buzzing, interference or drop outs: ”Our very talented staff is trained to multitask, and they continuously sing while waiting tables,” explains Ken Sturm, co-owner of Ellen’s. “Before we went with Sennheiser, our wireless microphones would sometimes pick up radio interference, and it was definitely a hindrance to the performances. Now, our waitstaff is able to seamlessly sing, serve food and drinks — without ever having to worry about quality.”
The XSW 35 vocal set was the perfect complement to the Broadway-aspiring waitstaff, since it afforded the ‘all in one’ package that was also ‘plug and play.’ Its e 835 dynamic cardioid microphone capsule, which is used by touring musical artists around the world, is able to cut through the mix and offer feedback rejection. Further, each handheld transmitter can handle up to ten hours of operation, and features an intuitive mute button, which is clearly illuminated.
With 24MHz of bandwidth and 8 frequency banks, the XS wireless also has scan and sync features. “The singers have a very dynamic style of performing, and need the flexibility of moving throughout the restaurant,” comments David Missall, manager, customer development & application engineering, Sennheiser. “The XS Wireless System offered the perfect balance of sonic performance and operational flexibility, allowing the waitstaff to focus on singing and serving food rather than worrying about the technology. This frees them up to focus on their singing performance, which really adds magic to the whole experience.”
Six channels of XS wireless were set up in ‘grab and go’ fashion to accommodate the changing shifts of the waitstaff. Two antennas were installed in the ceiling to increase wireless range and help eliminate potential RF interference. The system covers the entire perimeter of the diner, and up to six different performers can sing at any given time.
Perhaps some of the waitstaff will ultimately find their way to the footlights of the Broadway stage, where they will likely encounter Sennheiser microphones and wireless technology once again. Until then, they can rely on the clear sound of the Sennheiser XS wireless system while singing and delivering a side of fries.