The theatre department at Greendale High School, located in a suburb of Milwaukee, recently upgraded to new evolution G3 series wireless systems from Sennheiser, with the department now utilizing 20 channels of Sennheiser ew 512 G3 wireless bodypacks and receivers with 10 Sennheiser SKM 500-935 handheld transmitters for live productions 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.
With the previous wireless systems, “they were having dropouts and interference from day one,” said Sean Dolphin, pro shop manager and installer at Clearwing Productions, the A/V firm that supplied and installed the new systems. “In addition, 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 10 minutes.”