When the producers of the “Thriller Live” musical arrived at the Lyric Theatre in London, they found themselves faced with the difficult challenge of isolating a wireless radio frequency within the heart of London’s theatre district. The company turned to Shure and the Joint Frequency Management Group (JFMG) to provide the solution.
“The issue we have in such a densely populated area is isolating RF channels that are not already in use,” explained Chris Whybrow, the production’s Sound Designer. “We basically needed to make sure we weren’t stepping on anyone’s toes.”
The iconic venue is located in London’s West End, surrounded by numerous theatre, musical, and comedy productions. The crowded nature of the area made isolating RF for on-stage instruments and vocal artists very difficult.
Following a full assessment of his requirements, Whybrow selected a range of UHF-R Wireless Microphone Systems supplied by Shure Distribution UK.
“When we discussed our requirements and the frequency isolation issue with Shure, they were confident they could help,” commented Whybrow. “They have experience working with limited frequency environments and were very helpful in ensuring that the right kit for the job was chosen.”
Whybrow also contacted JFMG regarding frequency usage and to obtain the required license for operation of the equipment.
The installation used several Shure UHF-R systems on the Q5 frequency band, which enabled easy set up of this multi-channel system in a busy RF environment. The performers reproducing the King of Pop’s greatest hits are provided with one of seven UR2/KSM9 microphones, finished in both black and champagne.
The KSM9’s dual-diaphragm design perfectly reproduces vocal performances in the live environment and, coupled with the UR2 transmitter, provide a rugged and lightweight solution with improved RF transmission reliability.
“The combination of the Q5 frequency band and Shure’s wireless technology has given us a very strong RF frequency,” said Whybrow. “We don’t get any interference from other microphones or shows.”
Successful RF transmission was achieved through a combination of UR4D dual wireless receivers and UR1 wireless bodypacks. The compact UR1 bodypacks provide transmission from the stage while still allowing a full range of movement by the performers.
Transmissions are fed to six UR4D dual wireless receivers, each capable of selecting 2,400 frequencies and storing six 60 channel custom frequency groups.
“We were able to successfully use the Q5 frequency band for the show, and in all we have 16 channels running for the production,” added Whybrow. “We’re also using two UA870WB antennas to enhance wireless reception in the theatre area and two UA845 antenna distributors to amplify the RF signals and properly split them to our six UR4D receivers.”
The Shure wireless systems will remain a permanent installation for the production’s entire extended run in London and will also be used with the European version of the production, which is currently touring the continent.