Through wind and rain, stage fights, environmental acoustics and more, Point Source Audio mics have weathered all the challenges in The Lost Colony, the outdoor theatre production located on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The audio team, confident in their PSA investment since 2013, recently added the new patent-pending CO2 Confidence Collection dual-element headset mic to their collection of 24 active on set mics.
“We were excited to see a product that made the application of the dual elements simpler by combining those wire runs and keeping things as tidy as possible. That mic has been a great benefit to the production,” says sound designer/composer Michael Rasbury. “The [lead] character is most likely to have a mic issue due to the activity required by this role; stage combat; perspiration.”
Since 1937, The Lost Colony has been telling the story of the first English colonies in North America and their mysterious disappearance. Over the past few years, the audio systems have been overhauled, upgraded and redesigned, including the ever-important microphones.
Robust equipment to withstand elements including water—in the form of rain and perspiration— as well as wind and heat is invaluable for theatre, but especially for outdoor theatre.
The associate producer Lance Culpepper explains: “To provide our audience the experience that they’re expecting, we really have to put a lot of our resources into ensuring that the audio equipment can sustain itself through all of these dynamic changes. That’s one of the reasons why microphones are so important to us. Prior to the Point Source mics, we saw a much shorter lifespan with the previous microphones and we had to send them out for servicing more frequently. We don’t see those problems with the Point Source mics.”
“I am beyond pleased with the addition of Point Source microphones to our production,” states A1 Joseph Reynolds. “The waterproof elements are paramount to an outdoor period drama, where the perspiration of the talent could compromise mic functionality. I especially enjoy the dual behind the ear headsets. It helps to have consistent placement and keeps the mic off the talent’s face.”
Placement is an important consideration as noted by Rasbury. “From a design perspective, the low profile of these microphones is key for getting the mic near the voice without detracting from the 16th-century costume design. Our show is also very physical in nature. We have a large company and large-scale fight choreography. Given the way these mics attach to both ears, they stay on the actor and in the correct place throughout the show.”
The other feature of the PSA mics that the team wants to highlight is that “the frequency response of these elements is excellent (20Hz to 20kHz),” says Rasbury. “Our show also includes gunshots, explosions, and loud actor responses; these do not distort at high SPL.” Reynolds adds, “The frequency response is tailored nicely to the full range of human speech and I don’t have to slice up every channel with a parametric scalpel.”
The CO2 Confidence Collection has two waterproof and frequency-matched elements, each measuring a tiny 3mm. Both elements offer built-in redundancy and integrate PSA’s first-to-market features including IP 57 waterproof rating and the “unbreakable” headset boom. Point Source Audio mics are engineered for durability and to endure challenging mic applications.
Culpepper appreciates the support from Point Source Audio. “They’ve been great to work with,” he says. “The communication has been excellent as well as customer service-wise. Knowing that we’re not just another account number with them means a lot to our organization.”
The audio team at The Lost Colony includes sound designer Michael Rasbury, A1 Joe Reynolds, and A2 Josiah Rodgers. Microphones supplied by Wake Forest, NC-based Provision Audio Video Solutions.