A host of Sennheiser systems were selected for a three week-long run of Les Misérables at Dubai Opera recently.
It was decided that the production would tour with an extensive array of Sennheiser microphones, headsets, transmitters, and antennas instead of using the incumbent audio solution at the venue.
Shelly Lee, associate sound designer for Les Misérables, said: “Musicals of this calibre would tour with the majority of the equipment required for the show. This includes the Sennheiser radio mics which have for many years been an industry standard in musical theatre across the world. They are chosen by sound designers internationally due to their high quality, consistency and reliability both sonically and technically. We travel with our own sound system including a large quantity of Sennheiser radio mics as our set up time is very tight and we need to be able to plug-in and go.”
Performers were equipped with compact SK 5212-II bodypack transmitters designed to be comfortable to wear and inconspicuous, so as not to undermine the meticulous detail paid to costume design. These were linked to 20 Sennheiser EM 3732-II series receivers. A wide range of Sennheiser transmitters, receivers, antenna distribution systems and headsets were used for percussion, communications and other background operations vital to the show.
In addition to high audio quality, ease of installation was a key criterion for System Sound. As a long standing Sennheiser customer, the company has utilised the manufacturer's systems in performances around the world. “Our Les Mis sound team, which includes a production engineer, head operator and radio mic technicians, is very experienced and has used Sennheiser equipment for many years," Lee added. "Back at System Sound in Australia, which supplied all the sound equipment for Les Misérables, we have an RF service technician who services and maintains all our RF equipment so it is always in good working order."
One of the key concerns for any production involving such extensive use of wireless microphones is RF interference and intermodulation. To overcome this, System Sound used Sennheiser’s Wireless Systems Manager (WSM) software to remotely monitor the radio microphones, update labelling, and reprogram the receivers as needed. During each performance, the team had a dedicated radio microphone technician monitoring the RF and audio quality of each microphone.