New York, NY – September 2009 … Part of the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), the BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center is Downtown Manhattan's premier presenter of the arts, reaching audiences from the college community, downtown residential and business communities, schools, families, and audiences of all ages. BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center (PAC) strives to present a broad global perspective through the presentation of high quality artistic work. Concerned about changes in the FCC's (Federal Communications Commission) regulatory policies related to the DTV transition and the sell-off of the 700 MHz band, the decision was recently made to implement a new state-of-the-art wireless system. This ultimately led to the purchase of a MIPRO digital wireless setup—distributed throughout the United States by Kansas City, MO-based Avlex Corporation.
Mark Goodloe, Technical Director for the BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center, was assisted by Patrick Weaver, the center's Master Sound Engineer, in replacing the wireless system. They, along with the rest of the technical staff, oversee the day to day operations of the college's two theaters, which includes the 913-seat Theatre One and the 260-seat Theatre Two. Goodloe discussed the wireless challenges they faced that led to the purchase of the new MIPRO wireless equipment.
“With our previous system,” said Goodloe, “we were using a large number of AA batteries that were only lasting about 4 hours—if that. We also experienced excessive dropouts due to the lack of proper antennas and the fact that the gear itself was just plain outdated. We routinely encountered very bad distortion with the microphone capsules and we only had a portable 8-pack of receivers to split between our two theatres, and this simply wasn't adequate for the number of events taking place. The biggest challenge, however, was the up in the air question of whether the equipment was still viable because of the change with wireless frequencies above 700 MHz.”
Goodloe and Weaver ultimately selected two 8-channel MIPRO wireless setups featuring MIPRO's highly acclaimed ACT (Automatic Channel Targeting) technology, solid RF performance, and 128-bit digital encryption for secure transmission. On the receiving end, the PAC's new equipment incorporates eight ACT-82 single rackspace dual channel diversity receivers and four ACT-90 UHF wideband dual directional antennas. Transmitters include sixteen ACT-8H digital handheld microphone transmitters, and sixteen ACT-8T digital bodypack transmitters. Sixteen Avlex HS-09 headset microphones and sixteen MIPRO MU-55L lavaliere microphones were purchased for use with the bodypack transmitters. MIPRO's DVU control software for PC's is used to make changes to system configurations. Each of the PAC's two theaters are now equipped with an 8-channel system.
After installing the equipment in August, the new MIPRO gear was first placed into service in September for Jack Kleinsinger's “Highlights in Jazz,” New York's longest-running jazz series. This program featured pianist/vocalist Barbara Carroll and vocalist Paula West. The MIPRO digital wireless system makes an excellent choice for musical programs as the system features very clean, natural sound—without the companding noise common in lesser wireless equipment.
When asked about the MIPRO features he appreciates most, Patrick Weaver offered the following thoughts. “The rechargeable lithium battery cartridge has been a big plus for us,” notes Weaver, “as well as the overall frequency coverage of the new system. The LED readouts on both the transmitters and receivers are extremely useful, as they show battery life, AF level, and the frequency. This information is very useful. I've also been very impressed with MIPRO's Automatic Channel Targeting technology. In crowded RF environments—and New York certainly qualifies—this feature makes identifying available frequencies and locking them down very quick and easy.”
With the new equipment fully operational and some experience with the new gear under their belts, Goodloe and Weaver are enthusiastic about the wireless prospects for forthcoming events at the BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center. “Already, the system has proven to be far superior to anything that we had before,” Goodloe remarked. “In addition to the new system's wireless capabilities, the Avlex and MIPRO microphones are delivering a warmer, rounder tone that further adds to the attributes of the overall sound. Our first show using a full 8-channel setup occurred mid September with a Polish play called Dinner for Fools. Everything worked exactly as we expected—with dropout-free performances, excellent sound quality, and plenty of gain. I believe our new MIPRO systems will deliver an exceptional experience for all the artists using our theaters.”
About Avlex Corporation
Avlex Corporation is a leading supplier of high quality, feature rich, and competitively priced professional audio products. The Avlex, Superlux, and MIPRO brands of microphones, wireless systems, electronics, and accessories are available through independent dealers and contractors nationwide. For additional information on Avlex Corporation, visit the company online at www.avlex.com.
Photo info: Image of Mark Goodloe (L) and Patrick Weaver (R) with the MIPRO wireless rack for BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center's Theatre One.