Narrowing Down on Zumanity

Sep 1, 2004 12:00 PM


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Opened at the New York-New York Hotel & Casino's 1,259-seat Zumanity Theatre with sound design created by Jonathan Deans, Cirque du Soleil's Zumanity found RF problems when using Shure's PSM 700 wireless in-ear system or one of Shure's hardwired PSM 600 units. According to Pascal Van Strydonck, veteran Cirque audio orchestrator, “We're using 16 channels of wireless, both handheld and bodypacks, plus another 16 intercom drops. I've never had trouble with any of these systems; they're rock-solid. But for whatever reason, this time, my number was up. I don't know if it was the intercom talking to the Shure PSMs or the Shure PSMs eavesdropping on the intercom, but we had [interference] problems.”

Van Strydonck brought in Shure's 8-input PA821 active antenna combiner, which decreased the number of antennas needed for his PSM 700 operation and significantly improved RF performance. With eight mixes fed into the PA821 (the remaining four weren't experiencing any difficulties), only two antennas were needed and a third was kept as backup. “With the PA821, I was able to narrow down and refine my transmitting frequencies via the unit's filtering, which essentially eliminated everything that isn't part of a primary frequency. I've been doing wireless for 15 years and have never seen anything like this.”

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