Project report

Udo Jürgens’ Musical Uses the TG 1000 Digital Wireless System from beyerdynamic

Heilbronn, June 2013:Since last November, Zurich’s “Theater 11” has been running the musical “Ich war noch niemals in New York” (I’ve never been to New York). The new TG 1000 wireless microphone from beyerdynamic, the audio specialists from Heilbronn, Germany, plays a key role in this Stage Entertainment production in Zurich.

In terms of acoustics, “Theater 11” is a typical musical theatre. In other words: Instead of “built-in” acoustics, the design focuses on suppressing the hall’s own acoustics to allow flexible use of the sound system. The advantage of this design is that it provides a wealth of possibilities for different styles and sophisticated sounds to achieve the desired dramatic and aesthetic effects. This Zurich production, for example, features a complex directional sound concept. However, this concept requires all acoustic details to be produced by the sound system. This means there are many possibilities, but they can only be implemented if proper source material is available and the sound system is able to reproduce all the details of this material according to the sound engineer’s plans.

As a result, the wireless microphone system is particularly important, because this acoustic source already determines the maximum sound quality that the production can achieve. Simple acoustic transmission of the actors’ voices is not the main focus of a musical production with a speaker-oriented sound design, the quality of the wireless microphone system is essential for providing the audience with maximum sound quality and clearly audible acoustic details.

Sound quality is not everything: The system also has to work reliably and consistently. Felix Hohl, a sound engineer at Audiopool, the Basel-based company, who is responsible for the sound design, sums up the requirements: “Sound quality, reliable reception, sturdiness, and battery life. Of course, sound quality is the most important; it absolutely has to be perfect. Reliable reception is almost as important – What good is the best sound quality if there are dropouts and interference? It’s also important to have sturdy equipment; the beltpack transmitters have to be particularly durable because they are often integrated into costumes or masks, which expose them to the impacts of sweat. Last but not least, the battery life is also an important issue – a beltpack transmitter has to work reliably during the entire performance with a sufficient power buffer.”

beyerdynamic’s new TG 1000 wireless microphone system has state-of-the-art technology to meet all these requirements: Digital transmission eliminates the need for the compander systems of earlier analogue FM wireless systems. For that reason, it does not suffer from the typical sonic artefacts that can occur in transient signals, but rather replaces this sometimes poor audio quality with consistent digital transmission featuring 24-bit sampling and perfect modulation due to gain ranging. Thanks to the special codec, the system’s total latency is just 2.1 ms.

The integrated error correction function ensures a highly stable, perfect digital transmission signal over the entire range – which extends over an impressive 200 m. For this reason, the Zurich production only needs two antennas in the stage area.

Fortunately, the available UHF frequency spectrum was not really an issue for this production. But in general, the flexibility of wireless systems regarding use of the frequency spectrum is becoming increasingly important as more and more of the frequency spectrum is cut off. The beyerdynamic TG 1000 system offers exceptional flexibility with a transmitter and receiver that feature an enormous bandwidth of no less than 319 MHz to cover the UHF frequency range of 470 to 789 MHz with a single unit of hardware. The system’s configuration can be controlled using the receiver’s web interface. It can even configure several receivers linked with each other at the same time. As a result, setting up the Zurich theatre’s relatively large system with 30 wireless channels was no problem.

Of course, both dynamic and condenser microphone heads – and even a one-of-a-kind ribbon microphone head – are available for the handheld transmitters. The handheld and beltpack transmitters work for at least 7 hours with 2 AA batteries.

All in all, the new TG 1000 provides a stable foundation for the musical production in Zurich. And not just in terms of acoustics: beyerdynamic’s system ensures stability and operational reliability, even if the available UHF frequency spectrum continues to be reduced in the future.

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Further information are available at  www.beyerdynamic.com/tg1000.