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Trantec Go ‘Into the Woods’ At Covent Garden’s ROH

The revival of Sondheim’s 1987 Broadway hit ‘Into the Woods’ resulted in 24 channels of Trantec wireless being utilised inside its hallowed walls.
Under Will Tuckett’s direction, a cast comprising opera singers, musical theatre specialists and straight actors were put through their paces in a witty, tongue-twisting production that placed exceptional demands on singers more at home with a classical repertoire. And there were equally significant demands on the wireless system. Extensive dynamic ranges – from a hushed whisper to full operatic fortissimo – meant careful consideration had to be given to equipment choice.
Sound Designer, Chris Full from Autograph Sound said: “As you would expect, there were some pretty strong singers with their operatic backgrounds, and I knew that whichever system I chose, it was going to be tested to the limit. The new Trantec S6000 had been aimed at the professional market and this production was the ideal opportunity to demonstrate its qualities. The job was not made any easier by the RF environment in London’s West End. Being surrounded by so many theatres, emergency services and other organisations means there’s a lot of RF crowding the available bandwidth. I was particularly pleased with the frequency agility of the Trantec system in what must be one of the harshest RF environments in the world.”
The Trantec S6000 wireless consisted of three 8-way racks to handle the 24 beltpacks used by the performers. Designed and engineered specifically for professional users, the UHF system comprises antenna distribution, headphone monitor, and a small format PC. This internal PC, running Windows XP, gathers data from the receivers and the whole system can be monitored and controlled from a single screen, either locally or through any other PC on the network via an Ethernet interface. This allows the user to control functions such as transmitter battery status, remote setting of names, frequencies, mute level settings, and frequency scanning.
The small, compact transmitter duplicates the same frequency range as the receiver, storing up to 64 frequencies, eliminating the need for a different transmitter version for each individual channel.
‘Into the Woods’ has since moved to Manchester for a four night run at the Lowry.

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