STC goes d:screet on stage
The Sydney Theatre Company (STC) has added d:screet CORE 4061 Miniature Microphones to its repertoire in order to improve dynamic range and resilience to harsh treatment on and off the stage.
Already the owner of a substantial amount of DPA stock, STC has added 75 d:screet CORE 4061 Miniature Omnidirectional Microphones to its inventory for use on a number of its productions, including its latest version of the Tennessee Williams classic Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.
Pleased with the overall performance of the microphones, Ben Lightowlers, STC’s head of sound and audiovisual, said: ‘Once the new CORE technology arrived, I was keen to put it through the rigours of a regular season at STC. The goal for us in theatre is to not to distract the audience with an obviously miked tonality but rather aim for a more naturalistic augmentation of the voice.The new CORE mics boast a more open frequency response, which is appealing when balancing vocal performances of varying dynamics in circumstances where some cast members are potentially quieter than others on stage.’
The d:screet microphones were supplied by DPA dealer Soundcorp, in conjunction with the company’s Australian distributor Amber Technology. ‘In the 13 years I have been with STC, I estimate that we’ve purchased an average of fifty d:screet 4061s per year to service the main stage shows, of which there are 12-15 per year,’ he added. ‘They have a good resilience to sweat, skin contact, quick wig or costume changes and other extreme conditions we put them through. In the past, this has included actors hurling themselves down a slip’n’slide across stage through a pool of water while fully nude, to a chorus of cast conducting an intimate conversation in typhoon conditions, all the while remaining intelligible to our audiences. Sometimes an actor might not leave stage for the whole play or it might be that a production spans over six hours.’
STC presents an annual season of diverse productions at its own venues – the two-theatre Wharf and the Roslyn Packer Theatre at Walsh Bay – and as the resident theatre company of the Drama Theatre at Sydney Opera House, reaches over 300,000 audience members each year.
‘While our venues include a standard sound infrastructure, due to the large number of shows performing and rehearsing concurrently, we need to carry a sizable inventory of floating stock,’ added Lightowlers. ‘I’ve found that it is far more cost effective to own all our equipment rather than to hire on a show-by-show basis.’