East Haddam, Conn. â€“ July 8, 2010: Goodspeed Musicalsâ€™ productions are known throughout the country for their lively performances and intimate ambience. At the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Conn., many audience members can get up-close looks at the actorsâ€™ incredibly detailed choreography and costumes. But what they donâ€™t see are the tiny microphonesâ€”creatively tucked away from viewâ€”that carry the actorsâ€™ powerful voices throughout the majestic theater.
Goodspeed Musicalsâ€™ sound team relies on ultra-small wireless microphone systems from audio specialist Sennheiser, which operates its U.S. headquarters just a few towns away in Old Lyme. Sennheiser manufactures and markets headphones and microphones for the consumer electronics market and pro audio applications such as broadcasting, film/TV and Broadway productions.
Goodspeed Musicalsâ€™ audio team reached out to Sennheiser in search of ultra-small wireless microphone systems that provide natural-sounding amplification of actorsâ€™ voices
without overpowering the small space.
â€œKeeping the microphones completely hidden is a major priority for us,â€? said Jay Hilton, sound designer for Goodspeed Musicals. Ensuring a flawless look is simpler now that the theater has adopted Sennheiserâ€™s tiny clip-on microphones and transmitters. But it still takes a high level of creativity and imagination to make sure microphones remain completely out of sight, yet deliver natural-sounding, non-muffled sound.
â€œWhenever possible, I mount the transmitter and microphone in actorsâ€™ wigs,â€? Hilton said. â€œOur wig designers actually design the look of the wig to accommodate the transmitters.â€?
For last Decemberâ€™s holiday production of Jim Hensonâ€™s Emmet Otter, Hilton was presented with the challenge of hiding microphones among bright woodland creature costumes. â€œBlending the mics into the bright orange fur of the foxes and bright green scales of the lizard is not common practice for the more traditional musicals we do.â€? He ended up painting the microphone cables to match, and applied a special painted tape to the â€œheadâ€? of the microphone that also kept extra sweat and moisture at bay.
â€œSupreme attention to detail is a cornerstone of every one of Goodspeed Musicalsâ€™ productions,â€? said Stefanie Reichert, vice president of strategic marketing at Sennheiser USA. â€œWeâ€™re very proud to support such a major force within our local arts community.â€?
Visitors to the Goodspeed Opera House can experience the Broadway-quality sound of Sennheiser throughout the year. Productions include â€œCarnival!â€? (July 9 through September 18) and â€œHow to Succeed in Business without Really Tryingâ€? (September 24 through November 28).