The Future of Audio and Video at Hartford Stage Company

Hartford Stage Renovation, Hartford, CT
Hartford Stage Renovation, Hartford, CT

As audio supervisor at Hartford Stage Company, Michael Miceli interfaces with guest designers for productions (occasionally designing himself) and oversees all audio and video system repairs and upgrades.  With the $11 million renovation of Hartford Stage breaking ground (May 26, 2010) Michael breaks down what the renovation means for the future of audio and video at HSC.

Out with Analog: In with Digital

"We are replacing legacy analog cabling with all new digital (CAT 5 and 6) cabling.  All audio and video will be digitally distributed throughout the entire venue by plugging into a central system."

All speakers upgraded to Meyer Sound Lab self-powered systems

"These guys make speakers that are highly efficient, spread the heat load and are extremely reliable.  Meyer is top-grade for theatrical sound."

New Yamaha PM5D Sound Console

"This is the heart of the new digital system - processing and distribution will be more streamlined with much higher capacity.  Capacity comes into play with major musical productions such as HSC's Hedwig and the Angry Inch rock opera and ELLA."

New Lectrosonics Wireless Microphone Systems

"The new system includes SMQV transmitters, DPA lavs, and Venue receivers.  All of which are high end, robust, water-resistant, and known in the movie industry as the leader for wireless audio."

Reduced cabling throughout the theatre, enhanced patching ability, and ease of continued upgrades

"This is where the renovation investment continues to pay off down the road.  Patching systems will be more reliable and easier to implement.  With the new digital infrastructure future upgrades will be seamless."

Interference Rejection System Upgrade

"Digital systems keep audio pure. Radio Frequency (RF) noise in the air is 'rejected' to keep the sound coming to and from stage clear."

Expanded ALS (Assisted Listening Systems)

"This greatly increases Hartford Stage's ability to service communities with different audio needs including hearing and visually impaired audience members, as well as offering real time translation.  Up to 100 simultaneous users can have their audio amplified through T-Coil hearing aids or headphones provided by the theatre."

Pre-renovation upgraded gear will be repurposed

Challenge of the renovation project: "We wanted this renovation to be as 'future proof' as possible by embracing the latest in digital and wireless technologies.  Education and research for all team members was a big part of the process.  With the new system, designers will have an even broader tool set to pull from for new productions.  We'll be taking a great room to an even higher level of audio excellence." - Michael Miceli

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