Rockport Music, which is best known for its Rockport Chamber Music Festival which began in 1981, has recently undergone significant expansion of both its physical footprint and musical repertoire. In 2010, it opened the Shalin Liu Performance Center, an elegant building that houses its 334 seat, world-class concert hall as well as a multi-function/reception space located on the 3rd floor used for corporate meetings, intimate performances, wedding receptions and many other activities.
The acquisition of the Neumann KK 205 capsules, as well as Sennheiser EM 2050 two channel receivers, Sennheiser SKM 2000 handheld wireless transmitters and lavalier body packs, in addition to a new antenna combiner, helps Rockport realize enormous performance flexibility while offering an unmatched dimension of audio quality to discriminating artists — many of whom insist on performing with Neumann.
Since the new facility opened, Rockport has gone from being a six week performance operation to a 52 week one, simultaneously expanding its repertoire beyond classical to now include jazz, folk, world music, pop and just about every other conceivable musical genre. The new concert hall has advanced A/V facilities including a 20 foot projection screen, and routinely features high definition simulcasts of performances by the Metropolitan Opera and England's National Theater.
"During my first year here in 2010, one of my first goals was to bolster and enhance our in-house P.A. equipment," commented David Shriver, technical operations manager for Rockport. "Having very high quality wireless handheld mics and belt packs was very important to me since I wanted a system that could be mostly used on stage but also offer flexible usage applications for other spaces in our facility."
"The deciding factor for me in adding the Sennheiser 2000 wireless series came when Neumann introduced the KK 204 and KK 205 capsules this year," Shriver continued. "I get rider requests for Neumann mics all the time, and I knew this was the direction we needed to go in. Neumann is the gold standard in microphones, and when an artist comes in and sees a Neumann mic, they are instantly confident in its ability to deliver."
When the new Sennheiser 2000 wireless system is not being used in the concert hall, Shriver is able to use it on the 3rd floor multi-function/reception space: "Sennheiser's Dave Missall came out, looked at the situation, and recommended an RF solution with antennas in the reception space and an antenna combiner to the existing antenna system in the concert hall. This enables me to use my four new RF systems in both places."
While evaluating the new capsules and wireless sytem, Shriver relied on Rob Pemberton of Wellesley, MA-based Parsons Audio, who was proud to assist in the upgrade of such a world class facility, as well as Sennheiser area sales manager Mike Cleary. "Mike was great," recalls Shriver. "He would let me try out a bunch of different microphones while we were trying to figure out what to buy — not just for handheld vocal mics, but for drums and other instruments as well."
Shriver and Rockport Music are pleased with their new equipment acquisition: "The quality has been just top notch," comments Shriver. "Since we added the Neumann capsules, a number of guest engineers and visiting bands have expressed their interest in working here and performing with the Neumann capsules on the stage. The sound makes a world of difference and also makes my job easier. I can run the mics flat and they sound great — also there is greater feedback rejection when compared to other microphones."
The acoustic features of the KK 204 and KK 205 capsule heads are derived from the multiple award-winning wired Neumann stage microphones, the KMS 104 and KMS 105. The KK 204, with its cardioid pattern, ensures the best possible suppression of sound originating from 180 degrees to the rear, while the supercardioid KK 205 has greater directivity, and maximizes incident sound from the front as compared to sound from the rear. Due to the “single polar pattern design,” the polar patterns are very uniform over the entire frequency range and provide excellent resistance to feedback.