Bucks County Playhouse has stood as an important theatrical landmark since opening in 1939. The Playhouse was known as America's Most Famous Summer Theatre with performances featuring well-known stars of stage, screen, and television, such as Lillian Gish, Shirley Booth, Grace Kelly, Kaye Ballard, Farley Granger, Robert Redford, Walter Matthau, and Larry Hagman. It was also a pre-Broadway theatre premiering some famous dramas such as Harvey and Nobody Loves Me (Barefoot In The Park).
Today, the Playhouse actively continues its tradition of performing quality musicals and dramas. One of its principal challenges in staging new productions in recent years has been using wireless microphones without the traditional problems of noise, RF interference, dropouts, and inferior audio quality.
To finally solve the ongoing audio problems, Ralph Miller, owner/producer of the Bucks County Playhouse, purchased 40 channels of Sabine Smart Spectrum™ wireless. The Sabine Wireless system is the only system that operates in the clear 2.4gHz band, where there are no TV or other broadcast locations. It also features six built-in DSP functions–all recallable like a digital mixer.
"We like to body mike as many people as possible, so it’s a major issue for us to have a good, clean sound that’s not going to cut out on us midway through the show,. . . and Sabine wireless works really well," Miller says of the new system. "With Sabine, we don't have to worry about dropouts any more, and the sound is excellent. And there have been times we’ve had 24 body packs working simultaneously, and we still don’t have a clipping or a dropout problem."
The Playhouse uses Voice Technologies headworn waterproof mikes from Sabine, which are particularly well suited for the Smart Spectrum system. The Sabine beltpacks offer a rechargeable battery system, similar to cell phone technology, which have eliminated weak battery dropouts for the Playhouse.
"We’ve run these microphones perfectly flat. We don’t try to accentuate them in any way because we want the full-range dynamics, and it’s just amazing. And with 24 microphones working, we don't even have to use the feedback eliminator circuitry."
"It is the best system we have ever used in our theaters. I’ve owned the Bucks County Playhouse, which is the state theatre of Pennsylvania, for 30 years, and we’ve been doing musicals the whole time. So we’re very familiar with microphones and the quality, we have a very dynamic speaker system and amplifiers, and our biggest problem over the 30-year period was getting mikes that can reproduce the sound the way we want it. We’ve very, very pleased with it," concludes Miller.