Offering something for virtually any activity centered around the performing arts or group assembly, the Maxine Theatre serves an audience ranging from high school PTA meetings to national touring acts. At 580 seats, the beautifully appointed room was designed by Davy Architects of San Diego, which gave the hall it's classic proportions featuring non-parallel side walls, a curving back wall, and graded floors and ceiling.
At the request of Davy Architects' Jennifer Robinson, Quiet Voice Audio of Fallbrook, CA, collaborated with the architectural firm to implement a sound reinforcement blueprint that would successfully meet the theatre's versatile needs. Quiet Voice founder Jon Bart came to the task with a vision of building a system that would see use primarily on a community level, but soon discovered that beyond intelligible spoken-word coverage, the sonic design would have to support full-range musical performances at concert levels.
Joined on the project by Quiet Voice Senior Engineer David Henk and System Engineer Barry DeHart, Bart also found that a big part of the challenge was building a system that was both tough enough to withstand the serious professional use of those fully comfortable around an Allen & Heath ML5000 Series console, and easy enough to use for entry-level operators like classroom teachers.
Helping to solve this dilemma on the input side of the equation was a collection of Shure’s SLX UHF wireless microphone systems. Quick to setup and offering the same bulletproof reliability found throughout the Shure wireless line, SLX wireless provides the Maxine Theatre with automatic features including auto-frequency scan and transmitter setup, all in a package offering clarity and an ability to support 20 compatible systems across multiple UHF frequency bands.
"The SLX has everything we need to meet the needs of big-time touring concert riders, while still allowing us to zero in on the comfort zone of layman operators who frequently use the room," Bart notes. "With SLX, I can hand someone who has little or no systems experience a handheld transmitter, and in a minute's time they are familiar with it. The on/off and mute switches are intuitive to use, and setup is as easy as pressing a button. So far, new users in the theatre feel good about the mic even before they hear it."
Quiet Voice brought a total of eight SLX wireless systems to the Maxine Theatre that can be used with a choice of handheld transmitters sporting Beta 58 capsules or bodypack transmitters.
"We were actually committed to another mic line for years," Bart admits. "But when the new SLX line came out from Shure, we started doing some hard A/B testing. What we found was that Shure came out on top from a sonic standpoint as well as in terms of ease-of-setup. The SLX systems give us the best bang for the buck. Now, all we sell is Shure."