UNSW Venues and Events - Big Venues, No Dramas
When you think of university AV departments, you usually think of supplying and servicing lots of small individual spaces with small, identical systems. While the University of New South Wales certainly has plenty of those, it’s also home to three very large, very hard-working, performance, conferencing and event spaces. Like most professional venues, all three are big wireless microphone users and face the task of replacing their stock in the aftermath of the Digital Dividend wireless frequency reshuffle.
UNSW proudly own and manage the Science Theatre, Scientia Conference & Events Centre and Sir John Clancy Auditorium. The Theatre boasts 825 seats in a proscenium arch theatre with full theatrical drapes, lighting and sound. The Conference Centre is a multiple-use, multiple-venue, flexible space. The Clancy Auditorium is the largest of the three, seating 1000 for large scale conferences, lectures and performances.
Padaric ‘Paddy’ Meredith-Keller, Technical Manager at Venues and Events, UNSW, was keen to take the opportunity to look at the advantages of digital wireless technology, while keeping the focus on reliability. “We have both internal and external clients, and we do some prestigious events, so we need something reliable” said Paddy. “We had this opportunity to look at new gear, so we looked at the full range of digital wireless mic systems that are out there.”
As long-time users of Shure microphones, Paddy and the UNSW Venues and Events team trust and know the brand. “When we started out comparing Shure to other brands, we were starting from familiarity” explained Paddy. “But as we looked closely at different manufacturers, Shure’s features like the rechargeable batteries, the indicators, and all the advantages that came with their implementation of digital really stood out. Even the price point was better.” Through their preferred supplier Soundcorp, UNSW decided to replace their existing Shure UHF-R systems with 44 Shure ULX-D Digital Wireless Systems.
Paddy opted for SM86 capsules for the new ULX-D transmitters, and has managed to recycle a little of the old system as a complement. “We’ve kept the old SM58 capsules from the UHF-R transmitters as an option” he continued. “We primarily do speech, Q&A and talks. Comparing the two, the SM86 is brighter, with more headroom.”
Now in the brave new world of digital, Paddy and the team are enjoying the power of their new tools. “We handled the frequency setup ourselves. We used Shure’s Wireless Workbench software for the frequency scanning and management. We have the highest concentration of users and channels in the conference centre, so there’s a few RF issues we have to be careful of. Going digital has really helped as it works on a tighter band and you can get a lot more channels in a smaller space.”
Another useful feature in the University’s networked environment is the inclusion of Dante digital audio output on the receivers, ready to connect to the venue’s existing infrastructure. “We’re already running a Dante audio network” Paddy confirmed, “so the ULX-Ds integrate straight into it.”
So, with three venues running constantly, multiple demanding users, theatrical performances, major lectures, weddings, parties and anything, how are the ULX-Ds performing? “We’re really happy” said Paddy calmly. “The Shure ULX-Ds do what we need them to do perfectly, with no dramas.”
For more information on Shure Microphones or contact
Jands Pty Ltd
Tel: +61 2 9582 0909