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LA School for the Arts Chooses Shure

NILES, ILL.— Los Angeles County High School for the Arts recently turned the top level of its building into a black box theater. Used for classes, performances and a gallery space, the new facility features detailed lighting and an intricate microphone design to accommodate the demands of LACHSA’s dance, music, theater and visual arts courses.

Focusing on the audio needs was Senior Technical Consultant Michael Dannenberg of Vantage Technology Consulting Group and full-service systems integration company Western Audio Visual. In analyzing the layout, the Western A/V team opted to install Shure ULX-D Digital Wireless Microphone Systems with dual and quad channel digital receivers. ULX-D enables multiple transmitters on the air simultaneously on one TV channel and also features optimized scanning that automatically finds, prioritizes and deploys the cleanest frequencies to transmitters using IR sync.

“The Theater’s front of house is suspended up on a catwalk in the rear of the room, and there isn’t much space to fit a lot of equipment. Being able to operate up to 26 channels from just seven ULX-D systems—six with quad channel receivers, one with dual—in a tight area is huge,” said Gary Evans, the Western A/V systems engineer who supervised the microphone design. “The form factor of fitting four channels in a single rack space was something we couldn’t ignore during the gear selection process.”

Avoiding RF interference was also an important factor for the LACHSA Theater’s personal monitoring systems. Evans selected the PSM900 Wireless Personal Monitor System from Shure for its robust RF performance provided by front-end RF filtering that reduces dropouts and audible artifacts.

“[ULX-D and PSM 900] are both very intuitive, feature-packed and offer incredible sound quality and reliability,” Evans said. “For LACHSA, reliability and quality were important because the school has one theater manager who relies on students to operate the equipment. ULX-D and PSM 900 can handle the wear-and-tear students will throw at the gear. With proper training, the systems are also simple to use and with features like IR sync, students can quickly grab and sync bodypacks—an important factor for productions and large performances.”

In addition to Shure wireless technology, the LACHSA Theater relies on a variety of Shure wired microphones, including the SM58 and Microfle Gooseneck mics.