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Articles May-June 2021

Pursuing the Pro Audio Trail

In conversation with Caroline Moss and Sue Gould

PT got in touch with the Pro AVL Asia magazine core team of Editor - Caroline Moss and Sales Director - Sue Gould, who between them boast of over three decades of experience in the pro audio industry..... read more

NJSM Marks a Milestone in the Business of Sound

From Rental Company to manufacturer and innovator, Nixon Johnny has guided and grown NJSM from a two-person company to a fifty-person company, continuing to expand into virtual events with NJSM Virtual Studio..... read more

Tech Savvy Environment for T-Systems

Eyte Technologies installs high-tech AV Solution at T-System’s Experience Center facilitating brand value and delivering superior customer experience..... read more

Conversations with SudeepAudio

Sudeep Audio, one of India’s first pro audio web store selling studio software and equipment online commenced its YouTube Channel, ConverSAtions, in 2011 to share the journey of Indian Sound Engineers..... read more

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The Technological Intervention in Theatres and Auditoriums in the Covid-19 World

Vipin Pungalia, Director -
Professional Segment,
Sennheiser Electronics India.

The origins of theatres and auditoriums are unknown, however, its impact on culture is evident throughout the history. The earliest example of theatre is thought to have occurred in ancient Egypt. Ancient cultures in Greece, India, and China also had early forms of theatrical performance.  Since a long time, theatres have remained an important art form for understanding culture and society. In today’s time, modern playwrights use theatre to express opinions about current events.

To cater to a large audience, theatres and auditoriums must have technologically advanced sound solutions.  Sound is related to emotion- and an immersive sound field creates a stirring emotional response in the audience. Their role has additionally shifted to alternate presentations such as live sports broadcasting, musical events like concerts amongst others. With these developments, challenges have also come into play. The requirement of the sound system and the infrastructure has changed. The speech, music, and special effects should be reproduced with the finest of the detail. Hence, the focus has greatly shifted to audio to deliver an immersive experience. These developments are triggered by the new surround concepts such as Dolby Atmos of 3D Aura. 

Sennheiser has been a leading player in the pro-audio segment in India. For over 75 years now, the range of microphones, professional headphones, and wireless systems come with a mission of staying true to the sound and soul the art was given by professionals. With the wireless microphone to capture the purest sound quality for live performance, Sennheiser has been at the forefront of shaping the future of audio and has been actively participating in creating immersive products for a true listening pleasure. AUDAC too pays great attention to their multimedia sources with their development of cutting-edge digital technology. In this field, Xilica also has been a prominent name in the high-end audio processors that is essential to realise the potential of the next gen audio in theatres.

Today, these circumstances have presented us with an opportunity to create something innovative. It has challenged us to creatively think of a solution, so the audiences know what they have been missing during the pandemic, as things get better.

A great example of technology being used for theatres and auditoriums is that of National Theatre of Iceland where the theatre made a leap  to digital with Sennheiser Digital 6000 series, acquiring 32Channels with ultra-compact SK6212 miniature bodypack transmitters. In this case, the Sennheiser Digital 6000 series rapidly demonstrated its value as it was an intermodulation-free RF technology that ensured a higher channel count with the most reliable & robust RF transmission even in very narrow frequency spaces. The system further helped deliver audibly better sound quality and a wider dynamic range, due to Sennheiser’s patented Digital Audio Codec (SeDAC) technology. Further, the SK6212 transmitters are a very convenient option for theatres. They are so compact & small in size that you can hide them easily and so light in weight that actors sometimes forget that they are wearing them. Also, there is no longer a constant worry about batteries because the SK6212s last the whole day.

However, with the on-going pandemic, theatres and auditoriums are one of the most affected industries.  Moreover, the threat of a second wave of the pandemic will make the future of the industry even more uncertain.  Auditoriums have fallen silent as music festivals and dance performances across the globe have been cancelled. While major music and dance events, including The Coechella Valley Music and Arts Festival, held in California, have been postponed, Broadway shows in New York have been cancelled. In India, artists and organisers have called off concerts too. Mumbai-based National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts in Delhi, Rangashankara in Bengaluru, Ravindra Bharati in Hyderabad and The Music Academy and Hamsadhwani in Chennai have cancelled performances to encourage social distancing.

Today, these circumstances have presented us with an opportunity to create something innovative. It has challenged us to creatively think of a solution, so the audiences know what they have been missing during the pandemic, as things get better. 

Theatres and auditoriums have been known to provide joy to people’s lives. It brings people closer together to witness an event which might be funny, thought-provoking or mysterious- in turn influencing our perspectives in life.  It is the ultimate medium for providing social experience and entertainment to the audience. By adapting and re-innovating the technological aspect, it will continue to draw the attention of the audience in the time to come.