Cirque Italia, MIPRO 7-Series and a Whole Lot of Water

SoundConcepts CirqueItalia

Introduced in June 2016, our rechargeable transmitters for 7-Series have been steadily making waves in the A/V community and our friends at Sound Concepts, Inc have utilized them in an unexpected application:  Cirque Italia’s traveling water circus!

Cedar Rapids, IA – April 2017… As the first traveling water circus in the US, Cirque Italia’s stage holds 35,000 gallons of water and features a dynamic lid which lifts 35 feet into the air, allowing water to fall like rain from above as fountains dazzle below. This incredible show takes place under a majestic white and blue big top tent. With clowns and a laser show among the numerous performances, there is plenty to see in this captivating show. Wireless microphones are an integral component of Cirque Italia and, to ensure the best possible wireless audio performance, the show relies upon the state-of-the-art capabilities of wireless transmitters drawn from the MIPRO 7 Series catalog—distributed throughout North America by Avlex Corporation.

Sound Concepts, Inc, a leader in sound, video, and lighting installation, design production, and rental services, was recently contracted to outfit Cirque Italia with several new wireless microphone systems. After speaking with Cirque Italia management to determine their requisites, Marvin Smejkal, Sound Concept’s owner and system designer, decided to outfit the organization with a MIPRO ACT-70HC Wireless Rechargeable Handheld Microphone and three MIPRO ACT-70TC Wireless Rechargeable Bodypack Transmitters for use with earset microphones plus an ACT-74 UHF Quad-Channel Wireless Receiver.

“With water seemingly everywhere on this show, it was crucial that the wireless systems not only exhibit rugged build quality, but robust transmission capabilities as well,” Smejkal explained. “Equally important, the beltpack transmitters had to be small so as not to interfere with the performers’ ability to move freely. Yvinsön Acerö, who serves as a clown, uses the MIPRO ACT-70HC handheld transmitter while other performers use the ACT-70TC bodypack transmitters with earset mics.”

“All of the performers have a lot of active moments during the show,” Smejkal added. “They are often swinging, spinning, bouncing, or hanging upside down while talking or singing. The MIPRO ACT-70TC bodypack transmitter is very compact—making it ideal to fit into the costumes. Equally important, the transmitter’s extreme durability is critical, given the demanding environment they are in. The rechargeable batteries deliver very impressive longevity. These transmitters are used an average of eight shows a week. It’s also worth noting that the mute buttons on the transmitters get a good workout since the show runs with very few technicians behind the scenes, so the performers are constantly operating these as they pass the systems from one performer to another.”

Due to the non-stop action on stage and the various fountains and other aspects of the show, the ability to ensure robust wireless signal transmission was a major concern during the design phase of the Cirque Italia’s new wireless system. Smejkal described the setup using the MIPRO ACT-74 UHF Quad-Channel Wireless Receiver, “Because of the size of the tent and the large aluminum structures everywhere, we decided to augment the ACT-74 UHF receiver’s two standard whip antennas kept at the mix position with two additional whip antennas, which are positioned on stands closer to the action. This approach ensures that signal remains strong regardless of where the actual mic transmitter happens to be. This system has over 400 selectable preset frequencies in 15 groups across an ultra-wide bandwidth over 72MHz, so finding and locking in clear, open frequencies—no matter where Cirque Italia may happen to be performing—is quite easy.”

Given the sophistication of today’s wireless microphone systems, questions inevitably arise. In this regard, Smejkal was very impressed with the customer and technical support services of Avlex Corporation. “Avlex has always had great customer support,” he said. “On the rare occasion when we have operational questions, they are always quick to respond. The fact that they are centrally located in Kansas City, Missouri for quick shipping just about anywhere is another benefit and the staff is both knowledgeable and efficient.”

Cirque Italia’s new MIPRO wireless system has been operational since February and Smejkal reports that the equipment has been working really well, “The system has proven to work very well for our client. The ease of using the mute function has proven very beneficial. Having the performers control their own mutes saves the multitasking technician responsible for lights, sound, sound effects, and live show announcements from having to keep track of them. The system’s long battery life, seamless operation, and easy adjustment of squelch and gain keeps the show running smoothly all the time. It’s been a win-win for all.”

To learn more about Cirque Italia, visit http://cirqueitalia.com/. For information about Sound Concepts Inc., go to http://soundconceptsinc.com/.

2016: It was actually a very good year!

2016 was an odd one.  It seemed to be far more dramatic, painful and full of loss than the typical calendar year and I would imagine that you, like me, are ready for 2016 to get lost.  But behind all the garbage (and pending FCC changes) that filled our lives this year, your favorite audio manufacturers have been churning along and producing some GREAT, innovative gear for the retail and contractor markets.  

Here’s a recap of what Avlex released in 2016:

 

Rechargeable Transmitters for MIPRO ACT 7-Series and ACT 8-Series

You asked for them, MIPRO provided.  These transmitters use field-replaceable Lithium 18500 rechargeable batteries and utilize the innovative MP-80 charging station!  On a full charge, these transmitters will run for 13 hours or more and can be recharged with the MP-80 in 4 hours!  While we have stock, we’re providing free MP-80 charging stations with the purchase of complete 7-Series and 8-Series systems – contact us (or your friendly sales rep) for details!

MP-80 Charging Options

 

MIPRO 2400-Series Digital Wireless

The 500-band is saturated and the FCC isn’t going to make it any easier on all of us.  So we now offer the alternative of MIPRO’s latest wireless series:  The 2400-Series.  Want to know how it works and why it’s not your standard 2.4GHz wireless?  Check out our blog post where we explain the how/why/what.  

The 2400-Series is conveniently packaged in retail-ready packaging as complete systems including receivers, transmitters and lapel mics (where applicable).  They’re available in single and dual-channel configurations and this series also uses the MIPRO MP-80 charging station.  These are also included with each system!

MIPRO_ACT-2400 Group 

Tour Guide, Language Interpretation and Assisted Listening Systems

This is a series that you need to be aware that we have.  Every contractor in the US has that one worship install that requires an assisted listening system and many of you who do highly specialized installs come across applications that require a tour guide system, a language interpretation system or an assisted listening system as well.  We have them.

MTG-100C-12+MTG-100+Ha+E-20S+MU-53HNP

These systems can be customized to suit your needs.  Are you running walking tours?  We have wireless transmitters that are compact, lightweight and easy for your guides to use.  Are you providing hearing assistance for parishioners?  The MTS-100 stationary transmitter combined with either our AA-powered or rechargeable transmitters (and headsets or earbuds) can provide clear audio for anyone who needs it.

My favorite part of these systems are the cases.  These cases not only store your tour guide gear but they sync and recharge all of it.  And they look pretty hot.  We offer a 12-slot and a 28-slot version (as well as a 4-slot station); just load it in, set it up and go!  

Winter NAMM is coming and we will be showing off new product, as always.  Check in with us in the next couple weeks for our new NAMM offerings!

Thanks to all of our Dealers, Contractors, end users and Reps for a fantastic 2016!  Let’s hope 2017 is a lot brighter, less chaotic and we can all focus on what we do best:  Audio.

AVlex Logo iPad       

Why choose MIPRO’s 2.4GHz wireless?

MIPRO_ACT-2400 Group

 

The short answer:  It’s better.  This isn’t your typical 2.4GHz wireless.

The long answer:  The MIPRO half-rack single and dual-channel digital receivers employ a Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum technology utilizing 4 frequencies for each channel in an adaptive tracking algorithm that avoids interference from 2.4 GHz products on channels 1, 6, and 11.  These systems also employ dual-tuner true digital diversity reception and deliver 12 compatible simultaneous channel operations at receiving distances up to 100 meters (330 ft.) with no signal dropouts.

What does all of that mean?  We have some handy charts for the visual learners:

2.4GHZ Freq Diag

The 2.4 GHz band is a band of frequencies like any other RF band.  It covers frequencies from 2.4 to 2.473 GHz.  This band is divided up into channels that are 22MHz each. 

2.4GHZ Freq Diag 2

You will notice that all of the channels except 1, 6 & 11 overlap each other.  

As we all know, users don’t need a license to operate in the 2.4GHZ range; it’s free to use which makes it very attractive to gadget-makers. So as a result there is a TON of stuff out there operating in this band.

Think: Routers WAPs, microwaves cordless phones, remote thermometers, wheel alignment machines, baby monitors, wireless comm sets, Bluetooth devices, car alarms, video devices, ZigBee devices and sensors, Wireless USB, remote digital thermometers, garage door openers… You get the idea right?

And… all of these gadgets operate on channels 1, 6 & 11.  So a large percentage of all the interference out there is found on channels 1, 6 & 11!  MIPRO’s system is the only 2.4 GHz product that can operate high channel counts in heavy 2.4 interference areas.  MIPRO’s adaptive tracking algorithm and 4 frequency spread spectrum technology delivers the range, signal stability, and channel density in a reliable and economical true digital wireless solution.

MIPRO’s 2.4GHz wireless systems are available in single and dual-channel configurations featuring rechargeable handheld, bodypack and guitar transmitters. Charging stations are included with each system!  

It’s the best 2.4 GHz wireless on the market today! 

The Summer of Rechargeable Transmitters

If you haven’t heard yet, we’re now stocking rechargeable transmitters for use with MIPRO’s ACT 7-Series, 8-Series and the new 2400-Series!   

Our new MP-80 Charging Cradle is a 3-in-1 charger and is capable of simultaneously recharging two transmitters or two 18500 rechargeable batteries!  

MP-80 Charging Options

For a limited time and while supplies last, we’re offering our dealers a free charging station with the purchase of rechargeable transmitters – Call us for details!   Our 7-Series transmitters are in stock and shipping now.  8-Series and 2400-Series will be here in early August!  

FCC Timetable for Wireless Mic Transition

FCC logo

We’ve been getting a lot of calls over the last few months about the FCC timetable for transitioning from wireless bands that we all currently use.  Here’s what we know:

WIRELESS MICROPHONE TRANSITION TIMETABLE
FOR MICROPHONES OPERATING IN THE BANDS
54-72 MHz, 76-88 MHz, 174-216 MHz, 470-608 MHz, AND 614-689 MHz

Beginning December 23, 2015 – Applications for certification of wireless microphone transmitters under the new rules may be submitted to the FCC. Beginning nine months after the release of the Channel Reassignment Public Notice, or no later than December 26, 2017 – Applications for certification of wireless microphone transmitters must comply with the new rules.

Beginning 18 months after the release of the Channel Reassignment Public Notice, or no later than September 24, 2018 – Manufacturing and marketing of wireless microphones that do not comply with the new rules must cease.

Unlicensed use of wireless microphones operating on 566 up through the 600 MHz band must cease no later than 39 months after the release of the Channel Reassignment Public Notice.

This transition does not affect wireless microphones operating in the bands 902-928 MHz, and 2.4 GHz. Current product in these frequencies will continue to be legal to manufacture, market, sell, and use.

What’s new for Avlex at InfoComm 2016?

The short answer:  Everything.

  • NEW!  ACT 2400-Series digital diversity wireless in the 2.4GHz band
  • NEW! MIPRO Tour-Guide and Interpretation Systems
  • FCC-Compliant 3-Series
  • FCC-Compliant 7-Series – With rechargeable transmitters!
  • FCC-Compliant 8-Series – With rechargeable transmitters!
  • Newly updated HS-48a single-ear headsets
  • Newly updated MA-909 wireless mixer with 2.4GHz transmitters and receivers
  • Newly updated CS101 Base Station for our Superlux IS-103 Intercom system to accommodate up to 10 wired belt packs!

Don’t miss us in Booth C9716 in Las Vegas this year!  

And now for something really, really different -

When you think of audio gear, pro audio installation probably comes to mind.  Theaters, churches, concert venues, board rooms – it’s what we all do as audio professionals.  But what about different applications?  What about those odd little jobs that we don’t normally consider?

I had the privilege to visit the Central Iowa Ghost Society (CIGS) this weekend with Bart Towler from Eatgafftape LLC for their 3rd Anniversary gathering and training seminar.  CIGS is a paranormal investigation team who investigates various sites all around the Midwest.  

CIGS logoParanormal investigation is one of those odd applications.  We watch them on tv while they use handheld recorders and wireless camera systems but many of us don’t consider that in addition to the teams who investigate inside the locations, there’s a second, unseen team outside the location who busily monitors events and communicates with the team inside.  

Audio training with CIGS and Bart Towler

Audio training with CIGS and Bart Towler

As an AV installer, think about the audio requirements for a full orchestra.  This is the scale paranormal investigators are operating on.  And just as each instrument in an orchestra is integral, each microphone used by paranormal teams is as well.  Every mic counts.  If a mic is down, the chance is missed to gather scientific evidence.  

Paranormal investigators use gear from a standard vocal mic to high end shotgun mics, consoles, extensive cabling, wireless audio and video gear, cameras, road cases, IEM’s and editing software. The AV equipment requirements are astronomical for groups of amateur paranormal hobbyists and junkies. 

Not only do they require gear for field work but in order to analyze evidence, they also require full-scale AV lab set-ups.

The CIGS Ghost Lab

The CIGS Ghost Lab

As an avid paranormal junkie and as your friendly inside Administrative Sales rep at Avlex for the last 13 years, I was stunned by the AV requirements of CIGS.  ”Stunned” doesn’t quite cover it, to be honest and candid with our readers.  

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More of the CIGS lab after the video training portion of their seminar.  All of this is used in the field – imagine tear-down at 6am.

Whether you believe in the paranormal or not, you have to admit these groups are serious and passionate about what they do.  CIGS and other teams like them aren’t who we think of when we consider who buys and uses AV gear.  And not only do they use it, they use a lot of it.  

What’s even more impressive than their requirements for scientific paranormal research? They tweak and tailor their gear to suit their needs. They invent gear that those of us inside the industry would never have even thought of.  Many of us could learn a thing or two from visiting one of these groups and spending time with them.  I would highly recommend contacting a local group in your area and paying them a visit.  Not only will you brush up on your knowledge base as an audio professional but you’ll meet some awesome people who want to learn and succeed.

Want to be even more impressed?  CIGS is cross-training their team members on all of their gear.  Audio is being learned by their video crew, video is being learned by their audio crew, their EVP specialists are learning both audio and video and they’re all learning load-in and load-out.  

CIGS and amateur groups like them have little to no corporate sponsorship.  Their accumulation of knowledge is gained by trial and error or talking with other groups.  The accumulation of gear is through personal funds or creative fundraising.  Imagine you and twenty (or fewer) of your friends financing enough AV gear for a mega-church-sized holiday production with a choir and a band, then teaching yourselves how to use all of it.  These groups do this every day and combined with the availability of affordable pro-quality gear and the internet, more and more of them are learning to successfully use it.  

I had a fantastic time with CIGS.  I don’t think they considered that they would be teaching me when they invited us up to help them learn about AV gear.  I wish them much luck when they kick off their fundraising drive and on their future investigations!  I can only hope they invite me to tag along!  I can hold a boom arm, guys – I promise I won’t get in your way!               

 

E201U USB Mic Review

E201U

 

Neufutur recently reviewed our E201U USB mic!

“In the era when anyone can create a podcast about any subject no matter how esoteric or narrow it might be, having a set up that provides clarity and crispness to their vocals is absolutely essential. So many podcasts that we have subscribed to at NeuFutur to are sunk by the fact that they use an iPhone or other cheap recording device for their show. For the most clear and precise vocals, what they need is the E201U, a USB condenser microphone by Superlux.

This means that the vocals that are crafted are able to be heard without distortion; they are loud enough for a wide variety of purposes. It is a challenge for individuals to run into any sort of problems with this microphone. There is little in the way of difficulty that is present when one decides to put the E201U condenser microphone into commission; just simply plug it in to an open USB port. From there, recording using your favorite software is a breeze and one is left with radio station quality sound. With one having more than a passing interest in a podcast, especially for those that are looking to move into paid streaming options or picking up advertisers for their show, going and having something that will record you in a fashion that puts you at the highest echelons of content producers should be a no brainer. By going and including Superlux’s E201U USB condenser microphone into the mix, the overall quality at which one operates their show is increased considerably. For more information how about the entirety of the company’s product line take a trip to their website; a full description of their offerings discusses the relevant information along with availability in the countries in which they are distributed.

Rating 9.5 / 10″

Thanks Neufutur!  If you’d like to read the full review, check it out here!  

Winter NAMM Approaches!

Here at Avlex HQ in rainy Kansas City, Missouri, we’re readying the show shipment for Winter NAMM in Anaheim!  It’s on pallets, wrapped and ready to go!

Show Shipment 1

 

We’re hoping the Missing Show Shipment Debacle of 2015 doesn’t repeat itself this year – we have exciting new product to show including the new MIPRO ACT 2400-Series of digital wireless!  We’ve just received our show stock for NAMM from MIPRO and we’re sure that everyone will love this new series of wireless for its features as well as its retail-ready packaging.

Retail-ready packaging!

Retail-ready packaging!

We’ll be in Booth #6810 again!  Stop by and check out our selection of Avlex, MIPRO and Superlux products as well as meet some of our staff!