Sound Designer Jean-Michel Caron turns to Wisycom
When independent Sound Designer Jean-Michel Caron was tasked with the challenge of providing sound for the new Cirque du Soleil: VOLTA Big Top touring production, he turns to Wisycom.
VOLTA, the latest creation from Cirque du Soleil, tells a spellbinding story about the freedom to choose and the thrill of blazing your own trail. Inspired in part by the culture of action sports, the show weaves acrobatics in a visually striking world driven by a stirring melodic score ultimately celebrating freedom as a movement.
Caron is no stranger to working on the intricate sound set up required by a Cirque du Soleil production, as he also provided the sound design for KURIOS: Cabinet des Curiosities. “All RF components are invaluable to the process,” noted Caron. “Each piece of equipment is interconnected to the rest of the sound system via the digital I/O available on those units, and can be shared to the front of house and our monitor system using a Dante™ network.”
Transmission Squelch was a key factor in the equipment selection
Caron credits his relationship with Transmission Squelch, a Canadian-based specialist in wireless audio for productions and events, as a factor in his equipment selection. “Transmission Squelch had nothing but great things to say about Wisycom and made the introduction. Once we tested and listened to the different systems and components, the choice became clear.”
For wireless microphones, Caron is relying on Wisycom’s MRK960 Modular Wireless Microphone Receiver System with its MTH400 Wideband Handheld Transmitters and MTP40S Wideband Bodypack Transmitters. For in-ear monitoring, the production crew relied on Wisycom’s MPR50-IEM Wideband True Diversity IEM Receivers.
Caron recalled how the Big Top show’s acrobatic nature and extensive set were a major factor in his sound design. “The fact that Wisycom’s system allows us to adjust power and other specific settings has helped us get maximum coverage for the vast area of the performance. Wireless coverage on our setup is never an easy task and working on a complex stage design makes our antenna location limited. We also have to consider vertical and horizontal displacement as the artists move around the stage as well as fly above it on a piece of scenery. Our reception and transmission has never faltered, remaining strong throughout the area.”
According to Caron, he says he was especially impressed with how well the Wisycom equipment withstood each performance. “The male and female lead performers both use handheld microphones and in-ear systems in the show. Each used headset microphones that connect to a bodypack transmitter, which allowed for better movement while flying on various scenic pieces or playing an instrument while they sang.”
“The MPR50 in-ear wireless system has provided a strong signal from the performers, who are wearing large costumes and moving around for the majority of the show,” adds Caron. “Wisycom’s true diversity feature gave us quality and stability on the audio feed received to the in-ear pack.” The MPR50 is a compact true diversity receiver designed for professional in-ear monitoring applications. The receiver features a unique wide-band tuning range up to 232 MHz.
The Big Top touring show will be performing in Miami and Tampa Bay, Florida this winter.