Riedel Communications Middle East has informed BroadcastPro ME that the Dubai-based show, La Perle by Dragone, with more than 450 performances each year, at a purpose-built theatre in Al Habtoor City, has deployed a Bolero wireless system with a total of 30 beltpacks.
Commissioned in the first week of July 2018, the system was reportedly tested by La Perle production team for a period of six months.
Unveiled at the 2017 Prolight & Sound show, the wireless intercom solution, Bolero, has been described as a game changer. Bolero is an expandable, full-roaming, DECT-based intercom system in the license-free 1.9GHz frequency range.
Speaking about the choice of Bolero for the iconic show, Dipesh Makwana, Regional Sales Manager at Riedel said: “Around six months ago, La Perle production team invited us to do a live demonstration of our Bolero system – which we did. They were impressed with the coverage and audio quality. They then tested our system for a length of time and they found that with just one antenna, the coverage was more than enough.”
With a show that is known for acrobatic performances including performers diving into water from heights of 25 metres, safety was paramount, and the need was felt to upgrade the critical comms system. Apart from the performers and the lighting and sound crew, the show caller needs to be in constant touch with rigging and automation operators who are stationed on the catwalk and grid levels of the theatre. Any effective comms system needed to overcome barriers of concrete and steel apart from demonstrating uniform audio quality in a challenging theatre environment with multiple reflective surfaces. The mandatory technical reports post every show reportedly flagged the comms system as one that needed to be looked into.
Competing systems were tested and it was found that the Bolero system offered more coverage and better audio quality, Makwana said.
He added: “The Bolero system uses the DECT-based frequency and is the only digital system in the market as of now. Most of the competition is still analogue where the audio quality diminishes when you get further away from the antenna.”
Riedel supplied 30 Bolero beltpacks and four antennae, in the first week of July 2018.
“The antenna can be placed anywhere and generally has a line-of-sight coverage of 300 – 400 metres. We found that just one antenna offered enough coverage for the theatre. The client has opted for four antennae to ensure complete redundancy in coverage ensuring that the green room, training spaces and other areas located in the basement levels of the theatre are also covered.”
The beltpacks support Bluetooth 4.1, allowing either a Bluetooth headset or a Smartphone to be connected. Users can also make calls and then connect that person into the intercom matrix, eliminating the need for a telephone hybrid.
There were no challenges in integrating with the legacy analogue intercom system that had been supplied by another company when the show was initially set up, Makwana stated. Riedel also takes pride in the registration process that does not exceed “two minutes per beltpack”.
“The beltpack and antennae are up and running now following straightforward configuration with their existing intercom system. There was no issue of training because La Perle crew has become thoroughly familiar with the system during the six-month testing, as well as from experience gained in past productions that featured Riedel communications.”
Makwana also added that a similar system was deployed by ‘The House of Dancing Water’ production team in Macau around the same time as Dubai.
“It was a bit of a coincidence. The show in Macau has been running for eight to nine years and they had tested our systems and the deployment has taken place around the same time as it has in Dubai. “