CT cites value, simplicity and reliability as primary criteria for choosing Sennheiser EW-DX as its go-to wireless audio solution
Old Lyme, October 31, 2023 – Creative Technology (CT) is a multi-national provider of technology, project management and creative solutions for the live events and system integration markets, and part of the NEP Group, a leading global broadcaster. Recently, the company's US-based operation (CTUS) worked with Sennheiser on the design and specification of a comprehensive wireless audio kit that featured its EW-DX wireless system to ensure reliable and superior sounding audio for its customers. CTUS has assembled and deployed 140 custom wireless microphone kits — each with the Sennheiser EW-DX wireless system at its core — to streamline its ability to deliver high-quality audio for mission critical events across the U.S.
CTUS routinely tackles over 100 events per month – many of which would be considered 'extremely large-scale shows' with thousands of attendees. While CT's specialty is staging enterprise level corporate events, the company also has a significant foothold in the audio, video and lighting services for sporting entertainment and specialty events of all shapes and sizes, working with high-profile clients including Google, VMWare, Meta, Microsoft, and others. In all the environment types that CT serves, effective wireless audio solutions are pivotal to the success of the event.
Delivering at the highest level
Philip Barrett, Director of Audio at CT Group, says that high-quality audio can never be taken for granted: "As we continue to serve our high-end client base and produce more and more events, the pressure is on us to deliver at the highest level. When I was doing music and touring, I used to say that 'nothing sobers the mind like the thought of 20,000 people asking for their money back.' In the live events space, I would add that it doesn't matter how beautiful the LED screens are, or how fantastic the lighting looks. If the CEO walks on stage and his mic doesn't work, that's all they're going to talk about." Barrett is responsible for the continuous and future operation of the audio department at CTUS.
With fully stocked warehouse offices in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago and New York, CTUS employs full service technical event teams, logistics operations and provides on-site support for all of its client events, prioritizing the human element when it comes to live events. Venues can range from intimate meeting rooms or ballrooms all the way to arenas and large outdoor spaces. "I like to say we are the largest sound company you have never heard of," Barrett says. "In terms of where we operate, we run the gamut and we have to be flexible."
A wireless solution dressed for success
CT chose Sennheiser’s EW-DX system for their wireless microphone ‘Flight Pack Kits’ based on the newly released system’s functionality, rich feature set and versatility. Sennheiser's EW-DX sets a new industry standard for value-based performance and reliability with its low latency (1.9 milliseconds) and an ultra-wide input dynamic range of 134 dB. This allows its transmitters to handle almost any signal, making it reliable in any RF environment. While in Standard Mode, the EW-DX can handle up to 146 links within its switching bandwidth, and up to 293 frequencies in Link Density Mode. This results in a greater amount of possible transmission frequencies — all in a system that easy to use and is equipped with long battery life.
"Our goal was to put together kits with everything in one box that our clients might need,” says Barrett. “It was a clean solution for us to package everything in one place so it’s all there and ready to go. We can’t afford to have people looking for disparate components and having to ship them out at 10:00 p.m. on a weeknight. These are very easy to ship and also easy to transport on-location in and around the staging area.”
Each kit contains a Sennheiser EW-DX receiver, two HSP headset microphones, two ME4 lavalier microphones and two EW-DX SKM-S handheld transmitters, both coupled with MMD 835 capsules. Also included are two EW-DX SK bodypack transmitters as well as an Evolution Wireless Digital charging case. A QR code leading to the instruction manual is printed on inside of each case for the easy reference of stagehands.
A value-driven solution, built on performance
When considering the need to acquire several dozen wireless microphone systems for its secondary breakout systems, Barrett says that the EW-DX presented a value-driven solution that was both flexible and robust: "It was a great purchasing decision for us, because the system was on-point price wise, while delivering all of the performance and reliability we expect from Sennheiser. Our end-user customers are very often C-level presenters, and the application is almost always spoken word — so high-quality, predictable performance is key."
There were many factors that attracted Barrett to the EW-DX system, such as ease of operation and flexibility of frequency allocation. "Being able to deploy large quantities of systems in close proximity and still have available frequencies is key for us," he explains. "We work in so many different cities, and the EW-DX works in all of them. There are always plenty of frequencies available in this box and it is so easy to use."
“On one of our recent projects we coordinated over 200 frequencies just in the Labs, Workshops and Breakouts using the new Sennheiser EW-DX R1-9 and Q1-9 RF Bands," says Jeff Jones, RF Coordinator, Creative Technology. "These units were easy to set up, easy to tune and easy to sync body packs and handhelds. Having the two wide RF bands allowed us to tune over the complete available spectrum making the EW-DX units a superior choice to handle the large quantity of breakout rooms versus older generation, band-limited technologies. We had rock solid performance with the new Sennheiser units."
Aside from the technical and performance factors that drew Barrett to the EW-DX system, Sennheiser was able to create a holistic kit to fit CTUS's needs: "CTUS came to us with a specific understanding of how these systems could effectively be deployed to their customers," says Jamie Criswell, Business Development at Sennheiser. "We worked hard to create a solution that brings together all the required elements into a single, comprehensive package so it not only anticipates the needs of the end-user, but makes logistics and dispatch all the more efficient."
In this business, the importance of continuous reliability cannot be overstated: "We are unlike most other staging companies with respect to the volume that we do, so the ROI for us has to work," says Barrett. "These mics get thrown on pallets, are shipped all across the country and are taken through the dark labyrinths of various properties and hotels time and time again."
Sennheiser right out of the gate
After evaluating competitive options for a high quality, durable microphone system, Barrett says that the EW-DX checked all the boxes and has been performing flawlessly ever since. "Overall, it was Sennheiser right out of the gate and we are very pleased that Sennheiser listened to our needs and helped put together this system for us. So far, everything is meeting or exceeding all of our expectations. There have been no failures, the intelligibility is great, and I've been very impressed with the system overall!"