Multiple venue RF antennas keep Family Farm’s “Flight Play” booming with reliable wireless audio


The Family Farm is the secluded entertainment venue of Family, a 120-year-old fraternal organization based in San Francisco. The family sponsors charities and organizes benefits and other events, including its “Flight Game”, written and performed by club members. These performances take place at the family farm location, on the outskirts of Palo Alto, about 10 miles south of San Francisco proper. It’s a bucolic setting, on the edge of several nature preserves, but that hasn’t protected it from the way the RF spectrum has been drastically reduced over the past decade, with the FCC auctioning off much of the traditionally used UHF and VHF frequency ranges. for mobile device applications, limiting what is available for wireless microphones used for theatrical performances.

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This is what Alan Chang, director of covered in coral (a multimedia production house that covers the full range of film, television, concert, theater, orchestral and choir sound design, and systems integration) that the family farm turned to for help to deal with spectrum constraints ahead of last year’s “Flight Play”. “The show, which takes place every summer and is usually a musical with a historical context, can have as many as 20 to 40 actors,” said Chang, who named his company after a nonprofit nature reserve. which he once founded. “There are a lot of moving parts – we had 36 channels of wireless microphones this year, plus two backup channels. And in a more constrained spectrum environment like the one we have now, that’s a challenge.”

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Fortunately, this was a challenge met with the help of solutions from RF location. Chang says he used the RF fin for site diversity antennas for a decade now, encountering them early on as a beta product. “We’ve deployed them at a wide range of events, from TV to theaters to concerts, and they’ve always been great,” he said. “But what has really made a huge difference this year, with the tighter spectrum environment, is the RF Location 4 ZONE active antenna combiner. 4 ZONE was located near the stage, feeding the pair of A/B combo antennas in a main rack with the wireless receivers. We used a Venue Spotlight Omnidirectional RF Floor Antenna at the top of the stage, with a D-FIN on the left of the stage and another D-FIN on the right of the stage. It was a great combination of systems. Also, RF Venue RF Explorer Pro Audio Edition Handheld RF Analyzer was deployed to help monitor the performance of Coral Canopy Electrosonic wireless system.

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Chang explained that performers on stage wearing wireless belts often turn away from the line of sight of wireless receivers, precipitating dropouts. “With the combination of the 4 ZONEs and the Spotlight on RF Sites, we had full coverage of the entire scene, even when the performers were facing down. Chang singled out the 4 ZONE’s 31dB of individual channel RF attenuation, calibrated in 1dB steps so he could adjust the gain of each antenna to minimize any overlap. And the Venue RF technology has had a positive impact beyond what’s seen in the spec sheet. “Because the coverage is so full, the front-of-house mixer for the show can really stay on point during the performance, without having to worry about dropouts,” he said. Venue works and performs well, and the products are user-friendly and reliable. It’s everything you’d expect from a wireless antenna solution.”


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