Leeds Playhouse Upgrades its Sound System with Shure Axient Digital

Photo: Helen Murray / ArenaPAL www.arenapal.com

Shure works with Autograph Sound, to install Axient Digital as a sound system upgrade for Leeds Playhouse.

The award-winning Leeds Playhouse is the largest regional repertory theatre in the UK outside London and Stratford and has earned an international reputation as one of Britain’s most exciting producing theatres. The Playhouse has been welcoming audiences for over 50 years and most recently underwent a £16m transformation which includes improved access to and around the theatre, a new city-facing entrance and the addition of a new studio theatre, the Bramall Rock Void.

The theatre’s continuing investment in their audio infrastructure has seen the recent purchase of 24 channels of Shure’s Axient Digital wireless systems from Autograph. Tom Cuthbertson, Deputy Head of Sound at Leeds Playhouse, comments: “Our old RF systems were in need of replacement after many years of use. Unfortunately, we also lost the use of around half of them in the most recent Ofcom frequency changes, so it was time to update. We had seen all the main brands coming through on touring shows and there were several things about Axient Digital that really appealed to us – the build quality was obviously there and then adding in the really useful things like remote control and network access made it even more attractive.”

Tom continued: “The redundant frequency spectrum management facility on Axient Digital is also great for us. As a city-centre location there is a lot of RF flying about locally so the system’s ability to scan the local spectrum, create a bank of free frequencies then auto-reassign if necessary really takes all the stress out of day-to-day frequency management for us. It’s great in a fixed location, for touring it must be even better!”

“We also really like the chargers, the charge monitoring is very useful and with two battery modules per pack we just flip-flop through the day as needed. The transmitters are also very compact and in fact the whole system is just so well thought out and usable in a busy theatre environment.

The whole system was easy to rack up and configure as everything you need is included. Adam (Broom, Autograph’s Project and Installations Manager) helped us with a system walkthrough and setup and as always dealing with Adam and Autograph was very easy.”

Stuart Moots, Director Pro Audio commentd: “I’m extremely pleased that the Leeds Playhouse team chose Axient Digital as their choice of wireless system. It’s great to hear their reasons for choosing Axient Digital are precisely why we included those features when we developed the platform. We listened to what the theatre community needed from a wireless system and with the recent additions of Axient portable receivers and plug on transmitters, Shure continues our commitment to provide the best audio and wireless solutions for theatre.

Tom Cuthbertson concluded: “The new wireless gear went straight into action on our summer show ‘A Little Night Music’, designed by Seb Frost. Straight away the difference between new and old systems was so obvious – with the Axient Digital somehow it sounds a lot less amplified, very clean, much more believable and natural. It’s really clever stuff.”