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New kit for IR set-up


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Morning all. I'm looking for a little advice with our infra-red description kit


Current set-up:


Two AKG condensor mics on goosenecks plug into two channels on a Spirit F1.

A line level mono input from the show relay plugs into a third channel on same mixer.

With no description, the show relay channel is left on and fader up to the main outs so that the infra-red system has a signal in case a patron with hearing difficulties (and no hearing aid) requests a headset.


When there is description, the show relay channel is left on but fader down. Signal is sent pre-fade to auxes 1 and 2.

The mic channels are switched on and faders up with levels set for the describers. Signal is also sent pre-fade to auxes 1 and 2.

Their monitoring headphones are plugged directly into auxes 1 and 2.

The main outputs still go to the infra-red amps but with no show relay and the describers voice instead.

The monitor outputs go to a VCR and then to a TV for archiving or dry run purposes. The TV also provides a stage feed for those times when action occurs above the stage floor.


The problems:


Each time the describers come, we have to spend some time setting up levels for both their own headphones and for the headsets of the visually impaired patrons who have to 'see' the show. And this setup time is usually in the last hour or show before the show starts ...


The space available is limited so with mixer, TV and mics, there is barely room for a single describers script, never mind when we have two of them there.


Even with goosenecks mics, it's still quite easy for the the describers to go off-axis


The set-up is a little clunky and could be steamlined


The Requirements:


We need to purchase headset mics so that each describer has their own mic which moves with them.


Headset mics should be capable of catching male and female voices clearly and accurately


Headsets should be of the dual muff closed variety and should be adjustable for different heads


Headset muffs and mic covers should be easily removable for cleaning and should be easy to refit once clean


The mixer needs:

At least four inputs, of which two will be mic level


All levels should be adjustable, independent of other inputs


Six outputs would be preferable (for creating an archive) but four essential


Each output should be independent of other outputs


All inputs should be capable of being routed to none, all or somewhere inbetween of the outputs


Footprint of the mixing device should be as small as possible (having something no more than 3U high in a rack is acceptable as we can just put the TV on top - 1U preferred of course)


Levels controls for the headsets (mic and headphone) must be within easy reach of someone sitting down - these controls do not have to be in the main unit (so a larger mixing unit with remote headset/mic controls would be acceptable)


We would like the system to be up and running certainly by the end of October


We would prefer off the shelf products rather than something custom made


Reliability essential


Cost is not an issue (within reason - we won't be being anything encrusted with diamonds rolled on nubile thighs ...) but should be in the ballpark of the example products given below, so £hundreds rather than £thousands


Current product contenders:


For headphones we are thinking of Beyer DT290s:



The mixing side of things is a little harder but the Samson S-Zone rack mixer seems to be the best compromise we've found so far:



What would I like from you?


Suggestions of other products that would be suited for this application (particular for the mixer)

Any thoughts on issues that I've neglected to mention

Cup of tea (white, no sugar, ta)


Thanks for reading and for any help given

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