Audio Feats for Cirque du Soleil: Volta
When independent Sound Designer Jean-Michel Caron was tasked with the challenge of providing impeccable sound for the new Cirque du Soleil: Volta Big Top touring production, he relied on the Wisycom’s wireless microphone transmitters and receivers, and in-ear receivers for his wireless and RF needs.
Volta, the latest creation from Cirque du Soleil performing this winter in Miami and Tampa Bay, Florida, tells a compelling story about the freedom to choose and the thrill of blazing your own trail. Inspired in part by the culture of action sports, the show weaves acrobatics in a visually striking world driven by a stirring melodic score ultimately celebrating freedom as a movement.
Caron is no stranger to working on the intricate sound set up required by a Cirque du Soleil production, as he also provided the sound design for Kurios: Cabinet des Curiosities. “All RF components are invaluable to the process,” noted Caron. “Each piece of equipment is interconnected to the rest of the sound system via the digital I/O available on those units, and can be shared to the front of house and our monitor system using a Dante network.”
For wireless microphones, Caron is relying on the MRK960 Modular Wireless Microphone Receiver System with its MTH400 Wideband Handheld Transmitters and MTP40S Wideband Bodypack Transmitters. For in-ear monitoring, the production crew relied on MPR50-IEM Wideband True Diversity IEM Receivers.
Caron recalled how the Big Top show’s acrobatic nature and extensive set were a major factor in his sound design. “The fact that Wisycom’s system allows us to adjust power and other specific settings has helped us get maximum coverage for the vast area of the performance. Wireless coverage on our setup is never an easy task and working on a complex stage design makes our antenna location limited. We also have to consider vertical and horizontal displacement as the artists move around the stage as well as fly above it on a piece of scenery. Our reception and transmission has never faltered, remaining strong throughout the area.”
According to Caron, he says he was especially impressed with how well the equipment withstood each performance. “The male and female lead performers both use handheld microphones and in-ear systems in the show. Each used headset microphones that connect to a bodypack transmitter, which allowed for better movement while flying on various scenic pieces or playing an instrument while they sang.”