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Theater (Theatre)

Description of microphone techniques used for theater.

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In theatre the choice is between personal miniature microphones with radio transmitters, or area miking from the front and sides of the stage. Personal microphones allow a higher sound level before feedback since they are close to the actor’s mouth. For straight drama, it isn’t necessary to have a high sound level in the auditorium. In fact in most theatres it is perfectly acceptable for the sound of the actors’ voices to be completely unamplified. However if amplification, or reinforcement, is to be used then area miking is usually sufficient. Shotgun or rifle mics are positioned at the front of the stage (an area sometimes known for traditional reason as 'the floats’, therefore the mics are sometimes called 'float mics’) to create sensitive spots on stage from which the actors can easily be heard. The drawback is that there will be positions on the stage from which the actors cannot be heard. The movements of the actors have to be planned to take account of this.

By David Mellor Friday April 25, 2003
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