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Haymarket Theatre debuts Shure’s “cutting edge” Axient Digital after 10-year intermission

£3.6m investment see's Leicester theatre reopen its doors and become one of the highest spec’d theatres in the country

After over a decade of disuse, in June 2016 the management of the Leicester Haymarket Theatre was taken over by the Haymarket Consortium. Their vision and commitment, along with a £3.6m investment from the local authority, means that the Haymarket Theatre has finally reawakened and is now one of the highest spec’d theatres in the country with Shure’s Axient Digital as the wireless microphone system of choice.

Autograph Sales & Installations were contracted to provide installation, supply and consultancy services for the Haymarket project and had originally spec’d the Shure ULX-D system, but the launch of Axient Digital proved a game changer for the venue. The project was led by Chris Austin,Technical Sales Manager, Autograph Sales & Installations, who comments:

“Axient Digital came out at just the right time. While ULX-D would have been a great solution, Axient Digital has been designed as the premier live production RF system and was a perfect fit for Haymarket’s ambitious plans.”

The Haymarket theatre was redeveloped with being a training facility for students, studying production and performance related qualifications in mind. A large part of specifying product was choosing systems that students would come across in their professional careers.

Chris adds “As well as being used for shows and events in and out of the venue in its capacity as a training venue, Haymarket wants students to use equipment they will also see professionally.”

The Leicester Haymarket is one of the first UK venues to have Axient as its in-house wireless solution offering great advantages as a working venue. Chris continues “Being an early adopter isn’t always a good thing, but despite being the first UK venue to have Axient Digital, their systems have performed faultlessly. It’s a complicated system but presented in an intuitive format – it’s done everything the customer has asked of it so far without incident.”

With 18 channels in use throughout the building, the theatre is making best use of the product’s features. “The Haymarket have used Axient Digital on external events in challenging RF environments, and have found the monitoring and control through Wireless Workbench very useful. Good use was also made of the ShurePlus Channels iOS app on the first show in Haymarket, letting the production No2 walk-test the system on his own while watching for interference from stage machinery being used for the first time.”

“With the upcoming loss of 700MHz it’s only getting harder to produce big events from a wireless spectrum perspective. A key consideration of specifying Axient Digital was its large tuning range, which removes one headache for the client when planning spectrum for an external event. Having such wide-band hardware simplifies hiring in extra channels too, as checking you’re getting the correct build range is a thing of the past.”

The state of the art Axient Digital system will be helping the new 900 seat Haymarket theatre achieve its ambitious future plans in theatre productions,e-sports tournaments, live music, awards, parties and conferences.

“Designing world-class wireless systems that answer our customers need both for today and the future is of the utmost importance to us at Shure,” adds Tuomo Tolonen, Director, Pro Audio Group. “With the future of RF spectrum remaining unclear for the foreseeable future, cutting-edge venues like Haymarket require a system that is built to withstand even the most challenging RF environments. The Theatre industry brings such an important amount of cultural capital to our cities, and we’re proud to be part of bringing this social destination back to life.”