The “ghost lights” are gradually disappearing from London’s theatres as the world learns to live with COVID-19. One by one, household-name shows are returning to one of the most vibrant theatre scenes on earth, and the audiences with them. "As London’s legendary theatre land recovers, Autograph Sound are supplying it with close to 300 channels of Sennheiser’s Digital 6000 wireless systems. Hamilton, Les Misérables, Phantom Of The Opera and Disney’s latest production Frozen are just some of the shows currently relying on Digital 6000 wireless systems. The association between Autograph and Sennheiser is a long one, reaching back to 1984 when the former first used the famous MKE sub-miniature microphone on Starlight Express to help deal with the high levels of on-stage noise. Autograph’s first purchase of complete Sennheiser wireless systems was for another Lloyd Webber musical, Aspects Of Love in 1989, a 21-channel system of EM 1036 receivers with SK 2012 transmitters. In the intervening years, Autograph’s Sennheiser inventory has kept pace both with evolving technology and continuing demand from leading sound designers – now, in late 2021 where the entertainment industry is very much in a recovery phase after the unimagined devastation of COVID, Autograph’s commercial partnership with Sennheiser continues to develop.

Demand after COVID-19 continues to grow

Autograph’s Operations Manager Scott George comments, “In recent years Autograph has developed into a true full-service operation, providing sound design, equipment rental and sales, event supply, technical support, consultancy, infrastructure design and installation, training, product development and more. In terms of our sound rental operation however, our first objective is always to provide what sound designers specify.

“The designers for the eight London shows currently using our 6000 Series inventory specified that system in preference to anything else. The calibre of the designers we work with and the shows they deliver speaks volumes about the high regard in which Sennheiser’s wireless systems are held within top-end theatre.”

50 channels of Digital 6000 for a single show

The sheer numbers of channels in simultaneous use on the current roster of shows is breathtaking, especially when compared to Autograph’s first use of wireless in 1981, when the Andrew Lloyd Webber / Cameron Mackintosh production of Cats used just six, for the principals only. Frozen, Les Misérables, Phantom and Tina are all using over 40 channels each, while Hamilton, Pretty Woman and Wicked are all 30 or more. Dear Evan Hansen features a relatively modest 12 channels while, away from London, the current touring production of Beauty And The Beast uses no less than 50 channels of the Digital 6000 Series.

“As a long-standing partner of Sennheiser, Autograph have certainly been instrumental to the success of Digital 6000 in the theatre market over the past few years,” concludes Kevin Gwyther-Brown, Business Development Manager Pro Audio at Sennheiser. “It’s great to see Autograph’s level of support to their customers is resulting in more shows using our technology going their way. Long may this strong relationship continue.”