WorldStage Relies on Pliant Technologies’ Tempest Wireless Intercoms
WorldStage is one of the longest-established AV and event staging companies in the United States. Their roster includes clients as diverse as ESPN, NBC, Saturday Night Live, Lexus, Mercedes Benz, American Express, Nike and Adobe. In WorldStage’s 35-year history, one thing that has remained consistent in WorldStage’s universe is the use of Pliant Technologies’ Tempest Wireless Intercom Systems.
WorldStage projects vary in size from corporate events held in ballrooms for a few hundred people to indoor (or even outdoor) arenas with audiences as large as 15,000. “We use Tempest mainly for corporate events,” explains Andrew Guberman, RF and Communications Technician for WorldStage. “Our typical setup would include one or two BaseStations and five or ten BeltStations. When you have a large number of RF channels being used by microphones and in-ear monitors, having comms that are not in that same frequency range is very helpful.”
“Depending on the event there could be as few as a dozen or as many as thirty RF devices,” adds Scott Schachter, Vice President, Pro Audio Sales for WorldStage. “Currently there is a very limited RF spectrum that we can tap into, which poses a challenge when trying to fit all of the RF devices into that. What’s amazing is that the Tempest system doesn’t operate in those busy portions of the RF band, which leaves more bandwidth for other devices. The quantity of BeltStations that can be used on a single BaseStation, and the expandability of the system are major advantages for us.”
Available for operation in the 2.4GHz range worldwide and 900MHz range in North America, Tempest BaseStations are compatible with all major 2-wire and 4-wire intercom systems. Tempest wireless systems can operate in one of three modes to accommodate a variety of intercom requirements: Normal, Shared or Split. Normal Mode supports use of five BeltStations per BaseStation, with each BeltStation having access to all features and full-duplex (dual talk/dual listen) operation. Shared Mode permits an unlimited number of BeltStations to be used on one BaseStation, whereby up to five BeltStations may talk at any time. Split Mode permits use of four BeltStations in Normal Mode, plus allows an unlimited number of BeltStations to access one channel. This flexibility has been invaluable to WorldStage.
“For one of our events, we needed to cover an entire venue,” reveals Guberman. “We used four BaseStations in a Seamless Roaming configuration with fifteen BeltStations that were all in Shared mode. Any member of the crew could go anywhere in the venue and still have coverage — which was very helpful. Sometimes we have to cover multiple floors, in which case Seamless Roaming is extremely useful by providing us with a larger antenna system for greater coverage. For a different event, we had to ensure coverage on two floors, which was done by using four BaseStations and ten BeltStations in Seamless Roaming as well. Anyone in the crew could go to either floor and have full duplex communication the entire time.”
Seamless Roaming is an exclusive feature of Tempest2400 systems, where a BeltStation user can move among as many as 16 zones without making any manual adjustments to the pack. As the user moves from one zone to the next, the Tempest system automatically handles the transition between BaseStations.
“We own about eight Tempest systems,” says Schachter, “and we’ve found them to be reliable and versatile. The T-Desk software makes it very easy to configure and monitor the system or make changes to it, plus it gives us features like battery status and microphone kill. Tempest interfaces easily with our other intercom equipment, has the ability to run four conferences on a BeltStation, and provides a tremendous amount of expandability.”