Famous Moulin Rouge Adopts Sennheiser MobileConnect

A hot spot of Parisian nightlife, Moulin Rouge is the world’s most famous cabaret, known the world over for its French Cancan, undeniable style and authentic Belle Epoque interior. Yet as a place imbibed with history, this listed venue also has its own share of specific technical and conservation requirements. When seeking an assistive listening system that wouldn’t compromise this unique site, video and sound director Bruno Ravary found Sennheiser MobileConnect to be an innovative solution that was perfectly suited to the iconic venue.

A single antenna for the entire auditorium
As someone who already uses several Sennheiser RF wireless systems, Bruno Ravary appreciates the flexibility of the Sennheiser MobileConnect audio streaming solution: “Using a single Wi-Fi antenna, we manage to cover the whole auditorium, which holds 900 people. The installation enables fifty users to connect to our assistive listening service. We don’t need to have someone there to hand out or collect equipment. Anyone using this service can do so independently and they can sit wherever they like in the venue. All they have to do is download the free Sennheiser MobileConnect app to their smartphone and bring along their headphones or earphones. Once connected, users pick up the audio of the show on their headphones with a latency that is hardly noticeable. They can adjust both the volume and the high and low frequencies as they please.”

Searching for the ideal assistive listening solution
Seated at a table between columns decorated with original vintage show posters, Bruno Ravary and his assistant Vanick Kasmi, discuss the issues they faced: “Offering a support solution for the hearing-impaired forms part of the legal obligations of a venue such as Moulin Rouge. We were looking for a system that both performed well and respected the site, since we couldn’t touch the décor of this listed auditorium.”

The two technicians then set about looking for a suitable alternative to conventional solutions: “The magnetic induction loop systems would have meant carrying out works, something we wanted to avoid. Moreover, this kind of technology means seating anyone wishing to use the hearing solution in a specific area, which adds yet more discrimination for the audience concerned…”

A plug-and-play system
Naturally, the success of this kind of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) solution depends on informing the users concerned beforehand. The website therefore advertises that assistive listening support is available, and the message is also posted in the Cabaret foyer and relayed by the head waiters.

At Moulin Rouge, the quality of the show is to be found both on stage and in the equipment that is carefully selected to be as reliable and easy to use as possible: “The installation only took a few hours. It’s practically plug-and-play. In practice, the stereo programme from our DiGiCo consoles is directly fed as AES signals into the Sennheiser rack. The ConnectStation then handles all audio streaming over Wi-Fi for the whole auditorium. Since installing it a little over a year ago, we have been using our MobileConnect system seven days a week, 365 days a year, for two shows per night.”