Sweat resistant microphone: Voice Technologies VT106HOF achieves perfect sound in a watertight housing
published March 2018
Microphones for use in theatre performances and musicals need to meet specific demands. They have to be as unobtrusive as possible when integrated into costumes, they need to be durable and still have to transmit voices with the best possible quality. Swiss miniature microphone specialist Voice Technologies developed the VT106HOF in cooperation with Hof theatre, addressing all these requirements.
The original impulse for the development of the VT106HOF by Voice Technologies came from Christoph Haas, sound engineer at Hof theatre. The engineer kept experiencing problems with the microphones used as they could not withstand the performers’ sweat and would fail. “Some performers would wear out up to four capsules during a show,” Haas explains and points to the tremendous financial cost caused by the situation, not to mention the embarrassment of the sound failing during a show. Even a second microphone, when integrated into the costume before the show as back-up, would not solve the problem. “It happened a number of times,” Haas shares his experience, “that I wanted to use the back-up but it had already been rendered useless by the sweat.”
Looking for a solution, Haas came across the watertight lavalier microphones from Voice Technologies and immediately reached out. The result of this cooperation is the VT106HOF: A watertight miniature microphone with cardioid directivity for ideal feedback suppression and a pronounced proximity effect. Sweat induced malfunctions are a thing of the past at Hof theatre now. Due to the possibility to configure the VT106HOF with LEMO or Sony connectors, optimal connectivity with existing gear is ensured.
By employing a cardioid polar pattern, the Voice Technologies VT106HOF perfectly focusses the pick-up area on the performer, suppressing noise, feedback and crosstalk from other performers on stage. The electret condenser microphone captures every nuance of the significant frequency range for speech and slightly pronounces the vocal presence to ensure maximum intelligibility. Christoph Haas praises the microphone’s modern, present sound and its “wonderful” proximity effect. The low self noise of only 26 dB(A) ensures the uncompromised transmission of even the quietest sections of a performance. Through these qualities, the VT106HOF is capable of capturing the whole scope of a performer’s acting in pristine sound quality.
The exceptional resistance of the VT106HOF is largely due to the elaborate injection moulding process used in its manufacturing. The unique protection against the intrusion of water is not the only benefit of the design. The VT106HOF is manufactured to the highest standards and thus achieves a particularly long lifespan, rendering frequent renewing of equipment unnecessary.
With applications in theatre performances and musicals in particular in mind, Voice Technologies developed a special rubber mount for the VT106HOF. The “Rubber Face Mound” RFM is attached directly to the performer’s face, holding the microphone in perfect position … a perfect mix of unobtrusive mounting and optimal sound performance.