Having quickly become one of the busiest venues in the internationally renowned city of Las Vegas, the Resorts World Theatre, with a 5,000-seat capacity, boasts an unmatched concert and entertainment experience, hosting numerous superstar residencies and events. Designed by Montreal-based performing arts and entertainment firm, Scéno Plus, the extraordinary venue delivers AV over IP innovation, cutting-edge technology, and immersive experiences in an entirely unique space. Given the complexity of their productions, a robust intercom solution was top of mind to ensure reliable communication across the board.
Clear-Com’s long-standing partner, Solotech, a global leader in audiovisual and entertainment technology, was brought on board to deliver full systems integration for video, audio, and lighting, with the goal of bringing the ambitious vision of this performance space to life. The practical yet cutting-edge design of the theater caters to resident performers – a staple of Las Vegas entertainment – as well as touring performers like DJs and bands, and large corporate events. The project scope and AV installation also included the design-build of Resort World’s Ayu day club, Zouk night club, and accompanying restaurants and lounges, Fuhu and RedTail.
“For the theater, we all had the mutual purpose to design and integrate systems for this project that took into consideration both an audience’s and a performer’s experience,” comments Aaron Beck, Solotech’s Business Development Manager and Senior Engineer. “The logistics of this project were also very challenging because this was all going on during the Covid pandemic shutdowns, yet we still managed to complete the venue in time and source all the technology for its grand opening.”
As one of the key technologies for successful live events, communication systems, particularly intercoms, play a core role in the integration of this venue. Solotech chose Clear-Com® solutions for the theater in part because of ease of use – the ability to be instantly usable with minimal training by in-venue staff as well as visiting performers and their teams.
The communications system Solotech installed was robust, with the Clear-Com Eclipse® HX Digital Matrix Intercom as the venue’s bi-directional communications backbone. Designed for an optimum communications experience, offering point-to-point, one-to-many, and conference connections, Eclipse offers expandable connectivity, serving as a hub for linking audio channels with a variety of connectivity options. It is equipped with a Dante interface card, supporting the theater’s audio-over-IP requirements, and optimizing audio signal transmissions over the IP network.
“We needed an easy way to integrate the intercom signals with the AoIP infrastructure and give users the ability to transport multiple channels of audio to Dante-enabled devices over the network,” says Aaron. “Clear-Com’s Dante gives them this flexibility, low latency, and high-quality connections to, from, and between the crew.”
IP-enabled V-Series™ Keypanels further expand the range of the Eclipse system. Used for fixed-location purposes in the video suite and lighting in front of house, the keypanels give users more direct point-to-point communication and more party lines, which adds an extra layer of flexibility and added communication to the overall system.
A full-duplex FreeSpeak II® Digital Wireless Intercom System including base stations, transceivers, software, and beltpacks performs a core role for team members to communicate independently and conveniently untethered for unrestricted movement around the entire venue. Finally, the HelixNet® Digital Network Partyline 8-channel system with IP connectivity offers full-duplex audio and program audio for group communications. The single main station supports up to 24 HelixNet beltpacks or a combination of other HelixNet user devices. The interoperability of wired and wireless intercom systems working side by side supports flexible communications with crystal-clear audio quality.
The Clear-Com installation is designed to be tour-friendly, meaning that when an artist comes in and wants to use their own communication set-up, the two systems will work seamlessly together. “There are multiple productions that cycle in and out of the theater, with some performers and their team fully equipped with their own communications gear. The entire production crew needs effortless integration to meet all the communications criteria. Plus, the simplicity and modular nature of the Clear-Com tools allows the teams to easily set up and configure a customized workflow,” adds Aaron.
Brandon Andreasen, Audio Manager for Resorts World Theatre, adds: “The design of the Clear-Com system in our venue has allowed us to be able to easily accommodate any visiting production from small concerts, corporate events, broadcast, and awards shows, to our large-scale resident shows. Utilizing the portable LQ® Series devices and interface cards [for Eclipse] we can connect to any system that a production team brings with them. We can also easily expand the system for additional users simply by having the production bring additional FreeSpeak II or HelixNet belt packs.”
The crew relies heavily on the Clear-Com system to be able to focus more on the actual creativity of the performance, especially in a high-paced production requiring rapid crew communication.. They require stability and dependability, as well as a streamlined way for the team (production and stage teams, as well as the performers) to communicate clearly with each other without creating confusion or miscommunication. “Our main requirements for the communication system were ease of use, sound quality and reliability; all of which are met with the Clear-Com systems,” Aaron says. “Plus, the Clear-Com support throughout the entire project was excellent, especially considering the difficult time of the pandemic.”
“We have literally used every component and feature of the Clear-Com system,” says Brandon. “Our technical department managers utilize the Agent-IC® Mobile App over local WiFi to monitor intercom, which allows the production to maximize the number of FreeSpeak users for their needs. Our resident productions connect their monitor console to the system to enable their artist to communicate with the crew during the show. We can also take audio from the intercom system to hit our back-of-house paging system or as a ‘voice of god’ channel to the PA. Clear-Com is central to every event in the Resorts World Theatre.”