Microphone reeler primed to be smash hit with stage and theatre engineers at ABTT 2023


Stage and concert performers struggling with microphone stands can put this in the past as a clever Microphone Motor Reeler from igus solves a common snag in the stage technology industry. Plus igus will show its e-spool flex and zigzag products at the ABTT 2023 show.

When the lead singer takes the stage at Reading, Glastonbury or Glyndebourne, their microphone needs to be set at the precise height. Multiple singers mean multiple microphone stands, all correctly adjusted. Then the next act needs their own stands adjusted and set-up. At some concerts and musicals, these stands may be redundant, or even obstructive, for long instrumental sections. But performers need their microphones ready at the right moment and the right place.

Reeled or spooled cable microphones could be an effective answer for many stage performances. Mics are quickly deployed to the singer from the ceiling, and rapidly reeled in and out of sight during, for example, non-musical sections of a show. Accurate stage engineering delivers the mic to the performer at the right height and location. However the design of some reels with a slip ring limits the action and accuracy of the reeler.

Now igus has launched a new prototype microphone motor reeler with several improvements following a design engineering review of the needs of modern stage productions. A twisterband is fitted to remove the need for a slip ring. This means guaranteed and uninterrupted sound transmission from the mic, with an extension length of 30m that covers virtually every stage application. The reeler is approved for use for stage and theatre and meets the DIN EN 17206 and DGUV Principle 315-390 standards. The new motor reeler is designed for indoor use but can be supplied weather-protected for outdoor performances.

A design study at the moment, the igus microphone motor reeler concept wants industry feedback to perfect the engineering. “The reeler has been developed by igus with input from the stage and theatre industry, and now we want to finetune the product so that it really works for performers,” says director of e-chain and cable products at igus UK, Justin Leonard. “The twisterband instead of slip ring ensures a smoother, and reliable delivery, and it is strong but lightweight so suitable for gantry fixing. We are confident the motor reeler will be a winner with theatre production engineering companies.”

Stage engineers, relax: Reelers, e-spools and zigzags are here to help

igus will also exhibit its well-known e-spool and zigzag products for stage and theatre at ABTT 2023.

The e-spool flex 2.0 is used to reel and stow cables for applications including above-stage and under-stage equipment and lighting beams. In the past the stage industry has found it difficult to mix data and power services when using traditional cable drums in the past, generally only one cable type can be spooled and a slip ring is often necessary to accommodate the inner rotation. igus’s e-spool flex is designed to spool different cable and hose types together in any direction, using a twisterband fitted to the side of the cable drum, acting as a secondary cable management system. Like the motor reeler, this avoids the need for a slip ring.

And the cable is always safely routed through a feed-through, to ensure that it is wound up correctly.

In addition, igus’s unique zigzag system will be on show at ABTT. This clever assembly folds defined lengths of an e-chain like a concertina into a custom-made basket. As the stage platform rises or lowers, the energy chain unfolds and follows quietly with it. The zigzag system is possible with different e-chains and is well-suited to larger or heavier cable assemblies when the stowage area is wide enough to accommodate the basket.

igus zigzag systems are strong, highly protective, easy to assemble and have little vibration.

“igus has researched modern stage technology engineering needs thoroughly, and we have designed these solutions to help stage engineers do their jobs,” says igus’s Justin Leonard. “This is a multi-million pound industry, with performances often sold-out, and we know that producers and customers need to know that everything will work smoothly. The new microphone reeler, e-spool flex and e-chain zigzag all do this and add labour-saving, igus-engineered value to high-end stage productions”.

***The ABTT Show runs from 7th to 8th June at Alexandra Palace, London https://www.abtt.org.uk/abtt-theatre-show/  ***

Comment on this article

Please write a comment.

Your comment will be moderated by an admin before activation.