Shure Axient Digital tours with "Alive and Swingin'"

Roger Wagener, FOH Engineer

The entire audible frequency range sounds impressively open, the high frequencies as well as the bass. In terms of sound quality and clarity, this system is a clear step forward for me and I would definitely use it again in future.

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Xavier Naidoo, Sasha, Rea Garvey and Michael Mittermeier — known throughout the German-speaking world as the 'German Rat Pack' — were on the road once again in 2017, taking in Germany, Austria and Switzerland on their "Alive and Swingin'" tour. Between February 10th and April 2nd, the four singers put on their tuxedos once again, and, accompanied by their big band, toured sold-out concert halls to an enthusiastic response. The tour concluded with three concerts in Frankfurt’s 'Century Hall' (known in German as the Jahrhunderthalle).


On the 2017 "Alive and Swingin'" tour, the Shure Axient Digital wireless microphone system was used for the first time in Germany. FOH engineer Roger Wagener and Sven Bonse (monitors), together with RF Engineer Peter Lorenz, chose the Axient Digital wireless microphone system consisting of a four-channel AD4Q receiver, and four AD2 handheld transmitters with KSM8 dual-diaphragm capsules — one for each of the lead singers. "I had been using the KSM8 capsules for a while on another production", comments Roger Wagener, explaining his choice. "From the very beginning, I was very excited about the microphone’s greatly reduced proximity effect, and that proved really advantageous on the "Alive and Swingin'" tour. The dual capsules are so well matched, the sound remains very consistent no matter what distance the vocalist is singing from."

The KSM8 capsules actually provided Roger Wagener with his introduction to the new Shure Axient Digital wireless system. "A couple of months before this tour began, I was in contact with Jens Stellmacher, Shure Pro Audio Key Account Manager, about the KSM8 capsules, which I was using at the time. While we were talking about those, Jens mentioned the new Axient Digital system and asked if we would be interested in being the first people to use the new system live in Germany." For Roger, the advantages were clear. "The entire audible frequency range sounds impressively open, the high frequencies as well as the bass. In terms of sound quality and clarity, this system is a clear step forward for me and I would definitely use it again in future."

Axient Digital combines the best aspects of earlier analogue and digital wireless solutions such as Shure UHF-R, Axient, and ULX-D to create a fully scalable, AES3 and Dante-compatible digital wireless system that offers unparalleled audio transparency and RF performance. Like the original Axient system, Axient Digital is extremely resistant to interference and dropouts and highly spectrum-efficient, offering up to 47 active channels of wireless in each 6 MHz TV band when using the new system’s High Density mode (or 63 channels in an 8 MHz band). Furthermore, the overall system latency has been kept below 2ms. In short, Axient Digital is a reliable, user-friendly system that can be used in a wide range of applications from live shows to corporate presentations and installed sound projects.


Monitor Engineer Sven Bonse has also been won over by Axient Digital after using it for the first time: "The sheer reliability of the system gives me a good feeling about using it on a daily basis," he explains. "I can now take rock-solid operation completely for granted during a show and not think about the wireless channels at all — which was, and often still is, far from a given when using other systems. When you’re working with in-ear systems in particular, you notice little interruptions in the signal immediately." In addition to the system’s resistance to interference and dropouts, Bonse is also impressed with how easy it is to set up Axient Digital before a show: "You can do so much to prepare and remove possible sources of trouble in advance, particularly with Wireless Workbench."

With the powerful sound of their on-stage Big Band behind them, the singers on stage needed to hear clear signals from their vocal mics that would cut through the dense, loud monitor mix — especially when working, as they were here, with on-stage wedges for monitoring. "A stage like this one has so many kinds of audio sources interacting on it," concludes Sven Bonse. "I’m extremely grateful that we were working with a pickup-resistant system like Axient Digital, with a lot of headroom!"

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