Today, Shure announced its award-winning Axient Digital ADX series wireless transmitters are now widely available through all global resellers and distributors. As the new premier wireless solution in Shure’s portfolio, the ADX series offers enhanced features and form factors, including the ADX1 and ADX2 bodypack and handheld transmitters, ADX2FD frequency diversity handheld and ADX1M, the first micro bodypack with an internal self-tuning antenna.
ShowLink enabled transmitters offer real-time remote control plus automatic interference detection and avoidance. Catering to evolving customer needs, ADX series transmitters are compatible with the Axient Digital receiver platform and dedicated to providing high-performance RF, exceptional audio quality, command and control, and hardware scalability.
The premier micro bodypack transmitter—an incredibly small, smooth bodypack with an internal antenna—enables greater concealment and more comfortable wear in theater productions and other applications requiring discreet placement. With its RF performance, wide-tuning, High Density mode, and encryption, the micro bodypack enables premium, professional-quality wireless digital audio.
“About halfway through a set of Waitress the Musical, I actually switched bodypacks to the ADX micro bodypack and immediately noticed how lightweight and ergonomic it was,” said GRAMMY Award-winning singer-songwriter and Broadway performer Jason Mraz. “During previous shows, we wore heavier micro-packs underneath our clothing that were uncomfortable and would sag a bit. Because of its internal antenna, the ADX micro bodypack is much smaller, smoother, and more compact—I almost didn’t even know it was there. I loved it right away.”
The ADX series transmitters also incorporate ShowLink for real-time control of all transmitter parameters, interference detection, and avoidance. The ShowLink Remote Control provides instantaneous adjustment of critical settings across the network. Coupled with the AD610 ShowLink Access Point, it establishes a wireless network between linked Axient Digital transmitters and receivers enabling real-time control over the entire Axient Digital coverage area.
Jagged Little Pill, a musical that premiered at the American Repertory Theater at Harvard University (A.R.T.) in 2018, is heading to Broadway in 2019. “For Jagged Little Pill, we used the ShowLink Access Point to actively and automatically monitor interference, and allow us to change frequencies remotely. We were able to target and address issues without having to track down the actor attached to the mic,” said Bryan Atterberry, assistant sound manager at the A.R.T. “I could adjust sensitivity or gain, switch a mic’s frequency, or even adjust its power output remotely in realtime. ShowLink became an important part of how we managed audio for the show.”
Shure Axient Digital delivers flawless audio for NBA All-Star Weekend
The 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend took place in Charlotte, NC, on the weekend of February 15-17. The audio was supplied by Firehouse Productions, with wireless spectrum management handled by Frequency Coordination Group (FCG). Its task was to deliver flawless audio to TNT, TBS, and NBA-TV, along with fans in attendance at the Spectrum Center arena.
With three days of live broadcast events and hundreds of visiting media crews covering them, Firehouse chose Shure wireless gear as key tools toward ensuring a successful weekend. Cameron Stuckey of Firehouse was the primary RF Technician, designing the wireless antenna system and managing frequencies assigned by FCG.
“From the first game on Friday through the post-game awards on Sunday night, All-Star Weekend is a pretty hectic event,” notes Stuckey. “There’s always something going on, and it’s our job to be prepared. Obviously, equipment choice is a key aspect to making it all happen.” To that end, Firehouse supplied 24 channels of Shure Axient Digital as primary wireless systems. Half of those were dedicated to on-court music events, including pregame and halftime entertainment for all the weekend’s events, highlighted by the halftime show by hip-hop artist J. Cole on Sunday night.
In-ear monitors for musical performances were all Shure PSM 1000 systems, with eight transmitter channels available to feed 16 P10R bodypack receivers. Eight more channels of Axient Digital were dedicated to tangential events around the games themselves, such as player introductions, bench reporters, fan interactions like T-shirt giveaways and dance cam, as well as the final award ceremony.
The remaining Axient Digital channels were used by TBS for a special Saturday broadcast of the NBA web series “Area 21,” featuring live commentary on the skills challenge, 3-point, and slam dunk competitions by retired All-Stars Charles Barkley and Rasheed Wallace with host Kevin Garnett. Most of the Axient Digital systems in use were handhelds, with Shure KSM9 condenser microphone elements topping 17 AD2 transmitters. AD1 bodypack systems were used for the guitar and bass players accompanying Anthony Hamilton’s soulful rendition of the National Anthem and for hands-free miking of the “Area 21” participants.
“One thing we love about Axient Digital is its channel density,” says Stuckey. “That gives us the flexibility we need to pack channels closer together if we need to and makes it easier for the frequency coordinator to accommodate the systems brought in by visiting media and musicians.” Brooks Schroeder, president of Frequency Coordination Group, was also pleased. “The nice thing about the new Shure products like Axient Digital is that their off-band rejection is amazing,” he reports. “Sunday night, we had over 450 UHF frequencies running simultaneously, and we had no complaints of any issues from the NBA or the broadcasters. That’s how the whole weekend went.”
In addition, six channels of analog Shure Axient were deployed for TNT broadcast use. The AXT200 handheld transmitter used all weekend by sideline reporter Allie LaForce was equipped with the AXT651 Talk Switch. This switch goes in-line between the transmitter and the capsule and enables the user to control the output routing of the AXT400 receiver, either sending audio to the director or the broadcast mix. Also used were the WA653 mic flag collars, which provide additional clearance for all types of mic flags. AXT100 bodypacks were used to mic on-court activities during Saturday’s Skills Challenge event.