Shure Axient Digital powers Louis Tomlinson’s world tour

Shure supports Louis Tomlinson on his worldwide tour with 12 channels of PSM 1000 in ear monitors and 2 channels of Axient Digital AD2 handheld microphones with KSM9 capsules.

Shure supported Louis Tomlinson on his worldwide debut album campaign with 12 channels of PSM 1000 in ear monitors and 2 channels of Axient Digital AD2 handheld microphones with KSM9 capsules.

The world tour was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and as a result, some shows were booked into larger venues with more production added. Show designer, Tom Taylor / TANCK came up with a new concept for the large outdoor European shows which allowed for a full width catwalk in front of the IMAG video screens, allowing Louis to walk and perform along the full width of stage and the catwalk, which was around 60 metres wide. This of course presented the concerns that his IEMs and radio mic wouldn’t have sufficient RF coverage behind the antennas at stage left.

Jack Drury and Stuart Stephens suggested a passive split of the IEM transmitting antennas, running our usual helical setup on stage with a passive omnidirectional antenna on the catwalk to provide increased RF coverage. With our standard AD4D wireless microphone setup, we couldn’t run Axient Quadversity, therefore we needed an AD4Q – 4 channel receiver and an extra pair of antennas from our audio supplier Solotech which allowed us to run a Quadversity setup for our radio mics and it worked flawlessly.

Stuart Stephens, Product Marketing Manager for Pro Audio at Shure, explained: “From experience, we knew that they wouldn’t have any trouble covering the main stage area with their usual helical antenna IEM setup. Using a passive splitter, they could place a UA860SWB omnidirectional antenna at the leading edge of the stage left position to capture the RF signal from both left and right catwalks. The directionality of the helical paired with the positioning of the omni antenna meant that the risk of overlapping coverage zones was low. When it came to the wireless mics, Axient Digital’s Quadversity mode was the obvious choice. Quadversity allowed for an additional pair of receiving antennas while still maintaining the true-bit digital diversity. It’s the best way to extend RF coverage or cope with high RF noise environments when using Axient Digital.”

On the final leg of his world tour, Louis Tomlinson played sold out shows in Spain and Italy including this year’s edition of his own annual festival called “Away From Home Festival” in Malaga. The biggest and final show of the tour was the 34,000 capacity Ippodromo San Siro in Milan. Steve Weall – Monitor Engineer, comments: “I am happy to report that after nearly 100 performances this year, we didn’t once need to even consider using the spare AD2 KSM9 mic or spare duplicated PSM1000 IEM system for Louis thanks to the solid RF performance we have come to expect and rely on from Shure.

One of the huge appeals of Shure is the Wireless Workbench software and its networking capability. I have a lot of experience with other manufacturers and coordinating RF, and the ability to easily setup, control, coordinate and monitor all your hardware remotely is essential. It’s mission critical and it just has to work, dropouts are not an option and Wireless Workbench, with advanced RF scans on my laptop combined with the Shure AXT600 spectrum analyser, helps us to ensure the shows run flawlessly and can be set up quickly, time after time. It is subjective of course, but Shure delivers the best sound and RF performance in my opinion, and whilst we do tour our own audio package the majority of the time, we do occasionally have to do a local audio hire and Shure hardware is accessible everywhere in the world.”

Louis Tomlinson had previously purchased Shure radio mics for his touring requirements. Including a AD4D Dual receiver, two KSM9 AD2’s plus SBRC rack charger and antennas along with a single PSM1000 system which was a flyable solution for promo and international dates in case they couldn’t be provided locally. Steve Weall comments “As we were buying kit, it made sense to buy the latest Shure technology which was of course Axient Digital and PSM1000. The P10R+ receiver packs are always my preference when it comes to IEM’s and both Shure and Solotech have been very helpful in their service and support.”

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