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Shure Axient Digital

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Shure Axient Digital

by Marcello Lo Ricco.

Marcello Lo Ricco is the director of LSS productions. LSS was formed in early 2000 to service the musical theatre market, with a range of clients across independent theatre companies, school performing arts as well as community theatre groups.

When LSS was engaged for a touring production of ‘StarWogs: The Ethnics Strike Back’ starring Nick Giannopolous and Mary Coustas, it served as the perfect opportunity to update our wireless inventory to include Axient Digital.

The main appeal for using Axient Digital for this production was the systems wide 116MHz tuning bandwidth. This allowed us to use the same system across Australia trouble free, whereas previously we would have had to use multiple systems in frequency blocks tailored to the local RF landscape.

After the flawless performance of these initial eight channels on tour,
we decided to increase our inventory to 24 channels, consisting of 6 AD4Q quad receivers, 24 AD1 bodypack transmitters and two AD2 Beta58 handhelds.


In Use

The quad receivers are a real space saver, with 24 receiving channels fitting into just 6RU. This helps us to get in and out of the venue fast, and keeps our footprint small. On shows where we are patching the units via their Dante interface, we can also do away with 24 channels of analogue patch and stage boxes, which further contributes to a neat and hassle-free setup.

Shure Axient AD4D
Shure Axient AD4D back

The Dante interface is also useful in being able to easily monitor the audio from all receivers via Wavetool, which is a third-party application designed for theatre RF monitoring.

The RF performance has been outstanding. The range is excellent, and we are finding that we can fit at least double the amount of channels into the same spectrum as we could with our other analogue systems – even without engaging Hi-Density mode. This is a huge advantage in theatre productions where there may be up to 40 channels of microphones and wireless comms fighting for an ever-shrinking share of the spectrum.


Control

We are using Shure’s Wireless Workbench to interface with the receivers and perform frequency coordination. Once the frequencies are calculated and deployed to the receivers it is as simple as syncing the bodypacks.

It is worth noting that the bodypacks reliably sync instantly via their IR interface. Wireless Workbench also alerts and timestamps any interference encountered at the receiver, which is great for tracking down intermittent sources of interference that weren’t present when doing the initial scan.

Axient AD2


Performance

The first thing we noticed was the dramatic reduction in noise floor. That’s a really critical and noticeable thing in theatre, where you may have 20 open microphones at any one time. All of our operators have commented on how clean and neutral the sound is, which is a perfect pairing to our range of DPA microphones.

The physical construction has been flawless on concealed placements and coping with the inevitable sweat, and the bodypack lock features also come in handy here. The front panel UI is really well laid out, and you can pretty much do everything from the receiver menu if required.


Support

Jands have been of great assistance throughout our acquisition, going above and beyond to ensure we had the system ready for the first tour. They also extended the opportunity to demo some additional pieces of the ShowLink system.

It was the clever ideas within the ShowLink system that really sold us on Axient Digital. These forward-thinking features would be a huge benefit to our workflow, such as changing bodypack settings remotely rather than trying to wrangle it out of a costume. We are definitely looking at adding the ShowLink technology to our inventory when we invest further into Axient Digital in the future.


Brand: Shure
Model: Axient Digital
Product Info: www.shure.com Australia: www.jands.com.au New Zealand: www.nsl.co.nz

AD4D

The Specs


AD1

AD1

• Two transmission modes: Standard for optimal coverage and new High Density for maximum system channel count and robust coverage
• Encryption-enabled, secure transmission
• Two connector options: TA4 and LEMO3
• Detachable ¼-wave antenna
• AA or SB900A lithium-ion rechargeable batteries for convenient power options
• External contacts for docked charging AD2
• Offers more than 11 hours of continuous battery life with Shure lithium-ion rechargeable batteries or 8 hours with AA batteries at 10mW
• Two transmission modes: Standard for optimal coverage and new High Density for maximum system channel count and robust coverage
• Rugged metal construction in black or nickel finish
• Backlit LCD with easy-to-navigate menu and controls
• Low-profile, lockable power switch
• Encryption-enabled, secure transmission
• AA or SB900A lithium-ion rechargeable batteries for convenient power options
• External contacts for docked charging

AD4Q

• Wide tuning range up to 184 MHz
• True digital diversity reception per channel for drop-out resistance
• Front panel headphone jack enables Dante™ Cue and Dante™ Browse monitoring
• Redundant Dante or AES67 digital output
• Switchable XLR for Analog and AES3 outputs
• Channel Quality meter displays RF signal-to-noise
• DC module version available to support redundant power



Axient Digital range



CX Magazine – Oct 2019   Entertainment technology news and issues for Australia and New Zealand – in print and free online www.cxnetwork.com.au
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