Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
‘Next Great American Band’ rocks with Shure UHF-R
At a time when it's difficult for bands to get promotional traction, Fox’s “The Next Great American Band” offers up-and-coming groups the potential for massive network TV exposure. The show uses an audio blueprint conceived and executed by Burbank, CA-based Soundtronics using Shure UHF-R wireless systems.
"This production is a real track meet," said Soundtronics' Dave Bellamy. "It's a lot of work, and the A2s are always running nonstop. Multiple staging areas are right next to one another, and when you add up all the RF devices in use on the set, you're probably looking at 140 frequencies or more all operating in close proximity. It's a saturated environment, and that's what makes the whole thing tricky."
To prevent RF chaos in this environment, Soundtronics called upon its Phoenix antenna system. The Phoenix system is a network of antennas expressly designed to optimize signal-to-noise ratio. In total, 12 antennas within the Phoenix system were deployed, with three in each corner of the stage area.
"Within this arrangement, wherever the talent turns with either a handheld wireless transmitter or bodypack, we have at least one — and usually two — antennas within a direct line of sight," Bellamy said. "Given this reality, I can turn down the sensitivity of the system to minimize the impact of locally generated noise and the effects of RF operation in adjacent areas."
According to Debbie Fecteau, audio assistant for “The Next Great American Band,” 100 channels with Shure UHF-R wireless systems see regular use on the show. Both bodypack and handheld transmitters are used, with the latter sporting KSM9 and SM58 capsules.
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