Shure Axient Technology Curbs Interference Issues

Shure’s Axient Wireless System

CHICAGO—On Stage Audio has provided cutting-edge technology and service for most Fortune 500 companies in the more than 30 years we have been in the live sound business. We’ve now chosen to use the Shure Axient wireless system for all of our high-profile events due to its remote data control over wireless networks, extremely tight RF filtering, and spectrum management software that natively communicates with the hardware. I find it very difficult to design a show without Axient, as wireless microphones are one of the most important elements in any production. In my world, you only get one chance to make the show flawless for the audience and client.

The biggest selling point for me was Axient’s frequency diversity mode—this enables the transmitter to deploy a second independent frequency when interference is detected. Recently, I was involved in an event with some very notable speakers, and noticed after the show was completed that my main mic channel had taken some RF hits and the system deployed the backup frequency that I’d pre-programmed.

This made me realize that this system really looks out for its users. I’ve always placed two transmitters on presenters when using bodypacks in a hostile frequency environment, and it’s been up to me to either see the interference via the receiver software, or to hear it through the PA system. I’d never had this automatic second channel deployment luxury until Axient arrived.

There’s really nothing more unsettling than hearing your lead vocalist cutting in and out due to RF interference and then running to get a spare mic to them. With Axient, I don’t even hear the transition from main and backup frequencies when the system decides it’s necessary to switch.

Spectrum Manager plays a big role in the system’s success and nowadays has become indispensable. Backup frequency ranking has become a great comfort factor for our applications. I look at this as my safety net to ensure that RF interference doesn’t spoil a rehearsal or event. This system actually detects small issues before they become problems, then offers to fix them for you, maintaining perfection for the audience. Additionally, having the ability to change transmitter settings wirelessly via a computer is very handy. I’ve used this function to manipulate RF transmit strength on packs, trim audio levels, and change frequencies on the fly, all without physically touching the transmitter.

The sound quality from the Axient system is also by far the best on the market. Additionally, an AES output for each channel makes the noise floor nonexistent and always free of hum and grounding issues. This is a really great addition to the hardware from an engineering perspective, as typically this allows us to remove two analog-to-digital conversions in the chain. We do our best to push the advantages of this system to our clients, and in most cases, they agree that Axient is the only RF solution capable of fulfilling their demands and expectations.

Carmen P. Educate is a senior engineer for On Stage Audio and has been with the company for more than 15 years. She can be contacted

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