LD Systems uses Axient Digital to assure interference-free wireless at Lollapalooza

Customer Profile

Houston-based LD Systems is a production services specialist and AV systems integrator, providing professional audio, lighting, and video for a wide range of events and locations including live performances, music festivals, rodeos, corporate events, stadiums, arenas, theaters and houses of worship.

www.ldsystems.com

Challenge

To ensure flawless outdoor wireless reception with exceptional sound quality for 9 performers daily on Pepsi stage at Lollapalooza 2017, downtown Chicago

Solution

Incorporate 4 channels of Axient Digital handheld wireless as default vocal microphone system

Benefits

Maximum available channel count, ease of frequency coordination with other Lollapalooza stages, and flawless RF performance with outstanding sound quality

FULL Case Study

For audio providers, Lollapalooza is an annual test of their ability to provide reliable wireless microphones across four days of nonstop performances on eight stages spread across Grant Park on Chicago’s lakefront. For their fourth year there, Houston-based LD Systems decided they could swing the odds of success in their favor with four channels of Shure’s new Axient Digital.

“My usual go-to wireless is Shure UHF-R, but we had the opportunity to use a 4-channel Axient Digital system at Lollapalooza,” explains Julian Gates, audio engineer and systems tech for LD Systems, and audio crew chief for the Pepsi Stage. “I was a little nervous trying something new at such an important show, but the system proved to be really reliable. After 36 acts in four days, most of which I mixed, I can tell you that the sound quality is phenomenal – just a pure sound that I never experienced with any other handheld system.”

Of course, the biggest problem at an outdoor music festival in downtown Chicago is finding enough open frequencies. With Axient Digital available to augment artist-supplied systems, the Pepsi Stage never had a problem. “All the RF is centrally managed at Lollapalooza, so frequency assignments change,” explains Gates. “Whenever we had to make a switch, with Axient Digital all we had to do was enter the frequency, sync the transmitter and go.”

Gates was also impressed at how Axient Digital’s rechargeable smart battery system helped his crew keep up with the hectic pace of managing nine acts a day with 20-minute changeovers. At the conclusion of each set, the LD Systems crew would slot the AD2 handheld transmitters into the Shure SRBC charging station to “top up,” ensuring they were ready for the next performers. “In those 20 minutes, the transmitters would get back to nearly 100%, so there was never an issue. It’s one less thing to worry about in a really tight time window.”

The KSM8 Dualdyne™ capsules supplied with the Axient Digital really got the crew’s attention. “We have a few KSM8 hardwires at LD Systems, but I had never used it wireless before. We got more gain before feedback, and I love how when the singer backs off the mic, the KSM8 still gives you the bottom and the balls. I was pretty impressed.”

Having survived another Lollapalooza, Julian Gates is now a big fan of Axient Digital. “You never really know about a new system until you put it to the test,” he says. “Now I can say that Axient Digital is just outstanding. The RF is flawless, it sounds amazing, plus it has the battery system. I have nothing but good things to say about it.”

Gear List

Quantity
Model Number
Description
1
AD4Q
Axient Digital 4-channel wireless receiver
4
AD2
Axient Digital handheld transmitter
3
K8B
KSM8 capsule for AD2, black finish
1
K8N
KSM8 capsule for AD2, nickel finish
4
SBC200
Shure Dual-Docking Charger

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