Shure’s Flagship Digital Microphone System Used on Gorillaz’ Humanz World Tour

Shure Incorporated | 17/12/2018

Shure, a leading  manufacturer of innovative wireless audio technologies support platinum  album selling, Grammy and Brit Award winning band Gorillaz on their  2017/18 Humanz World Tour.

With an early 2017 release of ‘Humanz’, the first album in seven  years from the world’s most successful virtual act Gorillaz, scoring the  most successful debut in YouTube VR history and enjoying another  ground-breaking first when 2D and Murdoc joined Mistajam for their first  ever real-time streamed interview, it comes as no surprise the tour  turned to the future of high-tier digital wireless technology, Axient  Digital for the Humanz World Tour.

Entec Sound & Light were one of the first to tour Axient Digital  on such a rigorous live schedule and application. Jonny Clark, Head of  Sound at Entec comments “Any equipment we invest in needs to be right  for the tour but also future-proof for ongoing deployments. Not only  have we found that in Axient Digital but we’ve developed a relationship  with Shure that’s second to none.

RF Tech Ben Shapiro played a key role in the implementation of Axient  for the tour, adding “Having first heard it being demonstrated in the  US, I was impressed by just how reliable the system was. Once you have  done your scan, your plot and loaded it in, I didn’t have to swap  frequencies around. The AD1 Bodypack Transmitter and AD 2 Handheld  Microphone are truly phenomenal units, and they sync incredibly  quickly.”

A Show Full of Colour, Illumination & Technology 

“My set-up time has been dramatically reduced whilst using Shure’s  Axient Digital Series, saving me time to focus on more resource  intensive aspects of the tour”. With a fairly complex and rotating cast  and in addition to Damon himself, a band that features in its ranks two  drummers and six backing vocalists, there’s the ever-changing and  dynamic menu of guest stars to contend with. “The audio metering  facility is extremely impressive and making decisions ‘on the fly’  (albeit calculated, of course), now a reality.

Having a simple cross-platform of being able to see my RF reception and  audio reception/quality from the microphones and instruments, means I  can make rational decisions even if sometimes one of those signals might  not be where I’d like it to be, which often happened. I would have  potentially made some bad decisions had I not had this feature.” says  Ben.

Jonny continues, “Shure know and should be proud of their growing  dominance in the live touring market, it’s highly deserved. The specs  that come in to us, are increasingly for Shure kit and we carry plenty  of manufacturer choice in our inventory. Entec can proudly service these  requests and Shure can rely on us to deploy their products properly and  professionally whilst out on technology driven tours like this one.”

Photo credit: Denholm Hewlett
Photo credit: Denholm Hewlett

Incredible Audio Clarity & Service, Second to None 

Ben continues, “Shure’s support in the initial stages and throughout  the tour has been faultless. From the moment I first heard the system in  the US and understanding all the new features and digital output  options, the suggestion to use Axient Digital was an easy one to make.  Being able to fit more frequencies into less spectrum is extremely  useful and the overall the audio quality is phenomenal.

It’s easy to stand by a product when you have people representing the  product & brand that are responsive and that’s the bottom line.”

“When you get feedback that the sound quality of Axient Digital is as  good as any wired alternative, you know you’ve made the right choice“  adds Jonny.

Supporting those comments, Tuomo Tolonen, Director of Pro Audio at  Shure UK adds “It’s been great to see how Entec have implemented Axient  Digital into the Gorillaz touring rig and hearing compliments from  various people on both RF and audio performance is the icing on the  cake. Knowing we have a world class team on the tour, from Ben, Jonny,  Dave Guerin (Monitor Engineer) & Matt Butcher (FOH Engineer) Axient  Digital is in the best hands and we are proud to be working with them on  this world class tour.

Axient Digital is a product we are rather excited about. It not only  replaces UHFR which is possibly the most widely recognised high-end RF  system ever made, but also has to operate flawlessly night after night  in a far harsher and congested RF environment than we have ever seen.  The reality of a harsher RF environment is what really drove the  development of the product as the expectation from any high-end  production is that there are no RF issues. Gorillaz certainly fits that  mold as the show is phenomenal with plenty of RF channels on a stage  with plenty of LED screens and it has to tour the world. It’s the  perfect recipe for a challenging environment but it’s precisely what the  product was designed for.”

After a rigorous 2017 event schedule, the 2018 leg of the Gorillaz  Humanz Tour now heads back across the Atlantic for an event schedule  kicking off in Mexico until late March, returning back to Europe for the  summer festival season in June. For more information, visit  www.Gorillaz.com

Shure Incorporated

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