Busted are making extensive use of Shure wireless microphones and in-ear monitoring (IEM) on their current tour, supporting their 2016 surprise third album Night Driver.
Every member of the Busted touring band is linked into an eight-channel wireless system comprising two Shure quad-band ULXD4Q receivers. For monitoring, the band is using eight channels of Shure’s PSM1000 IEM system.
Instrumental in the band’s choice of equipment on this tour have been guitar tech Pjay Johnson, who also works with John Newman and McFly live, and tour manager Robert Highcroft, who also looks after Bring Me The Horizon’s live shows. His live charges have also always been Shure wireless users, partly because they tend to be very active on stage and don’t want to be tied down by cables.
“If you look at a Bring Me The Horizon show, there’s around 30 channels of wireless on their tours, including the in-ears, and that’s because they run about – a lot!” explains Highcroft. “Most of the bands I’m involved with have been using Shure UR4D+, but that’s just because they bought their kit a few years ago, before ULX-D was out. It takes up a lot of rack space, and I realised I could save a lot of space with the quad ULX-D receivers. Busted are very active on stage too, and have benefited from the upgrade to ULX-D.”
In situations where the available RF spectrum is limited – increasingly the case in the developed world, where many of the frequencies formerly used to operate wireless microphones for professional purposes have now been auctioned for Wifi and mobile data use – digital wireless systems can operate more spectrum-efficiently than analogue technology, guaranteeing reliable wireless operation even in urban environments where RF usage is high.
This is important for live performance, as most decently-sized live music venues in the developed world are in exactly this kind of ‘crowded’ RF environment. What’s more, to guitar players who like the freedom on stage that wireless can offer, but who also value the tone of their instrument, digital wireless systems, with their wider and more accurate frequency response, are often more popular than older analogue wireless systems based on Frequency Modulation.
For Pjay Johnson, certainly, audio quality has always been the main issue. “As far as I’m concerned, Shure offers the best wireless systems – the audio quality is, for me, just way better than anything the competition have to offer. The speed at which the body packs sync with the receivers is faster than anything else I’ve used, and the design and build quality of the body packs also lends itself perfectly to the live environment. That all comes at a price – but if the artists I’m working with can afford it, I would always go to Shure.”
Busted’s Night Driver tour continues during March and April throughout Europe and Japan.