“Chris Shiflett, the guitarist, specifically commented on how they sounded amazing during production rehearsals, even to the point of saying he would never go back to what we were using before.”
Aspen, CO (October 11, 2023) — The Foo Fighters are unquestionably the biggest band in modern rock, making them the biggest gig in modern rock for engineers and technicians. All of this pressure presents no fears to monitor engineer Ian Beveridge and RF technician Eiran Simpson, who keep the band’s ears happy with systems built around the Lectrosonics M2 Duet system, specifically M2T dual stereo transmitters, M2Ra belt-pack receivers, and an M2C active antenna combiner.
Given the size of the venues the Foo Fighters play, range is a paramount concern, or rather would be if the M2 system wasn’t so tenacious. “With just the one antenna and M2C coupler covering the band, we did a pre-production show at Shoreline Amphitheatre in California,” says Ian Beveridge. “The transmitters ran on just ten milliwatts [output power]. Eiran could walk to the very back fence of the venue, and the system still worked perfectly. I prefer this because systems that rely on excessive output power tend to raise the noise floor.”
Simpson adds that thanks to the full-spectrum capability offered by the digital nature of the M2 system, he has one less headache: “Because they’re wideband, the transmitters and receivers are especially suited to high-RF environments and extensive touring. They cover the full legal range of possible frequencies around the world, which is important as demand for wireless range increases while available spectrum decreases.”
Since Lectrosonics is chiefly known for dialogue work in film and TV production, Beveridge and Simpson addressed the brand’s audio quality for mixing heavy rock music, especially the dense mix the Foo Fighters dish out. “The Lectros sound better than anything else, and I’m not just talking about frequency response,” explains Beveridge. “The big thing about mixing a band with three distorted guitars is, you need to position them spatially. If I pan two in the middle of any mix, unless they’re tonally completely different, it’s going to sound like one big guitar. The M2 system provides a wider stereo picture to work within than any other wireless I’ve ever used. Unlike other IEMs, there’s also no residual sound in the opposite earpiece when you’ve panned something hard to one side or the other. It also means that when you add a bit of reverb or harmonizer to a vocal, it sounds big. That is a godsend for a mixing engineer.”
“The Foo Fighters do at least a two-hour show every night,” adds Simpson. “And when you wear in-ears for that long, after taking them out you usually need some time to re-adjust to natural sounds. But with the Lectro packs, there’s just no fatigue like that. You can take them out and immediately have a conversation. There’s just no sonic aggression there at all. I also agree with Ian about the stereo imaging. We have a busy in-ear mix so it’s nice to have such a big box to work within.”
The band seems to agree with their engineers’ assessment. “Chris Shiflett, the guitarist, specifically commented on how they sounded amazing during production rehearsals,” notes Simpson. “Even to the point of saying he would never go back to what we were using before.”
Well respected within the film, broadcast, and theatre technical communities since 1971, Lectrosonics wireless microphone systems and audio processing products are used daily in mission-critical applications by audio engineers familiar with the company’s dedication to quality, customer service, and innovation. Lectrosonics received an Academy Scientific and Technical Award for its Digital Hybrid Wireless® technology and is a US manufacturer based in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.
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