Lectrosonics Wireless On Tour With The B-52s

Sound quality and reliability are key to Keith Strickland’s performances

New York, NY – AES booth #509… When the B-52s hit the road, their unique, slightly wacky, party band sound—most of which is set to a danceable New Wave beat—creates an atmosphere of fun and revelry few can resist. Such has been the case during the band’s recent string of performances. The current touring schedule commenced in April, included five weeks as part of this year’s True Colors Tour, and recently included opening for what is (supposedly) to be the final concert appearance of the Police this past August 7th at Madison Square Garden. Throughout the entire tour, guitarist Keith Strickland has been performing with a wireless instrument setup—and the system of choice is… Lectrosonics.

According to Ed Lehane, guitar tech for the B-52s, who in addition to managing Keith Strickland’s guitar setup, also provides logistics support for Tracy Wormworth’s bass rig as well as backup guitarist/keyboardist Paul Gordon’s guitars, finding a reliable wireless instrument system was no small challenge. “During rehearsals just prior to hitting the road,” explained Lehane, “Keith decided to make changes to his guitar rig and, at that point, not much was going well, sound-wise, with the existing wireless system we had been using. It simply didn’t sound right.”

“After struggling with the gear,” continued Lehane, “Fern Alvarez, our FOH engineer—who has had a lot of positive experience with Lectrosonics wireless systems—handed me the contact information for Karl Winkler at Lectrosonics. I called Karl, explained what was going on, and in no time at all, Lectrosonics arranged for Tour Supply to provide me a loaner IS400 wireless beltpack instrument system. The moment I tried the gear out, I knew this was exactly what we needed, and Keith agreed. At that point, we purchased four transmitters plus a single receiver and have been using the gear ever since.”

Keith Strickland is typically outfitted with four beltpack transmitters every time he walks onstage. As he routinely switches among four different instruments, Lehane simply switches the appropriate transmitter on or off as needed.

Lehane reports the sound quality, ease-of-use, and reliability of the Lectrosonics IS400 system have exceeded his expectations. “Keith and I have both been very impressed with the sound quality and the fact that locating and locking down open frequencies is so easy,” said Lehane. “Most importantly, the reliability has been really impressive. I can count on the system to hold its frequency setting throughout the entire show. As a guitar tech, you’re always dealing with noise or other issues, but with the Lectrosonics wireless system, not once have I been let down.”

Lehane is equally enthusiastic about Lectrosonics’ customer and technical support services. Lectrosonics has been absolutely great,” says Lehane. “I’ve never had a company call me afterwards to follow up and make certain that everything is working to my satisfaction. But Lectrosonics called, and that shows me they really care. I’ve been very impressed.”

For information about Tour Supply, visit the company’s website at www.toursupply.com.

About the Lectrosonics IS400 Wireless Beltpack Instrument System

Utilizing Lectrosonics’ legendary Digital Hybrid Wireless™ technology, the IS400 sets new standards for wireless instrument systems. Flat frequency response, low distortion, and compandor-free operation provide the closest experience to using a high-quality, short instrument cable. The system features a 24-bit, 88.2 kHz digital audio stream, 256 synthesized UHF frequencies, and rugged all-metal construction for the reliability performers demand.

About Lectrosonics

Well respected within the film, broadcast, and theater 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 is a US manufacturer based in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.