Photo: Steve Jennings
Monitor engineer Raphael Alkins is currently out with Ricky Martin. He and guitar tech Tim Wright were instrumental in finding a wireless beltpack system for the band’s guitarists.
We use acoustic guitars with onboard batteries driving the pickups on a number of Ricky’s songs. When these feed wireless systems using companders, the guitar’s sound ends up getting compressed to the point where it’s not very musical. The Lectrosonics [IS400] doesn’t use a compander, so the guitar sounds perfectly natural — big and full, with a rich, musical tone. Wireless systems tend to be heavily dependent upon a straight line of sight for optimum performance, and while we make every effort to maintain this, our guitarists move all over the place, so that’s not always possible. Even when they’re beyond the arc, we’ve had great reception with the IS400. The guitarists wear as many as three beltpacks — for a wireless mic, in-ear monitor and the IS400 for their instrument. Having three wireless systems in such close proximity can create some real headaches, but not once has the Lectrosonics gear created any difficulties.