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Live Sound

Frank Carter’s Festival Freedom

A swap to new wireless system gave the rising punk band freedom to roam.

London, UK (November 30, 2018)—UK punk act Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes have been slogging it out in their homeland for three years and the band’s touring is starting to pay off as it’s started netting festival slots and gigs in larger venues. While punk traditionalists might scoff at the idea of the music requiring quality sound, modern audiences expect it and as such, the band has upped its audio game as it has risen in the world.

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While the band is relatively new, Carter himself has been a performer for years and has developed his own collection of Shure mics—to the extent that he even has one (the ubiquitous SM58) tattooed on his leg. “The thing about the SM58 is, it’s not just a microphone to me,” he said. “When I’m in the crowd, sometimes it’s literally my only way back.”

The band’s miking tends to be pretty typical—Beta91a and Beta52 combo on the kick drum, SM57s on guitars and so forth—but when it came to the frontman, the group’s FOH engineer, Mike Woodhouse, went upscale this past summer, putting Carter on an Axient Digital to lessen the possibility of dropout when the singer goes far afield from the stage.

“To ensure we didn’t lose any form of signal quality on the larger festival and high-profile support slots, the new Axient digital units became very appealing to us and in turn we had to try them out over this summer’s festival season,” said Woodhouse.

The move didn’t come without some precedent: “The crowd has always actually been the biggest hurdle with our wireless systems, but the range on the Axient system is flawless,” he added. “We’ve had the guitar [on Shure GLX-D wireless units] over 200 meters away from the stage in the London Stadium, without losing connection. That blew me away; I’d never seen anything like that before.”

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So the move to the Axient system met the group’s expectations as well, as Woodhouse noted, “This is the first time I have used Axient Digital and there have been zero challenges, it just works.”

Frank Carter •

Shure •