New York, NY â€“ September 2008â€¦ When the B-52s hit the road, their unique, slightly wacky, party band soundâ€”most of which is set to a danceable New Wave beatâ€”creates an atmosphere of fun and revelry few can resist. Such has been the case during the bandâ€™s recent string of performances. The current touring schedule commenced in April, included five weeks as part of this yearâ€™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 setupâ€”and the system of choice isâ€¦ Lectrosonics.
According to Ed Lehane, guitar tech for the B-52s, who in addition to managing Keith Stricklandâ€™s guitar setup, also provides logistics support for Tracy Wormworthâ€™s bass rig as well as backup guitarist/keyboardist Paul Gordonâ€™s guitars, finding a reliable wireless instrument system was no small challenge. â€œDuring rehearsals just prior to hitting the road,â€? explained Lehane, â€œKeith 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 didnâ€™t sound right.â€?
â€œAfter struggling with the gear,â€? continued Lehane, â€œFern Alvarez, our FOH engineerâ€”who has had a lot of positive experience with Lectrosonics wireless systemsâ€”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.â€?
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. â€œKeith and I have both been very impressed with the sound quality and the fact that locating and locking down open frequencies is so easy,â€? said Lehane. â€œMost 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, youâ€™re always dealing with noise or other issues, but with the Lectrosonics wireless system, not once have I been let down.â€?
Lehane is equally enthusiastic about Lectrosonicsâ€™ customer and technical support services. Lectrosonics has been absolutely great,â€? says Lehane. â€œIâ€™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. Iâ€™ve been very impressed.â€?
About the Lectrosonics IS400 Wireless Beltpack Instrument System
Utilizing Lectrosonicsâ€™ legendary Digital Hybrid Wirelessâ„¢ 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.
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.