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PWS Provides Wireless Clarity For Legendary Artist

ORLANDO, FLA: On the road in support of “Home Before Dark,� his 29th studio album, Neil Diamond has embarked on a major U.S. tour. A consummate professional, Diamond has retained many of the veteran technicians who have traveled with him throughout his career. Among those are monitor mix/live recording engineer Bernie Becker and sound designer/FOH mixer Stan Miller, who hasn’t missed a tour or a show in 41 years!

Miller and Becker are committed to insuring the highest quality sound possible for any Neil Diamond tour. “I first encountered Professional Wireless Systems’ GX-8 and GX-4 Amplifier/Combiner about five years ago on a TV project in NY,� says Becker, a successful mastering engineer when he’s off road. “I noticed one in the rack and asked the engineer what it was. He said ‘watch this,’ flipped the switch, and the sound improved by about 30%.�

Miller also saw the potential for PWS gear to enhance the sound quality for Diamond’s show and it marked the first time Neil went wireless. Taking a PWS GX-8 on that 2003 tour proved to be a revelation. “The RF signal improvement was impressive,� he says. The GX-8 combines up to eight transmitters into a single antenna, and provides flawless coverage in large and small venues. Everyone noticed the difference immediately.�

“The essential inputs and outputs for our show are Neil’s wireless mics, wireless GTR and the wireless feed for his IEM.,� Becker adds. “Our policy has always been to listen to what each manufacturer has to offer at the beginning of each tour to see what works best. Prior to this current 2008/2009 tour Neil used a Shure Beta 87 with an “A� style head and a Sennheiser Evolution belt pack. This time around we tried the new AKG systems and the new D5 Dynamic head and IEM System. We are committed to providing the fans with the best wireless sound. To help deliver the goods we hired PWS GM Carl Cordes to train our sound team on getting the most benefit from the system.�

“In addition to the GX-8, Stan and Bernie added three PWS Helical Antennas to the package,� Cordes says. “These units more than double the range of other antennas, and they guarantee drop-out-free performance for wireless mics and in-ear monitor systems.
The Helicals rotate RF energy through 360 degrees of polarization to assure the artist of flawless reception whatever the energy level of their performance. We also recommended that they take the PWS Intermodulation Analysis System along,� Cordes adds. “This innovative software program has eliminated hours of setup time, by dramatically simplifying multi-city RF coordination.�

“Everyone on the sound team, from crew chief/wireless engineer Greg “Chico� Lopez to systems engineer, John Drane; monitor setup/wireless technician Fumihiko Okazaki; stage set up engineer, Lonnie Wayne; systems setup engineer Art Issacs and FOH setup engineer Jonathan Melton to Bernie Becker and I appreciate the impact PWS technology has made on this Neil Diamond tour,� Stan Miller concludes. “Interestingly enough, this is Jonathan Melton’s first time on the road. Between the old-world work ethic of Neil’s long-term road warriors and the state-of –art gear we’re employing to maximize sound quality and time efficiency, he’s getting a terrific real-world education.�