The wireless microphone system delivers impressive sound and solid RF on the show’s auditions
LONDON, United Kingdom, 26th May 2023 — For over twenty years, Hotcam has supported the broadcast and television industry with multi-camera and audio equipment hire, technical management, engineering and crewing services.
Hotcam’s reputation is built around its ability to provide bespoke flypack and engineering solutions, whether that be for complex studio rigs or international multi camera productions. Previous projects have included transforming a prestigious, working London hotel, The Langham, into a multi camera studio for Netflix’s “5* Chef”, and Coach trip, a uniquely complex tech brief whereby a touring coach is fitted out as a mobile fixed rig for several months.
In January, Hotcam deployed it’s flypack services to The Palladium for the record of ITV’s flagship Saturday entertainment show, Britain’s Got Talent. In this case, the engineering team chose to build the audio solution solely around the Shure Axient Digital system, the first year that a single-manufacturer digital radio microphone system has been used.
Hotcam is constantly on the lookout for new products to remain at the very cutting edge of technology, enabling them to facilitate their clients’ needs to the highest of standards. They wanted to upgrade their high-end analogue radio microphones to digital ones for some time after the 700MHz sell-off. A top-notch system was required, with a wide frequency bandwidth, great range, great audio quality and great functionality and last year they upgraded the entire radio microphone system to Shure Axient Digital.
Peter Green, Managing Director at Hotcam comments: “Shure ticked all of those boxes for us – the spectral efficiency of the Axient Digital radio microphone system, the range of the system and the remote operability of Shure ShowLink made it the perfect choice for a show of this scale. Having the ability to network the rack via Dante sealed the decision for us as it future proofs the rig.”
In previous years the Britain’s Got Talent studio and reality rigs ran on different systems because the requirements were quite different for each. The studio relies on a full outside broadcasting rig, with rack mounted receivers and carefully managed RF distribution, whereas the reality rig required portable receivers in sound bags.
Shure Axient Digital impressed, with Mike Ransome, Head of Audio at Hotcam outlining an unexpected upside of the new set-up. “We have facilitated a number of PSC productions and have managed to achieve up to half a mile of range on the ADX1 transmitters paired with ADX5D portable receivers wit log periodic antennas on productions both in the UK and abroad. The range of the system is incredible. More than comparable to any high-end analogue system. The audio quality really shines, and the setup is easy to understand. The reliability has been amazing so far – I don’t know how they’re doing it but I have yet to see a system with better range, analogue or digital.”
Sean Taylor, Sound Supervisor of Britain’s Talent and numerous scalable multi camera formats: “The release of the Shure ADX5D portable receiver allowed us to bring both worlds together for the first time, meaning that the whole show was working across a single system. This allowed for a huge amount of flexibility across the entire rig that wasn’t possible previously. We have been hugely impressed with Axient Digital eco- system across our productions.”
The remote operability gave Hotcam a huge advantage and the ability to manage and monitor the entire radio mic system from a single workstation was game changing for them. The Sound Crew could remotely change frequencies, adjust gain, and monitor battery levels, which Hotcam has found incredibly useful on every project Shure has been deployed across.
The Britain’s Got Talent project was not without challenges, primarily due to its scale. Finding enough ADX5D portable receivers (22 were required) and 3-pin LEMO belt packs was a challenge, but a challenge that was met thanks to the support from another rental house.
The job required 106 radio mic and in ear monitoring frequencies, utilising both analogue and digital systems running alongside each other, which brought challenges on location. “With the Lowry in Manchester being right next door to Media City, the amount of RF activity in the area was rather large and it took a lot of work and a few talks with OFCOM to come up with a plan that suited everyone’s needs on site.” says Mike Ransome
For shooting in the main auditorium, the radio mics were received on Shure AD4Q and AD4D receivers, but for the reality side of the show, the large team of recordists utilised ADX5D portable receivers.
Shure Wireless workbench was utilised to plan out the frequencies for the digital side of the system as well as a mixture of frequency planning software to get the channel count needed on the analogue side.
Shure Axient Digital impressed, with Mike Ransome adding: “The range of the system is incredible. More than comparable to any high-end analogue system. The audio quality really shines, and the setup is easy to understand. The reliability has been amazing so far – I don’t know how they’re doing it, but I have yet to see a system with better range, analogue or digital.”
When investing in any new product, it is crucial to know that support will be there when you need it. Shure worked closely with Hotcam through the planning stages, offering demos and support, removing any concerns regarding using digital only for the first time.
Mike Ransome adds: “I have nothing but good things to say about the team at Shure. They were incredibly supportive, reducing our worries and have helped us locate the extra kit we need at times to get these jobs over the line. A special thanks to Peppe Mallozzi at Shure for all his help and advice.”
Peter Green summarises: “As a rental/kit hire company we always have to be on the pulse, allowing us to supply the latest market leading audio equipment. This enables us the most flexibility when designing a technical solution for our clients’ needs, and Shure definitely does that for us in spades incorporating Dante and ShowLink into their systems.”
“I am extremely grateful for the trust Hotcam has placed in Shure and for recognising the reliability, efficiency, and quality of Axient Digital. It was great to hear from Mike, Peter and Sean that Shure had been given a “golden buzzer” and would be their choice of Wireless on Britain’s Got Talent. We cherish the good relationship we have with Hotcam, and we are committed to continuing to provide the best possible products and support. Like the team and the show itself, we strive to exceed expectations and make every performance flawless,” concludes Stuart Moots, Director Pro Audio, Shure UK.
For more information on Shure Axient Digital https://www.shure.com/en-GB/products/wireless-systems/axient_digital
Shure (www.shure.com) has been making people sound extraordinary for nearly a century. Founded in 1925, the Company is a leading global manufacturer of audio equipment known for quality, performance, and durability. We make microphones, wireless microphone systems, in-ear monitors, earphones and headphones, conferencing systems, and more. For critical listening, or high-stakes moments on stage, in the studio, and from the meeting room, you can always rely on Shure.
Shure Incorporated is headquartered in Niles, Illinois, in the United States. We have nearly 40 manufacturing facilities and regional sales offices throughout the Americas, EMEA, and Asia.