Steep Canyon Rangers Wireless Mobile Racks
SE Systems in Greensboro, NC was recently approached by the Steep Canyon Rangers to build a tour ready Personal Monitor and Wireless rig that was portable, reasonably light, airline approved and easy to hook up. Haley Miller, one of SE’s lead technicians got to work on the challenge using SE’s resources and experience. SE Systems is a production and pro audio sales company started in 1973 with showrooms and offices in Greensboro and Charlotte, NC.
The Steep Canyon Rangers use all in-ear monitors and wireless body packs every night they perform. Bands that tour with these units have embraced the technology of wireless personal monitors, which can be controlled by tablets and phones. It also gives the musicians the same monitor mix at every venue and cuts down the setup and sound check time.
A plan was developed using portable rolling rack cases, multi-pin connectors, off the shelf equipment and custom wiring. The system starts with the one rack space Midas M32C Digital Rack Mixer, which has 40 input channels and 25 mix busses. This is paired with a Midas DL32 Stage Box with 16 outputs and 32 microphone preamps. An Asus wireless router was added to supply a wireless network the engineer and musicians can log into to control their personal monitor mix. The back of the main rack has two custom 16-jack XLR panels along with the custom made multi-pin panels.
The ear monitor rack holds three of Steep Canyon’s Shure PSM1000 dual wireless transmitters along with a Shure PA821A Antenna Combiner. The wireless instrument rack holds their Shure UR4D+ dual channel receivers, Shure UA845 UHF Antenna Distribution system and a Fischer Amps ALC 161 professional charger. The charger is filled with Ansmann 2850 AA rechargeable batteries. The backs of both wireless racks were outfitted with additional routing XLR’s and multi-pin connections. Extra care was made to reduce the weight by using nylon XLR Plugs and jacks. The rolling racks chosen were the SKB 3i-2424-146U iSeries Fly Racks for the Wireless units and a SKB 1SKB-R8U which fits inside an empty SKB 3R2727-27B. SE’s special custom work included the Steep Canyon Rangers logo etched on the back panels. All Neutrik XLR’s and Radial Multi-pins were hand wired by SE Systems techs.
An additional rack was outfitted for Steve Martin to carry his two Shure ULXD4Q wireless units and Shure UA844+SWB antenna/power distribution system. A Fischer Amps ALC 161 charger with Ansmann rechargeable batteries was also included. Another Multi-pin cable was built to tie this rack in with Steep Canyon’s racks. SE Systems has recently completed a similar rolling wireless rack for Jerry Douglas.
This system has seen road use and airline travel. So far it has rave reviews from the techs and musicians. The set-up is fast and easy. Roll it in, tie everything together with the multi-pin cables, set up the network and the band is ready to sound check. The musicians have complete control of the monitor mix from their phones over the network. At the end of the night the load out is about as efficient as it gets.
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