The 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil recently brought together the world’s top eight soccer teams, one from each of FIFA’s six geographical confederations, plus the host nation and reigning world champions. Each match was broadcast live to a global audience.
“This event was the perfect place to show how Shure’s Axient wireless microphone system can help ensure success for any event,” says Igor Del Ventura, Shure Market Development for Latin America. “We made arrangements with FIFA to use the system at several cup matches, including the opening and closing ceremonies. The systems were used for live broadcast as well as Infotainment.”
FIFA explains Infotainment as information plus entertainment, with two hosts located on the field, interacting with fans in the stadium before the game, at halftime, and post-game. The first big test for Axient came at the opening game in Brasilia, which started with speeches from Joseph Blatter, president of FIFA, and from Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff.
“Both the speeches were perfect in terms of wireless performance,” says Del Ventura. “We used the Axient systems in frequency diversity mode, which proved to be vital. Our computer logs showed that the system switched frequencies 13 times during the first match, yet no one could hear a problem. There is literally no other wireless microphone system that could have done that.”
Axient’s ability to detect degrading wireless channels and switch seamlessly to a clear backup channel is unique. The system’s ShowLink back-channel enables the engineer to control the transmitters remotely, including frequency assignment and output power, while also providing precise information on battery life and RF and audio levels.
The Shure systems were used during matches in Brasilia and Belo Horizonte as well as the championship final between Spain and Brazil at Estádio do Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro. Axient handheld mics were used on the field for infotainment presentations, which included important anti-discrimination speeches by team captains of Brazil and Uruguay.
The Technology Team of the Organizing Committee of the World Cup, which had been concerned with the likelihood of wireless interference, was pleased with the performance of the Axient systems, taking note of how Shure’s frequency diversity technology eliminated the problem without audible interruptions. The organization also noted the excellent sound quality of the KSM9 microphone capsule and surprisingly long life of the system’s rechargeable batteries. In a letter, the Technology Team praised Axient’s reliability, stating that “Axient was there for all our needs,” and that the group was “very happy with the results.”
The final match was followed by a concert event, with Axient used by all vocalists at the closing ceremonies. Performances by Brazilian stars Ivete Sangalo, Arlindo Cruz, Victor & Leo, and Jorge Ben were all delivered flawlessly by Axient handhelds with KSM9 microphone capsules. All artists used Shure PSM 1000 Personal Monitor Systems for their performances as well, with many commenting on the outstanding sound quality.
“The reaction of the Technology Team is very gratifying. It was truly a happy ending for all of us,” concludes Del Ventura. “Brazil won the Confederations Cup, and Shure Axient helped deliver the event to the world football community without a single wireless problem. As a preview of the FIFA World Cup in 2014, we could not have asked for a more successful or satisfying conclusion.”