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The WRC U.S. reception included a live concert by the Sonic Crusaders. (Image courtesy of 3DB)

Sennheiser Deploys Wireless Multi-Channel Audio System (WMAS) Prototype At World Radio Conference

Live performance by the Sonic Crusaders at the event in Dubai saw the rock band equipped with a hand-built WMAS prototype system for in-ear monitoring audio joined by Digital 9000 wireless microphones.

At the World Radio Conference 2023 in Dubai in late November, Sennheiser served as the official audio sponsor of the United States reception during World Radio Conference 2023, where a live performance by the Sonic Crusaders saw the rock band equipped with a hand-built Wireless Multi-Channel Audio System (WMAS) prototype system for in-ear monitoring audio joined by the company’s Digital 9000 wireless microphones.

Dubai-based event service provider 3DB, with project manager Stuart Andrews, supplied all audio, video, lighting and stage production requirements for the event.)

“We are honored that the U.S. ITU Association (USITUA) selected Sennheiser as the audio partner for its prestigious reception,” says Dr. Andreas Wilzeck, head of spectrum policy and standards at Sennheiser. “For the show part, we operated a hand-built broadband WMAS prototype and several conventional narrowband digital wireless links simultaneously, proving the effortless co-existence of both technologies.”

A WMAS development prototype was operated alongside conventional narrowband systems. (Image courtesy of 3DB)

3DB’s Andrews adds, “Thanks so much for the amazing opportunity to work with the Sennheiser team and be able to road test the WMAS technology in a real-life concert environment! We were blown away by the prototype, the concept and design is fantastic, the performance is just ‘next level.’ It will be a game-changer on so many levels in live audio.”

The reception was hosted on the roof terrace between the twin Jumeirah Emirate Towers (JET), a challenging outdoor location due to the wind conditions. As the main wireless system for vocalists and acoustic guitar, 3DB employed an EM 9046 receiver with seven SKM 9000 handheld transmitters and one SK 9000 bodypack. The two handhelds for the lead vocals were fitted with supercardioid MM 445 capsule ,and the five handhelds for backing vocals with cardioid MD 9235 heads.

Wireless monitor signals were provided by the hand-built WMAS prototype, with Jason Banta, the front of house engineer for the event, stating, “The WMAS technology will relieve a lot of pressure on an otherwise loaded RF world. Transmission of the prototype was rock solid with no perceivable latency to my ears. The sonic quality was everything you would want from Sennheiser.”

The WMAS development prototype was employed as an IEM system, with Digital 9000 mics being used for vocals. (Image courtesy of 3DB)

Vocalist Susan Andalaro says, “The WMAS prototype delivered the best-quality in-ear monitor signals I have heard to date. I could hear everything the band members were doing with impeccable precision, with vocalist Vanessa Pare adding, ”I was very impressed. The balance between the instruments on the in-ear monitors was exactly what I was looking for, and I did not need to remove the ear pieces at all during the show. The sound quality was very crisp throughout.”

Wired evolution microphones captured the drumkit, with an e 901 and e 902 on the kick drum, e 914s as overheads, as well as e 904 and e 908 for toms and snares. The two guitar amps were miked with e 906s, while the bass amp was captured by an MD 421 II. 3DB also ran two EW-DP systems for the guitarists to connect wirelessly to their pedal boards. This gave them freedom of movement around the stage, even out in the crowd.

3DB created a wireless pedal board solution with a wireless EW-DP receiver. (Image courtesy of 3DB)

Dr. Wilzeck concludes: “A world radio conference is filled with complex topics and different views. With their music, the Sonic Crusaders touched people’s hearts and brought them closer together. Of course I also hope that this gig contributed to a deeper understanding of what audio PMSE is all about, because people will protect what they love.”


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