Brand’s Solutions Provide Durability and Quality Audio for the American Rock Band’s “Freedom Tour 2023”
SAN FRANCISCO — As Monitor Engineer for American rock band Journey and Account Executive at CLAIR Global, Josh Swart knows exactly what tools are needed to produce solid audio for live production. An early adopter of Wisycom SRL products, Swart began using the brand’s MPR50-IEM Wideband Receivers and MTK952 Wideband Dual Transmitters on tour with Journey in 2016. For the band’s current “Freedom Tour 2023,” Swart has also added the CSI16T Wideband Combiner to his workflow.
“The first thing that sold me on Wisycom was simply the fidelity of the units,” says Swart. “We set them up in the shop, in a scenario where you could hear them next to some competitors all at the same time. The competition wasn’t even close to providing the same caliber of sound, and that alone sold me on the brand. Once I got them out on the road and saw how unbelievably stable they were from the RF side, I was blown away. LED video panels have always been a challenge in the past, but the Wisycom solutions have no RF interference.”
That stability significantly enhanced the team’s workflow, leading them to add even more gear for the band’s latest tour. “We currently use 12 channels of Wisycom’s MTK952 Dual Transmitters with 24 MPR50-IEM packs, along with the CSI16T Combiner,” adds Swart. “I drive eight of the current mixes via AES, and the last four via analog.”
Swart’s other favored Wisycom functions are the various parameters available on the volume knob of the MPR50-IEM packs. “Two of the artists didn’t want the volume knob to move during a show and we would always have to tape them off, but now I can put them on a locked volume,” he explains. “So, it doesn’t matter if the volume pot is on 1 or 10―it won’t move from the setting that we have predetermined, even if I run my cue pack on the option of variable volume. I can turn it down, but if I blindly spin my pack up, I know it will stop at the same volume that the two primary artists are currently using. This feature has been a game changer.”
According to Swart, the audio fidelity of the IEMs is also unmatched. “Wisycom is as wide and deep as a hardwired IEM solution; and it is wider than any other wireless IEM pack I have heard,” he says. “That alone helps you place things in the audio spectrum and gives you an enormous amount of space in your mixes, which is an invaluable asset to monitor engineers. The RF is also rock solid, there is zero noise floor and no annoying hiss when audio is not present.”
Wisycom has become such a staple for Swart that he feels it should be used by every professional in his industry. “I want to take credit for the massive push for Wisycom on every tour, because I tell everyone I know that they should be carrying the brand,” adds the engineer, who is also a CLAIR Global representative. “Additionally, Wisycom’s customer service is second to none; they consistently provide unparalleled support. Show business is a night and weekend job. I can call at any time on any day, and they always answer the phone.”
A monitor engineer for more than 20 years, Swart first joined the audio team for Journey in 2008 after mixing pop icon Enrique Iglesias. “The stage manager for Enrique’s tour was the production manager for Journey,” adds Swart. “Journey’s monitor engineer was leaving, and the manager thought I would be a good fit. I have done other tours here and there over the past 16 years, but I always feel the draw to come back to Journey as soon as I can.”
Swart’s long career in the touring industry also led to his current role with CLAIR Global, where he serves as an account executive. “I have been a client of CLAIR for as long as I have been touring,” he continues. “It’s a joy to now also be working for them.”
Journey hit the road with Toto for a 38-city North American tour that kicked off in Allentown, PA on February 4. Named in honor of the band’s latest album, “Freedom,” the “Freedom Tour 2023,” wrapped in Palm Springs, California on April 25. The band is also set to perform one-off shows in Las Vegas on May 19 and in Provo, UT on July 1.
More information can be found at www.wisycom.com.