Super Bowl 56 Dominated by Shure Mics

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On the biggest stage in football — with 70,000 in-person fans at LA’s SoFi Stadium and more than 100 million TV viewers tuning in from around the world — RF coordinators, referees and performers relied on Shure gear. The lineup featured the Axient Digital Wireless System, which captured pristine, uninterrupted audio from the game’s most meaningful moments, including the pre-game show, key parts of the halftime performance and crucial fourth-quarter referee decisions. Off the field, Shure technology was counted on to bring memorable events to life, including Budweiser’s Super Bowl Music Fest and NFL Honors broadcast.

“Shure Axient Digital microphones have been a key part of our Super Bowl wireless system for the last five years,” said Gary Trenda, Lead RF Technician for Professional Wireless Systems (PWS), which was hired by ATK Audiotek to handle wireless microphones and IEM systems for the pre-game, halftime entertainment and referees. “The PWS team deploys a Quadversity antenna system that gives us great coverage. Seeing five bars on the quality meter anywhere on the field gives us confidence in the Axient Digital system.”

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INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 13: Jhené Aiko performs America the Beautiful during the Super Bowl LVI Pregame at SoFi Stadium on February 13, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Roc Nation)

Gary and the ATK Audiotek team depended on 10 AD4Q four-channel wireless receivers and a Shure spectrum manager with Wireless Workbench to evaluate the RF spectrum efficiently and continuously at SoFi Stadium in real time. ATK used Axient Digital with Quadversity, a patented Shure technology, leveraging four simultaneous RF inputs to feed a single RF channel. Quadversity can extend the coverage area of a microphone channel or enable multiple coverage areas with additional antenna inputs, making it perfect for challenging RF environments like SoFi.

The pre-game audio was made possible by skilled RF coordinators leveraging the assurance of Axient Digital’s Frequency Diversity Mode and Frequency Diversity enabled transmitters. This technology guaranteed audio remained uninterrupted in the extreme RF environment of SoFi Stadium by simultaneously transmitting two independent frequencies. The RF coordinators also depended on the command and control of Axient Digital with ShowLink, which enabled real-time, instantaneous remote control of transmitters throughout the stadium.

Singing into a custom chrome Axient Digital ADX2FD transmitter with a KSM9 microphone capsule, country music artist Mickey Guyton kicked off the Super Bowl with a touching rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner.” Mickey also uses and trusts Shure gear while on tour. R&B artist Jhené Aiko’s stirring presentation of “America the Beautiful” used an ADX2FD transmitter with a KSM9 microphone capsule. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s absolutely electric Super Bowl introduction was also given on an ADX2 transmitter with a KSM9 mic capsule.

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At halftime, iconic rapper and entrepreneur Snoop Dogg took to the stage wielding a custom gold-plated ADX2 transmitter with a KSM9 microphone capsule and wore Shure SE215 Sound-Isolating in-ear monitors. All artists in the Super Bowl Halftime Show trusted four of Shure’s category-leading PSM 1000 in-ear personal monitoring systems and 41 Shure P10R diversity wireless bodypack receivers to deliver total audio conviction throughout the entire performance.

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Mickey Guyton performs the national anthem at Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium on February 13, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Roc Nation)

Referees were issued Axient Digital ADX1 bodypack transmitters paired with Shure’s premium subminiature TL47 model TwinPlex omnidirectional lavalier microphones. While omnidirectional lavaliers are typically used in controlled audio environments like theaters, TwinPlex was uniquely suited for this stadium application.

“Given its reliability and extremely consistent sound, TwinPlex was an excellent choice for our referees,” shared Jack Bowling, Super Bowl LVI stadium FOH audio engineer. “Our team depended on TwinPlex and Axient Digital to deliver high-quality audio from our refs for both broadcast and PA.”

ATK Versacom, a  wireless intercom services provider, equipped the production staff with 30 Shure BRH441M single-sided production headsets for setup week, pre-game, halftime, and post-game shows. All crews from staging, to audio, to lighting and video experienced seamless two-way communication via the comfort and audio clarity of the
BRH441M during every minute of set up and execution for Super Bowl LVI.

Before fans even descended on SoFi Stadium, Shure technology had already delivered audio for Budweiser’s “Super Bowl Music Fest” concert series at Crypto.com Arena. The concert series included performances from artists who depend on Axient Digital, including Machine Gun Kelly who sported a custom pink ADX2 transmitter with an SM58 capsule, Halsey, Gwen Stefani, Green Day and Mickey Guyton. Miley Cyrus was on a wired Shure 565SD and her horn section relied on Shure KSM313 ribbon mics. Shure’s PSM 1000 in-ear personal monitoring system was used by Machine Gun Kelly, Halsey, Gwen Stefani, Green Day and Mickey Guyton. Gwen Stefani and Green Day’s crew leveraged the wide-band UHF spectrum scanning, analysis, and frequency coordination of Shure’s AXT600 spectrum manager for their sets.

Shure also played an important role in this year’s NFL Honors broadcast. ATK leveraged 16 channels of Axient Digital handhelds and belt packs, eight channels of UHF-R for the center tube and guitar packs, 16 Shure TwinPlex omnidirectional lavaliers and 12 channels of the Shure PSM 1000 in-ear monitoring system for the band and orchestra. The handheld microphones used for NFL Honors, including those used by host Keegan Michael-Key, were Shure KSM9s. The host and award show participants were equipped with a mix of Shure AD1 and AD2 transmitters.

“I was extremely happy to have Shure Axient wireless mics on this year’s NFL Honors, televised live on ABC on Thursday, February 10,” said Paul Wittman, production sound mixer for this year’s NFL Honors broadcast. “I love the clear and natural sound Shure mics deliver, which is so important to me for TV mixes.”