PAssion Pit chooses Shure PSM-900 in-ear monitor system

(Dave Molter | Posted 2010-10-29)

PAssion Pit chooses Shure PSM-900 in-ear monitor system

American pop-rockers Passion Pit have been touring extensively since 2008's debut EP Chunk of Change propelled them firmly in to the limelight. They've since been riding high with 2009's follow up album Manners, frequently hailed as one of the best albums of last year.

2010 has seen no let up for the Massachusetts-based 5-piece; this past Autumn they supported UK Rock royalty Muse for a string of North American dates. Tour manager Andrew Dobbins and monitor engineer Francois Pare – both a part of London-based live music production house Cato Music – spec'd the equipment for the tour, including Shure PSM900s, the in-ear monitors that are fast becoming a standard for those wanting to take their monitoring to a higher level, as Andrew is happy to explain…

"Before the tour we were looking to try something new – mainly because we weren't very happy with the system we were using at the time. We were getting a lot of interference and the sound quality wasn't great. I'd heard about this new Shure system so I thought I'd try them on a tour that started back in April. We didn't really know what to expect, but we were so blown away by them that we've now got seven systems."

Francois, Passion Pit's monitor engineer, is also convinced. But it's not just the sound quality they're getting with the PSM900s, it's also about the revolutionary new features that make life easier for the crew.

"For a start there's the new 'Cue' mode, which is brilliant. Now I can actually check all of the frequencies and cue up everyone's mix, and all from the same pack. So in minutes you've checked everyone's mixes with no fuss. And I rarely get interference now – even to the point where I've stopped walking it. With some other systems we've used I'd spend an hour trying to get some frequencies that are clean… and you'd just get nothing, you know? But with the PSM900s I just scan it and it quickly tells me that a frequency is available and that it's nice and clean."

"I also like that you can just turn off the RF. You don't have to turn off the whole system, you just turn off the RF so you're not interfering with anyone else's wireless systems."

"In fact," Andrew adds, "the hardest thing with the PSM900 is knowing if they're actually switched on. They're so clean and so crisp that they almost feel as if they have a gate on them. There's complete isolation and just… nothing!"

"As tour manager I'm walking around the building a lot, and I'm always hooked up – I've always got at least one in-ear in so if a serious issue arises then we all know what's going on right away. If you're not in direct line of sight you're going to drop out of signal, but with the PSM900s the range and the lack of drop out is fantastic. And I love that when it does actually drop out you don't get the 'squeak' that you used to get. There's none of that, it just drops out. It's really fantastic."

The PSM900s score highly on sound quality and new features, but there's also a certain future-proofing built in – namely the 2012 switchover to digital, where wireless products that aren't Channel 38 compliant will have to be replaced, as Andrew is only too well aware. "There's a lot of stuff that's available that won't work after 2012. In fact, I know someone who's just bought a whole load of gear that they're going to have to scrap because it just won't work after 2012."

"So comparing life before and after the PSM900s is like comparing night and day. And this is the feedback we're getting from the band as well. Now we spend our time talking about the /lack/ of issues! With PSM900 I genuinely think Shure has built a fantastic product. And compared to the competition, well… it's just a vastly superior system. We're completely over the moon with them. We love them!"

From a press release.

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