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Improving Drum Corps Performance with Wireless Audio

With new rules governing the use of technology in drum corps performances, Bluecoats wanted to see what wireless audio and in-ear monitoring could do for them.
September, 28 2017 |

The late-July Nashville sun was bearing down hard, but the Bluecoats Drum Corps of Canton, Ohio, remained unfazed through their rigorous rehearsals for the imminent Drum Corps International Competition. They set up shop at the McGavock High School campus, just a stone's throw from the Grand Ole Opry. Tour buses, gear trailers, and even their own traveling kitchen were parked near the sports fields.

Recently, the rules governing the types of technology that drum corps are allowed to use have changed. Many corps now are carrying their own microphones, keyboards, amplifiers, speakers, and yes, wireless systems. Bluecoats wondered whether QLX-D® Digital Wireless, PSM®300 Personal Monitor Systems, and SE215 Sound Isolating™ Earphones might benefit their performances in the 2017 season. They also thought using the MV88 iOS Digital Stereo Condenser Microphone to capture rehearsals for later critique would be effective.

Before the DCI Competition, I spent a day interviewing Bluecoats personnel to find out how their Shure gear worked for them on and off the field. They explained that Shure wireless products are improving their show preparation and performance, and helping the performers lock into each other musically. Here's what they had to say.

Brass Caption Head Derek Gipson told me how he uses the MV88 in day-to-day rehearsals.

Ryan Smith
Ryan is a Regional Manager of Artist Relations at the Shure office in Nashville, TN. He started at Shure in 1993 in Customer Service and joined the AR team in 1996. Ryan has over 30 years of performance experience playing drums and percussion in various groups and genres. In his spare time he enjoys woodworking, watching movies, videography, and camping with his family. His Twitter handle is @ryan_smith1969</a>.