Geek Talk!

Madhen Rack

MADHEN have never been shy of technology and in the world of Party Bands they are certainly at the forefront of integrating wizardry with their performances.

Running HD video on a Video Wall perfectly in sync with their show is just one instance of how they embrace technology to give the audience an even more breathtaking experience. The video has to be shot, compiled and edited. The guys at MADHEN keep all this in-house, but the video editing is a matter for another blog.

There is a great deal of technology incorporated in the show which the audience may be unaware of. This week the band have all been fitted for new In-Ear-Monitors(IEMs). These are like tiny personal ‘walkman’ headphones but they are moulded to fit inside your ear and block out a lot of the external sound offering hearing protection, a real clarity to what each member of the band can hear and a perfect fit so they can’t fly out when the band are leaping around the stage. They do the same job as the monitor speakers you often see on the floor facing other bands, this is why you won’ t see old fashioned ‘wedges’ on stage at a MADHEN gig.

MADHEN went down to ACS (Advanced  Communication Solutions) near Banbury to see their friend Andy Shiach. Andy has looked after and maintained the bands personal ear pieces for the last five years but due to the fact that they are constantly in use and the shape of your ear alters with time it’s now time for new ones. Each ear piece is moulded from medical grade silicone and contains separate drivers (speakers) to handle different parts of the sound spectrum (bass, middle and treble). The moulds are taken by injecting foam into each ear which sets and then can be removed as a plug….a little like having a mould taken for a brace or false teeth at the dentist. Andy Shiach is a professional, he really knows what he is doing, under normal circumstances pushing things into your ears is not to be advised, it’s a really bad idea!

Be warned this is where it gets really geeky……and we give away some of the secrets. On stage the hub of the technology is built around Paul, MADHEN’s drummer and musical backbone. To his left is a rack of equipment which contains a 16 channel digital mixing desk (Yamaha LS9) connected up to four radio transmitters. The individual sounds of all the microphones and instruments on stage (including two audio inputs from the Apple Mac) come into the mixing desk and at the press of a button each band member can access their own personal mix and change the levels of each sound to suit. Each of their mixes is sent via a cable to a separate radio transmitter which in turn ‘beams’ their mix to a  belt pack which they wear and plug their headphones into. Paul, as he is stationary for the gig, and is next to the mixer, plugs straight into the mixer itself. Simple. The mix that the audience hears is handled at another mixing desk by our front of house sound engineer.

The rack also contains, amongst other things, radio receivers for the bands wireless vocal mics and a Mackie HDR24 multitrack recorder which is digitally connected to the LS9 (mixing desk). The recorder allows the band, at the push of a button, to record anything they play at a gig or a soundcheck. It records every input on a separate track. This multitrack recording can then be loaded onto a hard drive and taken back to the studio where it can be mixed and if necessary synced up with live video of the performance. You can see and hear the results in our videos on MADHEN’s youtube channel or on the media page on the band’s website.

So there you have it….unless you’ve fallen asleep already.

If you’re interested in a similar system for your own band MADHEN PRODUCTIONS can configure and supply one to suit your specific needs and budget, either for sale or hire, with or without an operator depending on your requirements. Feel free to contact us at for any technical requirements from a simple microphone or CD player, to a live video crew or festival staging, lighting and PA.

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