- Switch between redundant playback systems
- Manual or seamless automatic switching
- Line level or transformer isolated mic level outputs
- May be linked for larger playback systems
Under the Hood
Designed primarily for live concerts and stage shows where backing tracks are used for orchestration, vocals and sound effects, SW8 employs an adjustable gate to detect a machine malfunction and automatically switch to a second backup machine to deliver a seamless performance. The SW8 will monitor any continuous audio signal such as SMPTE on the main playback system, and should the signal drop it will automatically switch to the backup. Switching can also be performed manually on the front panel, or by using a footswitch such as the Radial JR2. For larger systems beyond 8 channels, multiple SW8s may be linked together.
This is setup is most commonly employed in the club scene and for fly-in promotional TV and video tours. In these scenarios, everything is mixed to a single stereo or even a mono output to feed the PA system and broadcaster. Some bands have done this with great success but this takes a lot of hard work to get the balance just right.
Here, 16 backing tracks are mixed down into stereo subgroups. This is the most common form of backing tracks as the musicians are doing all of the main work and the playback machines are adding icing to the cake. In these systems, you'll see extra left and right drums, percussion & beats, keyboards and orchestration, guitars & backing vocals and often all of the vocal effects.
Everything is on backing tracks: drums, electronic beats, instruments, backing vocals, vocal effects and in some cases, even lead vocals. Here we are talking about the various pop bands that incorporate huge, over-the-top production. Every track is broken out to individual channels so the monitor engineer can send different players different mixes & the front of house mixer has total control.
Creating a Redundant Ableton Live Rig
Building the Ultimate Playback Rig with One Less Reason
Andy Grammer, Colbie Caillat, Gavin DeGraw, Ben Rector
"The team at Radial have taken our professionalism to another level providing a seamless sound we can count on every night! The SW8 maintains our track world and is pro status."
Engineer - Juno Awards, Closing Ceremonies for the Pan AM Games, Live tour audio engineer
"Millions of people have listened to my SW8s. Radial manufactures military-grade audio hardware which make them the only choice for playback in live broadcast applications."
Mariah Carey, Madonna, American Idol
"I have flown the SW8s all over the world on tour and they work perfectly night after night. It's a very well designed product - I can't imagine doing a live show without them."
Production Manager - Adele, Radiohead, Pink
"The Radial SW8 has saved the show on more than one occasion. Two paralleled units are employed to switch between main and backup banks of midi samplers. They have proven instant and seamless."
Playback Engineer - Lana Del Rey, Kat Graham, Babyface, Keyshia Cole, Hannah & The Engineers
"Whether I am touring or in the studio I need great sounding dependable gear. The SW8 switcher by Radial not only works day in and out, the Jensen transformers sound fantastic. Thank you Radial."