Prog rock band Umphrey's McGee has introduced a headphone service at their shows, which provides audiophiles with a crisp, high quality live feed of the performance.
Musician Dan Deacon has already used technology to improve customer engagement at live concerts by turning their smartphones into part of the show. Now prog rock band Umphrey’s McGee has introduced a headphone service at their shows, which provides audiophiles with a crisp, high quality live feed of the performance.
A common complaint from gig-goers is that the sound quality isn’t as good as the album they’re used to listening to, which has a lot to do with the acoustics and size of the venue, and the type of music being played. Engineers do their best to shape the quality of the sound, but what they hear through their headphones isn’t the same as what a fan in Row Z is experiencing. To combat this, fans at Umphrey’s McGee shows can now rent the same Sennheiser EK G3 wireless receiver and Audio Technica ATH-M50 Professional Studio Monitor headphones that the band uses on stage to more clearly hear what they’re playing. The service costs USD 40 on top of the ticket price, as well as an uncharged USD 500 deposit in case users damage or walk away with the equipment. For that price, fans get a pristine live audio mix of the show in real time, as well as a space in the private listening area. When the show has finished, customers also receive a code to download an mp3 or FLAC file of the performance.
According to the band, the service – on offer at each of the band’s shows this summer – provides “the nuance of every note, the clarity of every lyric, the breath of every space” in a way not possible before, although is currently limited to 20 fans per show. Bringing a premium element to live concerts, could this type of system become the norm for events where sound is paramount?
Spotted by: Murray Orange