Last weekend, Paul Simon brought Bob Weir onstage during the end of his set. A stealth test of a new technology was going on in the background.
How many mega-concerts have you seen and wondered how the sound travels to all those people? It doesn’t travel very well. If you’re not near the front, there’s delay and audio decay. As a Grateful Dead fan, I find some of the recordings made by people patching into the soundboard are far better than those setting up microphones to catch the audio and the crowd.
Enter Mixhalo. What is Mixhalo?
Mixhalo is live audio tech that uses a phone app and wi-fi networks to connect live event attendees directly to the show’s soundboards, so they can hear through headphones the same quality of music that is piped into the musician’s ears. You pull out your phone, log into a special WiFi network and instantly get the live music crystal clear into your earphones. The network can accommodate unlimited users, as long as they are in a specified range. The plan is to make Mixhalo a subscription service, although right now, users are paying per concert.
Mixhalo was co-founded by Incubus guitarist Mike Einziger. It has serious music industry investors ($11 million worth) and advisors include Pharrell Williams, Hans Zimmer, Rick Rubin, and Metallica. While Metallica is making the tech available to all attendees on its tour, Aerosmith, which is staying put in Las Vegas, is using the setup as part of the deal for ultra-VIP seats located on the side of the stage where speakers don’t typically project well. According to Mixhalo co-founder and violinist Ann Marie Simpson-Einziger, Aerosmith is making an extra $6 million in revenue from these premium tickets (and spending a fraction of that on the WiFi tech).