SW4™ Development

A few years ago, Radial introduced the SW8 backing track switcher. This eight channel device gained tremendous acceptance on tours all over the world providing instant backup for multi-channel audio playback systems and ultimately delivering disaster-free performances each and every night. Since its debut, we have received emails from users as diverse as American Idol, The Voice, and Cirque Du Soleil telling us that the SW8 more than once saved the day. Today, the SW8 is on just about every tour including Justin Timberlake, U2, Radiohead, Madonna, The Eagles, and many more. The Radial SW4 is essentially a newcomer to the family.

Radial president Peter Janis explains how the SW4 came to light: "Several years ago, we produced a prototype switcher that would enable system techs to switch or combine consoles in a festival environment. Although the concept had merit, it seemed that stereo switching was insufficient for today's productions. We decided to hold back until we could improve the concept. More recently, British touring company Wigwam contacted us after seeing the Gold Digger asking if it could be used 'live' for mega-band One Direction. They wanted to switch wireless mics during the show to enable the vocalist to drop a mic, do a dance routine and then and then pick up another at a different position on stage. We subsequently modified the Gold Digger so that it could be rack-mounted for tour use. A few weeks later, we received a call from Justin Timberlake's people requesting some sort of backup switcher for the Fractal Axe FX. We had previously spoken about the need for this type of device with one of our dealers in Vancouver. So we basically pulled all the pieces together, took out a saw, hammer and chisel and came up with the SW4."

The best way to understand the SW4 development is to look at the various applications that are discussed in the using page.