Archive for February, 2012

Sennheiser and Paste Magazine to Present 33 Bands in Three Days for Ultimate Music Lovers’ Showcase at Stages on Sixth in Austin

AUSTIN – February 28, 2012: Audio specialist Sennheiser announced that it has partnered with Paste Magazine to present an ultimate music lovers’ showcase during Austin’s famous music week on March 14, 15 and 16. All in all, there will be 33 performances over the course of three days by an eclectic mix of new and established acts held at the Sennheiser-endorsed The Stages on Sixth.

The marathon lineup at Austin’s The Stages on Sixth will include indie rock veterans The Wedding Present, The dBs and Built to Spill, as well as newer acts such as We Were Promised Jetpacks, Blitzen Trapper and Lumineers. Each of the two indoor and outdoor stages will feature sound delivered by premium audio brand Sennheiser.

Sennheiser Returns to Austin

Sennheiser will be sponsoring a showcase at The Stages on Sixth during Austin’s most revered music week for the second time in a row. Sennheiser will have its latest headphones on display, including the Amperior DJ-style headphones unveiled at CES earlier this year, as well as its famous evolution wired microphones. Following are details on locations and times:

· What: Sennheiser & PastePresent The Stages on Sixth, Austin
· When: Wednesday, March 14-16, noon to 6:00 p.m.
· Lineup (may be subject to change without notice)
o Wednesday, March 14: MyNameIsJohnMichael, River City Extension, Apparat, Caveman, Typhoon, The Chain Gang of 1974, Rich Aucoin, Hospitality, Tennis, Van Hunt, Ben Kweller
o Thursday, March 15: Dinosaur Feathers, Howler, Vintage Trouble, JC Brooks, Of Monsters and Men, The dB’s, Rubblebucket, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Blitzen Trapper, Japandroids, Built to Spill
o Friday, March 16: Barr Brothers, Crooked Fingers, Lumineers, The Belle Brigade, Reptar, Rhett Miller, Idle Warship, Alberta Cross, The Wedding Present, Punch Brothers, Glen Hansard

For more information and to RSVP, visit www.sennheiserusa.com/paste.

Uncompromising Classical Audiophile Label 2L Relies on Antelope Audio’s Zodiac Gold DAC to “Proof Listen” its High Resolution Masters

Oslo, Norway, February 28, 2012 — Morten Lindberg is well-known in the audiophile community as head of 2L (Lindberg Lyd), a recording label based in Oslo, Norway that has been exporting its premium classical and folk recordings from Scandinavia for over a decade. Lindberg, who insists on extremely high quality production values throughout the entire recording, manufacturing and packaging processes, uses the Antelope Audio Zodiac Gold to ‘proof’ the carefully recorded 352.8 kHz/24-bit stereo master files before they are ever duplicated or distributed to the company’s discriminating international customers.

2L has garnered no less than 12 GRAMMY Award nominations over the last six years — seven of them in categories including “Best Engineered Album” and “Best Surround Sound Album.” These releases, which feature Norwegian composers and musicians, are recorded in spacious concert halls, cathedrals and churches throughout Scandinavia. One of the greatest challenges is to ensure that performances are reproduced in the living room of the listener as accurately as possible, therefore, 2L is always exploring the best mediums, file formats and technologies available: including Antelope Audio’s Zodiac Gold DAC.

The Zodiac Gold is a D/A converter, pre-amp and headphone amp engineered to deliver pristine audio with keenly articulated pitch and a spectacular soundstage. The unique sound of Zodiac DACs is based on Antelope’s Oven Controlled Oscillator and 64-bit clocking technology used by the world’s top audio engineers.

“Working daily with the finest European AD and DA converters on venue recording, our standard is set to the extreme,” says Lindberg. “I was hardly prepared for the overwhelming moment when I found that the sonic qualities of the Zodiac Gold immediately recalled my memory of the recording sessions.” The Zodiac Gold, which is now a key component in Lindberg’s monitoring chain, is also convenient to use on-location. “With the USB, I am able to use the Zodiac Gold in true plug-and-play fashion with my MacBook Pro. This makes it perfectly suited for portable playback in workshop environments.”

“More than 50% of our total revenue as a label now comes out of Hi-Res FLAC file distribution, with international partners like Hdtracks.com, Highresaudio.com and e-ONKYO,” Lindberg continues. “The Zodiac Gold is a perfect match for domestic customers searching for the best sonic values in computer playback of these super-high resolutions.”

While still a relatively young recording label from a classical music perspective, 2L’s accomplishments are very impressive nonetheless. When 2L began its own studio operations 15 years ago, its core business was contracting recordings out to other labels such as EMI/Virgin, Naxos, Linn and Philips and others. Since 2001, there have been well over 50 recordings issued by 2L and among the highlights for 2012 will be a landmark release of TrondheimSolistene – SOUVENIR, which is being released in two parts and will appear on both vinyl and Pure Audio Blu-ray.

While nothing can replicate the exact sensory experience of listening to a recording session in-person, the Zodiac Gold DAC can help listeners come just a little bit closer: “There is no method available today to reproduce the exact perception of attending a live performance,” concludes Lindberg. “As recording engineers and producers we need to do exactly the same as any good musician; interpret the music and the composer’s intentions and adapt to the media where we perform.” For 2L, the Zodiac Gold continues to perform.

GUITAR CENTER CONTINUES TO EXPAND AS IT OPENS NEW STORE LOCATION IN SALEM, OREGON

— Company hits milestone with 225th location —

— New store offers on-site lessons and repair services —

Westlake Village, CA (February 27, 2012) – On February 16, 2012, Guitar Center hit a milestone by opening its 225th retail location, Guitar Center Salem, at 6325 Ulali Drive NE, Keizer, OR 97303. Guitar Center Salem’s grand opening introduced customers to a vast selection of products and a dedicated staff with unparalleled musical knowledge and experience. To commemorate the store opening, Guitar Center hosted a Grand Opening Weekend celebration (Feb. 16-19) featuring exclusive savings, gear giveaways and free events for local musicians. The grand opening also included free live performances throughout the weekend.

Guitar Center’s newest Oregon location features showrooms equipped with the latest products for musicians – from guitars, amplifiers, percussion instruments and keyboards to live sound, DJ, lighting and recording equipment. In addition to the special Grand Opening Weekend programming, shoppers who came out early also enjoyed exclusive savings throughout opening weekend, including deals on guitar and drum essentials.

“The opening of our 225th store in Salem, Oregon, is truly a landmark occasion for Guitar Center,” commented Gene Joly, Guitar Center Executive VP of Stores. “Our Salem location further underscores Guitar Center’s ongoing commitment to our customers, and to providing an extensive range of products, services and events. Like all openings in the past year the Salem location reflects our new open format design principles and streamlined merchandising layout.”

The new store also features Guitar Center Studios, an in-house, state-of-the-art lesson facility, which will create unrivalled opportunities for Salem musicians of all ages and skill levels. Guitar Center Studios provides music lessons from beginner to advanced featuring certified instructors teaching world-class curriculum as well as one-on-one courses on Pro Tools, Logic Pro and GarageBand. Guitar Center Studios is now the most modern and affordable lessons facility in the area. Guitar Center Salem also features GC Garage, Guitar Center’s on site guitar repair service. Musicians were able to try out the GC Garage for free on Grand Opening night (Feb. 16). With a guitar purchase, customers also received a free, 22-point personalized set-up.

As part of Guitar Center’s initiatives designed to educate and inspire artists nationwide, Guitar Center Salem offers unique opportunities for musicians to craft their skills, maintain their instruments and experience many other aspects of the music industry first-hand. Musicians interested in learning about the industry are able to come to the store to interact with and ask questions of several industry leaders. Free “Recording Made Easy” classes are conducted every Saturday from 10:00 to 11:00 am. Salem shoppers are also able to enjoy Guitar Center’s new multi-channel “endless aisle,” which includes multiple combinations of product options to conveniently choose from. Not only does the “endless aisle” include Salem inventory, but it also provides easy access to $400 million in new and used inventory located in hundreds of stores and warehouses across the nation. Customers have the ability to combine a variety of in-store, online and phone options to purchase music equipment from anywhere they may be, allowing for a personalized and convenient shopping experience.

In addition to special programs at the new Salem store, Guitar Center offers nationwide programs designed to spearhead creativity and highlight the nation’s most promising undiscovered talent. Salem residents will now be able to participate in these ongoing national events from their hometown:

Guitar Center On-Stage is an annual competition that provides unsigned artists the chance to open for established artists such as Motley Crue, KISS and Jane’s Addiction.

Guitar Center Singer-Songwriter is an artist discovery program that aims to find the nation’s best unsigned singer-songwriter. The winner receives a career-altering prize package including recording three songs with accomplished GRAMMY® Award-winning Producer John Shanks, recording time at the state-of-the-art Brooklyn-based Converse Rubber Tracks studio and $10,000 cash. The grand finale took place in Los Angeles on Feb. 18.

Guitar Center’s King of the Blues is a nationwide amateur guitar skills competition with the goal of finding the next great undiscovered blues guitar player. This year’s winner, Jonathon “Boogie” Long, performed alongside GRAMMY-winning guitarist Warren Haynes at the Grand Finals in LA, and won an incredible prize package valued at over $50,000.

Guitar Center’s Drum-Off, entering its 24th year, is the nationwide search for the next great undiscovered drummer. Drummers from across the nation compete in the world’s largest drum competition, vying for thousands of dollars in prizes and the coveted title of Guitar Center’s Drum-Off Champion. The grand prize package is valued at nearly $50,000.

Guitar Center Salem is open seven days a week. Store hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Guitar Center Studio hours follow the same schedule.

Lowell Introduces New Rack Bundles

— Rack bundles offer customer convenience —

PACIFIC, MO, February 27, 2012 — Lowell Manufacturing Company, a U.S. manufacturer of professional AV Products for more than 60 years, introduces new rack bundles to their line of racks and enclosures. Customers now have the convenience of ordering a complete rack set-up using a single part number, according to Marketing Communications Manager Kathy Lane.

The new rack bundles are available for Lowell’s gangable racks (LGR series) and enclosed racks (LER series). Bundled accessories are not installed but packaged individually and shipped to the job site along with the rack. Accessories in the “BAV” bundle vary according to size and type of rack ordered but include commonly ordered items for AV rack set-ups like horizontal and vertical cable managers, power strip, fan panel, leg levelers, velcro cable wraps, extra hardware, etc.

Lowell is also offering a ready-to-use, time- and labor-saving option for their new LXR floor rack. The open-frame LXR has a slim (19.2-in. W) footprint that requires only a minimal amount of floor space. While the standard LXR ships unassembled, selecting the “IAV” option means the rack will be pre-assembled and outfitted with accessories that include shelves, vented panels, 15A power strip, vertical cable manager and fine-floor swivel casters to protect wood, marble and tile floors from mars and scratches. The quantity of accessories varies with rack height. The LXR with the “IAV” option is available in 14, 30 or 38 rack units with 21-in. depth.

Lowell also has an “IAV” option of pre-installed accessories for their LER rack series, which is available for 18, 21 or 35 rack units with 27-in. depth.

For more information, visit www.lowellmfg.com or e-mail Lowell at sales@lowellmfg.com

Harris Boosts Flexiva Transmitter Range, Demonstrates Power Efficiency at NAB

At the 2012 NAB Show, Harris Broadcast Communications will demonstrate how radio broadcasters can maximize transmission efficiency across all power levels — most notably for high-power HD Radio™, FM and AM broadcast operations.

Last year, Harris introduced its Flexiva™ range of quad-mode, solid-state transmitters in low-to-mid power models, boasting a single, highly power-efficient platform to support analog and global digital standards. This year, the company will introduce two new high-power models (30kW and 40kW) for broadcasters that need to minimize operating costs while covering large areas — including analog FM and high-power HD Radio via elevated sideband levels.

The Flexiva exciter will also debut at the 2012 NAB Show, featuring rock-solid digital, direct-to-channel modulation for maximum on-air stability. Web-based monitoring and control, a host of expansion options and upgrade paths to HD Radio and DRM+ make the Flexiva exciter a feature-rich yet simple and cost-effective alternative to the Harris FlexStar® HDx exciter. Both exciters are well-suited for Flexiva transmitters at any power level.

Harris will also demonstrate its high-power 3DX Destiny® AM transmitter range for Modulation Dependent Carrier Level (MDCL) applications, delivering exceptional power efficiency to high-power AM broadcasters via Harris Adaptive Carrier Control Plus (ACC+) systems. Harris ACC+ systems help AM broadcasters reduce average power consumption by approximately 35 percent — sharply reducing operating costs associated with high-power AM broadcasting.

All Harris Flexiva and 3DX transmitters leverage Harris® PowerSmart® technology to increase power density, reduce footprint, and improve reliability through simpler designs and better operational efficiency.

“Radio broadcasters continue to seek greater operational efficiency through compact and modular transmitter designs,” said Richard Redmond, vice president of product strategy and management for transmission systems, Harris Broadcast Communications. “Harris continues to develop new strategies and technologies that give our customers great performance with lower operating costs.”

Harris will also show its latest generation FlexStar importer and exporter models (HDI200 and HDE200) for more efficient management of HD Radio multicast signals comprising main and supplemental program audio channels. The NAB 2012 Show also marks the first spring show demonstration of IP backhaul capabilities within the Harris Intraplex® HD Link™ fixed microwave STL system. This upgrade enables tighter integration of RF and IP capabilities for single-channel or multicast program transport.

# # #

HD Radio™ is a proprietary trademark of iBiquity Digital Corp.

M3 (Music Mix Mobile) Employs Waves Loudness Meter (WLM) and Other Waves Audio Plugins for 54th Annual GRAMMY® Awards

— M3 employs WLM (Waves Loudness Meter) for consistent loudness monitoring during broadcast —

— Waves’ critically acclaimed plugins allow remote recording specialists M3 to keep the workflow
moving every time —

KNOXVILLE, TN, February 23, 2012 — Having relied on industry standard hardware loudness metering for many years, engineers in the two M3 (Music Mix Mobile) remote trucks at the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards telecast, broadcast live from L.A.’s Staples Center in 5.1 audio on CBS-TV on the evening of February 12, 2012, made the switch to the WLM (Waves Loudness Meter) plugin from Waves Audio, the industry-leading developer of professional audio digital signal processing technologies. The move for the first time enabled all essential 5.1 and stereo metering to be displayed directly in line-of-sight with the broadcast monitor screen, providing the music mixer with visual feedback at a glance without having to move his head from the soundfield to look at a rack-mounted unit.

The previous setup, which required the music mixer to look in two different directions in order to take in all the metering, was less than satisfactory, according to Joel Singer, Engineer-in-Charge at M3, a New Jersey/California-based remote facilities company. “Visually it didn’t work with the eye too well. We were able to utilize the WLM and its greater visibility and functionality on our front monitoring system for this show. The new set-up worked out perfectly,” he says.

“We set it up for an ATSC A/85 standard measuring all the channels using the ITU-R BS.1770 spec,” Singer continues. “We have one screen inside the truck dedicated to metering only coming off the Pro Tools mixer system. We’re now able to set up 5.1 and LtRt Durrough meters, we’re able to set up a WLM loudness meter, and we can also see a main bus compressor all the time. The engineer can just look up from the console and see the program in front of him on the 46-inch LED screen, he can look to his right and see all the meters, he can look at previews to his left, and he stays in the zone the entire time. There’s no reason that he has to look for a 1U rack-mount with a little meter giving him numbers.”

The WLM plug-in, which features mono, stereo and 5.1 components, is fully compliant with all current ITU, EBU and ATSC metering specifications and offers comprehensive readout options, including Momentary, Short Term, Long Term and True Peak. Measurements may be selected for foreground, dialog and average loudness, while an intelligent dialog sensor detects and measures speech.

Accurate, visible loudness metering is essential for the mixers to be able to create a dynamic show for the GRAMMY Award show’s broadcaster, CBS, explains Singer. “We want the quiet passages to have the same dynamics as the loud passages. We’re trying to create a very even and properly executed show based on the CBS spec. After a lot of testing and working with Waves on the WLM we decided that this was the year we were going to deploy it.”

The streamlined metering display allowed Singer to also keep an eye on levels and consult with John Harris and Eric Schilling, the GRAMMY Award Show Broadcast Music Mixers, as they moved between M3’s Eclipse live music mix truck and its Horizon offline remix counterpart, where the mix created during show rehearsals was fine-tuned prior to the broadcast. “When they went into remix they could use this metering on more of a constant basis, because then they were not under the gun,” explains Singer. “They were just focused on the remix and could get the level dialed in to where they wanted it.”

Although the Waves WLM was deployed for the first time by M3 at the GRAMMYs, the developer’s plugins are a staple on the trucks. “Waves software was very integrated into the show,” says Singer. “On the Springsteen part of the show, his engineer, Bob Clearmountain, asked if we could put a Waves 5.1 SSL bus compressor on the main output to give it that little pop that he wanted. We used a couple of other Waves plugs that we’ve always used from the SSL 4000 and V-Series collections, and the Chris Lord-Alge CLA-76 Compressor. Chris happened to visit the truck and he saw that we were using all sorts of plug-ins that were part of the signature bundle that he created with Waves.”

For more information, please visit www.waves.com.

METRIC HALO CERTIFIES THUNDERBOLT™ TO FIREWIRE SOLUTIONS

thunderbolt_logo.JPGSAFETY HARBOR, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 2012: Metric Halo is pleased to officially certify two Thunderbolt adapters for use with their line of FireWire based audio interfaces. According to Allen Rowand of Metric Halo, “We’ve tested the Thunderbolt-to-FireWire adapter in the Apple® 27-inch Thunderbolt Display and the Sonnet Technologies™ Echo 34 adapter combined with their FireWire 800 Pro ExpressCard – both systems provide performance identical to native FireWire ports. Since the display has a Thunderbolt pass-through it’s possible to use both adapters at the same time, allowing the user to create two separate FireWire busses. With two busses the user can connect up to six of our interfaces, or use one for up to three interfaces and the other for hard drives.”

Rowand said the company looks forward to incorporating Thunderbolt into their products. “We’re in discussions with Intel to gain access to Thunderbolt more

INDUSTRY LEADERS UNITE TO SUPPORT THE RECORDING ACADEMY® PRODUCERS & ENGINEERS WING® GRAMMY® WEEK EVENT

Audio Industry Leaders Gather for the Fifth Annual GRAMMY® Week Celebration at The Village Studios in West Los Angeles, Honoring Music Producer, Executive and Entrepreneur Jimmy Iovine

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (February 22, 2012) — On Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012, The Recording Academy® Producers & Engineers Wing® kicked off GRAMMY® Week with its fifth annual event, this year honoring music producer, entrepreneur and chair of Interscope Geffen A&M Records Jimmy Iovine, who has worked with artists including Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith, U2, the Pretenders, Dire Straits, Stevie Nicks, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers and many more. Iovine was recognized for his commitment to excellence in audio and ongoing support for the art and craft of recorded music. The event was held at The Village Studios in West Los Angeles. GRAMMY Week culminated with the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012..

The event was held with the support of leading companies within the musical instrument and professional audio markets. Presenting sponsors included The Village Studios, West L.A. Music and Westlake Professional Sales. Co-sponsors included Harman International brands AKG Acoustics, JBL, and Lexicon; Iron Mountain; Avid; Musician’s Institute; Music Marketing; Shure Incorporated; Beats Electronics; Ultimate Ears; Focusrite Novation; Prism Media Products; Apogee Electronics Corporation; Full Sail University; Guitar Center Professional (GC Pro); Lurssen Mastering; Sennheiser Electronic Corporation; SoundExchange. Eco-friendly cocktails were provided by VeeV.

Producers & Engineers Wing Senior Executive Director Maureen Droney said, “The evening was a huge success, and once again we must offer a sincere thank you to all of our sponsors. It’s a simple fact that we couldn’t have done it without them. Since this was the P&E Wing GRAMMY Week event’s fifth anniversary, this year’s event was particularly meaningful, and it is especially gratifying that so many leading high quality brands joined together and with us to make the night happen. We all look forward to next year.”

Personnel from several of the sponsors also weighed in on the evening’s festivities:

Michael MacDonald, VP, Sales & Marketing, Harman Professional Division, stated, “Each year the P&E Wing’s GRAMMY Week Event brings the most major figures from the industry into one place. It is an honor to support the P&E Wing and to converse with the talented people behind the scenes of today’s music.”

“Everyone at Music Marketing was extremely proud to support The Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing GRAMMY Week event. We had a great suite, which enjoyed a solid succession of industry professionals, including honoree Jimmy Iovine, making the experience one to remember,” stated Ray Williams, President of Music Marketing.

Photo File: PE_IovineEvent_Sponsors.JPG
Photo Caption: Key sponsors and P&E Wing personnel gather for The Recording Academy® Producers & Engineers Wing®’s GRAMMY Week event, which this year honored Jimmy Iovine. Photo Courtesy of The Recording Academy/Wireimage.com. ©2012.

Peregrine Andrews Uses Prism Sound’s Orpheus To Record David Tennant For The BBC

Long-time SADiE user Peregrine Andrews has now added a Prism Sound Orpheus FireWire interface to his equipment list to help tackle recording, digital to analogue conversion and monitoring with 5.1 capabilities.

Renowned for his high-end radio and TV mixing work for clients such as the BBC, Mentorn, Wall to Wall and Falling Tree Productions, Peregrine Andrews operates mainly from his own private studio, Moving Air, which is based in west London.

“I spend about half my time mixing, and occasionally producing, radio (documentaries and drama), and the other half mixing TV (documentaries and comedy)… and the odd film,” he says.

“Recently, on the new series of the BBC sitcom Twenty Twelve, I used the Orpheus to record David Tennant’s voiceover. I also used it for all the ADR on the new BBC Dickens-style comedy Bleak Old Shop of Stuff. As a straight wire device, I don’t really expect the Orpheus to have a ‘sound’, but the voice recordings I’ve done where I’ve plugged the mic straight in have sounded excellent with very little EQ added in the mix.”

The Moving Air studio is equipped with SADiE, Nuendo, PMC monitoring and a Smart AV Tango control surface. His reason for buying the unit was to access a high grade DA/AD converter and monitoring controller so that he could replace the old Yamaha O1V desk that had previously been performing that function.

“I mix in the box so I don’t need any kind of console in the room,” he says. “The Orpheus is three things in one box – Preamp, AD/DA and monitoring controller. Prism Sound loaned me a unit and it worked well, sounded good and looked great, so I decided to buy it. I like its precise volume control of multiple outputs and its ability to derive an independent headphone mix. It’s a single box solution and removes any requirement for a separate soundcard, preamp/mixer, volume control etc.”

Andrews adds that although he had good practical reasons for buying an Orpheus, there were also more sentimental concerns at stake – not least his long association with SADiE, which is now part of the Prism Sound group.

“I’ve been a SADiE user since 1995 and rely heavily on it to make my business work,” he explains. “For precise speech and music editing it’s unequalled. The slip function and the trim editor alone make intense speech editing and assembly very fast. A lot of radio now is recorded in stereo by default (e.g. using flash recorders with built-in mics) but sometimes only one leg is really useful. SADiE allows stereo pairs to be split or re-joined in a keystroke. Also, the ability to have multiple EDLs is very useful at the assembly phase of documentary-making.”

Given this background, it’s no surprise that sentiment played a part in Andrews’ buying decision.

“Prism Sound has an excellent reputation – I’ve never read a bad review and I know, from talking to them, that they design their products using a sensible engineering approach,” he says. “I admit I was looking for a way of continuing to invest in Prism Sound/SADiE because it’s been a long time since I sent any money their way, yet I use their systems almost daily with fantastic support.”

-ends-

About Prism Sound
Founded in 1987, Prism Sound manufacture high-quality professional digital audio equipment for the International broadcast, film, music production, manufacturing and telecommunications sectors. The range now includes SADiE digital audio workstations and location recorders. Prism Sound also manufactures audio test and measurement products such as the DSA-1 and the dScope Series III audio analyzer.

For more information please visit www.sadie.com or www.prismsound.com

Lady Antebellum Expands Tour and Sennheiser Endorsement

Old Lyme, Conn.– February 21, 2012: Few need an introduction to Lady Antebellum, who, in the four short years since its formation, has won six Grammys, scored six number one hits on country radio, has sold over six million albums across the globe and is currently on its 2012 Own The Nightworld tour. Sennheiser is supporting the tour with equipment, such as SKM 5200-II wireless vocal microphones and ew 300 IEM G3 wireless personal monitors, along with the expertise to ensure that no glitches ever distract from Lady Antebellum’s spellbinding performance. With an agreement brokered by Tim Moore, artist relations manager for Sennheiser USA, and Kristy Jo Winkler, Sennheiser global relations manager for the Americas and Canada, reigning Country Music Awards and Academy of Country Music Awards Vocal Group of the Year Lady Antebellum is now a Sennheiser Global Relations endorsed artist.

FOH engineer Brett “Scoop” Blanden was careful to select the perfect wireless vocal mic for the tour. “The stage setup includes a forty-foot runway that extends well in front of the house PA,” he said. “I needed a microphone and a capsule that would be well-suited to all six vocalists – who might all be on that runway at the same time! By using the same capsule, with the same frequency response and polar pattern, on all six mics, I am able to tune the PA without fear of the unpredictable interactions that can occur when different capsules are open on stage.” Blanden selected the Sennheiser MD 5235 dynamic capsule, which features a floating directivity that is super-cardioid at high frequencies and cardioid at low frequencies. The Sennheiser SKM 5200-II handheld RF transmitter completes the vocal setup, and two additional SKM 5200-II/MD 5235 combinations go to the opening acts.

Monitor engineer Peter Bowman organizes the RF channels for the show. “I have had zero RF issues since we made the switch to the Sennheiser 5000 series on vocals,” he said. “In addition, I’m also very happy with how useful the Command Function is for Lady Antebellum. Whether they need the guitar turned down or a cup of tea, they can communicate with ease from any point on the stage.”

Instrument mics include the Sennheiser e 901 on kick, the e 904 on rack toms, the e 902 on the floor tom, and a small diaphragm e 614 on the ride. “I’m particularly fond of the e 904 and e 902 on the toms,” said Blanden, who is himself a drummer. “I love the tonal picture of those dynamic mics – it’s familiar and comfortable to me. The frequency response and transient response are perfect. I can run those inputs flat on my channel strip because all the right color is captured by the mic. The convenient mounting hardware on the e 904 is also nice.” For all three guitar cabinets on stage, Blanden uses the classic Sennheiser MD 421-II. “What a standard! Even in my studio days,” he said, “I was always a fan of the MD 421 on guitars. It has the perfect combination of top-end bite and low-end growl to deliver the ideal rock ‘n roll guitar sound.”

In addition to the eight Sennheiser SKM 5200-IIs for vocals (and their associated command channels), Bowman manages eight Sennheiser EK 300 IEM G3 stereo wireless personal monitors, for a total of twenty-eight wireless frequencies. “I set them myself every day,” he said. “And with the scanning options available on both the G3 and 5000 series, that process is fairly simple. I love that when the monitor system is networked together, I have the ability to set all the transmitters to new frequencies using just one bodypack. I usually scan one bodypack during the day, even before I get power to monitor world, and then use it later to synch up all the transmitters.” For antennas, Bowman uses one Sennheiser paddle antenna and one Sennheiser A 5000?CP circularly polarized antenna. “Although I know there are several valid approaches, this system works well for me,” he said. “Our RF performance has been perfect.”

Even the band’s guitars and bass benefit from Sennheiser wireless technology. To navigate the tour’s large stage with the crowd-pleasing confidence that a wire won’t allow, every fretted instrument is equipped with a Sennheiser ew 572 G3 wireless transmitter, save for one acoustic guitar which uses an ew 572 G2 unit. There are eleven units in all. “Our RF performance has been absolutely flawless,” said guitar tech Steve Castro, who formerly worked with Sugarland. “We all work together to maintain clean channels. If someone gets stepped on, it’s a simple matter to use the scan feature to dial in a new clean channel.”

“The Sennheiser team has really gone above and beyond for us,” said Blanden. “Tim Moore has been there for us during the last four years. Throughout our trips to Australia, Europe and various television performances, Sennheiser is the gear we rely on for consistency wherever we are performing.”

Winkler added, “For decades, Sennheiser has supported emerging artists as well as mega-stars. All of us on the Global Relations team welcome Lady Antebellum to this special tier of artists and congratulate them on their creativity, musicianship, performance excellence, and industry dedication.”

(Photo Credit: © 2012 Adam Boatman)

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