Archive of the Microphones, Mic Processors Category

Elevation Church Embraces Recent Sennheiser Endorsement, while Putting New Neumann KK 205 Microphone Capsules to the Test

Charlotte, NC – April 18, 2012: Recognized by Outreach Magazine as one of the fastest-growing churches in the United States, Elevation Church serves over 10,000 congregants each weekend and maintains six worship campuses — four of which are ‘portable.’ To keep pace with this growth, Elevation has had to establish itself on a solid technology footing and has maintained a strong relationship with Sennheiser since opening its doors in 2005. Recently, Elevation became an official Sennheiser endorsed worship facility and was among the first to put the new Neumann KK 205 capsules — which are designed for the Sennheiser 2000 series wireless transmitters — through their paces.

Brian Poole is technical director at Elevation Church and has worked closely with Sennheiser to ensure that the clarity and sonic integrity of the facility is all that it can be, no matter which campus congregants are attending. Recently, Elevation added five Neumann KK 205 microphone capsules to its arsenal of live performance and recording tools. Poole discusses how he has helped Elevation continue to deliver superior sound with Sennheiser and Neumann.

Can you describe some of the challenges that go along with the growth that Elevation has experienced?
We are six years old and have six campuses in the Charlotte area. All in all, we are running at about 10 or 11 thousand people every weekend. With that growth, there have been a lot of rapid changes we have had to make, especially considering that audio is a very big part of what we do. Sennheiser has been there for us the entire time and has provided the best product and support we could ask for — and even more so now that we are endorsed. A big challenge as a multi-campus church is ensuring that we will have gear that we know will be reliable and sound great. Four of our campuses are portable, so we are lugging gear in and out all weekend; when we plug it all in and turn it on, we know it is going to work. Sennheiser has also helped us through our RF coordination, which can be very complex.

How familiar are you with Neumann microphone capsules?
We have always loved Neumann microphones and already had the KK 105 capsules on our pastor’s [Steven Furtick] speaking mic with a Sennheiser SKM 5200 transmitter. Our pastor does a lot of singing as well, and the performance of the SKM 5200 / KK 105 combination has been fantastic. By making a Neumann capsule that works with an SKM 2000 transmitter is really a game changer for us. Now we can have Neumann sound not only for the pastor, but all our other lead singers and it is a very economical solution.

Tell me about your first impressions with the KK 205s.
We just received them three weeks ago, and they are already on our primary lead vocal microphones [used in combination with the Sennheiser SKM 2000 handheld transmitters] at our two permanent campuses. One of these campuses is a warehouse with low ceilings, and the acoustics aren’t ideal. The KK 205 has a supercardioid pattern so we are able to get plenty of gain before feedback — this is huge for us because we like it loud and we like it to sound good. I was 100 percent comfortable that I could take the KK 205 right to the stage without going through weeks of rehearsals first.

For our Easter service, the new Neumann capsules went into our broadcast facility. We have a big spoken word element in our Easter service, and this is the first thing right out of the gate during our worship experience. All our main worship leaders were on the KK 205s and the feed went out to all six of our campuses. It was also put online for everyone to see and participate in. Everything worked out great and all the voices were very rich.

Do you intend to use the KK 205s in other applications?
We do a lot of recording both for CDs and streaming on our website. In fact, our worship band has just signed a pretty big record deal and we expect the KK 205s and the SKM 2000s will be used on future live recordings. Our first live album and live DVD was a big deal for us and it is very exciting that Sennheiser has released a ‘Neumann for the Masses,’ if you will.

How has your experience been with Sennheiser overall, including with the new Neumann KK 205s?
First of all, Sennheiser has rock solid RF and the sound quality is best of the best. We’ve got 36 channels in our auditorium of Sennheiser wireless and I’ve never had a single issue of anything dropping out. Now, with the KK 205s, we can put Neumann performance in the reach of all our singers, increasing the overall quality of our worship experience. Audio quality has always been an incredibly important component of worship for Elevation Church and the KK 205 capsules truly represent quality for the masses — the cost/performance ratio cannot be beat. All in all, our relationship with Sennheiser has been fantastic and we feel very blessed.

Caption:
Brad Hudson, Worship Leader at Elevation Church, uses a KK 205 on a SKM 2000 during Easter rehearsals at Elevation’s Blakeney campus.

Neumann Introduces KK 204 and KK 205 Microphone Capsules, Designed to Complement Sennheiser’s 2000 Series Wireless Handheld Transmitter

Old Lyme, Conn. – April 16, 2012: Premium audio brand Neumann announced that it will be showcasing its new KK 204 and KK 205 microphone capsules at the Sennheiser booth [C2632] during NAB 2012. The new capsules, which are available in cardioid (KK 204) and supercardioid (KK 205) patterns, are compatible with Sennheiser’s 2000 series of wireless handheld transmitters.

The acoustic features of the KK 204 and KK 205 capsule heads are derived from the multiple award-winning wired Neumann stage microphones, the KMS 104 and KMS 105. The KK 204, with its cardioid pattern, ensures the best possible suppression of sound originating from 180 degrees to the rear, while the supercardioid KK 205 has greater directivity, and maximizes incident sound from the front as compared to sound from the rear. Due to the “single polar pattern design,” the polar patterns are very uniform over the entire frequency range and provide excellent resistance to feedback.

Wolfgang Fraissinet, President of Neumann, commented: “Neumann capsules have already been used in combination with the Sennheiser SKM 5200 handheld transmitter for the past 10 years on some of the largest stages of the world, where the highest demands are placed on a high-resolution sound and transmission reliability. With the development of the KK 204 and KK 205 capsule heads, the Neumann sound is now also available for the Sennheiser 2000 Series. The synergies between the key areas of expertise of Sennheiser handheld transmitters and Neumann capsule sound permit us to offer our customers a wireless system of absolutely uncompromisingly quality, even for the most demanding live applications.”

In developing the new capsules, particular importance was placed on the effective damping of pop sounds and handling noise, as well as on the extremely low level of self-noise. The KK 204 and KK 205 capsule heads also have an extremely wide dynamic range and were designed to be very easy to service.

The aesthetic design complements the construction of the SKM 2000 handheld transmitter, and each capsule — like the SKM 2000 transmitter — is available in both nickel and black finishes. Each capsule includes a large nylon bag designed to hold the capsules, the handheld transmitter, battery packs and additional accessories.

    Both the KK 204 and KK 205 feature:

Reduced handling noise: Very low sensitivity to handling noise with a steep roll-off from approximately 78 Hz
Reduced plosives and sibilance: Both capsules feature a foam-lined grille to ensure smooth sound
Wide dynamic range with high SPL capability: 126 dB-A of dynamic range with 150 dB MAX SPL
Low feedback: Incredibly smooth and flat frequency response provided high gain before feedback
Easy to service components: Neumann understands the rigors of the road and has made the KK 204 and KK 205 exceptionally robust but easy to service if necessary

    Specifications:

Directional pattern: Cardioid (KK 204) / Super-cardioid (KK 205)
Frequency range: 40 Hz – 20 kHz
Sensitivity (at 1 kHz into 1 k?): 2.8 mV/Pa ± 1 dB
Equivalent noise level, CCIR1): 35 dB
Equivalent noise level, A-weighted1): 24 dB-A Max. SPL for 0.5% THD2) 150 dB
Dynamic range (A-weighted): >126 dB-A
Weight (including transmitter and power supply unit): Approx. 17.6 oz.
Dimensions (including SKM 2000)/length: 10.7 in., ø 2.2 in.

1) according to IEC 60268-1; CCIR-weighting according to CCIR 468-3, quasi peak; A-weighting according to IEC 61672-1, RMS
2) measured as equivalent el. input signal

Sennheiser adds the SKP 300 G3 plug-on transmitter to its evolution wireless series

Old Lyme, Conn.–April 16, 2012– Audio specialist Sennheiser is extending its evolution wireless ew 300 G3 series with the addition of the SKP 300 G3 plug-on transmitter. Whether it is for a speaker’s podium or for fast mobile use in video productions, the SKP 300 G3 converts any conventional cabled microphone quickly and easily into a wireless version. The phantom power required by condenser microphones is also supplied by the rugged transmitter – a highly versatile device that enables cabled microphones to become wireless with ease.

“With the new SKP 300 G3, we are further expanding the application possibilities for the evolution wireless series,” explained Robb Blumenreder, channel manager for professional systems products at Sennheiser’s U.S. headquarters. “The plug-on transmitter comes with its own phantom power supply, enabling it to be combined with any microphone with an XLR-3 output.”

For applications in the Installed Sound sector, the plug-on transmitter can be combined with an EM 300 G3 rack-mount receiver, thus making it possible, for example, to have a speaker’s podium without the visual interference of cables or to implement mobile lecterns. For video journalists, the SKP 300 G3 is an ideal partner for the EK 100 G3 camera receiver.

The SKP 300 is powered by two AA batteries or the optional BA 2015 accupack. The plug-on transmitter is available in eight frequency ranges, and is quickly and easily synchronized with its receiver using an infrared link.

The SKP 300 will be available in April 2012.

Caption:
SKP 300.jpg: Wireless with ease: the SKP 300 G3 plug-on transmitter with switchable phantom power turns cabled microphones into wireless ones in next to no time

Technical Data: SKP 300

Modulation wideband FM
Frequency ranges A: 516–558 MHz; G: 566–608; GB: 606–648 MHz;
B: 626–668 MHz; C: 734–776 MHz; D: 780–822 MHz;
E: 823-865 MHz

Frequency banks 20 frequency banks each with up to 24
intermodulation-free presets; 6 frequency banks
with up to 24 frequencies freely selectable by the user
in 25 kHz steps
(Please note that the EK 100 G3 camera receiver has
only twelve frequencies per channel bank)

Switching bandwidth 42 MHz
RF output power 10/30 mW
Nominal/peak deviation ±24 kHz/±48 kHz
Phantom power 48 V ± 2 V
Compander system HDX
Audio frequency response 80–18,000 Hz
THD 0.9%
Signal-to-noise ratio > 120 dBA (1 mV peak deviation)
Audio input XLR-3F, balanced
Power supply 2 AA batteries (1.5 V) or BA 2015 accupack
Operating time typ. 8 hrs (30 mW RF power, without P48)
Dimensions 105 x 43 x 43 mm
Weight with batteries 195 g

NYCTaper, Archivist of New York’s Live Indie Music Scene Captures the Best of Austin’s Music Festival with Sennheiser

Austin – April 11, 2012: Since starting his NYCTaper website in the mid-nineties, Dan Lynch (a.k.a. NYCTaper) has been recording and streaming hundreds of recordings over the Internet, reflecting the best that New York City’s live indie scene has to offer. Lynch, who strives to make the listener feel like he or she ‘was actually there,’ is well known to indie music lovers in New York City and well beyond — his listening audience extends from not only major U.S. metro cities like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, but to more distant geographies such as Japan, Europe and the far reaches of Australia.

While his own backyard is New York City, NYCTaper decided to capture the best of what Austin had to offer during its famous music week last month — listen to some of the results here. Armed with a pair of Sennheiser MKH 8040 cardioid microphones, his HD 280 closed back headphones and a trusty Edirol digital four-track portable recorder, he became “AustinTaper” for a week and recorded some of the best live set lists south of the Mason Dixon line.

What did you record while in Austin?
I have a pretty good relationship with Brooklyn Vegan over the years and the list of bands they were hosting was impressive. So I set up at Hotel Vegan in the afternoons and at the Impose Magazine parties during the evenings and recorded everything I could. In terms of genre, I am particularly drawn to indie rock but I also like any artist that has talent, imagination and something a little different than all the other music out there. For me, it can’t be a formula or promoted by any particular product — I want to see original talent.

What are some of the challenges you encountered in Austin versus what you’re used to in New York City?
Well, there is obviously a lot of extraneous noise when you are recording outdoors. The Sennheiser MKH 8040s are cardioid microphones and this makes them perfectly suited for this kind of thing. Normally, you’d have wind noise to deal with, but this was not an issue since the 8040s have a cardioid pattern and also come with these gigantic windscreens, which are very useful. Wind noise aside, there is not much you can do about the typical chatter you hear during these outdoor type shows, as well as some of the extraneous noise coming through from neighboring stages, but the pattern on the 8040 helped minimize these issues as much as possible.

Did you get a chance to audition the 8040s before you left for Austin?

Yes. Just before I left, I did back-to-back shows in New York City: I recorded Sharon Van Etten at the Bowery Ballroom and Craig Finn from The Hold Steady at Mercury Lounge. I used only the two channels of 8040s in both of these rooms, which I happen know very well, and they worked great. A typical problem I get in some rooms are reflections you get from the ceiling — which sound very ‘claustrophobic.’ With the 8040s, it was the first time I heard my recordings without these annoying reflections. So I knew they would work perfectly well in Austin well before I left.

What was your specific set up during each performance?
I had two Sennheiser MKH 8040s mics set up about eight inches apart in a 110 degree pattern on a stand, which was approximately 8 feet high. In addition to the two live mics, I sourced the left and right main mix feeds via direct outputs from the board. My recorder is an Edirol R44 4-track recorder with modded preamps, and I was capturing 24-bit audio. I was monitoring the recordings through my Sennheiser HD 280s, which are closed back, over the ear headphones.

How did the MKH 8040s perform on the ground in Austin?
First off, there was absolutely no issue capturing the high sound pressure levels on these mics — they can handle anything you throw at them and I have experienced virtually zero distortion. I am getting an extremely clean signal, and in terms of frequency response, the MKH 8040 delivers a sweet and crisp lower end and the highs are very tight. In general, the frequency response was so good that I didn’t have to EQ at all. The mic had basically a zero signal to noise ratio and there was no handling noise or self noise. Ultimately, the combination of the 8040’s cardioid pattern and its ability to perform without any audible distortion makes it the right mic for this kind of festival recording.

Tell me about your monitoring setup while you’re in the field.
For what I’m doing, maintaining isolation is very important because there is just so much noise happening all over, and to that end, I just can’t say enough good things about the Sennheiser HD 280s. Using these headphones, it was the first time I’ve ever recorded a show where I could only hear what was coming through the mics and the board — you are literally inside the cans and I love that. This means I can focus much more, because now I can hear what I’m doing and adjust things like mic positions or levels. They are also fit just right over my ears — I recorded over 35 shows while in Austin and experienced no discomfort whatsoever.

Do you also use the HD 280s while editing and mixing?
Yes. When I am using the HD 280s in hotel room for editing and mixing after a show, I can hear everything. Maybe there is a kick or a snare drum that was a little hot — now I can pinpoint that and make adjustments if necessary. I also enjoy the experience of just listening to music I’ve recorded on the HD 280s while I’m relaxing. One of the nice things about being NYC Taper or AustinTaper is that eventually I get to go home and actually listen to all these recordings, just like the fans of my site.

Listen to some of NYCTaper’s Austin tracks here: http://www.sennheiserusa.com/nyctaper

TRUE Systems’ Precision 8 Helps Percussionist and International Grammy Winner Julio Figueroa Capture His Sound “Exactly as He Hears It”

OLD LYME, Conn. – March 27, 2012 –Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Julio Figueroa is a percussionist and multiple Grammy award winner whose unique style of drumming has been featured on performances by artists such as Michael Jackson, B.B. King, Patti LaBelle and others. Like many other musicians today, Figueroa has created a semi-professional recording environment in his own home and simply uploads his tracks to an FTP server, where they are accessed by various production teams all over the world. He considers the Sennheiser-distributed TRUE Systems Precision 8 preamplifier a fundamental component of his setup.

“For drums and percussion, the Precision 8 captures my sound exactly as I hear it and this is what I value the most,” he states. Figueroa started with one Precision 8 and then acquired a second one so he could accommodate a greater range of percussion and other instruments, as well as take them on the road. “Now if I want to do a live recording I have everything I need,” he observes.

M-S Decoder and Mic Placement
In addition to the transparent sound characteristics of the Precision 8, Figueroa also appreciates the unit’s powerful integrated M-S decoder, which provides greater versatility and enables him to control the stereo spread of his drum overheads via the front panel of the unit with minimal mic repositioning. “For jazz, that M-S capability is incredible if you want to get a great room sound. You set up a couple of mics (cardioid and figure-8 pattern) and it is just unbelievable,” he says. Figueroa frequently uses both the M-S technique and the “Recorderman” technique simultaneously, along with four additional mics on individual drums. This provides him with tremendous flexibility when it’s time to mix down.

Figueroa, who has over 60 snare drums to choose from and four full kits (Jazz, Classics, Collectors and Performance series) from drum manufacturer DW, wants to stay focused on the sounds he is getting out of his instrument rather than fiddling with knobs and settings. “The TRUE Systems Precision 8 is great for someone like me who is not overly technical,” he says. “The units are simple to use right out of the box and there is nothing complicated about it. This means I can get to work faster.”

By using his Precision 8 preamplifiers, Figueroa is confident that when his producers access his percussion tracks on an FTP site, they will like what they hear. “My engineer and producer colleagues get a pristine-sounding file and they can tweak it any way they want for the mix,” he explains. “This is very important when you are doing tracks from a remote location because there is no producer here to tell you how they’d like it to sound. Since the sonic signature is more transparent, this gives them more flexibility in the final stages of the production.”

Tried and TRUE quality
The TRUE Systems Precision 8 uses a high-voltage composite architecture with discrete devices plus integrated circuits, and offers very low noise and distortion as well as high headroom. The totally balanced dual-servo design eliminates nearly all capacitors in the audio path and is DC-coupled at the output. This results in a very detailed and transparent sound characteristic.

Features of the Precision 8 include:

• Eight highly transparent solid state microphone preamps in a 1 unit rack configuration
• Built-in M-S (Mid-Side) decoding for creative spatial image control
• Active, high-impedance instrument inputs (“DI’s”) selectable on two channels
• 5-segment level indicators with peak-hold feature and selectable peak reference
• Smooth continuous gain controls
• Easy integration with MDM’s, HDR’s, DAW’s, or consoles
• Dual DB25/TRS outputs for flexible interconnection

Reliable Sennheiser RF Equipment Supports Super Bowl XLVI

Indianapolis, Indiana – March 8, 2012: In the fractured and multifarious landscape of modern media, the Super Bowl stands as a monolith, gathering the nation together before its television sets to partake of common experience. Indeed, this year’s game between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots was the most-watched program in television history, earning 111.3 million viewers. Of course, the modern Super Bowl experience includes much more than football. In addition to the multi-million dollar commercials, many are drawn to watch the celebrities and celebrity performances. This year, Country Music’s first couple, Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton, kicked things off with a rousing duet. Shelton was later featured in his judge’s chair on the season premier of NBC’s hit, The Voice. At halftime, Madonna starred in a richly choreographed medley of her chart-toppers (to the tune of 114 million viewers – more than the game itself!). Rock-solid Sennheiser RF equipment gave everyone involved as much peace of mind as one dare hope at this, the most critical of all mission-critical events.

With a stirring rendition of “God Bless America,” Lambert and Shelton gave the Super Bowl a patriotic commencement. Lambert sang into a new custom-made pink Sennheiser SKM 2000-XP handheld mic with an MMD 935-1 capsule that was created for this event. Shelton sang into a Sennheiser SKM 5200-II handheld mic with an MD 5235 capsule. “On such a high-pressure show with so many top-of-their-field experts managing such a massive logistical undertaking, one has to be adamant to get the mics you want,” observed Brad Baisley, the duo’s monitor engineer. ”Of course, Miranda used her new pink Sennheiser microphone, and Blake the Sennheiser SKM 5200. The top end is always superb, the sound is natural, and Miranda and Blake know how to work those capsules. Of course, Sennheiser’s RF has always been rock-solid for us, and that was proved once again at the Super Bowl. In addition to their great products, the assistance from Sennheiser’s Tim Moore was fantastic. He was extremely helpful in ensuring we had the equipment we needed in the appropriate frequency ranges.”

To put the magnitude of the Super Bowl in perspective, Madonna’s 2008-2009 Sticky & Sweet tour – the highest grossing tour by a solo artist and the fourth highest grossing tour of all time – played to 3.5 million people in just over a year’s time. If you crunch the numbers, Madonna would have to play over thirty such tours back-to-back to match her one-time TV-land attendance at the Super Bowl! “Once the show starts, there’s not a lot you can do if something goes wrong,” said Matt Napier, Madonna’s longtime monitor engineer. “The best – and really the only – thing you can do in a situation like that is to have the best equipment available and to prepare thoroughly. I trust Sennheiser in Madonna’s high-stakes concerts, and that trust was rewarded with a perfect performance at the Super Bowl.”

“On tour, we have our own dedicated RF tech,” said Napier. “But as a general rule, we keep things simple and reliable by using Sennheiser wireless exclusively and their Wireless Systems Manager software, which is an effective tool for managing our frequencies.” Madonna used the Sennheiser HSP 4headset at the start of the medley and then switched to a Sennheiser SKM 5200-II handheld Blake and Mirandatransmitter with an ME 5005 capsule for the remainder. All of Madonna’s guests (Nicki Minaj, MIA, LMFAO) used Sennheiser SKM 5200-II handheld transmitters with Neumann KK 104 capsules. Cee Lo Green’s mic used the MD 5235 capsule. Sennheiser EM 3732 receivers captured the on-stage magic for the wired world beyond. Finally, Sennheiser 2000 Series wireless personal monitors rounded out the equipment list for Madonna at her request.

“No matter where we’re playing, the combination of the Sennheiser SKM 5200-II transmitter, ME 5005 capsule, and EM 3732 receiver delivers fantastic audio quality and reliable, flexible RF performance,” said Napier. “Together with Sennheiser’s 2000 Series wireless personal monitors, we’re high fidelity start to finish, with rock-solid reliability and easy frequency coordination. In addition, having the full support of Sennheiser affords me peace of mind. We needed a gold-plated SKM 5200-II transmitter for Madonna and a chrome SKM 5200-II for Cee Lo. With no time to spare, Kristy Jo Winkler and Tim Hunten, Sennheiser, and Jason Bellamy at Soundtronics arranged the delivery of these transmitters. The mics were on their way the same day. That kind of service means a lot in this industry. A big thanks goes out to the Sennheiser team!”

Sennheiser Partners with UniqueSquared to Bring Mobile Studio to Austin During World-Famous Music Week

AUSTIN – March 06, 2012: Audio specialist Sennheiser announced that it has partnered with music retailer UniqueSquared to bring a 45-foot mobile recording studio bus to Austin during its world-famous music week between March 14th and 16th. The UniqueSquared Mobile Studio, which will make stops at various locations in downtown Austin during its music festival, is being co-sponsored by Sennheiser and features a control room, isolated vocal booth / tracking room, a listening lounge and plenty of gear from Sennheiser and Neumann. Music fans are encouraged to attend and admission is free.

The UniqueSquared Mobile Studio will feature an assortment of world-class microphones from Sennheiser and Neumann and several dedicated listening stations equipped with a selection of the latest headphones from Sennheiser — including the HD 800, which many audiophiles consider to be the best-sounding headphone in the world. Following is a selection of the audio equipment that the mobile recording studio will have on hand for musicians and fans to demo:

– Sennheiser e 906, e 914 and MK 4 instrument / vocal microphones
– Sennheiser e 835 and e 935 dynamic vocal microphones
– Neumann TLM 103 condenser microphone
– Sennheiser Amperior, HD 25, HD 205, HD 280, HD 650,HD 800 headphones and others
– TRUE Systems P2 Analog preamplifier (distributed by Sennheiser)

“We are happy to co-sponsor the UniqueSquared Mobile Studio this year in Austin,” commented Tim Moore, artist relations manager, Sennheiser. “It is exciting to interact with so many diverse music fans in one place, and the Mobile Studio enables them to try out a wide range of Sennheiser and Neumann products in a professional environment before making a purchasing decision.”

The UniqueSquared Mobile Studio, which will also have products for sale, is being presented in conjunction with the Sennheiser / Paste party at The Stages on Sixth — where 33 artists will perform over the course of three days.

Over the course of the showcase event, one pair of Sennheiser HD 800 headphones will be given away each day to three lucky registered showcase attendees and hundreds of cards will be given away featuring free music downloads of Sennheiser artists. A dedicated, interactive listening station will be provided for the duration of the event so music fans can experience Sennheiser’s latest products including the Amperior DJ-style headphones, which were recently unveiled at CES 2012.

Sennheiser Rocks (and Rolls in the Deep) with Big Grammy Winners

Los Angeles, California, March 1, 2012: This year’s Grammy Awards event, hosted by LL Cool J, celebrating music’s biggest night, went down in history as the second highest rated telecast since the show’s inception in 1959. It was a phenomenal undertaking showcasing nearly thirty diverse musical performances on multiple indoor and outdoor stages, along with a very last minute tribute celebrating the late Whitney Houston. So when Sennheiser artists took the stage, their engineers knew they had to have Sennheiser microphones to assure their performances would go off without a hitch.

Adele, the big winner of the evening, tied the record, set two years ago by Beyoncé, for the most awards won by a female artist in one year. The 23-year-old pop-soul singer won the night’s most prestigious awards, including Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album for 21, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Short Form Music Video for the single “Rolling in the Deep,” and Best Pop Solo Performance for “Someone Like You.”

The most highly anticipated performance of the evening finally arrived when Adele took the stage to perform “Rolling in the Deep.” Her favorite nickel-finish Sennheiser SKM 2000-XP wireless handheld transmitter with MMK 965-1 capsule conveyed her beautiful voice to the adoring crowd. Dave McDonald, Adele’s front-of-house engineer, said, “It’s a great microphone. We started using it just after the Brit Awards in February of last year, and she’s loved it ever since.” He adds, “Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of the equipment we use is Sennheiser – and the point-one percent is Neumann.” Her performance brought the Grammy audience to its feet for the longest standing ovation of the evening.

Foo Fighters, nominated in a total of six categories, swept the entire rock category, winning awards for Rock Song and Rock Performance for “Walk,” Rock Album for Wasting Light, Hard Rock/Metal Performance for “White Limo,” and Best Long Form Music Video for “Foo Fighters: Back and Forth.”

The band rocked the stage twice during the Grammy broadcast, performing “Walk” from a tent on Nokia Plaza, adjacent to the Staples Center, then returning to play “Rope” during the electronic dance music segment with David Guetta, Chris Brown, Lil’ Wayne, and deadmau5. Frontman Dave Grohl made use of his usual Sennheiser MD 431 II vocal mic on both songs. Ian Beveridge, Foo Fighters’ longtime monitor engineer, spoke highly of Dave’s vocal mic: “I love that microphone to death. That microphone is so unbelievably flat in the high-end, and incredibly stable with moisture and temperature. During their shows, we used to have terrible instability problems with other microphones, and I was going through maybe four, five or six microphones a show with Dave, swapping them out. Now, I keep the 431 for the whole show. I can’t remember the last time there was any feedback during Foo Fighters’ show. And these Grammy performances were no exception.”

Bruno Mars, channeling James Brown with his energetic, throwback performance of “Runaway”, had the singer using an SKM 2000-XP with MMD 945-1 capsule. James Berry, monitor engineer for Mars shared, “Sennheiser products have great sound and reliability. We could not have done it without Sennheiser. I’m always grateful for their gear and support in making it happen under the stress of a live event like the Grammys.”

Other Sennheiser users got to shine during the show, too, including the evening’s host, LL Cool J, who made use of an SKM 5200. Alicia Keys sang a duet with Bonnie Raitt in memory of Etta James through her SKM 5200-II vocal mic with MD 5235 capsule. Katy Perry made a memorable entrance, descending in a glass box with her baby blue hair and her SKM 5200-II/MD 5235 combination to perform her new post-divorce song, “Part of Me.” During a medley honoring and featuring Glen Campbell, Blake Shelton performed the songwriter’s “Southern Nights” using his SKM 5200-II /MD 5235 vocal mic. Tony Bennett, in a duet with Carrie Underwood on “It Had to Be You,” also used an SKM 5200-II.

(Photo Credit: © 2012 FilmMagic)

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)

Sennheiser and House of Blues Renew Marketing Alliance

Wedemark, Germany, February 6, 2012: Four years ago, audio specialist Sennheiser teamed up with the House of Blues – creator of a celebrated collection of intimate music venues. Sennheiser supplied a comprehensive set of its evolution series wired and wireless microphones and personal monitors, as well as Sennheiser headphones and Neumann microphones, to each of the House of Blues’ thirteen locations in the United States. The gear allowed House of Blues’ engineers to optimize sound reinforcement and provide robust RF solutions for the diverse performers that nightly take its stages. In addition, each company benefited from the cross-marketing exposure generated by the relationship. With such an obvious win for Sennheiser, the House of Blues, the musicians, and the concertgoers, both parties gladly renewed the marketing alliance.

Live music powerhouse Live Nation owns the House of Blues, which, in the two decades since opening its doors, has risen to become the USA’s preeminent live music venue for intimate shows. Each location is distinctively decorated with the world’s largest collection of folk art and serves top-drawer food and beverages. The fact that the House of Blues provides state-of-the-art sound reinforcement and lighting makes the venue a top choice of both local and national acts. Sennheiser’s Global Relations Manager for the Americas and Canada, Kristy Jo Winkler, worked with House of Blues to facilitate the renewal. “Our relationship with the House of Blues strengthens Sennheiser’s marketing at the MI and corporate levels,” she said. “Every night, musicians and engineers from around the globe experience the musicality and reliability of our microphones and RF equipment. We’re happy to continue such fantastic exposure.”

Matthew Scoggins, FOH Engineer at the House of Blues Los Angeles, commented, “No matter what the application, when clarity is of the utmost importance, I reach for a Sennheiser mic.” The House of Blues is set up with a full complement of gear, suitable for any of the diverse flavors of contemporary music that the House of Blues hosts. The kits include multiple models of evolution mics for backline and vocals, a couple of Neumann vocal mics and Sennheiser headphones. “The House of Blues prides itself on providing an ideal venue for both our artists and our guests,” said Dan Schartoff, VP Club and Theatre Productions for Live Nation. “Everyone loves the sound we’re getting with the Sennheiser gear, and we’re glad it will continue.”

Brian Fiegelman, A1 tech at House of Blues Dallas, agreed: “The Sennheiser e 900 Series mics are always my first choice. Their tailored frequency responses make it easy to mix everything from gospel to metal. In addition, the durability of their metal casings makes them almost indestructi¬ble… an essential asset that has allowed them to stand up to years of abuse on our Dallas stage!”

House of Blues Dallas production manager Thomas DeBeaudry said that Sennheiser’s robust performance often solves problems and makes Sennheiser devotees of touring engineers and bands. “We sit in a heavily saturated wireless environment,” he said. “On more than a few occasions, we have used our Sennheiser EM 2050 wireless package in place of a touring wireless package because of its ability to continuously scan and eliminate RF interference. We often find that the engineers and musicians prefer our rig due to its ease of use and its bulletproof performance. In addition, the smooth frequency response of the Sennheiser MMK 965-1 capsule generates a lot favorable comments.”

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