23.09.2010 - Wedemark
Lilith Fair Festival 2010 Rules with Sennheiser and Neumann
Many of the biggest female solo artists and female-led bands joined the Lilith Fair festival in 2010 for a triumphant tour of North America. It had been over a decade since Sarah McLachlan and high-minded music industry leaders organized the female-centered event, which raised over $10 million for women’s charities in 1997, 1998 and 1999. This year’s tour blazed through twenty-three major Canadian and US cities, bringing dozens of acts to three stages. Sennheiser wireless technology, together with Sennheiser and Neumann capsules, and wired microphones, dominated input and output lists and gave the festival’s hundreds of wireless links the reliability they required, along with sonic quality befitting the prestige of the artists and the nobility of the cause.
|Sarah McLachlan performing with her Neumann KMS 150 during Lilith Fair 2010.
(Photo Credit: © 2010 Getty Images)
|Headliner Sarah McLachlan closed the show at every date, and she finished her set with an invitation to the artists who had performed earlier to join her on stage for a finale. All of the guest vocalists used Sennheiser SKM 2000 wireless handheld transmitters with MMD 945-1 super-cardioid dynamic capsules for robust pick-up, without bleed from the crowded stage. As has been the case for some fifteen years, McLachlan herself sang into one of three hyper-cardioid Neumann KMS 150 condensers strategically located around the stage, her choice depending on the instrument she was playing. “Like Neumann’s studio microphones, the KMS 150 captures quiet details|
Between SKM 5200 handheld transmitters with MD 5235 capsules, ew 300 IEM G2 personal monitors, and ew 572 G2 instrument systems, country super-duo Sugarland contributed thirty-six channels of Sennheiser wireless equipment to the tangled RF landscape of Lilith Fair. Two SKM 5200s featured Sennheiser’s innovative Command function. With the push of a button, lead singer Jennifer Nettle and lead instrumentalist Kristian Bush can toggle their microphones over to an alternate set of outputs on their EM 3732 Command receivers, routed directly to monitor engineer Steve Ledet and the band’s in-ear systems. The Command outputs can be programmed in many ways. In this instance, pressing the Command button mutes FOH, allowing Nettle and Bush to discretely communicate with Ledet (e.g. “more snare drum”) and the band (e.g. “double the intro”). Sennheiser’s leading-edge technology is poetically balanced on Sugarland’s set by its most classic technology, in the form of MD 421 dynamics on the bass rig and the Leslie cabinet. Noted Dave Haskell, FOH engineer and production manager, about the MD 421: “I’ve used those things for a hundred years on drums and I’d use more of those mics if I could find a spot to stick ‘em!”
Indie rockers Metric, fronted by Emily Haines, delivered four shows in the middle of the Lilith Fair tour using the same complement of Sennheiser and Neumann gear that they always go out with. FOH engineer Trevor Coppen recounted the collection, which includes Sennheiser e 906 on guitars, e 901 and e 902 on kick drum, e 905 on snare top,e 914 on snare bottom and hi-hat, e 904 on rack tom, and an MD 421 on floor tom. Haines sings into a Sennheiser SKM 2000 with an MMK 965-1 capsule, the same capsule used in the three wired e 965s for backing vocals. Sennheiser ew 300 IEM G2 wireless personal monitors and a pair of Neumann KM 184s on drum overheads round out the list. “I’ve been working with Sennheiser for a long time,” said Coppen. “They’re always there for us, including a time we had a one-off in Tokyo and Sennheiser arranged to have our full mic list there when we arrived. They consistently go to lengths that make me feel like we’re in a big family together.”
Indie-pop singer-songwriter, Ingrid Michaelson, sings into the MD 431 II, the definitive classic Sennheiser vocal mic. “The MD 431 II provides excellent rejection of all other ambient on-stage noise,” explained engineer David Mann. “At the same time, it has a smooth response that really highlights everything that’s wonderful in Ingrid’s voice.” Her backing vocalists use Sennheiser e 935s, arguably the definitive contemporary Sennheiser vocal mic. “As of last year, we have everyone on the new Sennheiser ew 300 IEM G3 wireless personal monitors,” Mann added. “The musicians love them because they sound so great, and I’m a fan of the new functionality. Despite the heavy RF traffic of Lilith, I was always able to find friendly frequencies quickly and reliably.”
Rising country star Miranda Lambert sings into a Sennheiser SKM 2000 handheld transmitter with an MMD 945-1 capsule. Her production manager, Chris Newsom, agrees with Mann regarding Sennheiser’s new wireless personal monitor system, “The band was on Sennheiser’s ew 300 IEM G2 wireless personal monitors for years. We recently switched over to the new G3 system, which I think has everything that made the G2 system awesome, most importantly great stereo imaging and a warm musical sound. But in addition, the G3 brings new functionalities for the monitor engineer that are especially appreciated in the tight time schedule and inherently unpredictable nature of a big tour like Lilith Fair.”
The Sennheiser Group, with its headquarters in Wedemark near Hanover, Germany, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of microphones, headphones and wireless transmission systems. The family-owned company, which was established in 1945, recorded sales of around €390 million in 2009. Sennheiser employs more than 2,100 people worldwide, and has manufacturing plants in Germany, Ireland and the USA. The company is represented worldwide by subsidiaries in France, Great Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark (Nordic), Russia, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, Japan, China, Canada, Mexico and the USA, as well as by long-term trading partners in many other countries. Also part of the Sennheiser Group are Georg Neumann GmbH, Berlin (studio microphones and monitor loudspeakers), and the joint venture Sennheiser Communications A/S (headsets for PCs, offices and call centers).
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