29.05.2009 - Wedemark, Germany
Sennheiser e 935s a Smash with Tinted Windows
Way back in 1997, a circus rolled through town, and a seer charged $4.00 for accurate predictions of the future. You felt ripped off when she told you that twelve years hence, members of four disparate bands, Cheap Trick, Hanson, Smashing Pumpkins, and Fountains of Wayne, would form a “super-group” to deliver unambiguous power-pop in a genre that was in danger of losing its way. It was preposterous. What would those bands ever have to do with each other? As you left the tent in a huff, she repeated the words, “Tinted Windows,” over and over again in a quivering voice, which you chalked up to the ravings of a madwoman.
It was thus a tremendous shock to learn that Tinted Windows, its composition as predicted, would headline three sets at South by Southwest 2009, in addition to a whirlwind promotional tour. As Tinted Windows racked up rave reviews for their debut, self-titled album (S-Curve Records), the depth of the seer’s prediction sank in: Tinted Window’s brand of power-pop was indeed something special, a beacon of pure energy, raw emotion, and irrefutable hooks on an otherwise choppy power-pop sea. Four top names from famous 90s bands team up to create “Tinted Windows” — a new super-group where all members are using Sennheiser evolution e 935 wired microphones. From left to right: James Iha (Smashing Pumpkins), Taylor Hanson (vocals, Hanson), Bun E. Carlos (drums, Cheap Trick), and Adam Schlesinger (bass, Fountains of Wayne).
(Photo Credit: © 2009 AP Photo)
Mike Fanuele (Dashboard Confessional, Fountains of Wayne) commanded the band’s sound (production manager, tour manager, FOH and monitors!) for their SXSW gigs and the subsequent two-week tour that hit New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, two television dates with Jimmy Fallon (NBC) and David Letterman (CBS), and the Bamboozle Festival in New Jersey. For fidelity and consistency from gig to gig, he assigned a Sennheiser e 935 cardioid vocal mic — the best live mic he could find — to every member of the group: Bun E. Carlos (drums, Cheap Trick), Taylor Hanson (vocals, Hanson), James Iha
The Sennheiser e 935 recommended itself on both sides of the wedges that the band self-consciously opted for over ear monitors. “The e 935 has a great sonic quality so that Taylor, and everyone else for that matter, can hear some nice hi-fi in the monitors,” said Fanuele. “Importantly, its tight pattern control gives me more gain before feedback then I’d get with most other live vocal mics. So we have nice, loud, clear vocals in the monitors, which fuels the energetic performance that these guys deliver.”
“It is of course equally important,” he continued, “that the mic sounds great for me out front. It has a smooth midrange with a bit of a presence peak that helps the vocals cut through without being annoying or harsh. Taylor’s vocal style is very dynamic, and when he moves on and off mic, the
But there’s much more to successful touring with high-profile artists than simply delivering hi-fi sound. Fanuele put things in perspective, “These guys are waking up at 7:00 am every day and heading down to the radio stations to do interviews. After that, they do phone interviews for a few hours. After a short lunch, it’s off to do more publicity, a photo shoot or public appearance. At the end of a long day, they show up for soundcheck and then deliver an hour-long, high-energy performance. They’re exhausting themselves eighteen hours a day.”
Fanuele also used Sennheiser mics on Bun E. Carlos’ drums, including an e 902 on bass and
“Sennheiser has always been there for me. Their global support — their support in general — is peerless,” said Fanuele. “At this point I have, on several occasions, contacted Sennheiser with a request, and the very next day someone shows up at the studio or the hotel lobby with the product. At some point you start to question it, ‘what did I do to deserve this royal treatment?’ Anyway, this circumstance was no exception. Sennheiser was right there with new mics so that the tour — including a number of television appearances — could go on as planned.”
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 over €395 million in 2007, 83% of which were generated abroad. Sennheiser employs almost 2,000 people worldwide, around 55% of whom are in Germany. Sennheiser has manufacturing plants in Germany, Ireland and the USA, Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH (Klein + Hummel studio monitors, installed sound) and the joint venture Sennheiser Communications A/S (headsets for PCs, offices and call centers).and 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), K + H Vertriebs- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH (Klein + Hummel studio monitors, installed sound) and the joint venture Sennheiser Communications A/S (headsets for PCs, offices and call centers).
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