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A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor


jonas_brothers.JPGHOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA: MTV’s Video Music Awards adopted the theme of Hollywood movie magic for its special twenty-fifth anniversary show from the historic Paramount Studios. Things were not always as they first appeared as the show’s stars paid homage to Hollywood with performances on Paramount’s back lot and inside Stage 16. But it was no illusion that Sennheiser microphones were everywhere, from the red carpet arrival area to one performance after another, including spectacular set pieces by Sennheiser artists Rihanna, the Jonas Brothers and Paramore.

Greeting the arriving stars on the red carpet, MTV hosts Tim Kash, Kim Stolz, Taylor Swift and John Norris, as well as Jim Cantiello, wielded Sennheiser SKM 5000 handheld mics with Neumann KK 104 S capsules, supplied by RF specialists Soundtronics and Wireless First, along with four HMD 280 boom headsets. The microphones provided for the diverse celebrity interviewees, from Christina Aguilera to Tokio Hotel to Kobe Bryant, were all SKM 5000 handhelds. Three EM 3032 and eighteen EM 1031 true diversity receivers combined with four ASA 3000 antenna splitters and three A 5000 CP antennas ensured uninterrupted coverage throughout the arrivals area.

russell_brand.JPGInside Stage 16, controversial U.K. comedian and VMA show host Russell Brand delivered his risqué patter on the main stage via an SKM 5200. All of the show’s presenters were on SKM 5200 mics, including Britney Spears, Jamie Foxx, Demi Moore, who nearly went onstage without hers, Taylor Swift, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps and others. A total of six SKM 5200 handhelds with KK 104 S capsules and six EM 3032 receivers were dedicated for use on the main stage.

Veteran television production mixer Klaus Landsberg, generating a 5.1 mix in MTV Networks’ Pegasus remote HD broadcast truck, comments, “I had thirty production RFs, all Sennheiser.” In addition, thirty-six Sennheiser and Neumann mics covered the audience, including MKH 416 shotguns onstage in an XY configuration plus KM 184s for the crowd. “We had RFs that worked from the stage where Pink played all the way to Stage 16, probably a quarter of a mile. It sounded fabulous, and it was all live. You could hear Britney Spears walking and talking from the dressing room all the way to the stage. We didn’t have one RF hit all night, and everything sounded so solid and so clean.”

Creative Sound Solutions’ Butch McKarge, mixing monitors for the main stage as well as outdoor performances by the Jonas Brothers and Pink on the New York street sets and Kanye West at the B-Tank, had sixteen Sennheiser ew 300 IEM G2 transmitters at his disposal plus approximately forty SK 5212 belt-packs. With the exception of the house band, reports McKarge “Everybody who wore ears, which is almost everybody except Kid Rock, wore Sennheiser ears.” The biggest challenge, he recalls, involved T.I., who entered from the back of the house underneath the delay speaker cluster and had to keep in sync with Rihanna and the backing track despite a 50 to 70 millisecond delay. “If he didn’t have Sennheiser ears it would have been impossible,” says McKarge.

Rihanna, who made two appearances on the show, played with the dark themes of the music video for her “Disturbia” single earlier on the night, appearing in a black leather outfit that matched her personal Sennheiser SKM 5200 handheld wireless mic with MD 5235 and KK 104 S capsules. Also on the main stage, in a medley with Lil Wayne and T-Pain, Leona Lewis sang using the SKM 5200/KK 104 S combination.

paramore.JPGOutside, the Jonas Brothers performed a little movie magic when the acoustic rendition of their new single “Lovebug” on the steps of a New York brownstone morphed into a rocking electric stage performance with a full band. Vocals were delivered using one e 935 and two SKM 935 G2 vocal mics paired with EM 550 G2 receivers and A 2003 passive antennas, with a range of 900 Series mics, including e 901, e 902, e 904 and e 905 models, across the backline.

Paramore pulled a similar stunt when their show at the Sunset Strip’s storied Whiskey A Go-Go club turned out to be on a set inside Stage 16. Paramore’s front-woman Hayley Williams rocked an e 935 vocal mic for the group’s energetic performance of “Misery Business” with the same mic used by lead guitar player, Josh Farro for backing vocals. Sennheiser MD 421s handled guitars for both Farro and bass player Jeremy Davis, with e 914s for hats and an e 904 on toms for drummer, Zac Farro.

House band TRV$DJAM – former blink-182 drummer Travis Barker and DJ AM – made use of wired evolution series e 604 mics on the toms plus an e 602 on the kick drum. TRV$DJAM jammed with a string of guests including U.K. duo The Ting Tings, who sang through e 935 vocal mics.

SENNHEISER Sennheiser is a world-leading manufacturer of microphones, headphones and wireless transmission systems. Established in 1945 in Wedemark, Germany, Sennheiser is now a global brand represented in 60 countries around the world with U.S. headquarters in Old Lyme, Connecticut. Sennheiser’s pioneering excellence in technology has rewarded the company with numerous awards and accolades including an Emmy, a Grammy, and the Scientific and Engineering Award of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

For more information, please visit www.sennheiserusa.com

PHOTO CAPTIONS Sitting on Paramount’s famed New York City back lot set, Vince, Joe and Kevin quietly sang their mega hit “Lovebug” using Sennheiser SKM 935 G2 and e 935 vocals mics until the set dropped away and thousands of screaming fans mobbed the now rockin’ trio at the 2008 MTV Video Awards.

Every word of British comedian Russell Brand’s rock-star style, risqué hosting of the 2008 MTV Video Awards was crisply and clearly delivered through a Sennheiser SKM 5200 wireless microphone.

Hayley Williams, front-woman and songwriter for the pop-punk rock band Paramore rips through the group’s Hit “Misery Business” at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards wielding the popular Sennheiser e 935 vocal microphone that easily cuts through the mix.


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