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Sennheiser Delivers Flawless RF Performance During CMA Awards

Blake Shelton performs with his Sennheiser SKM 2000 transmitter, coupled with an MMD 935-1 capsule

Old Lyme, Conn. – November 15, 2011 – During the 45th annual Country Music Association Awards, audio specialist Sennheiser delivered another evening of rock solid audio and flawless RF performance courtesy of its EM 3732-II receivers, SKM 2000 and SKM 5200 transmitters and its ew 300 G3 IEM series monitoring system. The following Sennheiser users also won awards and performed live onstage using Sennheiser transmitters and capsules:

Blake Shelton: Top Male Vocalist
(Sennheiser SKM 2000 coupled with an MMD 953-1 capsule)
Miranda Lambert: Top Female Vocalist
– (Sennheiser SKM 2000 couple with an MMD 935-1 capsule)
Sugarland: Vocal Duo of the Year
(Sennheiser SKM 5200-II coupled with an MD 5235 capsule)
Lady Antebellum: Vocal Group of the Year
(Sennheiser SKM 5200-II coupled with an MD 5235 capsule)

Among the notable performance highlights was a rendition of “Georgia On My Mind” by the Zac Brown Band and music legend Gregg Allman, during which Brown used a Sennheiser SKM 2000 coupled with a MMD 935-1 mic capsule.

For Bexel staff engineer Jim Dugan, who designs antenna systems for a living and was RF coordinator for this year’s CMAs, Sennheiser was a foundational component of the show’s overall success. “We had 10 of the Sennheiser EM 3732-II receivers, which are really flexible and can cover any of the transmitters the artists are using,” he says. “They are well built, clean and have a very wide switching bandwidth which helps tremendously — especially in shows with 300 or more frequencies. Most importantly, they sound great.”

The sound and dependability of the RF transmitters is key in an awards show that features no less than 29 performers. “This is a challenging show that is all about music, and the only time someone isn’t playing is when someone is introducing music,” commented John Harris, the broadcast music mixer at CMA who had two of his Music Mix Mobile trucks on site. “Since there are performances way out in the middle of the arena and on three different stages, the RF has to be rock solid. The Sennheiser transmitters are very reliable and there were no blips.”

“Overall, the show was a great success,” adds monitor engineer Jason Spence. “Sennheiser had a big role in this, and we had quite a few artists with Sennheiser mics out there. Whether you are the guy mixing, or if you’re in the audience or the artist who is performing, dependability is everything. We had zero issues with the Sennheiser mics, and they sounded great.” In Spence’s role, the right mic choice means that he can get the sound he is looking for faster: “It means I don’t have to hack up the EQ. For example, for Miranda, all I had to do was set the gain, put a high pass filter on it, run it up on the IEMs and put a little bit of reverb on it. Done.”

During this year’s CMAs, a variety of other Sennheiser microphones were used in many other applications. For example, Vocal Group of the Year Lady Antebellum used the new Sennheiser MK4 large diaphragm condenser as overhead microphones, and Sennheiser mics were on every drum kit used by every band during the evening’s performances. “Every band that played had e 602-IIs on the kick drum,” says John Harris. “Everything about my mixes start with drums, and the Sennheiser 600 and 900 series just knock it out of the park.”

“We had a perfect show and it was great,” Dugan concludes. “The CMA show is a very complex, technical environment with a lot of electronics. The fact that the Sennheiser equipment performs flawlessly and sounds great is a testament to its overall quality. I will definitely use Sennheiser again next year.”

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