Archive for December, 2009
Direct Pro audio recently purchased a brand-new Ford Transit Connect van. The Transit Connect van will be used for service calls and installs. It is the latest move in Direct Pro Audio’s attempt to attain a greener carbon footprint. The Ford transit connect achieves 25 miles per gallon on the highway and 22 miles per gallon in the city.
The Ford Transit Connect is expected to save Direct Pro Audio thousands of dollars in fuel costs annually. Our service and install technicians have a fleet of E250 cargo vans that previously would go out half full. The new Transit Connect allows us to get around town easily, park anywhere, and burn much less fuel than ever before.
The new Transit Connect replaces a 1985 Ford E150 cargo van that the company had since its founding in 2003. Although the E150 was still reliable, it had over 389,000 miles on it. The harsh environment here in the Midwest also began to rust the E150. Although we were sad to see our old E150 go, the new Transit Connect has performed brilliantly.
| WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA — Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush, the country music duo called Sugarland, have been touring North America with their band, using more than three-dozen channels of Sennheiser wireless vocal microphone, personal monitor and instrument systems.
Sugarland’s use of the Command option on the SKM 5200 RF handheld vocal mics, in particular, is “a cool feature that we all love,” said Steve Ledet, monitor engineer for the tour.
At the touch of a button, the Command feature re-routes the SKM 5200’s capsule to a second output channel. In Sugarland’s case, that Command channel is sent to all of the personal monitors, as well as to speakers at the FOH position, allowing Nettles and Bush to communicate privately with their musicians and crew.
“Jennifer uses it all the time,” Ledet said. “For example, during stadium dates on this summer’s Kenny Chesney tour, she would be out on the thrust in front of 60,000 people and ask for more vocal, more snare drum, or more of Kristian’s guitar in her ears. If they’re running out of time in the set and they need to cut a song she can just tell the band in-between songs. Or she’ll be grabbing a drink of water and she’ll ask them to double up on the intro.”
He added, “I have it cranked up so there’s no mistaking between her vocal and that. It really is invaluable, and the audience never knows that she’s dealing with anything. It’s the coolest thing ever as far as I’m concerned because she doesn’t have to look at me or wait for eye contact — she just talks. She has complete communication to me. All she has to do is push the button.”
Andy Hujdich, who oversees the 93 channels of onstage patching, calls the new feature invaluable in terms of time saved when an on the fly patch is necessary.
Sugarland’s FOH engineer and production manager David Haskell, who formerly toured with Alabama, Keb’ Mo’, and Gretchen Wilson, runs down the list of Sennheiser wireless gear in use onstage.
“We’ve got tons of Sennheiser gear out on the road with us — every instrument, all ears, and all the vocal mics,” he said. Nettles and Bush each use the SKM 5200 outfitted with the MD 5235 dynamic capsule.
“Those microphones sound incredible,” Haskell said. Additionally, each of the five backing musicians supplies background vocals via an e 935 wired vocal mic.
“I also use MD 421s on both of our bass rigs, and as a low microphone on the Leslie,” Haskell added. “I’ve used those things for a hundred years on drums. I’d use a hundred of those things if I could find a spot to stick ‘em.”
Haskell had good things to say about the EM 3732 mic receivers that are paired with the SKM 5200s. “That thing is impeccable. I’ve never had those vocal mics drop out. We’ve even taken it to ‘Oprah’ with us, and places like that where RF is not simple.”
Ledet also noted how easy it was to learn the operation of the EM 3732. “I’ve never even seen a manual for that thing and it’s just a piece of cake to get around on and change frequencies. It does its own scanning, and to synch it takes about two seconds. That’s real convenient when something pops up all of a sudden; I can pretty quickly find an open frequency and get the mics tuned back in.”
Ledet additionally oversees a dozen ew 300 PM G2 units. “I’m only using nine of them at a time,” he said. “I’ve got seven band members, including the principals, my cue mix, and I use one for the guitar techs. We have the extras for guests. The PMs operate in conjunction with AC2 combiners and A 5000-CP antennas.”
Guitar tech Steve Castro looks after 10 channels of ew 372 G2 for Bush’s various wireless instruments, plus additional channels for Nettles’ acoustic guitars and for bass player Annie Clements. Jill Hall, stage right guitar tech, handles two units for guitarists, Scott Patton and Thad Beaty. Despite there being just short of forty channels of Sennheiser wireless equipment onstage, says Haskell, “The RF has been like a rock.”
For more information, please visit www.sennheiserusa.com.
Reprinted from FOH Online.
LONDON — FOH engineer Russell Fischer and monitor mixer Andrea “Vito” Carena had no qualms about using Audio-Technica’s 5000 Series wireless system for Taylor Swift’s Fearless tour for frontline and backing vocals.
Swift’s vocal microphone needed to be suited to her voice and able to reliably reject feedback, since Swift often interacts with the crowd in front of the main P.A. loudspeakers. Fischer and Carena, together with Swift, chose the 5000 Series wireless system for its overall sound quality, gain-before-feedback properties and reliability.
Swift uses Audio-Technica’s Artist Elite 5000 Series UHF Wireless System with an AEW-T4100 Cardioid Dynamic Handheld Transmitter for her lead vocals, and all background vocals are handled by the 5000 Series Wireless System with AEW-T5400 Cardioid Condenser Handheld Transmitter, with all systems using the AEW-R5200 True Diversity Frequency-Agile Dual Receiver.
Fischer, who has in the past worked with Toby Keith, Keith Anderson, Jane’s Addiction and Skid Row, among others, selected other Audio-Technica mics for the Fearless tour, including AT4050 Multi-Pattern Condenser Microphones on guitars and overheads, AT4051 Cardioid Condenser Microphone on snare bottom and an ATM25 Hypercardioid Dynamic Instrument Microphone for kick drum.
“During rehearsals for the tour, we tried a number of different wireless systems and mics from a variety of manufacturers on Taylor’s vocals, but we kept coming back to the Audio-Technica 5000 Series Wireless and the T4100,” Fischer recalled. “And we all agreed that the A-T was the right system for the job.
“For me, I needed a mic that would give me gain before feedback and work well with a female vocal,” Fischer added. “Because she’s moving around the stage a lot, going in front of the P.A. system plane, we need to make sure feedback doesn’t creep in the mix, so we needed something that had massive rejection and controllable gain before feedback. The mic really sounds great — it sounds like her.”
Carena, who worked as monitor engineer for such artists as Keith Anderson, Colbie Caillat and Trick Pony, added, “This is the biggest tour I’ve been on yet, and that naturally presents some pretty big wireless challenges, but the A-T system has been very comfortable to work with. I’ve never had a problem squeezing in all the frequencies or having them work flawlessly as a matter of fact. From arenas to clubs, from award shows to subway stations, the A-T has been rock solid.”
Swift’s Fearless tour traveled to the U.K. recently, and, after an early-2010 jaunt to Australia, she will be back in North America, beginning March 4, 2010, in Tampa, Florida.
Reprinted from FOH Online