Sennheiser Travels the Globe With Sade

Sennheiser audio electronics will be used on the forthcoming world tour of English R&B group Sade.

Led by monitor engineer Horst Hartman and front-of-house engineer Chris Madden, the show will feature a Sennheiser SKM 5200-II microphone with cardioid dynamic capsule combined with the EM 3732-II receiver to capture the distinct voice of lead singer Sade Adu.

“Sade’s voice through this Sennheiser SKM 5200II transmitter with the cardioid dynamic capsule is fantastic,” says Madden, adding, “It is perfectly suited to her.”

The two backing vocalists will each use an SKM 5200II transmitter with an MD 5235 capsule. Keyboard backing vocals will use a wired Sennheiser e 935 mic. Seven e 825-S mics with silent on/off switches will enable talkback at strategic locations around the stage, as well as at the FOH and monitoring positions.

The tour is aiming for a clean look on stage, free from rigging or microphone stands. To meet that challenge, engineers are relying heavily on tiny Sennheiser e 908 gooseneck microphones and unconventional amp placement. Sennheiser’s wireless microphone and personal monitoring equipment will ensure reliable performances at all of the tour’s stops.

“The Sennheiser e 908 is in very serious use all over the place,” says Hartmann of the mic system that will also be used within the drum kit over the hi-hat, under each of seven separate cymbals, and over each of three congas. “It is a very high-quality condenser that is very small. It can clip on almost anywhere and capture just about anything with realism and musicality.”

The audio setup for the remainder of the drum kit is relatively standard. An e 902 mic will be placed with the kick drum, and five e 904s will clip onto three toms and the top and bottom of the snare. Hartmann and Madden cover the rest of the percussion instruments, including handheld shakers, with Sennheiser’s highly directional shotgun microphones. Two stereo pairs, one MKH 416s and one MKH 80s, deliver all of their nuances without leakage from the other sound sources on stage.

In addition, five guitar and bass amps will be located under the stage to maintain a clear set and to keep things as quiet as possible.

“The amps aren’t really cranking because they don’t have to,” says Hartmann. “I’m a big fan of the Sennheiser e 906 in this situation, but we were excited to try the new Sennheiser MK 4.”

The MK 4 is the company’s first large-diaphragm, side-address studio condenser

“It is a great pleasure to see a high-profile artist such as Sade using Sennheiser equipment on this important tour,” says Pierre Morant, global relations manager for EMEA at Sennheiser. “The 184-MHz switching bandwidth combined with the high-transmission reliability of the SKM 5200-II/EM 3732-II combo will guarantee optimal flexibility for daily use on a global scale, and, of course, we will provide the level of support needed to ensure the engineers have a smooth run.”