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Sennheiser’s Simple Plan

Simple Plan current world tour finds the pop-punk band carrying a slew of Sennheiser and Neumann gear to every stop.

Simple Plan’s Pierre Bouvier sings into a Neumann KK 105 S super cardioid capsule atop a Sennheiser SKM 5200 transmitter.
Old Lyme, CT (September 19, 2011)—Simple Plan current world tour finds the pop-punk band carrying a slew of Sennheiser and Neumann gear to every stop.

On the current world tour for its latest album, Get Your Heart On, the band will hit Korea, China, Japan, Australia and South America, in addition to North America and Europe. Along for the ride is a slew of Sennheiser and Neumann wired microphones, along with 22 channels of Sennheiser wireless microphones, instrument packs and personal monitors.

Simple Plan’s frontman Pierre Bouvier wireless mic preference is for a Neumann KK 105 S super-cardioid condenser head paired with a Sennheiser SKM 5200-II handheld transmitter. “He had previously been using a dynamic capsule that everyone was happy with until he had a chance to borrow a KK 105 S while playing with another band,” explained tour and production manager Paul McManus. “It’s a lot easier for him to sing into the ‘studio-like’ KK 105 S. He doesn’t have to work at it. Not only does that make it easy for him to step up and fall naturally into the pocket, but it makes our very long touring schedule a lot more doable.”

Bass player and backing vocalist David Desrosiers uses a similar Neumann KK 104 S cardioid condenser, again with the Sennheiser SKM 5200-II transmitter, whereas rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist Sébastien Lefebvre uses a wired Sennheiser e 935 dynamic. Sennheiser EM 3732-II receivers grab the wireless signals, and two additional SKM 5200-II/KK 105 S pairs serve as backup and guest mics.

FOH engineer Frank Joly mikes all three guitar cabinets Sennheiser e 906s paired with Sennheiser MD 421 IIs. McManus noted, “Its gets the meat of the guitar sound and adds a realistic ‘air’ to the sound in the PA. If you want a big guitar sound, you need a big guitar mic, and the 421 is exactly that. I’ve also used it on kick and vocals, and it’s awesome.”

The drum sound begins with a Sennheiser e 901 and e 602 on kick. “It gives me lots of attack with plenty of body,” said Joly. McManus added, “The e 901 has a very natural high end. We don’t have to deal with that ‘clack, clack, clack’ that you get with everything else.” The snare delivers with an e 905 on top and an e 904 on bottom. Additional e 904s cover the toms. The Neumann KM 184 pencil condenser conveys the shimmer and dynamics of the hi-hat, while similarly constructed Sennheiser e 914 pencil condensers provide overhead capture.

Intriguingly, Simple Plan does not tour with a monitor engineer. Instead, Joly sets up a Yamaha LS-9 console at the side of the stage, which delivers each band member’s monitor mix. “During soundcheck, they run over on their own and make changes, if necessary,” explained McManus. “It’s not ideal, surely, but it is a pretty reasonable compromise.” Every member of the band, along with the two techs, uses a Sennheiser ew 300 IEM G3 wireless personal monitor paired with an AC 3200 combiner and an A 5000-CP circularly polarized antenna. Every guitar and bass on stage uses an SK 2000 XP wireless instrument transmitter paired with EM 2050 receivers. “I love the flexibility and reliability of the Sennheiser wireless systems,” said Joly. “We travel to some fairly exotic places, and I always have the latitude to dial in strong RF signals using the Sennheiser equipment.”

“Simple Plan has been endorsed by Sennheiser for ten years now, almost as long as they’ve been a band,” said McManus. “Sennheiser has always been there for us, providing equipment, repairs, and amazing logistics whenever needed.”