New York, NY (August 3, 2022)—Ed Sheeran’s last concert jaunt—the two-year Divide tour—earned him some nice Guinness World Records—highest attendance for a music tour (8.9 million) and highest-grossing music tour ever ($775.6 million). With that to follow up, his new Mathematics stadium tour has been circling the globe with long-time production company, Major Tom, in tow.
While the tour is carrying a massive PA based around Meyer Sound’s new flagship Panther line array loudspeakers (212 of them and it was the first production to take them out), at the other end of the signal chain is Sennheiser’s Digital 6000 RF system. Digital 6000 Series transmitters are coupled with a Sennheiser MM 435 capsule for Sheeran’s vocals, chosen for its cardioid polar pattern, and a 945 capsule for his loop vocal. “The 435 is a specific choice for this tour as we have a lot of PA and don’t want any spill,” says RF engineer Dave White. “Although Ed is close to the mic for a lot of the time, he’s dynamic in the way he uses it and the 435 allows a little bit more range and pick up.”
On the prior Divide tour, Sheeran’s show was based around the Sennheiser 9000 series, said White: “The 9000 Series served us incredibly well, but with large shows on multiple nights with a band and the addition of guest artists, we needed some extra flexibility. The 6000 system, coupled with the extension of Sennheiser’s Wireless Systems Manager application and a wider bandwidth, provides us with that.”
There are a total of 16 channels of Digital 6000 for Sheeran’s guitars (of which he has five in rotation), three main vocal mics (a main and two spares) and three loop vocal mics (two main and one spare). A full 16 channels of Sennheiser 2050 IEMs are used for Sheeran and his band, which comprises drums, bass, two guitarists and keys, who are positioned on ‘islands’ in front of the Meyer Panther system and also use a selection of Sennheiser dynamic mics.
“We always carry spare mics for guest vocals and instruments because you never know what’s going to happen on this tour,” smiles White. “At the moment, we have a fiddle player with us who comes on for just one track, and Gary Lightbody from Snow Patrol came in for one show in Belfast.”
Uniquely for a show this size, both FOH and monitors are mixed from a single DiGiCo Quantum 7 mixing console by Sheeran’s production manager, Chris Marsh.