Earth, Wind & Fire Delivers Summer Early Using Sennheiser

Grammy-winning artists Earth, Wind & Fire chose Sennheiser microphones and wireless systems for their upcoming summer all-star tour.
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Earth, Wind & Fire touring with Sennheiser

Photo: Todd Kaplan

Grammy-winning artists Earth, Wind & Fire chose Sennheiser microphones and wireless systems for their upcoming summer all-star tour. Eighth Day Sound (Highland Heights, Ohio) will provide a full V-DOSC rig with D&B subs.

Michael Lionetti, the band’s longtime monitor engineer, specified Sennheiser’s SKM5000 wireless microphone for the show, saying, “Philip Bailey physically works the SKM5000 from the range of an inch to three feet, and the SPL that is coming into that mic remains the same. The SKM5000 is very dynamic with the tightest pattern control we've found when used with the Sennheiser ME5005 capsule. It's the best and only microphone that will work for Philip because he is such a dynamic vocalist."

The SKM5000 goes directly into one of two DiGiCo D5 Live monitor consoles with minimal onboard parametric equalization. "Philip likes a light band mix with slightly more keyboards and, of course, his vocal on top," explains Lionetti.

New Sennheiser EW365-G2 Series wireless microphone system with the ME865 supercardioid capsule are being used for the four backing vocalists. Lionetti handles seven in-ear mixes, plus another seven wedge mixes, drumfill, two sidefills and a couple of backline mixes; all of Eighth Day Sound’s proprietary 2x12 wedges are tuned with his SKM5000. The seven members on wireless monitors use the Sennheiser EW300IEM-G1 body pack receivers with Ultimate Ears UE7 ear molds, while the horns, drummer and two guitarists use wedges.

Says Lionetti of the band’s sound, "Six horns instead of the normal three for each band is pretty big, so it's kind of like a train coming through your living room. But that's really a cool thing. As far as the band, they are like a machine with all top-notch, dynamic players, and that allows me to be very dynamic in the mixes."