Barbra Streisand recently returned for a 20-date tour across North America with guests Il Divo, marking the singer’s first live concert appearances since 1999. The vocal microphone of choice for the diva and Il Divo was the Sennheiser SKM 5200 wireless handheld outfitted with Neumann’s KK 105 S capsule; Il Divo also made use of Sennheiser’s 3000 Series RF personal monitors.
FOH engineer and sound designer Bruce Jackson—who has mixed Streisand live for many years, in addition to Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Presley—was especially impressed with the strong RF performance of the Sennheiser/Neumann mics, which were overseen on the tour by Aaron Foye. “I would take her mic, and I’d wander the arena with that vocal mic and do my listening tests,” Jackson says. “I’d be in elevators, moving around the place, and where most mics would drop out, the Sennheiser just kept on going.”
Sennheiser microphones were also in use throughout the percussion section of the orchestra, with four Evolution Series e 609s on John “JR” Robinson’s drum kit, plus a pair of MD 421s on vibes and three MD 441s on timpani.
Jackson was assisted on the tour by a nine-man audio crew, which included FOH co-mixer Chris Carlton, systems engineer Dave Moncrieffe and backstage engineer Kevin “Carl” Gilpatric. Gilpatric supplied string stems to FOG and orchestra submixes and stems to the two monitor engineers: Ian Newton, who handled Streisand and Il Divo’s respective onstage loudspeaker and mixes, and Chris Fulton, who managed the mixes and communications for conductor William Ross and the 58-piece orchestra.