Ashlee Simpson (pictured) jumped into the spotlight with her debut album Autobiography, which shot to the top of the Billboard album chart. Three weeks later, Simpson took her Sennheiser SKM5000 RF microphone and EW300IEM-G2 on a tour of TV shows worldwide.
“We’ve done Leno and Letterman and Good Morning America and Ryan Seacrest, a whole bunch of shows,” reports front-of-house engineer, Tim LeBlanc, who joined the Simpson organization around the time of the record release. “Lately, she has been doing a lot of TV shows and radio station festivals.”
Simpson was already using the SKM5000, which features the MD5005 super-cardioid capsule, when LeBlanc signed-on at FOH. “The reason why we have it is that Jessica’s crew uses the same mic on Jessica and the same personal monitor system, the EW300IEM-G2. They bought all of Ashlee’s gear and Jessica’s at the same time.”
On the road, LeBlanc is a confirmed Sennheiser fan. “I have Sennheiser mics on the rider for toms and snare and guitars,” he reveals, “and I love the 409s.”
The engineer, a confessed “studio guy,” comments, “I started off doing front of house in the early ’90s and got off the road, but then they dragged me back! This year, I worked for Van Halen for a little while and did a bunch of Desmond Child stuff. I mixed some Van Hunt and Sugar Ray tracks and a lot of indie records. I used to work for Dave Way. We did all the Macy Gray stuff and Pink’s M!ssundastood, along with some British rock ’n’ roll legends, Ringo Starr and Mick Jagger, as well as a lot of British pop.
“We just got back from Japan and Singapore,” LeBlanc continues. “Most of those were short festival shows, usually about seven songs. We used the Sennheiser stuff over there. It always works great. I have a spare, which I’ve never used!”