Singer Aimee Mann Tours With InnovaSon, Sennheiser, Neumann

Aimee Mann and her band relied on an InnovaSon digital console and a host of Sennheiser Evolution and Neumann wired microphones during a recent string of East Coast tour dates. With a DVD recording taking place at St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn, N.Y., the mini tour traveled to 1,000 to 2,000-capacity theaters and clubs across the U.S.
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Singer/songwriter Mann finds the Neumann KMS 105 suits her style.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Aimee Mann and her band relied on an InnovaSon digital console and a host of Sennheiser Evolution and Neumann wired microphones during a recent string of East Coast tour dates. With a DVD recording taking place at St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn, N.Y., the mini tour traveled to 1,000 to 2,000-capacity theaters and clubs across the U.S.

Carrying only the essentials was a necessity for limited space, sonic clarity, flexibility and consistency. Having racks, stacks and wedges supplied meant the group only hauled around backline for a five-piece band, plus microphones and personal monitor systems feeding the compact InnovaSon Sy40.

Monitor engineer Ryan Cecil—whose resume includes the Boston Symphony, Norah Jones, Rufus Wainwright and many others—used a Neumann KMS 105 on Mann’s main vocals. "A challenge I have with many of my softer-sounding vocalists is eliminating the bleed from the rest of the band and house into the vocal microphone,” Cecil said. “The benefit of the KMS 105 is when bleed happens, it still sounds good. The 105 needs very little EQ and Aimee just sounds wonderful through it."

Mann's KMS 105 goes directly into the InnovaSon Sy40 digital console sans outboard processing. "Aimee sings centerstage for the whole show and at one point, she sings a new song called ‘King of the Jailhouse,’ where she moves over to the piano player's position and plays and sings using his Sennheiser wired Evolution Series 903.”

The four-piece band and Mann includes drums, bass, guitar, keyboards and Mann playing acoustic and electric guitar, bass and keyboard on one song. Microphone complement includes a Sennheiser Evolution Series E602 on kick; an E903 on backing vocals, snare and paddles (the drummer plays paddles on his leg during one song); an E614 condenser on hi-hat; MD 421s on toms and Mann's guitar amp; and the E609 on guitar. Cecil was particularly excited about the results from a Neumann TLM 103 for overhead: "In this type of show, it's much more than just trying to pick up the crash of the cymbals. We're trying to pick up the warmth of the entire drum kit, and the sound we get from the large diaphragm is just phenomenal."

For a more in-depth interview with Cecil, check out the September 2004 issue of Mix in the “Live Mix News” section.

For more information on Sennheiser, Neumann or InnovaSon, please go to the manufacturer’s Website at www.sennheiserusa.com,
www.neumannusa.com and www.innovason.com, respectively. For more touring news, visit mixonline.com/livesound/tours.