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Top Artists Choose Sennheiser at MTV Europe Awards

Copenhagen, Denmark, hosted this year’s MTV Europe Awards, where Keane, Nelly Furtado, Rhianna, Jet and Snoop all elected to use Sennheiser SKM 5200 wireless microphone systems. All but two of the visiting artists on Sennheiser mics, yet across the board, every personal monitor of the night was a Sennheiser.

Justin Timberlake, as well as picking up “gongs” for Best Pop and the stiffly contested Best Male, hosted the show using a specially designed gold SKM 5200 handheld fitted with the Neumann KK 105 S capsule head. SKM 5200s were used for all presentation duties during the event, with Timberlake’s mic providing something significantly different from the standard colors to ensure the evening’s host stood out.

Derrick Zieba was sound designer for the Bella Centre show, working alongside a crack team from Britannia Row, with local company DPA Sound handling the live sound from the town square. “One of our goals was to create a sound-reinforcement system with a huge wow factor for the audience while providing outstanding audio excitement for our TV viewers,” Zieba explains. “There were 3,000 in the Bella Centre with an additional 7,500 in the town square, and knowing that there’s a potential TV audience of a staggering 1.4 billion, we had to keep our wits about us.”

Copenhagen in November can present its own problems, as witnessed during rehearsals in the town square the day before transmission. Snow was blowing horizontally in the wind-torn plaza, the stage had to be closed, and various crews were left hoping that the weather would ease in time for the live broadcast. “[Sennheiser has] always provided faultless wireless even in the most hostile wireless areas,” Zieba says. “The SKM 5200 is really the only choice where broadcast or recording is concerned. You can get a lot of dynamics from them, and they’re a very rich-sounding mic. They won’t overload the front end on you and have such a great pattern with a really smooth sound.”

The Bella Centre stage itself is 150 feet in diameter with a split stage in the round. This presented concerns for wireless integrity over that distance and was a particular challenge for stable wireless monitor reception. This gave Zieba the opportunity to utilize the new Sennheiser A5000-CP circular polarized antenna. This new passive helical antenna provides high gain and can be used as either a transmit or a receive device. The gain of the A5000-CP covers the entire UHF range, from 450 to 960 MHz, easing the setup of complex RF transmission systems.

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