Currently on her Charmbracelet tour, a Vegas-style musical variety showcase, Mariah Carey's audio crew chose Sennheiser RF microphone equipment, including a new Sennheiser Evolution 500 Series handheld mic and the Sennheiser HS 1 headset with ME 105 capsule.
Monitor engineer for this tour is Glen Colett, who started in the business as FOH engineer for Waylon Jennings in 1976 and spent 16 years mixing monitors for Bryan Adams. Explaining the need for the headset, he said, "Mariah does a 'fly gag' where she's placed up in a hoist. She comes down from the ceiling in this little basket and descends on top of the piano. She sings during the whole sequence."
On choosing the Sennheiser gear, Colett recalled, "It came in, we tried it and both the front-of-house engineer, Trip Khalaf, and I said, 'Wow, that sounds really nice!' We're using the tiny Sennheiser SK 5012 pack, which is awesome. It works great with the headset and sounds better than anything out there. What a great unit."
Carey relies on Sennheiser Evolution 500 Wireless Series microphones for most parts of her show. "The Evolution SK 500 handheld is paired with a custom dynamic capsule," explained Colett. "Carey's voice has a wide dynamic range so we needed the reduced sensitivity of a dynamic capsule to avoid bleed from other onstage sources during her soft passages. The construction of the SK 500 handheld transmitter afforded the ability to tune the capsule, which made the pairing ideal. This combination is just fantastic. It's working really well. We've got a couple of the mics with the second one modified for a little more high end."
Carey is joined onstage by a five-piece band and four backing singers, as well as dancers. "The entire band is on wireless in-ears apart from her," said Colett. "Carey is instead ringed by speaker wedges, which are bolstered by sidefills. All the wireless in-ears are the Sennheiser's Evolution 300 Series.
"We'll finish this one on November 7th and that'll be it," continued Colett, who reveals that he will then likely be back out on the road with one of his regular accounts, which include Bette Midler, Paul Simon and *NSYNC.