The hit series On Air With Ryan Seacrest and AmericanIdol are now totally wireless thanks to Sennheiser and KlausLandsberg’s KFL Audio Inc. “I’m an industry brat,” says mixer KlausLandsberg. “My father was a television industry pioneer and, as vicepresident and general manager of Channel 5 (KTLA), he designed andbuilt the first live TV station and transmitter site here in L.A. inthe 1940s. My mother was a record producer and I began working afterschool at a local recording studio.” After college, Landsberg movedback to L.A. and started his own production company, KFL Audio Inc.”Nowadays I mix about 10 award shows a year,” he continues, “includingthe MTV ‘VMAs, the Survivor’ finale in Central Park NYC, TheBachelor wedding episode and both the weekly American IdolOnAir With Ryan Seacrest shows.” Landsberg also mixed the sound for thisyear’s Super Bowl half-time show.
For On Air With Ryan Seacrest Landsberg built the controlroom to suit the specific needs of that show. “We have a live band so Ido all the mixes myself on two, maxed-out Yamaha DM2000 boards capableof 196 channels of audio. I’m proud to say that the entire show usesonly Sennheiser mics. I go way back with Sennheiser to the days ofearly live music shows. I’ve always been impressed with their greatsound, quality construction and reliable operation. But what really gotme hooked on Sennheiser gear is their RF microphone systems. Both DavidBellamy of Soundtronics and myself swear by Sennheiser. With all thelive shows we do, they never let you down. I’ve never had a problemwith them ever, unless a performer dropped one or physically abused onein some way.
On On Air With Ryan Seacrest, only the live band and severalof the ancillary stationery artists are wired. Everyone else is onSennheiser wireless systems. Soundtronics did a complete custom rackinstallation for all the receivers, as well a complete local RFspectrum analysis and intermod survey to insure reliable,interference-free and clean operation. Landsberg continues: “For Ryan,the contestants and the judges, I use 20 omnidirectional Sennheiser MKEPlatinum lavalier mics teamed with the popular and tiny SK 5012body-pack transmitters. The rest of the mics are handheld SennheiserSKM 5000-N transmitters fitted with Neumann KK 105-S capsules.”
Right from it’s inception, American Idol relied on theSennheiser/Neumann wireless combo mic on all singers and judges. “Withthe judges walking into the audience, I found the handheld mics did agreat job at rejecting boisterous crowd noise,” says Landsberg. “Wealso used the wireless Sennheiser/Neumann combo on Clay Aiken and KellyClarkson with all the background singers on wired Neumann KMS 105s. Forthe live band, I always use a Sennheiser MD 441 inside the kick, an MD421-II on the outside and then 421s on all the tom-toms. Neumann KM184s are great for overheads. For guitars, I find a stereo pair of theSennheiser Evolution e609s deliver the goods.”
Landsberg enthuses: “Sennheiser goes all out to help both theartists and the engineers! In my work, I need the reliability andperformance only Sennheiser can provide.”
For more information about Sennheiser, go to: www.sennheiserusa.com.
Photo credit: 20th Century Fox Film