Nine-time Grammy winner and superlative vocalist and songwriter Norah Jones is currently on a promo tour in support of her fourth studio album, The Fall, with dates at the David Letterman Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live!, among many others. The Fall is a rock â€˜n roll departure from Jonesâ€™ earlier, more jazz-inspired work, and gets its organic, gritty sound from collaborators, most notably producer Jacquire King (Tom Waits, Modest Mouse). But Jonesâ€™ ethereal voice has not changed, and it is still easy to get wondrously lost in the space between each spellbinding breath. To convey that indescribable quality, FOH engineer Brett Dicus continues to rely on Neumannâ€™s incomparable live vocal microphone technology, with a backline of Sennheiser wired microphones and wireless personal monitors to keep the band sounding their best.
Depending on the acoustical circumstances, Jones sings into a Neumann KMSÂ 104 cardioid
or a KMSÂ 105 super-cardioid. Both microphones deliver the signature Neumann studio sound with the robust handling required for a live performance. â€œAbove all else, the most critical sound reinforcement tool that we bring with us to every date is Norahâ€™s Neumann vocal microphone,â€? said Dicus. â€œSheâ€™s been using some variant of a Neumann microphone or a Neumann capsule with a Sennheiser RF transmitter for almost all of her touring career. On those rare occasions where weâ€™re asked to use something else, we miss the studio-quality high-end and lifelike sibilance that we get â€˜out of the boxâ€™ with the KMSÂ 104/105.â€?
Sennheiser eÂ 935 wired vocal microphones provide pick-up for all backing vocals, and Sennheiserâ€™s classic MDÂ 421 delivers robust electric bass. Dicusâ€™ drum sound relies on a collection of Sennheiser evolution 900Â Series microphones. He explained, â€œA Norah Jones show requires consistent tone quality. Transparency is very important because we cannot hide behind loud guitars or screaming fans. Every nuance of each musicianâ€™s performance is equally important to both the music and the sound reinforcement. With a typically busy tour day and many issues competing for our attention, we rely heavily on the performance of our tools. Neumann and Sennheiser consistently deliver.â€?
Several of Jonesâ€™ musicians use Sennheiser wireless personal monitors for hassle-free performance. Monitor engineer Russ Wilson remarked, â€œSennheiser belt-packs are ideal for performance because of their size and weight. Their small form factor and light weight allow easy integration into any wardrobe choices, plus Sennheiser wireless monitoring has always been ideal for Norah and her band, both in terms of tone and reliability. And Sennheiserâ€™s support staff have been extremely helpful around the world in maintaining consistent RF performance.â€?
After a winter respite, Jones and her band will kick off a 36-city tour in early March.