NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – JUNE 2009: The 2009 CMT Music Awards from Nashville were a little bit country and a little bit rock ‘n roll this year, with guest appearances from, quirky new wavers, the B-52s and the new wave of British heavy metal pioneers, Def Leppard, among the night’s highlight performances. Sennheiser wireless microphones and personal monitor systems also made appearances throughout the night’s telecast, during which Sennheiser artists Sugarland and the Zac Brown Band took home awards for Video Duo of the Year and the USA Weekend Breakthrough Video of the Year respectively.
Sugarland took the audience by surprise when, during a rendition of the B-52s’ big hit, “Love Shack,” the Athens, Georgia-based band joined them onstage. Sugarland’s Kristian Bush and Jennifer Nettles performed with Sennheiser SKM 5200 RF handhelds with MD 5235 dynamic capsules, with background vocals on evolution series e 935 wired mics.
Kevin Sanford of Wireless First, Inc. in New York, provided wireless coordination and equipment for the show and the red carpet area, including multiple channels of Sennheiser’s new fully digital EM 3732 receivers. “I love the new 3732s. It’s very user friendly,” comments Sanford, enumerating the system’s many superior features. “The sensitivity, the functionality, booster on/off, the power aspect. The readout is flawless, and its readability is exceptional compared to other systems.” Sanford is especially pleased with the antenna functionality of the new unit. “You can go into one 3732 unit and link eight units with two antennas with no need for a DA [distribution amplifier].”
Sanford oversaw in excess of 150 channels of wireless, including communications systems as well as microphones and wireless personal monitors. Onstage Sennheiser users, in addition to Sugarland, included Eric Church and Justin Moore, who both made use of the handheld SKM 5200/MD 5235 combination. The Eli Young Band also performed with the SKM 5200/MD 5235, as well as a new 2000 Series RF handheld vocal mic with a 935 capsule. Gloriana used a similar 2000/935 combination along with an SKM 5200 topped with a Neumann KK 105 capsule. Lady Antebellum made use of a wired MD 441 vocal mic for the trio’s performance of their 2008 single, “Lookin’ For A Good Time.”
Sanford, who fielded a half-dozen channels of the new Sennheiser 2000 Series wireless microphones, offers, “They’re beefy! They performed really well.” With everybody watching their dollars, he adds, “The 2000 Series is at a price point most of us rental boys can afford.”
Outside Nashville’s Sommet Center, Sanford maintained about a dozen channels of Sennheiser wireless. That included handheld SKM 5200/MD 5235 combinations plus ew 300 IEM G2 monitor/IFB systems for CMT’s red carpet arrival area hosts, Katie Cook and Lance Smith.
Although audio producer Michael Abbott notes that he was removed from the action, sitting in the audio remote truck, he was impressed with the performance of the new EM 3732 and 2000 Series receivers in a dynamic environment. Noting that lighting effects on the stage set, which covered two-thirds of the arena floor, generated “a high noise floor of unwanted RF,” he says, “The Sennheiser equipment worked really well. We didn’t have any dropouts.”
The 2009 CMT Music Awards, now entering its ninth year, is country music’s only fan-voted award show. The awards presentation was broadcast live from its original home at the Sommet Center in downtown Nashville on June 16th.
ABOUT SENNHEISER ELECTRONIC CORPORATION Sennheiser is a world-leading manufacturer of microphones, headphones and wireless transmission systems. Established in 1945 in Wedemark, Germany, Sennheiser is now a global brand represented in 60 countries around the world with U.S. headquarters in Old Lyme, Connecticut. Sennheiser’s pioneering excellence in technology has rewarded the company with numerous awards and accolades including an Emmy, a Grammy, and the Scientific and Engineering Award of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
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PHOTO CAPTION Sennheiser’s new SKM 2000 Series made it U.S. television debut at the CMT Music Awards in Nashville, Tennessee with country music duo, Sugarland, who performed and walked away with the Duo of the Year Award. Singer-songwriters Kristian Bush (background vocals, lead vocals, mandolin, acoustic guitar, harmonica) and Jennifer Nettles (lead vocals) used the SKM 5200 RF handhelds with MD 5235 dynamic capsules PHOTO CREDIT: (c) 2009 Getty Images