OLD LYME, CONNECTICUT – FEBRUARY 2009: UK singer/songwriter Adele has plenty to be happy about after winning Grammy Awards in the prestigious categories of Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for her hit song “Chasing Pavements” on “Music’s Biggest Night,” which was broadcast by CBS from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 8th. The twenty year-old, who describes her music as “heartbroken soul,” also performed her chart-topping single on the 51st Annual Grammy Awards broadcast using a Neumann KMS 105 nickel-plated wired vocal microphone.
Also performing on the telecast were the Jonas Brothers, who joined Stevie Wonder for spirited renditions of their own song “Burnin’ Up,” and his classic, “Superstition,” with the help of Sennheiser SKM 5200 RF handheld vocal mics outfitted with MD 5235 capsules and wired evolution e 935s for background vocals. Miley Cyrus made use of the same combination vocal mic for her duet with Taylor Swift on the former “American Idol” contestant’s “Fifteen.” Sixteen channels of Sennheiser’s trustworthy ew 300 G2 IEMS were used throughout the telecast.
Other Sennheiser-endorsed artist taking home Grammy Awards were Kings of Leon, who were recognized for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group for “Sex on Fire.” Sennheiser endorser Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder also won for Best Bluegrass Album, for “Honoring the Fathers of Bluegrass: Tribute to 1946 and 1947.” Another Sennheiser artist, Tom Petty, won in the Best Long Form Music Video category for “Long Way Home,” which was directed by Peter Bogdanovich.
The televised Grammy Awards ceremony, which has been broadcast in HD with 5.1 surround sound since 2003, attracted over nineteen million viewers this year, a gain of nearly two million over last year’s audience. Phil Ramone and Hank Neuberger supervised the broadcast audio, with John Harris and Eric Schilling mixing the music in the XM Productions/Effanel Music remote truck and Tom Holmes handling the television production mix in the NEP Denali Summit HD remote truck. In the Staples Center arena, Ron Reaves and Mikael Stewart mixed the live performances for the audience through a PA system supplied by ATK AudioTek.
An array of Sennheiser and Neumann wired microphones were featured onstage, where an unprecedented thirty songs were featured in twenty-two set-ups during the three-and-a-half-hour show. Over forty evolution series e 602 II and two dozen e 604 wired mics for drums and percussion, as well as eight each of MKH 8040 and MKH 416 model shotgun mics, were available for the production, together with Neumann TLM 103, TLM 49 and KM 184 instrument mics. Sennheiser e 906 and MD 421 II and Neumann KM 184 microphones were also featured.
Noted John Harris, music mixer for the Grammy Awards, “Every kick drum and floor tom at the Grammys was miked with a Sennheiser evolution 602. In my opinion, it’s the “punchiest” drum microphone out there, and the best microphone for close miking moderate to large drums (kicks, toms, and the USC marching band bass drums) that I have ever used. For drum ambience and the horn section, I used the Sennheiser MKH 8040s. This mic delivers amazingly realistic sound. And due to its small size is quite easily placed – in a stereo pair, they are fantastic. I was also glad to have the Sennheiser MD 421s on U2’s rack toms. We need to go back to using them more as they are great mics. Video people always give me such a hard time because they say they are “so big.” If 421s looked like a Vari-Lite, we could put them anywhere we want. And a big thanks goes to Kristy Jo Winkler, Sennheiser’s relations manager for the Americas and Canada, Tim Moore, U.S. artist relations manager and Thom Salisbury, western regional sales manager for all their help.”
Adele picked up a package of Neumann and Sennheiser mics for her major UK tour late last year. Commenting on her Neumann KMS 105 vocal mic at that time, Adele’s front-of-house engineer, Dave McDonald, said, “It takes the vocal and really throws it to the back of the hall with clarity. When I started working with Adele I said, ‘let’s get you one of these, a) for health reasons, because you need your own microphone and b) it’s the right mic for your vocal’. The KMS 105 just has this depth. It goes right to the bottom and the high-end of the vocal and it’s crystal clear. That’s what I always want. I don’t want to be messing around for ages EQ-ing a vocal when I can just put a really good mic on it.”
ABOUT SENNHEISER 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.
PHOTO CAPTION At the 51st annual Grammy Awards broadcast, held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on February 8th, Adele, UK singer/songwriter and Sennheiser-endorsed artist, won two prestigious Grammys for “Best New Artist” and “Best Female Pop Vocal Performance” and sang her hit song, “Chasing Pavements” during the show using a Neumann KMS 105 microphone. PHOTO CREDIT (c) 2009 Getty Images
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