HOUSTON, TEXAS – AUGUST 2008: Solange Knowles has hit the road for a six-week string of shows in theaters and club venues to promote her second album, “SoL-AngeL and the Hadley St. Dreams.” Opening for co-headliners Raheem DeVaughan and Chrisette Michele on the “Art of Love Tour,” Solange and her two background singers/dancers are equipped with Sennheiser RF microphones and wireless monitor systems, while her four-piece band relies almost exclusively on wired Sennheiser evolution 900 Series microphones.
“On Solange’s vocals I use the EM 3532 receiver with an MD 5235 capsule,” says front-of-house engineer James Berry, a veteran of tours with Solange’s older sister, BeyoncÃ©. “The reason I chose that capsule is that the venues we’re playing are smaller clubs and theaters. For the size of the stage the 5235 capsule delivers great quality, and its tight pickup pattern gives me only her vocals and not everything else on stage. It’s a great capsule. We switched BeyoncÃ© over to it toward the end of the tour last year as well.”
But Berry is ready for any eventuality on the tour, he continues: “I’m traveling with two Neumann KK 105-S capsules and two MD 5235 capsules. If I’m in a bigger venue or on a bigger stage I can swap Solange over to the 105, but for the most part I’m keeping her on the 5235. I have the two background vocalists on EM 550 G2 receivers and SKM 935 G2 handheld mics.”
Solange and her singers are using ew 300 IEM wireless personal monitors, he continues. “I’m a huge fan of the 300s. They have a great warm sound. Plus, the small size of the belt pack always helps because of the dancing.”
Berry, who was responsible for the RF systems on the road with BeyoncÃ©, still likes to keep an eye on things from front-of-house on this tour. “The backbone of the whole system is the NET 1,” he says of Sennheiser’s real-time monitoring and remote control system. “I use it a little differently as I view my wireless “wirelessly” at front-of-house. I have a wireless router in the back of the rack, so I can see it out front. Then I let NET 1 do its thing and do my syncing when I come into the venue.”
Berry shares that he is also a fan of Sennheiser’s 900 Series wired microphones. “I put the whole band on the 900 Series when I have the choice.” For the “Art of Love Tour,” he says, “I use a combination of the e 901 and the e 902 on the kick drum. I do something a little different. I don’t use the e 904 on the toms. Instead I use the e 906. It’s a little bit crisper and it has a little tighter pickup pattern. I also use a 906 on the snare bottom, and e 914 condensers on the hi-hat and overheads. And I use an MD 421 II on the guitar amp. I kind of go old school with that.”
Solange’s sophomore album, “SoL-AngeL and the Hadley St. Dreams,” a collaboration with an all-star line-up of producers and songwriters that include Grammy-winner Mark Ronson, The Neptunes, Lamont Dozier, SoulShock & Karlin, Cee-Lo, Jack Splash, Boards of Canada, Bilal, and Marsha Ambrosius of Floetry, will be released August 26th on Music World Entertainment/Geffen Records. Solange is also an accomplished songwriter penning hits for her sister, BeyoncÃ© (“Upgrade You” “Get Me Bodied” “Flaws and All”), Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams, and gospel act, Trin-i-tee 5:7, to name a few. She has also written or co-written every song on her upcoming album. The “Art of Love Tour” ran through the end of June.
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.
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(PHOTO CAPTION) Following in the footsteps of her famous sibling, Solange Knowles favors the Sennheiser SKM 5200 handheld wireless with the rugged MD 5235 dynamic capsule that easily cuts through high on-stage levels while delivering great sound. (PHOTO CREDIT (c) Film Magic 2008)