English punk and folk singer-songwriter, Frank Turner, upgraded to Sennheiser’s high-spec Digital 6000 wireless system just before the start of his nine-date UK tour in support of his album ‘No Man’s Land’, saluting 13 brilliant women from all walks of life whose stories have gone largely unnoticed because of their gender.
Turner’s tour kicked off at Dunfermline Alhambra Theatre in Scotland in November and included two nights at London’s Alexandra Palace as well as shows in Cardiff, Southampton, Manchester, Newcastle, Bexhill and Birmingham. Each night saw two sets of performances; a solo set followed by an unplugged band performance with his backing band, The Sleeping Souls.
The decision to upgrade Turner’s older ew 500 G3 vocal wireless mic system was a natural next step forward for the team, as the system had been used for many years and needed an upgrade. Sennheiser’s UK artist relations manager Andy Egerton has a long-standing relationship with Turner’s production manager, Dougie Murphy, and suggested using the cutting-edge Digital 6000 series with a Neumann KK 205 capsule to him.
“We were using the older Sennheiser wireless system for over nine years before we decided it was time for a re-fresh,” comments Johnny Stephenson, monitor engineer for Frank Turner. “We tour an awful lot, so good reliable audio equipment is absolutely essential to us. Andy recommended using Digital 6000 with the Neumann capsule to Dougie and, after further testing it with Frank, we knew it was a winner.”
Sennheiser’s SKM 6000 transmitter coupled with a Neumann KK 205 super-cardioid condenser capsule and an EM 6000 receiver was recommended and proved big success, both with Turner and his team.
“As soon as we used the Digital 6000 series everyone in the band kind of jumped up as it was such a noticeable step up in sound quality,” reminisced Stephenson. “The clarity of the sound was great, especially with the Neumann capsule. Everybody, especially Frank, noticed an immediate difference. He was really impressed with it.”
In fact, Stephenson had some initial reservations about using the KK 205 capsule, wondering whether it was the right choice for Turner.
“Frank is quite tough on capsules with his singing style,” said Stephenson. “I remember being slightly concerned and wondering whether the Neumann capsule might be too fragile for Frank. But it turns out that it’s actually lasting longer and is much better compared to some of the previous capsules we’ve had.”
In addition to its notable sonic characteristics, the Digital 6000 has proved invaluable when it comes to efficient management and use of spectrum. “One nice thing I noticed about the 6000 is its spectrum efficiency and the intelligent spectrum scanning function,” comments Stephenson. “We do have a system on both G and GB bands as receivers across guitar channels. Because the new 6000 receiver is the wideband, it scans across all of that spectrum at the same time, so it is a lot faster and a lot more efficient than running the scan with the old receivers.”
Thanks to its ultra-wide switching bandwidth (244MHz), the Sennheiser EM 6000 Dante two-channel wireless receiver ensures that the team is now able to find a reliable transmission path in any environment, so instead of using two different receivers across UK/Europe and US due to bandwidth, the team will be taking just one with them.
Sennheiser’s Wireless Systems Manager software solution proved to be another helpful Sennheiser offering, making setting up and coordinating the frequencies of the wireless microphones so much easier, by handily displaying the most important parameters on a single screen.
“I’m a big fan of the Wireless Systems Manager,” added Stephenson. “I find it very fast, very simple to use, and with the new EM 6000 receiver it’s so much faster than scanning with the old G3 units.”
When it comes to IEMs, eight EK 2000 IEM wireless monitoring receivers with adaptive diversity technology have been recently purchased and will be used for the first time at the end of January when the team will be out touring again.