Adele scooping four awards and Lorde’s David Bowie tribute may have grabbed the popular headlines at this year’s Mastercard Brit Awards, but Sennheiser was making news of its own, supporting the event for the 14th consecutive year and helping to make the first nominee announcement from space a reality.
Held on 24 February at London’s O2 Arena and broadcast nationwide live to an audience of over two million, the Brits saw Sennheiser’s Phil Cummings (Artist Relations) and Andy Lillywhite (Customer Development and Application Engineer) working together to support the event’s artists and technical production company Britannia Row Productions.
In technical terms the undoubted ‘stars of the show’ were Sennheiser’s wireless microphones and wireless monitoring systems. Sennheiser equipment was used by all eight performing acts, presenters Ant and Dec, for all the acceptance speeches.
The latter was a pre-recorded nominations listing read by British astronaut Tim Peake from aboard the International Space Station. For this he used a wired Sennheiser e835 microphone with SKP 500 plug-on transmitter. This had a poignant parallel with Lorde – backed by David Bowie’s backing band – performing Life On Mars using Sennheiser 2000 series IEMs.
In total 22 channels of 2,000 series IEMs were in use by all the performing artists. Microphone systems comprised 16 channels of Sennheiser’s flagship Digital 9000 series, 18 channels of 2000 series receivers/handhelds and 12 channels of EM 3732ii with SKM 5200 handhelds. Award winners’ acceptance speeches were delivered via Sennheiser’s ever-reliable Digital 9000 series wireless microphone with ME 5004 capsule.
Adele won four awards on the night and performed using her new SKM 9000 handheld with MD 9235 capsule. Other artists to use Sennheiser microphones were Little Mix (five SKM 5200 with MD 5235 heads), Jess Glynne (SKM 2000), The Weekend – SKM 5200 with MD 5235 capsule.
“We use a 2000 Series mic for Jess,” says Duncan Wild, Jess Glynne’s monitor engineer. “In a live situation such as the Brits, it’s great to know that the kit on its own does what it needs to do; the RF side of it is great and Sennheiser’s support is always fantastic, from servicing to sorting things out in tight time frames. Sometimes the look for the mic can be as important as what it sounds and when we needed to have the mic chromed, Sennheiser did that for us at very short notice.”
“The show was a complete success, with all the Sennheiser equipment working flawlessly,” said Cummings. “It was great to see Adele win four awards and her performance was perfection. It made for a perfect start to her sold out world tour, which began a few days later and features the Digital 9000 system.
“It was also fantastic to see Tim Peake using the e835 wired microphone too from the ISS. Although we have supported the Brits for 14 years, there are always new challenges to overcome and new boundaries to break. The fact that Sennheiser helped Britain’s first astronaut to read nominations from ‘the final frontier’ was a real privilege.”