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Sennheiser e 865 Goes On Tour With Jill Scott, 3 Doors Down, and LFO!

(July 12, 2001)
While the audio industry has managed to produce hundreds of live vocal microphones, a growing number of engineers are finding that all but a select few contain fatal flaws and trade-offs that become glaringly apparent as the quality of other sound reinforcement equipment improves. The Sennheiser e 865 live vocal condenser microphone stands out as an excellent example of the new breed by simultaneously delivering transparent audio and excellent rejection characteristics. Consequently, FOH engineers for everyone from rockers 3 Doors Down, to boy-band LFO, to soulstress Jill Scott, are happily switching to the e 865, both wired and wireless, and hearing their troubles melt away.

After a year on the road, veteran FOH engineer Sandy Morgan appreciates the Sennheiser e 865's characteristically warm sound, which he says matches 3 Doors Down lead vocalist, Brad Fischetti perfectly. "I religiously match microphones to applications," observed Morgan. "Channel EQ is for sissies! We run the wireless e 865 through a DBX 160s for tube preamplification and compression, and that's it. Brad's vocals come through big, round, and loud!"

Howard Jones, FOH engineer to LFO, agrees: "Most condensers have an undesirable 'edge'. Dynamics are warmer, but they sorely lack high-end clarity. The e 865 condenser captures the best of both worlds and leaves out the worst. It sounds warm, intelligible, and smooth." Jones has three wireless e 865s on the front three members of LFO and wired versions on the remaining members of the band for their current "Life is Good" tour.

Jones first came to the e 865 as a way of addressing the so-called "screaming 12-year-old factor" while on tour with boy-band BBMac. "On the one hand you have extremely talented and nuanced singers softly weaving delicate harmonies, and on the other you have an auditorium filled with (literally) screaming adolescent fans," Jones explained. "We needed great rear rejection, but didn't want to compromise the sonic quality of the vocals. Of the numerous microphones we tried, only the e 865 fulfilled the requirement."

Andre Houser, Jill Scott's FOH engineer with a decade of varied audio endeavors to his credit, cites the Sennheiser e 865s ability to track Scott's input dynamics (which range from hushed whispers to veritable screams) without cracking as the microphone's single greatest attribute. "We recently toured with Sting," said Houser. "I had the chance to speak with his monitor engineer, Vish Wadi, who had a hand in the e 865's design. It's funny, we were both looking for the same thing: a microphone that not only sounded good at 'normal' SPLs, but that would also maintain its integrity when the singer 'dug in'. Everything else I've ever heard (and I tried a lot of microphones before finding the e 865) simply cracked at high SPLs and got harsh in the 3kHz range." The first time Houser used the e 865 with Scott at a Michael Jordan convention in Nassau, her in-line compressor failed. Even under such "duress", the e 865 held its own.

Check out the warm, tight, indestructible sound of the Sennheiser e 865 this summer on tour with 3-Doors Down, LFO, and Jill

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Related Keywords:audio industry, live vocal microphones, sound reinforcement, condenser, foh engineers, wireless


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