On Céline Dion's "Taking Chances" world tour, the singer performs using the Neumann KK 105 S capsule with the Sennheiser SKM 5200 transmitter.New York (September 2, 2008)--Celine Dion's "Taking Chances Tour," currenting winding its way through North America, will have encompassed 120 shows in over 80 cities on five continents by the time it ends in late January, 2009. With her at every stop around the globe is sound, video and lighting provider, Solotech, along with Sennheiser wireless microphones and personal monitoring systems, as well as Neumann microphones.
"The fact that we are traveling almost everywhere on the planet with the wireless microphones means that the system has to be really flexible in the choices of the carriers frequencies," explains Dion's front-of-house engineer, François "Frankie" Desjardins. "Sennheiser has been a pioneer in that domain and it is one of the main reasons we are using them. We use Sennheiser wireless microphones and belt packs, along with other wireless equipment, because of the flexibility of the system and the great variety of mic capsules."
Although the audio crew--which on this tour includes monitor engineer Charles Ethier, RF engineer Marc Thériault and audio system engineer Mario St-Onge, in addition to Desjardins--makes its recommendation regarding the main vocal mic, says the singer's current FOH engineer: "She has the last word on the choice of capsule. On this tour, she is using a Neumann KK 105 S mounted on a Sennheiser SKM 5200 handheld transmitter. The background vocal microphones are Sennheiser MD 5235 capsules mounted on SKM 5200 handhelds."
The Taking Chances Tour is carrying an extensive catalog of Sennheiser RF equipment, including 10 SKM 5200 handheld transmitters with a choice of cardioid and super-cardioid capsules. There are 20 EM 3732 true-diversity twin receivers; 36 EK 300 IEM G2 bodypack receivers; 24 ultra-compact SK 5212 bodypack transmitters; and 12 rack-mount SR 350 IEM G2 twin transmitters, plus a variety of antennas, splitters and combiners. The wireless equipment is monitored and coordinated remotely via four NET 1 systems.
Other microphones include Neumann KM 184 and KM 150 condensers, evolution series e 902, e 906, e 835 and e 835 S dynamics, e 914 condensers, plus four each of the MKH 40 and MKH 60 shotguns. "The MKH series is used to pick up the audience reactions," explains Desjardins.
The production crew uses a number of Sennheiser HMD 25 boom headsets. "The HMD 25s are used primarily by the backline people to communicate on the 'party line.' Those are modified by Sennheiser Canada. They have a magnetic switch in the boom so when the boom is up the mic is off. The speakers are the ones found in the HD 25," elaborates Desjardins. "The people have an SK 5212 transmitter to talk and an EK 300 to listen to their respective mix during the show so they can be fast to troubleshoot a problem. Some other HMD 25s are used as a standard intercom system by the stage manager and lighting director."
The Taking Chances Tour, featuring a seven-piece band, three background singers and eight dancers, is promoting "Taking Chances," Dion's latest English language full-length release. The show, which has broken records for the speed and quantity of ticket sales around the world, is presented in a variety of formats, including in the round, according to each venue configuration. In Dion's hometown, Montréal, Canada, her initial dates sold out in minutes and the run will now extend to eight performances for 160,000 people.