Los Angeles, CA (December 4 2009)–Audio mixer Larry Reed regularly fielded an array of Sennheiser and Neumann microphones during the fourth season of NBC’s America’s Got Talent, America’s number one reality television show this summer.
Reed reports that Sennheiser and Neumann wired microphones were used mainly on guest bands. In addition, a couple of the show’s guest vocalists made use of wireless handheld microphones. “We brought in Sennheiser SKM 5200s for Susan Boyle–who used a Neumann KK-105 head–and for Leona Lewis,” he says.
America’s Got Talent features a panel of judges that includes Sharon Osborne, David Hasselhoff and Piers Morgan, who also judges Britain’s Got Talent. “The judges all had Sennheiser MKE 2 lavs, and a really cool, small SK 5212 RF package,” shares Reed.
As for the mic inventory available for the guest bands, he continues, “I had an e 901 for the kick, 604s on all the toms, and, my absolute favorite mic in all the world, the KM 84, on hi-hat and overheads,” he recalls. “The new drum mics are fabulous, low profile, great diaphragm, and dynamic, so I don’t have to worry about phantom power.”
Guitars were miked with e 906 supercardioid dynamic models. “Plus,” says Reed, “we had the standard MKH 416 looking onto the stage for any kind of effects, tap dancers, or anybody yelling or screaming. That’s the standard for me.”
One group, Recycled Percussion (a new Sennheiser endorser), who placed third in the finals, put the Sennheiser mics to the test, according to Reed. “I almost exclusively used e 604s on the tubs that they were playing, which worked out really well for us.” For a performance involving pouring water, he says, “I specified MKE 2 Platinum lavs, because a water molecule is bigger than the sound ports of the mic, thus making it waterproof.”