The Sennheiser SKM 935 G2 wireless, coupled with the EM 550 G2 receiver, is Blake Shelton’s mic for his current tour and TV appearances promoting his crossover single “Home.”Nashville (September 8, 2008)–Country singer Blake Shelton is playing more than 100 shows this year; supporting Shelton and his band at each stop is Sennheiser wired and wireless technology.
FOH mixer, Jeff “Pig” Parsons, commented on Shelton’s lead vocal mic, a Sennheiser SKM 935 G2 paired with a Sennheiser EM 550 G2 receiver, noting, “As you can imagine, vocals are everything at a Blake Shelton concert. If they’re not right, I’m sunk. The 935 capsule is beautiful and clean with a little high-end spike that matches Shelton’s voice perfectly. That’s the money shot right there!”
The tour’s monitor engineer, John Stoffel, added, “Unlike the rest of the band, Shelton is adamant about using wedges; with any other vocal mic, that would greatly increase the chance of feedback, but with the Sennheiser 935, it’s very easy for me to get his monitor vocal so loud that he’s asking me to turn it down! How often does that happen?” For backing vocals, Parsons uses a Sennheiser e 840.
All of the instruments on stage are captured with Sennheiser evolution series high performance mics: The kick drums have an e 901 on the inside with a combination e 902 and e 602 on the outside. Two e 905s cover the snare top to deliver snap and body, and e 602s and self-clipping e 604s provide a voice for drum fills. Finally, an array of small diaphragm e 614 condensers capture crystalline crashes and hats. In addition, “Pig” uses an e 902 in conjunction with a DI to build a smooth electric bass tone that can move musical mountains. A pair of e 906s together with an e 602 do the same for the organ.
Engineers out with the Blake Shelton tour, John Stoffel, monitor engineer (left) and Jeff “Pig” Parsons, FOH engineer (right).All of the mobile instruments, including Shelton’s two acoustic guitars, use Sennheiser ew 372 G2 and ew 172 G2 body-pack transmitter and receiver systems. All told, there are seven such systems in operation. In addition, all five members of the band use Sennheiser ew 300 IEM G2 wireless monitoring systems with stereo mixes. Add the vocal mic, and there’s a lot of wireless information flying through the air at a Blake Shelton concert.
“Without exaggeration, I’ve used every other major wireless brand in the industry, and Sennheiser is the easiest, cleanest, and most reliable by a long shot,” remarked Stoffel. “Seriously, I spend less than ten minutes every morning scanning for clear frequencies and that’s it. I’m done. It doesn’t matter if we’re in New York City or how many wireless channels are being used by the other acts on the bill.”
This fall, Shelton will find himself in front of Sennheiser mics in a very different venue, far from his guitar and fans. Shelton will begin shooting his hunting and fishing trips with the help of audio engineer Rob Byus. The pair, along with many of Shelton’s friends, will use a Sennheiser ME 66 shotgun microphone and a Sennheiser ew 100 ENG G2 wireless lavalier with camera-ready receiver to record all of the banter, excitement, and natural serenity that come with the superstar’s favorite pastimes.