Tinted Windows–AKA James Iha
(Smashing Pumpkins), Taylor
Hanson (vocals, Hanson), Bun
E. Carlos (drums, Cheap Trick),
and Adam Schlesinger (bass,
Fountains of Wayne), recently
Toured with Sennheiser mics.
Old Lyme, CT (June 1, 2009)–Members of Cheap Trick, Hanson, Smashing Pumpkins and Fountains of Wayne recently hit the road as power-pop super group, Tinted Windows, promoting their self-titled debut album. Along for the ride was a slew of Sennheiser mics.
Mike Fanuele (Dashboard Confessional, Fountains of Wayne) commanded the band’s sound (production manager, tour manager, FOH and monitors!) for their SXSW gigs and the subsequent two-week tour that hit New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, two television dates with Jimmy Fallon (NBC) and David Letterman (CBS), and the Bamboozle Festival in New Jersey.
For fidelity and consistency from gig to gig, he assigned a Sennheiser e 935 cardioid vocal mic to every member of the group: Bun E. Carlos (drums, Cheap Trick), Taylor Hanson (vocals, Hanson), James Iha (guitar, Smashing Pumpkins), and Adam Schlesinger (bass, Fountains of Wayne). He also gave touring rhythm guitarist Josh Lattanzi an e 935.
“The e 935 has a great sonic quality so that Taylor, and everyone else for that matter, can hear some nice hi-fi in the monitors,” said Fanuele. “Importantly, its tight pattern control gives me more gain before feedback then I’d get with most other live vocal mics. So we have nice, loud, clear vocals in the monitors, which fuels the energetic performance that these guys deliver.”
“It is of course equally important,” he continued, “that the mic sounds great for me out front. It has a smooth midrange with a bit of a presence peak that helps the vocals cut through without being annoying or harsh. Taylor’s vocal style is very dynamic, and when he moves on and off mic, the e 935’s frequency response changes very little. So with just a little compression, it’s easy to get a solid vocal that sits nicely in the mix no matter what’s happening on stage.” After a pause he added, “the e 935 looks cool on TV, too!”
But there’s much more to successful touring with high-profile artists than simply delivering hi-fi sound. Fanuele put things in perspective, “These guys are waking up at 7:00 am every day and heading down to the radio stations to do interviews. After that, they do phone interviews for a few hours. After a short lunch, it’s off to do more publicity, a photo shoot or public appearance. At the end of a long day, they show up for soundcheck and then deliver an hour-long, high-energy performance. They’re exhausting themselves eighteen hours a day.”
Fanuele also used Sennheiser mics on Bun E. Carlos’ drums, including an e 902 on bass and e 904s on toms and bottom snare, at Tinted Windows’ very first public performance – an unannounced warm-up show at a small club near their rehearsal space in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Perhaps someone was after their sound, because the next day, while Fanuele and the band were milling around their hotel lobby in Austin, a quick-handed thief made off with the bag containing all the Sennheiser mics – including the e 935 vocal mics.
“Sennheiser has always been there for me,” said Fanuele. “This circumstance was no exception. Sennheiser was right there with new mics so that the tour – including a number of television appearances – could go on as planned.”