Beyoncé’s Monitor Engineer, James Berry (l), and her FOH Engineer, Stephen Curtin (r).
Los Angeles, CA (February 18, 2015)—The 57th Annual Grammy Awards, held at Los Angeles’ Staples Center last week, found artists including Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Beyoncé, Madonna, Tony Bennett, Annie Lennox, Miranda Lambert and others making use of Sennheiser wireless audio products.
Sennheiser user Sam Smith nabbed four awards, including Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best New Artist and Best Pop Vocal Album; Ed Sheeran performed a his ‘Thinking Out Loud’, singing through a Sennheiser SKM 2000/MD 9235 combination, and Beyoncé tackled “‘Take My Hand, Precious Lord” belting into the Sennheiser Digital 9000 wireless system.
“For this particular performance, she wanted to go for an old school vibe of singing in a church,” observes Stephen Curtin, Beyoncé’s FOH Engineer. “I had 100 percent confidence in the Digital 9000, since we just used it on Beyoncé and Jay Z’s stadium tour, where it was rock solid. People may not be aware of this, but Beyoncé’s Grammy performance was right in front of the P.A. system with SPLs reaching approximately 100 dB. We ran the vocals on top of all this without any issues at all. Having that kind of control is an entirely new experience in itself.”
At monitors, James Berry was pleased with the performance of the SKM 9000 transmitter and MD 9235 capsule combination: “The audio was pure and clean, and represented her vocal better than any other microphone out there. With the Digital 9000, you get out exactly what you put in—and this translates to in-ear monitors, the FOH mix and the broadcast world.”
Elsewhere during the evening, Mary J. Blige joined Sam Smith on stage for his “Stay With Me”— Smith using a Sennheiser SKM 2000 handheld transmitter coupled with an MMK 965 capsule, while Blige sang through her Sennheiser SKM 5200 transmitter / Neumann KK 105 S capsule combination.
Simon Thomas, FOH Engineer for Sam Smith, noted, “I chose the Sennheiser 965 capsule for its extremely smooth response. Also I needed a microphone that was going to be very sensitive in the quiet moments, yet could also take a good old spanking when we pushed it.”
Madonna’s performance of “Living For Love” found her singing through a Sennheiser SKM 5200 transmitter coupled with an MD 5005 capsule, along with a Sennheiser 2000 IEM wireless system for monitoring. Meanwhile, Annie Lennox dug into Howlin’ Wolf’s “I Put A Spell On You”, singing through a Neumann KMS 105 wired condenser microphone. Later in the evening, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga doled out “Cheek To Cheek,” each singing through a Sennheiser SKM 5200 transmitter and Neumann KK 105 S capsule combination.
Over the course of the evening, hosts and presenters such as Smokey Robinson, Miley Cyrus, LL Cool J and others used Sennheiser SKM 5200 handheld transmitters both on and off stage, coupled with with Neumann KK 105 S capsules.