Sennheiser Supports CMA Awards

A Sennheiser Digital 9000 wireless system helped deliver the performances of The Zac Brown Band and Lady Antebellum during the 47th Annual Country Music Association (CMA) Awards.
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J. Mark King (l.) and Tom Davis in the voiceover booth, pictured with the Neumann TLM 49 during the CMA Awards
Nashville, TN (November 25, 2013)—A Sennheiser Digital 9000 wireless system helped deliver the performances of The Zac Brown Band and Lady Antebellum during the 47th Annual Country Music Association (CMA) Awards.

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In addition to the performances by The Zac Brown Band and Lady Antebellum, this year’s CMA Awards featured Taylor Swift and Jennifer Nettles, who used Sennheiser SKM 5200-II handheld transmitters coupled with MD 5235 microphone capsules; Miranda Lambert (winner of “Female Vocalist of the Year”) and Blake Shelton (winner of “Album of the Year” and “Male Vocalist of the Year”), both of whom sang through Sennheiser SKM 2000 transmitters with MD 935-1 capsules; and Kenny Rogers, who used a Sennheiser SKM 5200-II transmitter in combination with a Neumann KK 105-S capsule. Hosts spoke through SKM 5200-II handhelds with KK 105-S capsules for the duration of the program.

“We had 200 frequencies we were dealing with—this is a formidable number of radio frequencies in any environment, especially when everything is in UHF,” says James Stoffo, RF coordinator of the CMA Awards. “We ended up using several channels of the Sennheiser Digital 9000 in performances by both Lady Antebellum and The Zac Brown Band.”

Sennheiser Global Relations provided equipment and support for the performance, which not only included wireless systems but also dozens of wired and wireless microphones used throughout the CMA Awards. “When James Stoffo, one of the industry’s foremost RF consultants, said he would use the Digital 9000 system on the show, we were especially delighted. Refining technology and partnering with audio professionals to help make the event a seamless experience for engineers and artists is our priority,” commented Kristy Jo Winkler, Global Relations Manager, Americas.

During Lady Antebellum’s performance, lead singer Hillary Scott ventured beyond the stage out into the audience, where RF coverage can be tricky since the primary antenna coverage is on the stage, Stoffo says. “We never had a hitch. The RF levels on the Digital 9000 system remained pegged the entire time and I didn’t have to sweat it.”

Three Neumann TLM 49 large-diaphragm condenser microphones were also used during the CMA Awards to facilitate voiceovers, with two used on site at the Awards and one used for work done in advance at Davis’ SeisMic Sound in Nashville. “You can plug the TLM 49 into just about anything and it sounds fantastic. It has so much presence for the spoken word and cuts through everything,” commented Tom Davis, audio producer at the CMA Awards.

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