Sennheiser supplies wireless gear for CMA Music Festival

Sennheiser supported the recent 42nd annual CMA (Country Music Association) Music Festival with a wide range of wireless equipment.

The set-up included eight channels of EM 3732-II receivers, coupled with SKM 2000-XP handheld wireless transmitters and MMD 935-1 cardioid microphone capsules.

Curt Jenkins was responsible for the audio as project manager for Nashville-based Sound Image. Jenkins made contact with Tim Moore, Sennheiser USA’s artist relations manager, several weeks before the event for assistance in coordinating artist and engineer equipment needs.

“Sennheiser recognises the challenges technicians and engineers face during these events to stay efficient, so our pre-configured wireless equipment racks give them one less thing to worry about,” said Kristy Jo Winkler, global relations manager, Americas. The equipment was used extensively over the course of the performances at LP Field – Nashville’s 68,798-capacity sports arena.

In addition to the wireless racks, Sound Image appreciated the microphone capsules Sennheiser provided. “The e 935 microphone and MMD 935-1 capsule have become very popular and are the choice of a large number of Sennheiser users,” commented Moore. “The MMD 935-1 capsule has a natural response that consistently and accurately reproduces the source. When Curt asked for support from Sennheiser, I knew that the 935-1 capsule would be perfectly suited for the application.”

“I was managing audio for the whole event,” stated Curt Jenkins. “Since it was being filmed for TV by a major network, we had to ensure all the audio was rock solid, especially considering we were multi-tracking everything. We asked Sennheiser if they could help and they arranged to have a rack sent over without delay.”

Sennheiser also supplied SR 2050 IEMs and evolution series wired microphones. “The capsules themselves are well rounded,” added Jenkins. “The MMD 935-1 is totally controllable in a stadium environment and because of its wide frequency response works great on anybody’s voice.”

Jason Glass of Clean Wireless Audio was hired by Sound Image to handle RF coordination for the stage microphones, IEMs, television crews as well as touring rigs for guest acts during the festival. Glass was tasked with covering the entire stage performance area as well as a secondary stage in the audience, located approximately 75 feet beyond the downstage edge of the main stage.

He put the Sennheiser rack into play from the moment it arrived during load-in. “We relied heavily on the Sennheiser wireless receivers and transmitters during each of the four days, and everything worked perfectly,” Glass recalled. “Not only were the vast majority of pre-assigned Sennheiser frequencies clean, but Taylor Swift’s RF Tech Bill Flugan emailed me afterwards to let me know their show went flawlessly. Everything worked so incredibly well. In four days, we didn’t experience a single click, pop, swish or dropout.”

A large-scale L-Acoustics K1 system was also in use at this year’s CMA Music Festival.

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