Sennheiser UK helps Brit Awards ‘breach the final frontier’

Sennheiser became one of the stars of the show at the 2016 Brit Awards by helping to make the first nominee announcement from space a reality.

Held on 24 February 2016 at London’s O2 Arena and broadcast live nationwide to an audience of over two million, the Brits saw Sennheiser’s Phil Cummings (artist relations) and Andy Lillywhite (customer development and application engineer) working together to support the event’s artists and technical production company Britannia Row Productions.

Sennheiser’s wireless microphones and wireless monitoring systems were used by all eight performing acts, presenters Ant and Dec, for all the acceptance speeches… and from space, making it the 14th consecutive year that Sennheiser has supported the event.

The latter was a pre-recorded nominations listing read by British astronaut Tim Peake from aboard the International Space Station. For this he used a wired Sennheiser E835 microphone with SKP 500 plug-on transmitter. Lorde – backed by David Bowie’s backing band – performed Life On Mars using Sennheiser 2000 series IEMs.

In total, 22 channels of 2000 series IEMs were in use by all the performing artists. Award winners’ acceptance speeches were delivered via Sennheiser’s Digital 9000 series wireless microphone with ME 5004 capsule.

Adele won four awards on the night and performed using her new SKM 9000 handheld with MD 9235 capsule. Other artists to use Sennheiser microphones were Little Mix (five SKM 5200 with MD 5235 heads), Jess Glynne (SKM 2000), and The Weeknd – SKM 5200 with MD 5235 capsule.

“We use a 2000 Series mic for Jess,” said Duncan Wild, Jess Glynne’s monitor engineer. “In a live situation such as the Brits, it’s great to know that the kit on its own does what it needs to do; the RF side of it is great and Sennheiser’s support is always fantastic, from servicing to sorting things out in tight time frames. Sometimes the look for the mic can be as important as what it sounds and when we needed to have the mic chromed, Sennheiser did that for us at very short notice.”

“The show was a complete success, with all the Sennheiser equipment working flawlessly,” Cummings added. “It was great to see Adele win four awards and her performance was perfection. It made for a perfect start to her sold out world tour, which began a few days later and features the Digital 9000 system.

“It was also fantastic to see Tim Peake using the E835 wired microphone too from the ISS. Although we have supported the Brits for 14 years, there are always new challenges to overcome and new boundaries to break. The fact that Sennheiser helped Britain’s first astronaut to read nominations from ‘the final frontier’ was a real privilege.”