Sennheiser on tour with Jessie Ware
Front-of-House engineer Johnny Dodkin started working with Jessie when she was a backing singer with Jack Penate. When she was signed in January 2012, she asked him to work with her on her own project.
“We have always used a 2000 Series wireless system along with a 945 capsule for Jessie until this run of shows, when I changed to a 965 capsule,” says Johnny. “I love the 945; it’s great as it has a tight pattern and presence with the top end. But when Sennheiser’s Relations Manager Mark Saunders popped by rehearsals for this tour, we started talking about the 965 capsule, as I have created a quiet stage with all amps off stage and the drummer screened, so we switched.
“The 965 is a lot more sensitive and has an even smoother response around the 4-5k frequencies and Jessie’s mic technique really works with the 965 head. She always sings on axis and stays very close to the capsule, so I don’t need to gain the mic up heavily, which means feedback isn’t a problem. As a result, I have found myself doing less system EQ because I haven’t needed to compensate for the mic like I have had to with other wider patterned mics. Being able to change the pick-up pattern is also really useful.”
“I feel the 965 gives a sweeter clarity and better on axis detail,” adds monitor engineer Steve Donovan. “Having moved from the 945 during rehearsal it gave me a chance to really compare the two mics. The 945 was working well with Jessie, but the 965 seemed to settle in with her voice and gives a more natural response. Like Johnny, all that I need to do now EQ-wise is high pass and roll off a small amountat 180-200.”
Monitoring comprises eight ew 300 G3 IEMs, which are networked along with the radio mics, ensuring a quick and thorough set-up process.
“WSM [Sennheiser’s Wireless Systems Manager] is an everyday tool, which gets a lot of use on the tour and really helps to reassure that things are in the right place,” Steve continues. “I’ve been using it on every show I do and it’s a must when touring, with so many variables from place to place. I can’t imagine not having it, as it’s the first port of call for the day. Load in, power up and scan!”
Johnny has been working with Sennheiser since 2008 and reports that they have always been very supportive in suggesting new models of microphone for both instruments and vocals.
“Sennheiser has been great with service needs, even fixing my road tired microphones. The poor things have seen some miles,” says Johnny. “I think they have flown further than your average air stewardess!”
“Mark’s support has been great,” adds Steve. “We only had one issue and Mark had a replacement to me within 24hrs, which was fantastic. I’ve always used Sennheiser IEMs, from the G2s through to the current G3 model, and have found them extremely consistent.”
“The UK leg of the tour went really well, with two sold out Brixton shows that were spot on,” concludes Johnny. “Adlib did a great job and, with the combination of Sennheiser and the L-Acoustics K1 system, I think it’s the best I have ever heard Brixton Academy sound.”
Jessie continues her touring schedule with dates in the US, before she heads back to the UK for the summer festival season.
The Sennheiser Group based in Wedemark near Hanover, Germany, was founded in 1945 and has gone on to become a leading manufacturer of microphones, headphones and wireless transmission systems. Sales in 2013 totaled 590.4 million euros. Sennheiser employs more than 2,500 staff worldwide and operates plants in Germany, Ireland and the USA. The company has a worldwide network of subsidiaries in France, Great Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, Germany, Denmark (Nordic), Russia, Hongkong, India, Singapore, Japan, China, Australia and New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, and the USA. It also has long-established trading partners in other countries. Georg Neumann GmbH, Berlin, a maker of studio microphones and monitor speakers, and Sennheiser Communications A/S, a joint venture making headsets for PCs, offices and call centers, are also part of the Sennheiser Group.