On 26 March 2015, the Deutsche Phono-Akademie (German Association of Recording Companies) presented the 24th ECHO German music awards. Barbara Schöneberger hosted the awards show at the Messe Berlin, which was produced by Kimmig Entertainment and broadcast live by German TV station “Das Erste”. As in previous years, wired and wireless microphones from Sennheiser ensured a good sound in the hall as well as on the screens of millions of television viewers. Also, the artists relied on wireless monitoring solutions from Sennheiser at this ‘who’s who’ of the rock and pop industry. The audio specialist was involved as a technical partner at ECHO for the twelfth time in 2015. This year, the opening of the otherwise markedly colourful ECHO Awards had a reflective mood as a minute’s silence was observed to remember the victims of the plane crash in the French Alps, accompanied by moving music and 150 burning candles.
Wireless microphones from Sennheiser provided excellent sound for speech and vocals at ECHO 2015 – the musical acts used SKM 2000 handheld transmitters with MMD 935-1 capsules or SKM 5200 handheld transmitters with MD 5235 microphone heads. Sennheiser SK 2000 bodypack transmitters were provided for guitarists and bassists. For his performance accompanied by dancers, German pop icon Herbert Grönemeyer used an HSP 4 headset with a Sennheiser SK 5212 bodypack transmitter.
All the wireless monitoring systems at ECHO 2015 were Sennheiser. Numerous EK 2000 IEM and EK 300 IEM G3 beltpacks were used, and Svenja Dunkel, the wireless specialist responsible for frequency coordination, had located 12 wireless links (SR 2050 IEM dual-channel transmitters) in the AW range and six additional radio links in the LTE duplex gap (823 to 832 MHz).
At the side of the stage, hidden behind black molleton fabric, a towering ‘antenna tree’ had been erected. Three circularly polarised Sennheiser A 5000-CP helical antennas were used to cover the entire performance area. The antennas used for the in-ear signals were connected to three AC 3200 active antenna combiners.
Some new LED moving lights provided a surprise during the rehearsals, as their electronics produced RF interference. The drummer of the ECHO award-winning band Revolverheld was situated right next to the new LED lights and had to be provided with a new frequency. “We do not always know in advance what the director and his colleagues have come up with in terms of the lighting for the show – so the rehearsals are extremely important at ECHO,” said Svenja Dunkel. The Sennheiser Wireless Systems Manager software assisted her in maintaining an overview of the complex wireless system.
Horst Hartmann manned the monitor desk with Marko Schmidt. The sound specialists, who have experience of working at ECHO, shared the work: Hartmann catered for the performing bands, while Schmidt had his own desk to deal with the hosting, the presenters, any internal communication and the video feeds. In addition to the wireless monitoring systems, conventional wedges and sidefills integrated into the stage decoration were required for some performances – at low volume so as not to interfere with the TV sound. ”In general, in-ear systems prevailed at ECHO,” observed Horst Hartmann. “They are without question the best solution – not only for the sound in the hall and on TV, but also for the musicians themselves!” Artists who had not brought customised earpieces with them were able to use the Sennheiser IE 4 earphones provided.
Graduate engineer Jens Nonnewitz, monitor mixer for Revolverheld, was delighted to be provided with Sennheiser wireless monitoring systems, commenting, “We use Sennheiser ew 300 IEM G3 in-ears at our concerts, which are sonically compatible to the systems we used at ECHO – the main differences between the product lines are the available switching bandwidth and the transmission power. Particularly in light of the nervousness often associated with a prime time TV show, it is an advantage for musicians if they have already internalised the operation of the beltpacks – it prevents disruptions caused by unfamiliar handling and the artists can concentrate fully on their performance.”
In addition to the wireless technology, a large number of wired Sennheiser microphones could also be seen at ECHO 2015. The microphones used on the drum kits included the e 906 and e 904, as well as MK 4 large-diaphragm condenser models. Proven classics such as the Sennheiser MD 441 were also used. “The processes at ECHO are now all very slick. Each person within the experienced technical teams knows exactly what to do,” said Thomas Holz, Sennheiser Project Manager for Touring & Rental | Artists & Engineers.
However, the shining star of the night was Helene Fischer, who received four awards at ECHO 2015, or as Barbara Schöneberger jokingly called it, the “Helene Fischer Festival”. Fans of the singer can look forward to the open-air tour scheduled for the summer, which will take Germany’s most successful entertainer to the largest local stages with her Sennheiser handheld transmitters.
Vorm geven aan de sound van morgen en voor zijn klanten unieke klankervaringen tot stand brengen… Dat is het doel waarrond wereldwijd alle medewerkers en partners van Sennheiser zich verenigen. De onderneming is opgericht in 1945 en uitgegroeid tot een van ’s werelds toonaangevende producenten van koptelefoons, microfoons en draadloze zendersystemen. Met zijn 21 verkoopfilialen en partnerrelaties van vele jaren is de groep actief in ruim 50 landen. Daarnaast telt hij nog eens eigen productiefaciliteiten in Duitsland, Ierland, Roemenië en de VS. Sinds 2013 staat met Daniel Sennheiser en Dr. Andreas Sennheiser de derde generatie van de familie aan het hoofd van de onderneming. In 2017 genereerde de Sennheiser-groep een omzet van in totaal € 667,7 miljoen.