OLD LYME, CONNECTICUT - DECEMBER 2009: Disney actress and pop phenomenon Miley Cyrus is emerging as a music star in her own right on her current Wonder World Tour, her second as a headline artist. This time out, her Disney Channel alter ego, Hannah Montana, is taking more of a back seat as Cyrus instead focuses on material from the Hollywood Records albums "Breakout" and "Time Of Our Lives," released under her own name. But whether she is performing in character as Hannah Montana, as she did on her inaugural 2008 Best of Both Worlds Tour, or as Miley Cyrus, there is always one constant - Sennheiser wireless technology.
The three-month-long Wonder World Tour is a ninety-minute high-energy spectacle that features, among other things, a flying motorcycle, a duet with her brother and numerous costume changes. Ensuring flawless RF performance and audio quality throughout the onstage high jinks are an array of Sennheiser wireless vocal microphones, instrument systems and stage-wide evolution wireless personal monitor set-ups.
Monitor engineer Vish Wadi, whose resume includes tours with Shakira, Sting, Mariah Carey and Madonna, as well as the Best of Both Worlds Tour, notes that the choice of Sennheiser's SKM 5200 wireless handheld transmitter, outfitted with the MD 5235 dynamic capsule for Cyrus and her two background vocalists is unchanged from the previous jaunt. "That's what we used on the last tour," he confirms.
Although ease of use, trouble free RF operation and, of course, sound quality were important factors in the choice of vocal mic, the rejection characteristics of the MD 5235 capsule were also critical. The capsule's tight pattern ensures that the sound engineers can keep everything under control when Cyrus and her two singers venture onto the stage thrust in front of the PA speakers, with thousands of screaming tweens and teens in the audience.
"I like the SKM 5200. I also use it with the Goo Goo Dolls, with a Neumann KK 104 head," states front-of-house engineer Paul David Hager, who has previously toured with American Hi-Fi. Also a studio engineer, Hager has mixed records for Jonas Brothers, Demi Lovato and Honor Society.
"Sennheiser wireless is really, really good. I like the audio quality, too,"
says Wadi. On the Wonder World Tour the RF handhelds are once again paired with EM 3532 receivers, in combination with Sennheiser's antenna distribution system, all under the control of a NET 1 wireless management network.
This time out the ew 300 IEM G2 channel count has increased from the previous tour to twelve, according to Wadi. Cyrus, the two background singers and the five musicians, plus two backline techs, all make use of the
G2 IEM systems. "The G2 is the best personal monitor system," he enthuses.
In addition, he says, "All the guitars, bass and a 'keytar' are using evolution series 550 G2 receivers. We've got ten channels of guitars and one keyboard." A handful of wired microphones are also in evidence on the tour, including a pair of Neumann KM 84 condensers on the high-hat and cymbal overheads on the main drum kit, as well as a pair of Sennheiser e 604s on the rack and floor toms on a second kit.
Opening act Metro Station, which includes older brother Trace Cyrus and Mason Musso, older brother of "Hannah Montana" co-star, Mitchell Mason, is also making use of Sennheiser RF gear, including evolution wireless 500 Series handheld mics with 935 heads and EM 550 receivers, plus G2 IEMs. "In my opinion it's the most solid equipment out there right now," says the band's monitor engineer and production manager, Kyle Ronan, who previously toured with Demi Lovato.
The Wonder World Tour, Cyrus' first international tour, started in Portland, Oregon in mid-September and winds its way through 43 U.S. cities before heading to England and Ireland in mid-December.
ABOUT SENNHEISER ELECTRONIC CORPORATION
Sennheiser is a world-leading manufacturer of microphones, headphones and wireless transmission systems. Established in 1945 in Wedemark, Germany, Sennheiser is now a global brand represented in 60 countries around the world with U.S. headquarters in Old Lyme, Connecticut. Sennheiser's pioneering excellence in technology has rewarded the company with numerous awards and accolades including an Emmy, a Grammy, and the Scientific and Engineering Award of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.