The recent 23rd ECHO Awards Ceremony, presented by the German Association of Recording Companies and held at the Messe Berlin (Germany) exhibition center, featured artists such as Kylie Minogue and Shakira—as well as host Helene Fischer—utilizing wired and wireless microphones from Sennheiser.
Minogue used a Sennheiser SKM 5200 handheld transmitter, while Shakira’s management had requested two SKM 5200s with Neumann KK 105 capsules. Wired Sennheiser microphones were used both by artists – such as the five e 935s used by Peter Maffay and his band – but also on the host’s podium, where two ME 36s on goosenecks ensured that speech was heard with perfect clarity.
Presenter and singer Fischer used various customised SKM 2000 handheld transmitters, a model with platinum finish as well as a white and a black model decorated with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS. German rappers “Die Fantastischen Vier” also used 2000 Series handheld transmitters with special MD 9235 capsules as they attempted to set a new musical record – 25 of their most famous songs performed in just 250 seconds.
The number of wireless channels was impressive, with about 200 frequencies in use for the awards. Performing artists were asked not to bring their own wireless equipment with them so as not to further complicate the already complex frequency situation.
The frequency bands of the Sennheiser equipment were divided into two segments, which were each assigned to an ASA 3000 antenna splitter. This meant that only two pairs of antennas (AD 3700s) had to be mounted in the stage area. Another antenna (A 1031) was operated at the monitoring position backstage in order to supply the technicians working there with the signals.
The wireless monitoring at the ECHO Awards was carried out entirely using products from the 2000 Series. The SR 2050 IEM transmitters and EK 2000 IEM beltpacks transmitted at A band frequencies (516 to 558 MHz) and within the duplex gap (823 – 832 MHz). The monitor transmitters were connected to circularly polarised A 5000-CP helical antennas via AC 3200 active antenna combiners.
In keeping with tradition, wireless specialist Svenja Dunkel again looked after the frequency coordination at the ECHO Awards. The interference-prone LTE frequencies were completely ruled out of consideration for the set-up. However, ample use was made of the LTE duplex gap (823 to 832 MHz), and above 863 MHz, the production also used two frequencies in the ISM band for the interpreting.”
Anyone still using frequencies in the LTE range for audio transmission today in Berlin is putting their hearing at risk,” states Dunkel. In her work, the wireless expert used a brand-new beta version of the Sennheiser Wireless Systems Manager software, which provided an detailed overview of the ECHO Awards’ wireless set-up.