Live Sound
Sponsored by
Powersoft

Robert Schuenemann Performs With Countryman

Flautist, saxophonist, vocalist, and educator selects I2 instrument and E6 earset microphones for smooth jazz performances

By PSW Staff March 22, 2018

Robert Schuenemann

Flautist, saxophonist, and vocalist Robert Schuenemann enjoys a varied and prolific music/audio career. Over the years, his bands have opened for artists like James Brown, Bob Seger, and Blood Sweat and Tears. As the leader of ‘The David Roberts Group,’ he’s performed smooth jazz in many well-known concert venues, and as an educator, he works as music director at Sunshine Academy (affiliated with the Hollywood Film Arts Academy), the American Music Arts Center, and Eastvale Music Academy.

Since the 80’s, he’s relied on one brand of microphones to ensure the accuracy of his sound—be it flute, saxophone, or vocals. That brand is Countryman Associates of Menlo Park, CA—specifically, the company’s I2 instrument and E6 earset microphones.

“My first exposure to Countryman mics occurred when one of my associates at Audio Graphic Systems of San Bernardino (an AV integration firm) suggested using them in a corporate boardroom application,” Schuenemann explains. “They worked so well that I used them again in a design I put together for a boardroom at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. The microphones were used in conjunction with an automatic mixer, along with audio and video recorders to record the minutes of the board meetings. Subsequently, I sought to use Countryman mics wherever discreet, transparent microphones were called for. Speech intelligibility is paramount, and Countryman mics fit into the solution seamlessly.”

“As a performer,” he continues, “I use a Countryman I2 instrument mic clipped onto my saxophone and an E6 earset for my flute and vocal work. I use both microphones with a Sennheiser XS Wireless 2 Diversity system. The E6 is positioned on my left ear, so I can transition smoothly from flute to vocals. I position the mic just above my mouth to get the full range of harmonics available from the flute. That same positioning also provides me excellent vocal presence, transparency, and breadth.”

Schuenemann reports that his E6 solves a unique performance challenge. “Early on, I had a dilemma that I had to solve,” he says. “When switching from vocal to flute, or vocal to sax, there wasn’t much time to transition. The E6 earset solved that issue. It’s extremely comfortable and doesn’t distract me while performing. I hardly feel it. The sound quality is excellent, and I can hear all the desired harmonics coming through the sound system. Similarly, the sound reproduction quality from the I2 is terrific. The I2 handles the high SPLs and delivers all the sounds . . . and noises, that make a sax . . . a sax.”

Over the years, Schuenemann has developed a close bond with Countryman Associates and he values that relationship. “I enjoy working with the people at Countryman Associates,” he said. “They are really nice people! Everyone I’ve dealt with is very easy to work with they are extremely helpful. I’ve had nothing but good experiences with the sales and technical staff at the company. If I have questions, they find the answers – quickly! They have been both friendly and supportive in helping me choose the right mics and their various application suggestions have proven very beneficial.”

Prior to turning his attention back to the business of the day, Schuenemann offered these final thoughts regarding his experience with Countryman Associates. “For AV integration applications, Countryman mics are an excellent choice. In the pro audio industry, the prime objective of the audio consultant/system-designer is to design a system where the audience can hear the sound, not the sound system.

“Transparency of sound is everything and the Countryman mics are ideal for this. As a performer, I couldn’t be happier with the quality of the microphones. They deliver the sound with clarity and transparency, yet they also deliver the warmth of my instruments’ sounds. I won’t comment on my voice. That’s a very personal thing. I would rather have you hear the compliments from those who have heard me. Suffice it to say I am very happy.”

Countryman Associates

Tagged with:

Subscribe to Live Sound International

Subscribe to Live Sound International magazine. Stay up-to-date, get the latest pro audio news, products and resources each month with Live Sound.