Pop-punk band Simple Plan tours relentlessly, logging over 300 shows in a single year in support of their debut album of almost a decade ago.
On the current world tour in support of Get Your Heart On! – a simultaneously sweet and cynical comment on the raptures and ravages of love – the band will make stops in Korea, China, Japan, Australia and South America, in addition to North America and Europe. They’ll be traveling with Sennheiser and Neumann wired microphones together with 22 channels of Sennheiser wireless microphones, instrument packs, and personal monitors.
Simple Plan’s frontman Pierre Bouvier recently found the wireless microphone that “gets his heart on,” so to speak – the Neumann KK 105 S super-cardioid condenser head paired with a Sennheiser SKM 5200-II handheld transmitter.
“He had previously been using a dynamic capsule that everyone was happy with until he had a chance to borrow a KK 105 S while playing with another band,” explains tour and production manager Paul McManus. “It’s a lot easier for him to sing into the “studio-like” KK 105 S. He doesn’t have to work at it. Not only does that make it easy for him to step up and fall naturally into the pocket, but it makes our very long touring schedule a lot more doable.”
Front of house engineer Frank Joly agreed and adds that the KK 105 S cuts through a thick punk mix nicely. Bass player and backing vocalist David Desrosiers uses a similar Neumann KK 104 S cardioid condenser, again with the Sennheiser SKM 5200-II transmitter, whereas rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist Sébastien Lefebvre uses a wired Sennheiser e 935 dynamic. Sennheiser EM 3732-II receivers grab the wireless signals, and two additional SKM 5200-II/KK 105 S pairs serve as backup and guest mics.
Although Joly is a strong proponent of experimenting with sound – indeed, he has been known to use a Neumann KM 184 on electric guitar – the guitar sound for Simple Plan is… well, a simple plan. All three cabinets use a Sennheiser e 906 paired with a Sennheiser MD 421 II.
“The 421 is a home run,” says McManus. “Its gets the meat of the guitar sound and adds a realistic ‘air’ to the sound in the PA. If you want a big guitar sound, you need a big guitar mic, and the 421 is exactly that. I’ve also used it on kick and vocals, and it’s awesome.” Another classic, the MD 421 II pairs with a DI to deliver a deep, organic bass tone that occupies a space distinct from the rest of the mix.