Keane finds symmetry with Sennheiser
The band uses a raft of Sennheiser mics on recent tour
Keane’s recently set out on an arena tour of Europe and South America to promote their album new album, Perfect Symmetry, with a variety Sennheiser’s wired and wireless microphones.
The band’s monitor engineer Jon Ormesher and FOH Matthew Kettle chose Sennheiser ew 500 Series guitar systems and e 906 mics for lead singer Tom Chaplin’s guitar cabinets, and e 904s for Richard Hughes’ toms and an e 901 for the bass drum. In addition, the band use a mix of e 935 and SKM 935 radio mics for vocals, and the whole band wear Sennheiser ew 300 G2 IEM in-ear monitoring systems.
“I started touring with Keane about three years ago and even then nearly all the microphones were Sennheiser,” explains Ormesher. “And they’ve stayed with the 935 vocal mics ever since, mainly because the band likes them so much. Tom actually used the 935 in the studio to do the vocals for the last album. He likes it that much. Sometimes we go to radio or TV shows and someone there says ‘You’ve got to use our vocal mics’. I say, ‘No, no. That’s what our singer sings into. That’s what he likes. Live with it.’
“From my standpoint the 935s have noticeably good rejection, better than some other popular mics. And it has some nice sparkle and it’s reasonably flat too.”
From Ormesher’s position on the side of the stage, the band’s preference for the Sennheiser in-ears over wedges is a welcome relief on the ears.
“Keane have been using Sennheiser IEMs since I started,” he continues. “I have ten sets of them. Because there’s no audio on stage the backline team need IEMs too to hear what’s going on. We know they sound good and there’s a good choice of frequencies. There are four people in the band now, plus two keyboard techs, a drum tech and a guitar tech. They all have sets, and I have two as back ups. I’m providing seven stereo mixes. They’ve been very good on this tour so far. And we’ve had no bad interactions between the radio mics, the wireless systems and the IEMs, because they’re all on different bands. It’s been hunky dory so far.”
On an arena tour that features a B-stage a few yards in front of the front of house position, Keane’s wireless solution makes the transfer of audio from one stage to another straightforward.
“We’d use IEMs anyway,” says Ormesher, “but that’s obviously a big help for the second stage. Tom wanders around anyway. It’s a shame they don’t make wireless drums and keyboards. If they did, everything would be wireless.”
Last year Keane’s Hopes and Fears (#13) and Under the Iron Sea (#8) were voted by readers of Q magazine as two of the greatest British albums ever.