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10 years of BRIT Awards support from Sennheiser

Sennheiser UK celebrated its 10th anniversary of providing support – and kit - to the BRIT Awards in 2012, writes Erica Basnicki.

This year’s BRIT Awards marked a milestone for Sennheiser, who have been providing support for the show for 10 years now. “Sennheiser has had the pleasure of assisting on the BRITs since being invited by sound designer Derrick Zieba and Britannia Row back in 2002,” said Sennheiser UK artist relations manager, Mark Saunders. “Initially, this was to support the large amount of Sennheiser equipment that was being used on the show. Since then, both Andy Lillywhite [Sennheiser UK’s chief engineer] and I have been on-site throughout the rehearsals and shows, providing technical back up to the Brit Row crews, supplementing odd bits of extra kit and, where required, providing some extra not-quite-off-the-shelf type solutions for specific performances on the show.” This year’s ceremony saw 17 channels of Sennheiser IEMs (G3s and 2000 series) plus 36 packs for host James Cordon and the performers; 10 channels of EM 3732 dual receivers with SKM 5200 handhelds – again for Cordon, guest presenters, performers and Award winners; 12 channels of EM 2050 dual receivers with SKM 2000 hand-helds and SK 500 transmitter packs for the compere, performers and for backline radio for instruments. Additionally, Briannia Row’s shout system comprised Sennheiser IEMs/headset transmitter systems with multiple channels of Sennheiser 2000 IEMs in use with Coldplay, who used their own equipment. “Sennheiser comes through every time,” says double Award winner Adele’s FOH engineer Dave McDonald. “Mark being here makes my life so much easier.” McDonald’s spoke to PSNE earlier in the year about using Sennheiser at the BRIT Awards; see his comments on the SKM 2000s microphones here. Other performers using Sennheiser equipment included Florence and the Machine, with a custom SKM 5200 with 5235 capsule, and double award winner Ed Sheeran (pictured), with his custom e 935 vocal mic. Having been involved in the show for a decade, Saunders recalled some memorable moments: “In 2003, we had to provide a quick fire solution so that the 20 drummers drumming along to Avril Lavigne and her band were in time throughout the performance. We also had to ensure that two side-by-side, full stages (during the years at Earls Court when there were A and B stages flip flopping acts) were fully covered by the RF and didn’t interfere with each other. There have also been various B stages, thrusts and long distances that needed to be covered, including Take That in the roof of Earls Court, and as they descended down to stage level for the performance. “The move from Earls Court to The 02 presented certain RF challenges, but we have consistently helped to make 60-70 plus channels of RF work in tricky environments over the years and we are extremely proud to have been able to do so.” Photo credit: Ed Sheeran © JM Enternational