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a-ha ending on a high note with Sennheiser

Due to conclude with a run of shows in the band’s home country, the huge tour features an extensive complement of Sennheiser wired and wireless microphones, including an SMK 5200 with a Neumann KK 105 capsule.

The Norwegian trio is to call it a day at the end of this year after more than a quarter of a century spent crafting sophisticated electro-pop, reports PSN-e. Due to conclude with a run of shows in the band’s home country, the ‘Ending On A High Note’ tour features an extensive complement of Sennheiser wired and wireless microphones.

Retaining a constant line-up of Morten Harket (vocals), Magne Furuholmen (keys) and Pal Waaktaar-Savoy (guitars), a-ha has released nine studio albums and will issue a career-spanning compilation, 25, this autumn. The group announced its decision to disband in 2009, and is scheduled to play its final show on 4 December at the Oslo Spektrum.

Equipment being used by the band includes a Sennheiser SMK 5200 with a Neumann KK 105 capsule for Harket, as well as Sennheiser wireless personal monitors. The Sennheiser Global Relations Team is providing support to a tour team that includes Kleo Tuemmler (tour manager), Sherif El Barbari (FOH engineers) and Kursten Smith (monitors).

“Morten is incredibly sensitive to the performance of his microphone and wireless personal monitor system,” said El Barbari. “In fact, I’ve been an engineer for close to thirty years now, and I have never met someone who is so spot-on regarding what he hears, what he feels, and what he expresses. He is a perfectionist who is capable of delivering, and that has really raised the bar for Smith and myself.” The Neumann condenser sound, added El Barbari, is “so clear and clean. It rings clear and true when he hits the incredible high notes for which he is known.”

The recent advent of a wireless set-up for Harket has enabled the vocalist to perform “in a different way”. Waaktaar and Furuholmen use Sennheiser e935 wired dynamics for backing vocals, while overall, the tour employs eight wireless personal monitoring systems with 12 packs and a Sennheiser A 5000 CP antenna. Depending on location and availability, the systems are either ew 300 IEM G2 or G3. Each tech carries a duplicate pack on the channel of the performer for which they are responsible.

“I carry a spare pack in case of any RF trouble, but so far I haven’t had any need to use it,” said Smith.“From what I have experienced in RF land, Sennheiser’s equipment performs as advertised, provided you have decent frequency management. Of course, massive video walls complicate things, but the Sennheiser gear is robust enough to deal [with the issue].”

In addition, the percussion set-up employs a number of Sennheiser wired mics, including e 902s (kick drum), e 904s (toms) and e 614s (stereo overheads and hi-hat).

Summing up, Smith said that “the support I have received from Sennheiser, both with a-ha and a lot of other acts, has always been fantastic. If I ever need to troubleshoot something, they are right there with a solution. They provide real support that never leaves us in the lurch.”