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Sennheiser key in Prodigy’s latest experience

English electronic dance act The Prodigy hit supergroup status with a 65,000 sell-out concert at Milton Keynes National Bowl using Sennheiser’s wireless G3 systems, writes Paul Watson

Top UK electronic dance act The Prodigy used Sennheiser’s W300 G3 IEMs, SKM 500-935 G3 mics and Vulcan RF launch system in their groundbreaking 65,000 sell-out performance at Milton Keynes National Bowl last weekend. Sennheiser’s artist relations manager, Mark Saunders, explains that having a support team on site at a show of such magnitude is crucial. “We have worked with The Prodigy for six years and this event is their largest headline show,” he says. “It’s important that we have a presence on-site here just in case any equipment goes down; the engineers are happy to have us around.” Saunders and Sennheiser’s chief on-site engineer Andy Lilywhite provided monitor engineer Joe Campbell with a Vulcan RF launch system, which was designed and built in-house at Sennheiser UK. Saunders believes it is “the icing on the cake” when used with the G3 IEM system, allowing for better radio coverage and longer cable runs, which he says is ideal as the band is so mobile. “We’ve done 60 or so festivals over the last few years and never had any trouble at all with any of the Sennheiser in-ear systems,” says Campbell. “The G3s provide nice clarity and the Vulcan system is the belt and braces really; occasionally Keith [Flint] will end up at FOH, so it’s nice if the in-ears will work back there – and they do.” Campbell says some of the advantages of using the SKM 500-935s is that they require little to no EQing and are very durable, the latter of which is vital in his opinion given the aggression of the band on stage! He also paints them (at the request of the band members) in varying shades, ranging from bright white to fluorescent yellow, which he says is handy for finding Flint when he strays into the crowd. FOH engineer Jon Burton, who also uses a Midas XL3 console, says that the band “broke pretty much every microphone” when using a different manufacturer. “We’ve only trashed two [Sennheiser] mics in five years – and those went through the side-fills – literally!” he explains. “The new SKM 500-935s have made it a lot easier for Joe [Campbell] to program; and to me they just seem that bit more solid; and of course they fit in with the government’s idea of where radio frequencies should be.” The PA system for the show was provided by Wigwam and included four hangs of 15 L-Acoustics V-DOSC; a long line of d&b B2s on the floor; and 16 d&b INFRA triple 21 subs.
Photo by Rahul Singh