Australian pop punk group 5 Seconds of Summer, currently riding high following the release of their first single, She Looks So Perfect – a №1 hit in 47 countries – and self-titled début album, which reached the top of chart in eight countries and №2 in many more, has announced a headline 2015 tour supported by a range of Sennheiser wireless and hardwired microphone and wireless monitor systems.
Taking in British, European and American dates, the tour’s equipment was specified by FOH engineer John Delf and monitor engineer Ben Booker. “5SOS (pictured) has grown faster than any band I can remember, and they appear to be well-known in pretty much every major territory in the world, especially by teenage girls!” comments John Delf, an experienced British sound engineer who has worked with Lily Allen, The Script and The Feeling.
For wireless monitoring purposes, Booker selected Sennheiser’s evolution wireless 300 G3 IEM system, of which he has no less than eight on this tour – four for the band, two for the techs, a spare on a matrix and one for himself for pre-fader listening/cueing. “The G3 system is tried and tested and just works,” says Booker. “It always sounds great. Everything is fully networked, so any changes that need to be made are done via laptop.”
“Our biggest audio challenge is getting the mix heard above the screaming teenage fans,” he continues, “so our mic choices are made for maximum rejection with great quality. For the three stage front vocals, we use Sennheiser e 945s. They have a super-tight pick-up which helps reject the cymbals and screaming girls. We use e 904s on toms and snare bottom, and another one on the drum vocal, as it’s small and has a very tight pick-up pattern which, again, helps reject the cymbals.
“We’ve got an e 901 and 902 in the kick drum, which I find to be a great combination of sounds, and an MD 441 on the snare top. This is an extravagant choice, but it sounds great – full and deep with a tight pattern to reject hi-hat noise. We’ve got Neumann KM 184s on the hi-hats and overheads, and e 906s on the guitars, which are set with the top-end boost on. Finally, we’ve got a couple of MK 4s that we are using as ambient mics, but these sound so good that they may be moving up to guitar duty soon!”
The European leg of 5SoS’s 2015 tour kicks off at the Oslo Spektrum arena on 14 May.