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Sennheiser Shines at the MTV Europe Music Awards

A rapper dressed in lederhosen and a kilt, a mini alphorn and a dachshund podium: as well as the best of the year's music, the 14th MTV Europe Music Awards (EMAs) on November 1st offered plenty of unusual sights. Happily, as far as the microphone technology was concerned, everything was on more solid ground: almost all the stars in Munich's Olympiahalle sang using Sennheiser microphones, with the Sennheiser G2 evolution wireless system exclusively used for wireless monitoring.

   160 countries and some 1.5 billion potential viewers tuned in live as the Foo Fighters opened the show. Frontman Dave Grohl had complete confidence in his MD 431 II as the band performed their new hit 'The Pretender' and the

punk classic 'God Save the Queen'. Snoop Dogg, who had promoted the awards on posters dressed as a real Bavarian in lederhosen, topped off by a hat with a tuft of chamois hair on it - alongside scantily-dressed women -

hosted the evening with his glamorous evolution e 935 and a selection of interesting outfits, while Dave Grohl cut a fine figure as a charming co-host in the VIP area.

   Of the evening's winners - according to MTV, 50 million votes had been cast by SMS and online - five were Sennheiser users: Nelly Furtado won the EMA's Album of the Year category for Loose, Tokio Hotel became Inter Act 2007 with their website, and Avril Lavigne won two awards: she was named Solo Artist of 2007, and 'Girlfriend' was chosen as the Most Addictive Track. Rihanna, who also uses Sennheiser, won the Ultimate Urban category; British band Muse was Headliner 2007 and also took home the award for Best UK & Irish Act, albeit outside the show.

   All the presenters used the SKM 5200 with a Neumann KK 105 S capsule head. MTV had invited big names to present the awards, including Dave Gahan from Depeche Mode, Joss Stone, Michael Stipe, Wyclef Jean, Lewis Hamilton, Benji and Joel Madden from Good Charlotte, Serj Tankian of System Of A Down, Boris Becker, Franka Potente, Craig David, model Lily Cole, Eva Padberg, Kelly Rowland of Destiny's Child and the American actor Jon Heder.

   Rapturously received performances came from Avril Lavigne, who sang with her pink evolution wireless SKM 935, with Tokio Hotel and My Chemical Romance using a plainer original version SKM 935. British-Lebanese rising star Mika opted for a wired evolution e 840 and gave the most fanciful performance of the evening with his hit 'Grace Kelly', turning the stage into a colourful funfair. Nicole Scherzinger and Will.I.Am appeared on stage with the wireless SKM 935, as did the Estonian band Bedwetters, who were named New Sounds of Europe at the show.

   The MTV Europe Music Awards production was in the capable hands of Britannia Row and sound designer Derrick Zieba. "In all we had 38 Sennheiser channels at the start," explains Barry Macleod from Britannia Row Productions, "twelve of which were in-ears. For instance, eight in-ears were used by the band appearing for Mika's song, ensuring that everything was perfectly in time ‹ that's on top of the in-ears for Mika and his group. We used three A 5000-CP transmitter antennae for monitoring, including an exclusive one for Snoop Dogg. In terms of microphones, we had eight SKM 5200 handheld transmitters with EM 3532 receivers and 16 evolution wireless SKM 935 with EM 550 receivers. The mics and wireless monitoring were controlled and monitored via five NET 1 network systems."

   It was a challenge to have the lilac 'red carpet' for star interviews directly above the hall ‹ and to have an entire frequency range opened up for the show without individual requests being made. "During the rehearsals," continues Macleod, "the radio mics above came on unexpectedly and the beautiful intermodulation-free frequency plan I had drawn up in advance with the help of Andy Lillywhite from Sennheiser UK was suddenly not quite as intermodulation-free as it had been! For the show of course we ensured that the main show and side events didn't interfere with each other."

   "Almost all wireless microphones at the MTV EMAs were Sennheiser," said sound designer Derrick Zieba. "Having worked with Sennheiser over many years it is my conclusion that the turnaround in artists' radio mic preferences

over the last few years has been due to the superior quality of the product, but even more importantly to the superb standard of technical support and service offered by Sennheiser which is second to none. While Sennheiser continues to offer this superior level of support their microphones will continue to be the number one choice for discerning professionals worldwide.

   "Andy Lillywhite, Mark Saunders and the rest of the UK Sennheiser team have been consistent in their high level of support over many years and I would like to thank them and Maryam for their support on this year's MTV EMAs

which helped produce another major live-to-air musical show run flawlessly."

27th November 2007

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