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THREE-TIME GRAMMY WINNER LUCINDA WILLIAMS ABSOLUTELY SPARKLES WITH NEUMANN KMS 105
Posted on Wednesday, November 11, 2009
THREE-TIME GRAMMY WINNER LUCINDA WILLIAMS ABSOLUTELY SPARKLES WITH NEUMANN KMS 105

 

Grammy-award winning singer/songwriter Lucinda Williams takes the stage using a Neumann KMS 105 to define her moody, ferocious, eclectic vocal style.

(PHOTO CREDIT: (c) 2009 FilmMagic)

OLD LYME, CONNECTICUT - NOVEMBER 2009: While best known for her inspired songwriting and distinctive delivery, three-time Grammy winner Lucinda Williams is also well-known for demanding perfection of both herself and the people she works with. It is this highly-evolved sense of professionalism and artistry that makes a Lucinda Williams concert such a blissful blend of adrenalin and heartache. Inspired to make Williams' recent European tour and her upcoming "30th Anniversary Tour" of the United States as transcendent as humanly and technically possible, monitor engineer Seth Kendall (Beyoncé) ordered a Neumann KMS 105 for Williams' vocals. When paired with a Sennheiser ew 300 IEM G2 wireless personal monitor system, Kendall can deliver fatigue-free monitor mixes that, in his words, "absolutely sparkle."

 

While serving as a systems engineer for Clair Brothers, Kendall had the opportunity to hear dozens of capsules against each other in preparation for a Beyoncé tour. From that experience, he knew that the Neumann KMS 105 super-cardioid and Neumann KMS 104 cardioid live vocal condensers were something special. "When I went on tour as monitor engineer for Carrie Underwood, we used a Neumann KK 104 capsule on her vocals," said Kendall. "I loved it! It was much easier to deliver an excellent ear monitor mix with the Neumann than with what she was previously using."

 

"With the 'industry standard' vocal mics," he continued, "I find that I have to do a lot of creative EQing just to get the vocal to sit correctly in the mix. And that's bad, because too much EQing tends to fatigue the listener, especially with ear monitors - and the last thing a performer, who is already under a ton of stress, needs to deal with! In contrast, the Neumann KMS capsules have a shimmer to them - a 'color' in the favorable sense that studio engineers use the word. The vocal sounds amazing, wide open and detailed, without having to work too hard to achieve it. That makes my job a lot easier!"

 

Everyone on stage but Williams' drummer uses Sennheiser ew 300 IEM G2 wireless personal monitors. "The Sennheiser G2, and now G3, systems are the only thing anyone's really using these days," said Kendall. "It's the only thing that really works. And after a performer has been on stage with a tiny Sennheiser belt-pack receiver, it's hard to ask them to strap on what feels like a brick in comparison. The Sennheisers are frequency-agile, robust, and sonically transparent. The wide stereo image allows me to place instruments distinctly from left to right so that the performers can mentally isolate their instruments while still maintaining a synthesis of everything that's going on."

 

At FOH, mix engineer Kevin Maddigan is just as pleased with the sound of the Neumann KMS 105. Its bright, open high end gives a depth of detail to Williams' voice that's much closer to her studio recordings than to previous live performances. Sometimes her voice appears to crack, and sometimes she takes a ragged breath between lines. Those nuances underscore the emotion in her songs and in her voice.

 

The tour recently finished a three-month run, kicking off in Anaheim, California, before heading to Europe for a series of dates. After a short late-August break, the tour heads across the U.S. to celebrate thirty years of Lucinda Williams' music, with extended dates in select cities that will feature performances from her back catalog.

 

ABOUT NEUMANN

Neumann's award-winning line of microphones has set the standard in the industry since 1928. In 1999, Neumann received the prestigious Technical

Grammy(r) for its 70 years of innovation in microphone design and contribution to the music industry. A continuing commitment to provide innovative, technically-refined products and engineering solutions of proven quality ensures that Neumann's stature will remain unassailable.

 

Neumann is proudly affiliated with the Sennheiser Group, which also encompasses Klein + Hummel (renowned sound reinforcement solutions) and Sennheiser Communications (technologically advanced headsets for PCs, offices and call centers). Neumann products are distributed exclusively in the United States, Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean through Sennheiser Electronic Corporation, located in Old Lyme, Connecticut.