Sennheiser is On Air With Ryan Seacrest

Mar 30, 2004 12:00 PM, Editors


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The hit series On Air With Ryan Seacrest and American Idol are now totally wireless thanks to Sennheiser and Klaus Landsberg's KFL Audio Inc. "I'm an industry brat," says mixer Klaus Landsberg. "My father was a television industry pioneer and, as vice president and general manager of Channel 5 (KTLA), he designed and built the first live TV station and transmitter site here in L.A. in the 1940s. My mother was a record producer and I began working after school at a local recording studio." After college, Landsberg moved back to L.A. and started his own production company, KFL Audio Inc. "Nowadays I mix about 10 award shows a year," he continues, "including the MTV 'VMAs, the Survivor' finale in Central Park NYC, The Bachelor wedding episode and both the weekly American IdolOn Air With Ryan Seacrest shows." Landsberg also mixed the sound for this year's Super Bowl half-time show.

For On Air With Ryan Seacrest Landsberg built the control room to suit the specific needs of that show. "We have a live band so I do all the mixes myself on two, maxed-out Yamaha DM2000 boards capable of 196 channels of audio. I'm proud to say that the entire show uses only Sennheiser mics. I go way back with Sennheiser to the days of early live music shows. I've always been impressed with their great sound, quality construction and reliable operation. But what really got me hooked on Sennheiser gear is their RF microphone systems. Both David Bellamy of Soundtronics and myself swear by Sennheiser. With all the live shows we do, they never let you down. I've never had a problem with them ever, unless a performer dropped one or physically abused one in some way.

On On Air With Ryan Seacrest, only the live band and several of the ancillary stationery artists are wired. Everyone else is on Sennheiser wireless systems. Soundtronics did a complete custom rack installation for all the receivers, as well a complete local RF spectrum analysis and intermod survey to insure reliable, interference-free and clean operation. Landsberg continues: "For Ryan, the contestants and the judges, I use 20 omnidirectional Sennheiser MKE Platinum lavalier mics teamed with the popular and tiny SK 5012 body-pack transmitters. The rest of the mics are handheld Sennheiser SKM 5000-N transmitters fitted with Neumann KK 105-S capsules."

Right from it's inception, American Idol relied on the Sennheiser/Neumann wireless combo mic on all singers and judges. "With the judges walking into the audience, I found the handheld mics did a great job at rejecting boisterous crowd noise," says Landsberg. "We also used the wireless Sennheiser/Neumann combo on Clay Aiken and Kelly Clarkson with all the background singers on wired Neumann KMS 105s. For the live band, I always use a Sennheiser MD 441 inside the kick, an MD 421-II on the outside and then 421s on all the tom-toms. Neumann KM 184s are great for overheads. For guitars, I find a stereo pair of the Sennheiser Evolution e609s deliver the goods."

Landsberg enthuses: "Sennheiser goes all out to help both the artists and the engineers! In my work, I need the reliability and performance only Sennheiser can provide."

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Photo credit: 20th Century Fox Film


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