London-born singer songwriter Jessie Ware relied upon Sennheiser microphones and wireless monitors during her recently completed tour, all supplied by rental company Adlib for both Jessie and her band.
Front-of-House engineer Johnny Dodkin started working with Jessie when she was a backing singer with Jack Penate. When she was signed in January 2012, she asked him to work with her on her own project.
“We have always used a 2000 Series wireless system along with a 945 capsule for Jessie until this run of shows, when I changed to a 965 capsule,” explained Dodkin. “I love the 945; it’s great as it has a tight pattern and presence with the top end. But when Sennheiser’s Relations Manager Mark Saunders popped by rehearsals for this tour, we started talking about the 965 capsule, as I have created a quiet stage with all amps off stage and the drummer screened, so we switched.”
“The 965 is a lot more sensitive and has an even smoother response around the 4-5k frequencies and Jessie’s mic technique really works with the 965 head,” he continued. “She always sings on axis and stays very close to the capsule, so I don’t need to gain the mic up heavily, which means feedback isn’t a problem. As a result, I have found myself doing less system EQ because I haven’t needed to compensate for the mic like I have had to with other wider patterned mics. Being able to change the pick-up pattern is also really useful.”
“I feel the 965 gives a sweeter clarity and better on axis detail,” added monitor engineer Steve Donovan. “Having moved from the 945 during rehearsal it gave me a chance to really compare the two mics. The 945 was working well with Jessie, but the 965 seemed to settle in with her voice and gives a more natural response. Like Johnny, all that I need to do now EQ-wise is high pass and roll off a small amount at 180-200.”
Monitoring comprises eight EW 300 G3 IEMs, which are networked along with the radio mics, ensuring a quick and thorough set-up process.
“WSM (Sennheiser’s Wireless Systems Manager) is an everyday tool, which gets a lot of use on the tour and really helps to reassure that things are in the right place,” Donovan continued. “I’ve been using it on every show I do and it’s a must when touring, with so many variables from place to place. I can’t imagine not having it, as it’s the first port of call for the day. Load in, power up and scan!”
“The UK leg of the tour went really well, with two sold out Brixton shows that were spot on,” concluded Dodkin. “Adlib did a great job and, with the combination of Sennheiser and the L-Acoustics K1 system, I think it’s the best I have ever heard Brixton Academy sound.”
Jessie is set to continue her tour in the US, before heading back to the UK for the summer festival season.