Sennheiser Digital 6000 wireless system dominates halftime performance with stellar sound during Super Bowl LVI

Sennheiser Digital 6000 wireless system dominates halftime performance with stellar sound during Super Bowl LVI

Sennheiser Digital 6000 wireless system dominates halftime performance with stellar sound during Super Bowl LVI

United States – As the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals faced off in Super Bowl LVI at Los Angeles’ new $5.5 billion SoFi Stadium on Feb. 13, a major draw for fans at the stadium and millions of viewers around the world was the historic halftime performance, which brought together the biggest names in rap and hip-hop. Five of the six artists, including 50 Cent, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige, Dr. Dre and Eminem, delivered performances using Sennheiser’s Digital 6000 wireless system, which performed flawlessly.

This year’s Super Bowl weekend kicked off with several high-profile events in Los Angeles, including the Bud Light Super Bowl LVI Music Fest at the Arena on Friday and a private party at The Grove mall in West Hollywood. Saturday for VIP broadcast executives. Both pre-Super Bowl events saw country megastar Blake Shelton perform at the top of his game using Sennheiser’s Digital 6000 wireless system. Shelton, who was also joined on stage by his wife and Los Angeles native Gwen Stefani for a duet performance, has used Sennheiser microphones exclusively in his live performances for over a decade.

The contest between the Rams and the Bengals was the culmination of a spectacular football season. The Super Bowl LVI halftime show, which was unparalleled in scale, talent, and technical complexity, was also a major draw. Featuring rap and hip-hop based performances from 50 Cent, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige, Dr. Dre, Eminem and Snoop Dogg, the show ran for an electrifying 14:40 minutes with five out of six performers according to Microphone. Sennheiser’s Digital 6000 wireless system for flawless sound.

Gary Trenda, Senior RF Technician for Professional Wireless Systems (PWS), worked with his team to provide wireless audio for the entirety of Super Bowl LVI, including “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “America, the Beautiful”, the on-field microphones of the referees, the post-game and the whole half-time show. “Of all the things our team is involved in, the halftime show is by far the most complex, and that’s where the Sennheiser Digital 6000 series was used.”

While technical and RF planning for the Super Bowl begins months in advance and depends on available frequency bands, Trenda and PWS are doing their best to accommodate performers with their equipment preferences. “And when artists ask about the different microphone systems we say, ‘OK, if you bring a Sennheiser Digital 6000 microphone, we have a specific frequency range available for that’, this year Sennheiser was awarded in the 600 range MHz.”

Halftime performances saw the vast majority of performers using Sennheiser: “Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar and 50 Cent were all on the Sennheiser Digital 6000, using SKM 6000 transmitters coupled to MD 9235 capsules,” says Trenda.

With hundreds of frequencies regularly in use at such a prestigious event, Trenda and his team have to make important decisions to achieve the best possible performance under harsh conditions: “Very often you will see a fluctuation in the RF level, and with various turning systems on and off throughout the stadium you see a change in the level of background noise.In these cases we find that the Digital 6000 gives us excellent reliability in such a crowded environment.

While opposing Super Bowl teams may differ from year to year, Sennheiser makes an appearance year after year and is a reliable player: “At this point, we’ve been using Sennheiser wireless systems for several years on the Super Bowl. Bowl and we have the best reliability with the Digital 6000 of any Sennheiser system we have deployed,” says Trenda. “In a congested RF environment, it has a generous tuning bandwidth.”

While superior technical performance is always expected, Sennheiser field support is also an important key to success. According to Valencia, Calif.-based ATK Audiotek, which has been providing Super Bowl integration services for over a decade, Super Bowl LVI was no exception: “The support Sennheiser gave us was tremendous. “, says Brett Valasek, general manager. from ATK Audiotek. “Very often we don’t know what we need to provide in terms of material until the artists are announced. Sennheiser is always here to help us in this regard, especially in light of the current supply chain issues facing the world.

As the Super Bowl returned to the city of Los Angeles for the first time in 29 years, there was reason to celebrate and party before the game. Among the events held was the Bud Light Super Bowl LVI Music Fest at Arena (formerly the Staples Center), whose Friday performance was led by country superstar Blake Shelton.

Once again the Shelton team relied on the Sennheiser Digital 6000 to deliver reliable performance and great sound throughout the evening. “Any time we walk into a big stadium, we get nervous about RF these days because you never know what it’s going to be like,” says Brad Baisley, monitor engineer for Blake Shelton. “With the Sennheiser Digital 6000, we have much better spectral efficiency, and that can help us tune to frequencies where we need it.”

Blake Shelton sang through a wired Sennheiser e 935 microphone, as did all background singers. “The 935 suits Blake’s voice perfectly, so I see no reason to try anything else,” says Baisley. “Blake uses corner monitors,” he continues. “In this application, I get very good gain before feedback on the 935s, with some condenser treble, even though it’s a dynamic mic. I’ve never had Blake sing in any other thing the 935 in ten years.It has a wide frequency response without obtrusive high end.

For Shelton’s backline, there’s no shortage of Sennheiser microphones. On drums, the evolution series microphones abound with an e 602 and an e 901 on the bass drum, an e 905 on the snare drum, e 904 on the rack toms and an e 902 on the floor tom. For the hi-hat and ride cymbals, Baisley deploys e 914 small-diaphragm microphones and for the cymbal spot microphones, Neumann KM 185 supercardioid microphones. e 906 and MD 421. Finally, Baisley pickups the Hammond B3 Leslie with Sennheiser e 906s, permanently mounted inside the top of the cabinet with the Low Roll-Off switch activated. Meanwhile, the bottom rotor is micro with an e 902 to capture low frequencies. “It’s a great combo for capturing the full spectrum of the instrument,” he says.

Following Shelton’s riveting performance in the arena, the team performed at a private party at The Grove mall in West Hollywood on Saturday night, with top broadcast executives in attendance. Once again, Sennheiser achieved perfect wireless performance: “We were set up on top of a six-story parking lot in a transparent plastic tent with no RF shielding and less than ideal acoustics,” says Baisley. “I used the Sennheiser Digital 6000 and it worked well. Beyond good, it worked perfectly.

photos: Gary Trenda and Jeff Parsons

February 25, 2022

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