Sennheiser Delivers End-to-End Audio for Newport Folk Festival
The last weekend of July, audio specialist Sennheiser, in conjunction with event partner Paste Magazine, hosted a live broadcast/recording studio session housed in an alcove of an 18th century fortress, located on the site of this year’s Newport Folk Festival. By simply donning a pair of Sennheiser RS 120 wireless consumer headphones, music fans were able to experience true-to-life, intimate performances artists from festival artists, including Of Monsters and Men, Tom Morello, Jonah Tolchin, and 26 others.
Wherever possible, the entire audio chain consisted of Sennheiser related technology — including microphones from subsidiary Neumann and Sennheiser, preamplifiers from distributed brand TRUE Systems, and wireless RF technology from Sennheiser.
The two-day recording session was not without its challenges. These included a live sound stage located just 100 yards away and an extremely reflective — and somewhat leaky — recording environment. Despite all this, the wireless headphones delivered a clean and quiet performance, faithfully representing the artists’ sounds for the duration of the two-day event.
Microphones on stage and in the room included several Neumann TLM 49s and KM 184s, two U 87s, and a pair of Sennheiser e 906s. The microphones were connected to a pair of TRUE Systems Precision 8 preamplifiers, which — through a special feature on the back panel of the unit — split the signal and subsequently routed it to both a multi-track recording rig as well as a live mixer. Each of the Sennheiser wireless headphones received a live stereo mix of the multi track recording sessions courtesy of Nashville-based veteran engineer Steve Ledet. A Sennheiser A5000CP antenna was strategically placed in the rear of the grotto, providing a generous amount of RF coverage both inside and outside the grotto.
In addition to having many pairs of wireless headphones on hand, Sennheiser set up a special VIP seating area where listeners could audition an assortment of Sennheiser’s audiophile and professional headphones, including the HD 600, HD 650, HD 700, HD 800, and the new Amperior.
“Each of the performers we hosted at the Sennheiser Sound Lounge at the Paste Ruins takes an enormous amount of pride in the craftsmanship and honesty of their songs — this is of paramount importance to them,” commented Tim Moore, artist relations manager, Sennheiser. “By selecting a complete signal path of Sennheiser family gear before and after the mixing console, we were able to ensure the integrity of the audio at almost every stage. As a result, the performers were able to establish a more direct and honest connection with their fans.”
Singer/songwriter/guitarist Jonah Tolchin, who performed on the second day of the festival, found the Sennheiser Sound Lounge at the Paste Ruins particularly inspiring. “This is just incredible,” he said. “In this environment, with all these great mics, you are so zoned in and focused with all your heart and soul.” Tolchin recently released his debut album entitled Criminal Man, which was recorded using Neumann microphones. “The sound was very crisp and clear — I got true sound out of these mics and my music is true. So it was a good pairing!”