The two month UK tour culminated at the Edinburgh Hogmanay celebrations on the 31 December (photo: Richard Minter)
UK - Having appeared at some of the UK's favourite festivals during the summer, Lily Allen took to the road at the end of November for a two month UK tour, which culminated at the Edinburgh Hogmanay celebrations on the 31 December. Sennheiser microphones and in-ear monitors, provided by Skan Audio, sound company for the tour, are with her every step of the way.

Both front of house engineer Shan Hira and monitor engineer Francoise Le Moignan have worked with Lily since her 2009 It's Not Me, it's You tour, where they first specified Sennheiser mics and in-ear monitors.

"We had used a Sennheiser SKM 500-935 G3 935 in 2009 and were very happy with the way they worked," says Shan. "Mark [Saunders, Sennheiser UK artist relations] very kindly offered to support us again and brought a prototype MD 5245 capsule down to rehearsals for us to try out. We really liked it and it worked even better in the real world than in rehearsals, which was great news."

The final combination that Shan and Francoise chose was the SKM 5200 with custom MD 5245 capsule, along with 2000 series in-ear monitors.

"For me, the super-cardoid pick up pattern of the MD 5245 is its best asset," says Shan. "That, coupled with all the band being on ears gives me a nice clean vocal to work with."

"The spec of the SKM 5200 as a transmitter was also important," adds Francoise. "When using a radio mic, I always want to use a high spec transmitter for reliability and quality. The custom 5245 capsule was an option for a couple of reasons: Lily works well with a dynamic microphone; she really works best with a super-cardiod microphone. She has a good mic technique, but isn't the loudest singer and with the tight pickup off the MD 5245 we minimise the spill off stage.

"I personally love the sound of this mic; it is very rich and full for a dynamic and I can see myself using it with a broad range of performers."

The 2000 series in-ears, meanwhile, were chosen for their bandwidth and reliability. "Sennheiser has always been very consistent and reliable when it comes to RF," Francoise continues. "I went with the 2000 series because of the wider bandwidth, which would give us more flexibility in situations where frequencies were busy. We had a long run of festivals earlier in the year and the RF was flawless at all of them. The ease of setting up with WSM [Sennheiser's Wireless Systems Manager] and the reliability make it very easy to use."

(Jim Evans)

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