03/21/2011 Wedemark, Germany
It was 1965 when the Scorpions, young hard rock hopefuls from Hannover, Germany, launched their tremendous career. After 45 years in the limelight, 17 albums with worldwide sales in excess of 100 million, and thousands of shows in front of millions of adoring fans, the Scorpions have announced one last colossal tour in support of their final album, Sting in the Tail, before they enjoy a well-deserved retirement. The tour has already taken the band around the world and it will continue to do so, until 2013! Sennheiser, once again, supports the band’s current mega-tour with wired and wireless microphones and wireless personal monitors.
Anyone fortunate enough to hear Klaus Meine peg, “Rock You Like a Hurricane,” on the current tour will know the authority of Sennheiser’s SKM 2000 wireless handheld transmitter with an MMD 935 cardioid dynamic capsule. The tour uses the same combination for his megaphone parts and guest vocals. “The 935 capsule has a very clear, very harmonic sound that is perfectly suited to Klaus’ voice,” said monitor engineer Glen Schmeling, who joins production manager Marcus Pohl and FOH engineer Achim Schulze on the grueling tour. “Not only is the 935 capsule transparent, it is also capable of withstanding the high SPLs for which Klaus is known, without distorting or changing character.” The tour uses three wired Sennheiser e 935 microphones for backing vocals, as well as an e 945 super-cardioid variant for Matthias Jabs’ talk box. Rhythm/lead guitarist, Rudolph Schenker, who teamed up with Klaus Meine to form the Scorpions, finds either the e 935 or e 945 rock solid.
On the current tour, every microphone on stage is built by Sennheiser. An e 902 captures the bass drum, and an e 905 conveys the whack of the snare drum. Six e 914 small-diaphragm condensers provide overhead and cymbal pickup. The clip-on e 904 captures the thump of the toms. “The Sennheiser e 904 is the best tom mic I’ve ever used,” said Schmeling. “It is tremendously stable and capable of withstanding as much abuse as James [Kottak] can dole out.” Across an array of amps, six Sennheiser e 906 dynamic mics provide honest pick-up with just the right balance of tone and bite.
The Scorpions were also one of the first bands to use wireless personal monitors instead of the once-ubiquitous wedges. They have enjoyed the technology’s evolution and now use Sennheiser’s recently introduced ew 300 IEM G3 series. “The stereo separation with the new G3 units is perfect,” enthused Schmeling. “It happens that I construct very exacting stereo images for each member of the band, with everything placed in the stereo field as they find it on stage. For example, the drums pan in such a way that their location in the monitors matches their location in real space. Before the G3 technology came along, this was a difficult and imprecise task. But now I find that it is possible to place everything exactly where I want it. The Sennheiser ew 300 G3 is a big step forward.”
Not only is the sound quality excellent, but the Sennheiser RF performance is worthy of the Scorpion’s globe-trotting. “We have already had these units to North America, South America, Russia, Southeast Asia and Europe,” said Schmeling. “The transmission is always perfect and we have experienced zero failures. Local colleagues warned me about traveling to the United States. They said we’d have trouble in places like New York and Dallas. I’ve been to all of those ‘problem’ areas several times now and I have yet to experience an issue. With the new Sennheiser technology, such warnings are echoes from the past.”
“Sennheiser has placed competent people around the globe,” he continued. “No matter where we travel, we are always cared for by a member of the organization. In Athens, a local Sennheiser rep delivered two new belt packs in a matter of hours. A Sennheiser technician in Mexico City helped us with RF measurements. In Montréal, a Sennheiser engineer tuned our system on request. The Global Relations representatives – Pierre Morant in Europe, Kristy Jo Winkler in the United States and Vince Tan in Asia – are always available and work with amazing speed to ensure we have everything we need, no matter where we are. It would be difficult to embark on a tour of this magnitude without the kind of backing that Sennheiser delivers.”