Announcement from Sennheiser
“Sydney Opera House has used Sennheiser and Neumann microphones since opening its doors, and is thrilled that both companies are now official corporate partners. Using their microphones is a unique opportunity for us to be aligned with the best in the industry,” said Sydney Opera House Technical Director, David Claringbold, during the official announcement in Sydney on 18 April. For the next two years Sydney Opera House will be equipped with various products from the Neumann and Sennheiser product range, starting with microphones belonging to the professional MKH RF condenser series, including the new MKH 8000 models, and wired microphones of the successful evolution line. Of course, the company’s top-of-the-range 3000 and 5000 Series systems are also part of the equipment.
“We are very happy to be associated with the world-renowned Sydney Opera House, providing state-of-the-art products both in the wired and wireless fields. These include our new MKH 8000 microphones, which are setting new standards for classical music recording, and our latest RF wireless equipment. Opera House will not only benefit from the finest audio technology but also from our comprehensive service and on-site support whenever needed. We are very much looking forward to working together closely with our new partner and to offer the opera house the best support available,” said Susanne Seidel, President of Global Marketing at Sennheiser about the new partnership. With its superior artistic performances and unique architecture, the House attracts over 7 million international visitors each year. The programme of events caters to a broad spectrum of ages and interests, featuring classical music, ballet, drama and dance, and up to rock and pop concerts, cabaret and free outdoor broadcasts on the Forecourt. Since its opening in 1973, it has become an internationally recognised cultural landmark with a constantly growing number of artists brought to its stages from all over the world. “We are pleased to have the opportunity to officially provide Sydney Opera House and its artists with our products, which are known for the highest standards of quality in manufacture, innovation and award-winning technology,” stated Wolfgang Fraissinet, President Marketing and Sales at Neumann.
Sennheiser and Neumann products are present in many of the world-leading opera houses and concert halls, including the Berliner Philharmonie, the Lincoln Center in New York and the Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay in Singapore. With the Sydney Opera House sound partnership, Sennheiser and Neumann have once again proved their competence in the field of microphone systems for world-class music venues.
About the MKH 8000 series
The MKH 8000 series of RF condenser microphones from audio specialist Sennheiser sets new standards for top-quality speech, vocals and instrumental recordings with an extremely wide frequency response.
“With our new MKH microphones we have consistently advanced the high-end technology of the RF condenser microphone and the wider frequency response of the MKH 800,” explains Sebastian Schmitz, Product Manager for microphones. “The technical development was supported at a very early stage by sound and listening tests, and the sound engineers involved in the tests confirmed that the new microphones have an incredibly impressive sound quality that even goes beyond that of the innovative MKH 800. In response to many requests from long-term users, we are also offering a wide range of accessories for the new MKH microphones, allowing them to be optimally adapted to the highest-quality classical music, stage, broadcasting and film recordings.”
Two parts — a clever solution
The new series of high-end microphones presently includes three models: the MKH 8020 has an omni-directional pick-up pattern, the MKH 8040 is a cardioid
version while the MKH 8050 has a super-cardioid pick-up pattern. All three microphones consist of two modules: the microphone head that contains all the acoustically important components, and a separate XLR module. If you need to make the already compact microphone (only 1.9 cm in diameter and 7.4 cm long) even smaller, you can detach the XLR module, connect the microphone head (4.1 cm) directly to one of Sennheiser’s special remote capsule accessories, and then simply attach the XLR module to its end, out of shot of the camera. A further optimised feature for TV recordings is the dark grey Nextel® coating. This ensures that neither the microphones nor the accessories can cause troublesome reflections that might otherwise distract musicians, vocalists or speakers.
Compact design — huge frequency response
The frequency response of the new MKH microphones ranges from 10 to 60,000 Hz (MKH 8020) or 30 to 50,000 Hz (MKH 8040 and MKH 8050) — allowing them to record even the finest details for high sampling rate digital audio formats. The RF condenser principle means that inherent self-noise is extremely low, while the high sensitivity of the microphones guarantees that voices and instruments are captured in all of their nuances. In spite of this, the maximum sound pressure level is still impressively high, at 138 dB for the MKH 8020 and 142 dB for the MKH 8040 and the MKH 8050. Great attention was paid to achieving an accurate pick-up pattern over the entire frequency response, for example to allow instrument groups to be clearly separated.
In a class of their own: the accessories
The complete range of accessories includes floor stands, extension tubes, shock mounts, remote cables, table stands, ceiling mounts, clamps and various fixtures. In all accessories, the signal-transmitting components are systematically designed with two channels to allow stereo signals or dual mono signals to be processed.
In addition, a digital module that transmits audio signals according to the AES 42 standard (24 bit, up to 192 kHz sampling rate) is expected to be available in 2008. The module faeatures a DSP unit for adjusting pre-
attenuation, rumble filter, compressor and limiter settings. These settings can also be remote controlled using a digital interface such as the DMI-2 from Neumann.
Sennheiser’s Tonmeister Gregor Zielinsky: “The heart and soul of music is in the mid-range frequencies — and this is precisely where the new MKH microphones reproduce the sound particularly well and warmly without taking away from the unique clarity that these microphones are famous for. They have an impressive transparency in complex musical arrangements, especially when it comes to providing good differentiation between wind instruments and strings. Their fast transient response, also in the bass range, ensures a very powerful and dynamic sound reproduction and recordings that are musically outstanding.”