Nine-time Grammy winner and superlative vocalist and songwriter Norah Jones is currently on a promo tour in support of her fourth studio album, The Fall, with dates at the David Letterman Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live!, among many others. The Fall is a rock â€˜n roll departure from Jones' earlier, more jazz-inspired work, and gets its organic, gritty sound from collaborators, most notably producer Jacquire King (Tom Waits, Modest Mouse). But Jones' ethereal voice has not changed, and it is still easy to get wondrously lost in the space between each spellbinding breath. To convey that indescribable quality, FOH engineer Brett Dicus continues to rely on Neumann's incomparable live vocal microphone technology, with a backline of Sennheiser wired microphones and wireless personal monitors to keep the band sounding their best.
Depending on the acoustical circumstances, Jones sings into a Neumann KMS 104 cardioid or a KMS 105 super-cardioid. Both microphones deliver the signature Neumann studio sound with the robust handling required for a live performance. “Above all else, the most critical sound reinforcement tool that we bring with us to every date is Norah's Neumann vocal microphone,” said Dicus. “She's been using some variant of a Neumann microphone or a Neumann capsule with a Sennheiser RF transmitter for almost all of her touring career. On those rare occasions where we're asked to use something else, we miss the studio-quality high-end and lifelike sibilance that we get â€˜out of the box' with the KMS 104/105.”
Sennheiser e 935 wired vocal microphones provide pick-up for all backing vocals, and Sennheiser's classic MD 421 delivers robust electric bass. Dicus' drum sound relies on a collection of Sennheiser evolution 900 Series microphones. He explained, “A Norah Jones show requires consistent tone quality. Transparency is very important because we cannot hide behind loud guitars or screaming fans. Every nuance of each musician's performance is equally important to both the music and the sound reinforcement. With a typically busy tour day and many issues competing for our attention, we rely heavily on the performance of our tools. Neumann and Sennheiser consistently deliver.”
Several of Jones' musicians use Sennheiser wireless personal monitors for hassle-free performance. Monitor engineer Russ Wilson remarked, “Sennheiser belt-packs are ideal for performance because of their size and weight. Their small form factor and light weight allow easy integration into any wardrobe choices, plus Sennheiser wireless monitoring has always been ideal for Norah and her band, both in terms of tone and reliability. And Sennheiser's support staff have been extremely helpful around the world in maintaining consistent RF performance.”
After a winter respite, Jones and her band will kick off a 36-city tour in early March.