Seattle's the Triple Door is a 300-seat, vaudeville style theatre originally built in 1926. With its classic raked style interior and a plush, half circle seating arrangement facing the stage, the venue was completely renovated in the fall of 2002 with a simple goal: to create an 'intimate, comfortable space that would connect performers to their audience.' The owners focused on the details that mattered: choice of fabrics, lighting, and of course the sound system — which features Sennheiser evolution series microphones.
The Triple Door, whose Wild Ginger kitchen upstairs has been voted Seattle's most popular restaurant for the last 11 years by the Zagat guide, was opened by a pair of entrepreneurs who not only had a passion for food but also music. "They wanted to open a first class music venue, so that's what they created," says Craig Montgomery, sound engineer at the Triple Door. "They went all out on building this space and installed a great sound system. Depending on who you ask, it is the best venue on the west coast, or the best in the country, or the best one they've ever played."
At the heart of Triple Door's sound system is a bountiful selection of Sennheiser evolution series microphones, including e600, e800 and e900 instrument and vocal microphones, which are fed into a Yamaha PM1D 96 channel digital console and JBL VerTec series medium-sized line array loudspeaker system. Montgomery says the choice of Sennheiser — especially among the live vocal microphones — has helped distinguish the 'Triple Door' sound: "When people come to our venue they immediately notice how good the sound is. I firmly believe that Sennheiser vocal mics are a big part of that sound."
Montgomery, a Seattle native who was previously a FOH engineer for Nirvana, Weezer and The Presidents of the United States of America among other internationally recognized bands, joined The Triple Door in 2005. He was instantly drawn to the venue's microphone closet, which featured at least (12) Sennheiser e835 vocal mics and e600 series drum mics. "I really grew to like them and noticed that they sounded much cleaner than other mics," he recalls. "I was getting famous jazz singers asking me, 'Hey, what is this mic?'" Moreover, Montgomery noticed almost instantly how clean his soundstage had become: "When you are using a bunch of the Sennheiser evolution series, you really notice how clean everything is versus other mics. Now that we have upgraded to the e900 series, it is even better."
Currently, Montgomery says he has enough Sennheiser microphones to cover three bands. His kit consists of (12) e835 vocal mics, (6) e935 vocal mics, (5) e614 condenser mics, (1) e965 vocal mic, (1) e901 boundary mic, (2) e902 bass drum mics, (1) e602 bass drum mic, (6) e604 tom mics, (4) e904 tom mics, (2) e905 instrument mics, (4) e906 instrument mics and (2) e914 condenser mics, in addition to three channels of Sennheiser evolution wireless, providing him with both precision and clarity in sound reproduction.
In addition to his e800 and e900 series vocal mics, Montgomery uses the Sennheiser e900 series across all his drums: "I use the e902 on the kick, the e904s on toms, the e905 on snare and the e914s as overheads. I really like the form factor and physical design of all Sennheiser instrument mics, especially the way the tom mics clip on." In addition, he uses the e906s on guitar cabinets. "You really get a direct sound from the amp — almost as if you are plugged right in," Montgomery states.
One of the reasons the Triple Door appreciates the Sennheiser evolution series is that they perform consistently well across a broad range of musical styles. This is important as the venue looks to fill the room seven nights per week with audiences that crave everything from jazz, to bluegrass, to rock. "We've got to be ready for anything, and these mics sound great no matter what the genre of music," explains Montgomery. Some of the recent acts the venue hosted include Susanna Hoffs of the Bangles, Robyn Hitchcock, and Berlin featuring Terri Nunn. Just last week, the Triple Door hosted a benefit for a local children's hospital, which featured members of Pearl Jam.