Coheed & Cambria Progressively Rock with Sennheiser

Old Lyme, Conn. - November 11, 2010 – Coheed and Cambria occupy a unique place in the music scene, as critics cannot agree on how to categorize their eclectic sound. Most agree the band's concept music, based on frontman Claudio Sanchez' series of graphic novels, The Amory Wars, is progressive rock, with elements of punk, hardcore and heavy metal. Whatever you call it, Coheed and Cambria tour extensively and put on an amazing live show, bringing more and more fans into the universe they create with proficient musicianship and a sharp delivery that sets the frame for Sanchez' compelling stories. Because the lyrics are so important and because technical precision helps define the band's sound, Coheed and Cambria rely on Sennheiser e 945 vocal mics and ew 300 IEM G2 wireless personal monitors for all their live engagements. In addition, founding members Sanchez and Travis Stever count on Sennheiser HD 280 Pro headphones, both in the studio and while on the road, to create new music for the band.

Although Sanchez takes the lead, all four members sing into Sennheiser e 945 super-cardioid dynamic microphones. Both Joey Brueckmann (tour manager/monitors) and Scott Edwards (production manager/FOH) agree that the off-axis rejection of the e 945 goes a long way toward tightening up the band's sound, which makes both of their jobs easier. “They can move around while on-axis and the response is consistent,” explained Edwards. “But everything else on stage that comes in off-axis is very much rejected.” After experimenting with “just about every vocal mic in existence” (Brueckmann's words), the two engineers agreed the Sennheiser e 945 delivers an ideal combination of off-axis rejection and on-axis transcendence. Added Edwards, “the dynamic range, the clarity, the clean high end – all of it gives us vocals that are musical, intelligible, and easy to mix.”

Contributing to the band's clean live sound is well-controlled stage volume, with all four members of the band using stereo Sennheiser ew 300 IEM G2 wireless personal monitors. Two techs each have their own pack, Brueckmann uses one for himself, and they travel with one spare for guest musicians. “In addition to my duties at monitors, I'm dealing with the tour manager side of things,” said Brueckmann. “As a result, I often have to set up quickly, sometimes moments before a gig in festival season. Sennheiser's wireless technology is a true lifesaver. The scan function always comes through for me, and there are always ample frequencies to choose from. We've traveled the world using the 600 MHz band, and the ew 300 IEM G2s have performed flawlessly.” During the early summer, the band played festivals throughout Europe culminating at the 40th anniversary celebration of Glastonbury in the UK. Currently Coheed and Cambria is touring the U.S. and Canada and in November will be back in Europe touring with the Deftones.

During the writing and recording process, either in their home studios or on laptops in the tour bus, Sanchez and Stever use Sennheiser HD 280 Pro circumaural headphones. “They're very happy with the overall response of the headphones,” said Brueckmann. “They get great rejection of outside noises, which is just the thing for creative work on a noisy bus. Critically, the tonal response of the headphones is very balanced, with ample low-end output and well-balanced mids and highs. In addition, the HD 280 Pro headphones are incredibly durable and the units have continued working despite a lot of abuse on the road.”

But Sennheiser's influence on Coheed and Cambria doesn't end there. Much of the low-end sound at a Coheed and Cambria concert originates at a Sennheiser capsule. Bass player Michael Todd's cabinet finds its way to the PA via a classic Sennheiser MD 421 II dynamic, and drummer Chris Pennie's toms do so via Sennheiser clip-on dynamic e 604s. “Michael is a very active player and he's all over the fretboard,” said Edwards. “The MD 421 gives me that smooth low-mid sound that makes his bass lines so intelligible. For the toms, the e 604s really bring out the essence of the drum, with only minor EQ. And, as a bonus, they can really take a pounding without trouble.”

Nevertheless, things do happen and gear needs to be repaired. “The assistance from the Sennheiser global support network is just amazing,” said Brueckmann. “If I need something, Sennheiser has replacement units sent to us before I can even get the old ones out the door! That's the kind of service and support that keeps a tour running as smoothly as possible.”

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