Sweden's "Epiphany Concert" Looks to Countryman for Vocal Clarity
Diminutive B2D’s clear sound and tight polar pattern offer unique benefits for the broadcast event
Stockholm, Sweden – April 2011 With nine vocalists on stage performing directly in front of the orchestra, no visible microphones allowed on the performers, a mixture of classical music, opera, and selections from musicals, and the need for both live sound reinforcement and recording, Sweden’s annual Epiphany concert turned to the experienced Lars Wern to serve as their head of live sound.
The Swedish Television Company SVT and Swedish radio broadcaster SR organized the Epiphany concert—or “Trettondagskonsert” in Swedish—in Stockholm’s Berwaldhallen concert hall, home of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. Anu Tali of Estonia served as conductor.
As part of his planning for the concert, Wern coordinated the choice of wireless microphone systems—the Sennheiser SK 2000-XP transmitters and EM 2050 receivers—with Sweden’s DM Audio. All nine vocalists were outfitted with the new Countryman B2D Directional Lavalier microphones. Wern discussed the challenges of this project that led to his decision to deploy the new Countryman B2D Lavalier.
With their excellent sound quality optimized for accurate voice pick-up when positioned on either the chest or head, the Countryman B2D microphones were very discreetly placed on the performers. Wern reports most microphones were hidden in the hair on the performers’ foreheads, though a few were actually secured onto the performer’s chins. In all cases, the placement of the B2D’s was carefully managed by the show’s makeup artists and Robert Ernlund, who served as the event’s wireless coordinator.
This year’s performance was a resounding success—due in no small part to the performance of the Countryman B2D microphones. Reflecting on the event, Wern reports everyone involved in the production was extremely impressed. “The concert was a tremendous success,” Wern said, “and, in no small part, the Countryman B2D’s were, without question, the best possible choice of microphone. The performance of the hypercardioid polar pattern made it possible to provide clean, clear sound to reinforce the vocalists without affecting the orchestra sound. The audio quality was also amazing in the broadcast signal.”
“The B2D’s delivered plenty of gain before feedback and we also experienced far less sound leakage from the orchestra,” Wern continued. “The B2D’s tight polar pattern provided excellent isolation. Broadcast engineers Ian Cederholm and Rune Sundvall, together with the orchestra producer Jan B. Larsson, were all very pleased with the audio quality.”