Pro-Music-News Sound Section

Sennheiser provides wireless audio at Eurovison Song Contest 2007

Opening the grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2007 on May 12, last year's contest winners Lordi used Sennheiser microphones stashed under inch-thick latex masks. This also was crowning three weeks of hard work by the Sennheiser teams. “It’s a great deal of fun in the end,” said Sennheiser's Eurovision expert Klaus Willemsen, who only a few weeks before was awarded the Opus award at the Frankfurt prolight+sound exhibition for his work in the Eurovision Song Contest. “There are so many challenges, with just as many solutions — which can really make you feel good.”
The annual Eurovision Song Contest is broadcast live in 42 countries and features a set of set of traditions and rituals. Long standing country rivalries highlighted by mutual “zero point” scores, tears and waterworks during rehearsals, or keeping still in the Green Room whilst waiting for 41 other participating country verdicts. Each year the production is taken to the next level in terms of technology, organisation, venue size and an ever growing amount of viewers.
Providing the Eurovision Song Contest with high quality microphones, wireless microphone and wireless monitoring systems for 22 years, Sennheiser has created another tradition. “We will use 54 microphone channels like we had last year, plus another 16 for wireless monitoring,” said Klaus Willemsen. “Speaking in orders of magnitude, nothing compares to the Eurovision Song Contest.”
For the semi-final and final events the Helsinki Arena, also known as the Hartwall Arena, turned into a raging sea of light, glass and steel topped by tons of technology and engineering. 400 moving lights, huge LED screens, and 24 camera positions for the Finnish public broadcasters YLE. 22 tons of wiring had also been laid in, hooked up and distributed to a total of 250 positions.
The Serbian winner using  Sennheiser handheld and headset microphones
“What is particular about the Helsinki Arena is that this time the Green Room is located quite a distance away from the arena,” explained Klaus Willemsen, “so far off that the traditional host visits are not possible here. So far off that this time we have had to outfit the Green Room with its own audio system.” The artists performed with SKM 5200 hand-held transmitters with Neumann KK 105 S capsules. “I also have a few MD 5235 with me,” he says, “our new microphone heads that in the past few weeks following their launch have already been nicknamed the ‘Rockheiser’,” Klaus Willemsen added. ”Artists who prefer a headset microphone are outfitted with an HSP 4 and an SK 5212 transmitter. The wireless monitoring systems for the singers consist of EK 3253 bodypack receivers and SK 3256 twin transmitters."
The frequency management issue in Helsinki was less challenging compared to Athens in 2006. Willemsen: “Although the position is still critical all over Europe, as long as the current discussions on the frequency range space for the so-called secondary users are not giving any results. Even if there currently are sufficient frequencies available in Finland, future perspectives for events such as the Eurovision Song Contest are dark and dreary if the frequency ranges needed for wireless microphones were to be actually taken away, as planned.”
The press conference locations were also equipped with Sennheiser technology, comprising table microphones and evolution wireless microphones. Additionally, the reporters and commentators hailing from the 42 participant countries used Sennheiser headsets in their reporting cabins, “otherwise they wouldn’t be able to move around freely whilst reporting, making matters remarkably uncomfortable for a show lasting for well over four hours.”
Klaus Willemsen’s team was supported by Pekka Paukku and his team of IntoOy, a partner company of Sennheiser’s sales subsidiary Sennheiser Nordic: “Not only does this represent a welcome opportunity for a close cooperation with our locally-based colleagues. Their support is enormously important considering that they are acquainted with all the local uses and conventions, as well as the language.”
© 05/2007 Pro-Music-News
© 1997 © 2007 Pro-Music-News™. All rights reserved. Thank you for visiting Pro-Music-News.