Sennheiser wireless microphone system utilized for Super Bowl LVI performances
Five out of six acts – including 50 Cent, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige, Dr. Dre and Eminem – delivered performances at Super Bowl LVI using Sennheiser’s Digital 6000 wireless system.
The star-studded Super Bowl LVI halftime show, which was unprecedented in scale, talent and technical complexity, was a significant draw – at nearly 15 minutes of performance.
Gary Trenda, Lead RF Technician for Professional Wireless Systems (PWS), worked with his team to deliver wireless audio for the entirety of Super Bowl LVI, including “The Star-Spangled Banner”, “America, the Beautiful”, the on-field referee microphones, the post-game, and the entire half-time show. “Of all the things our team is involved in, the half-time show is by far the most complex, and this is where the Sennheiser Digital 6000 series was used.”
While the technical and RF planning for the Super Bowl begins months in advance and is dependent on available frequency bands, Trenda and PWS do their best to accommodate the performers with their equipment preferences. “And as the artists request the different microphone systems, we say, ‘OK, if you bring in a Sennheiser Digital 6000 microphone, we have a specific frequency range available for it,’ this year we had Sennheiser allocated in the 600 MHz range.”
The halftime performances saw the vast majority of artists using Sennheiser: “Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar and 50 Cent were all on the Sennheiser Digital 6000, using SKM 6000 transmitters coupled with MD 9235 capsules,” Trenda states.
With hundreds of frequencies routinely in use at such a high-profile event, Trenda and his team must make important decisions to attain the best possible performance in challenging conditions: “Very often you will see a fluctuation in the RF level, and with various systems turning on and off throughout the stadium you see a change in background noise level. In these cases, we find the Digital 6000 gives us excellent reliability in such a congested environment.”
While opposing Super Bowl teams may differ on any given year, Sennheiser makes an appearance year after year and is a reliable performer: “At this point, we’ve used the Sennheiser wireless systems for several years on the Super Bowl and we’ve had the best reliability with the Digital 6000 out of any of the Sennheiser systems we’ve deployed,” Trenda says. “In a crowded RF environment, it has a generous tuning bandwidth.”
Sennheiser on-the-ground support is also an important key to success. According to Valencia, CA-based ATK Audiotek, which has been providing integration services for the Super Bowl for well over a decade, Super Bowl LVI was no exception: “The support that Sennheiser gave us was great,” says Brett Valasek, General Manager of ATK Audiotek. “Very often we don’t know what we have to supply equipment-wise until the artists are announced. Sennheiser is always there to help us in this regard, particularly in light of the current supply chain issues the world is facing.”
This year’s Super Bowl Weekend kicked off with several high-profile events in Los Angeles, notably the Bud Light Super Bowl LVI Music Fest on Friday and a private party at The Grove shopping center in West Hollywood on Saturday for VIP broadcast executives.
Both pre-Super Bowl events saw mega country star Blake Shelton performing at the top of his game using Sennheiser’s Digital 6000 Wireless System. Shelton, who was also joined on stage by his wife and L.A. native Gwen Stefani for a duet performance, has used Sennheiser microphones exclusively in his live performances for well over a decade.
Photo courtesy of Sennheiser