Sennheiser dances with the stars

When ABC Television's "Dancing with the Stars" returned for its sixth season this spring, Burbank-based wireless experts Soundtronics supplying the show's audio mixer, Evan Adelman, with Sennheiser 5000 Series wireless systems. SKM 5200 RF handheld microphones were outfitted with ME 5002s for interviews and MD 5235 capsules for guest vocalists. Contestants were miked with MKE Platinum lavalier mics feeding either SK 5012 or SK 5212 transmitters.

Audio mixer Evan Adelman, who has worked on a wide variety of high-profile TV shows, is enthusiastic about the omnidirectional ME 5002 capsule for handheld use by the show's two hosts. "For years I've tried to use omnidirectional microphones in broadcast for dialog purposes," Adelman said. "I find, for interview purposes and for talent, they're not plosive and it doesn't matter where they hold the microphone. The only thing that changes is the level."

It wasn't until the introduction of the Sennheiser 5002 capsule that he found what he was looking for. "Before, it was virtually impossible to find a professional-quality omnidirectional handheld microphone made by anyone. For years I had been using an old Cetec Vega that had been modified with a Sennheiser MKE 2 capsule. It was basically an MKE 2 on a stick."

The Sennheiser 5200/5002 combo is used for interviews by co-host Samantha Harris backstage at CBS Television City. "During these interviews, you'll hear the people behind her clapping or cheering," Adelman said. "Sometimes one of them who is not being interviewed will say something, but it really isn't a problem as all the audio is coming off one microphone so everything sounds natural. What is said in the background stays in the background; it's pretty effective."

All dancers wear either a Sennheiser SK 5012 or SK 5212 bodypack, fed by an MKE Platinum lavalier mic. "The women tend to wear the 5012 because it's slimmer. Every costume has a pouch sewn into it. We put in lithium batteries and turn them on probably six hours before show time. The pouch is sewn shut, so there's no way the bodypack can come out," Adelman said.

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