July and August have seen British artist Mika take a short summer holiday from recording his third album, The Origin Of Love, to play at ten festivals across Europe. The shows were an excellent opportunity to give Sennheiser’s latest large-diaphragm condenser mic, the MK 4, a live workout.
The ten festivals included events in Belgium, Corsica, France, Hungary, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Switzerland. As ever, Mika and his band had an array of Sennheiser equipment on stage and front-of-house engineer Craig Pryde took the opportunity to put the new MK 4 through its paces.
“I’ve used Sennheiser for a long time and I use their equipment with other artists, including Alexandra Burke and The Last Shadow Puppets,” says Craig. “I was looking for a large-diaphragm condenser mic and so I approached Sennheiser UK’s Mark Saunders, who suggested that I try the MK 4.”
Craig used two MK 4s on guitars and was very impressed. “They have a very smooth high pattern, but still have a great fat sound for guitars,” he says. “I did some A/B tests with the MK 4 against another type of large-format condenser mic and the Sennheiser came out very favourably. At the time I didn’t know the cost of the MK 4, it was only later that I discovered that it was half the price of the one I was testing it against. It is exceptionally good value.”
As well as the MK 4s, Sennheiser equipment on the shows included Mika’s SKM 5200 with KK 105 head for lead vocals, SKM 935-500 G3s for backing vocals, ew 300 wireless monitors and an array of evolution 900 series wired mics, including the e 901, e 902, e 904, e 906, e 914 and Neumann 184s on drums / backline.
“Microphone sound quality is incredibly important, especially since the advent of in-ear monitors and high-quality PAs, and Sennheiser mics have a really detailed sound,” says Craig. “Sennheiser UK’s service and technical backup is also excellent. They are always keen to help, wherever we are in the world.”