Joe and Nick Jonas remain incredibly prolific and engaged in many aspects of media, including television, film, music, and even the theatrical stage. To highlight their individual creativity the Jonas Brothers recently launched high-profile side projects. Nick’s first release, Who I Am, recorded with his band The Administration, was well received worldwide but it was the intense response from fans in South America that promoted his recent tour on that continent. In anticipation of Joe’s first release, FastLife, Joe played sets across the United States. To guarantee consistent, top-grade sound quality at every show, the brothers’ seasoned crews of veteran audio engineers and technicians called on Sennheiser wired and wireless microphones, wireless instrument systems and personal monitors.
For the all-important vocal mic, both brothers use a Sennheiser SKM 2000-XP handheld transmitter, Nick with a Sennheiser MMD 935-1 cardioid capsule and Joe with a Sennheiser MMD 945-1 super-cardioid capsule. Chris “2 Dogs” Aman (Three Days Grace, OneRepublic) serves as FOH engineer on Nick’s tour and commented on the differences between the capsules. “Nick’s a fairly soft singer. We played around with the super-cardioid MMD 945-1 and the cardioid MMD 935-1. They both sounded great, but relative to the gain required for Nick’s voice, I actually had less bleed with the 935.” Nick’s other band members – that is, The Administration – use wired Sennheiser e 935 microphones. The capsule is prized for its ability to deliver articulate, musical vocals that rise to the top of the mix.
Nick’s tour travels with his pared down collection of six guitars, which comprise a pallet of tones and tunings, together with instruments for backing guitarist Sonny Thompson (Prince) and bassist Josh Dunham. Although Thompson and Dunham are wired to help “keep it lean” on the fly dates, each of Nick’s guitars is paired with a Sennheiser SK 2000-XP body-pack transmitter, complemented by a bank of Sennheiser EM 2050 true diversity twin receivers. “The Sennheiser wireless equipment is rock solid,” said guitar tech James Hellman (Sheryl Crow, Hall and Oats, Michael Jackson) prior to his departure for South America. “We went all over the world on the last tour, and the stuff just worked, every day, one hundred percent. I expect the same on this tour.” Sennheiser e 906 dynamic mics capture the electric guitars with body, warmth, and high-end definition, whereas a Sennheiser e 902 does the same for the bass.
Drummer Chris Bailey’s kit is well covered by Sennheiser microphones. The modern classic pairing of an e 901 inside and an e 902 outside the kick drum deliver an authoritative thump worthy of The Administration. Pencil condenser e 614s cover the hi-hat and overheads, whereas durable clip-on e 904s capture the toms. Aman uses a conventional Sennheiser e 905 for the top of the snare drum with a much less conventional Sennheiser e 908-D below. “As far as I’m concerned, the e 908-D is the ultimate snare bottom mic,” Aman asserts. “It gets the low meat together with a nice top end. Moreover, I don’t have to boost the 10k range as I do with other mics. The sparkle is just there. I typically give it a little bump at the bottom.”
With the exception of backing guitarist Thompson, who will not be persuaded by veteran monitor engineer Randy “Randbo” Bryant (Alanis Morissette, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Santana) to step away from the wedges, everyone else in Nick’s band is using Sennheiser G3 wireless personal monitors. Joe’s tour also uses a band-spanning collection of Sennheiser SR 300 IEM G3 wireless personal monitors.
“I’ve been a Sennheiser fan since the advent of the G2 wireless system,” Bryant said. “First and foremost, the sound quality is by far the best in the industry. That’s critical, because I don’t want to have to bend over backwards to reprocess the great sounds they’re making on stage so that they can get an inspiring mix in the ears.” Bryant, who has successfully operated in excess of fifty Sennheiser wireless channels on previous Jonas Brothers’ tours, expects no challenge on this flight tour’s reduced count. Including wireless instrument systems, Nick’s wireless microphone with spare, and five stereo wireless personal monitors, the tour will run twenty wireless channels.
No matter where they go, the Jonas Brothers, either alone or as a group, have received consistent support from Sennheiser. “Sennheiser Global Relations has supported the Jonas Brothers and each solo project since almost day one,” said Rob Brenner, director of touring for Jonas Group. “We have been extremely impressed with the service and support around the world and the level of commitment to all of our projects, as well as the quality of the microphones and personal monitor systems we have used over the years. The partnership has been invaluable to us, allowing us to keep up with our demanding touring and performance schedule.”
Although Nick plans to get off the road (or, more accurately, the tarmac) for a while after he returns from points south, Joe will be heading across the pond to join Britney Spears on her European tour. And of course, he’ll bring Sennheiser along.