With her new single Feedback
released on August 9th and officially launched at Madam Jojo's on August 11th, Sennheiser UK's endorsement of Laura Steel and her vibrant brand of electro-pop has been well placed. The combination of an SKM 935 G2 wireless microphone and ew 300 IEM G2 in-ear monitoring, plus a K-Array KR-200 loudspeaker system for her 'intimate' gigs, has made life on the road for this up-and-coming singer/songwriter and her crew a joy.
"Sennheiser likes to form relationships with artists early on in their careers," says Sennheiser UK artist relations manager Phil Cummings. "It helps all concerned to get the most out of the partnership. Laura is someone we identified early on as being a potential hit, she's worked extremely hard and it's great to see things coming to fruition."
"When you're starting out, the backing of a company such as Sennheiser is invaluable," explains Laura's manager, Celina Rollon of Rollon Entertainment. "Having consistent, high quality equipment means our audio quality is guaranteed and we're not faced with any nasty surprises when we turn up for a gig."
Laura's Front of House engineer Scott Humphries concurs, "Currently, were working on shows where all the production is arranged by us in small venues," he says. "Being able to be a self-contained act in terms of Laura's technical needs is a godsend for all concerned. Not having to worry about using beaten up mics and affecting the overall sound quality is such an asset. Laura is a perfectionist and no matter what size of show we're at, having this kit instils us with an instant professional quality."
Scott is a former student of Bucks New Uni (an institution with which Sennheiser UK has a long-term relationship, working on a wide range of collaborative initiatives and opportunities, including RF master classes for students; an annual 'best student production' award, given to final year students as part of the University's graduation ceremony; plus sponsorship, support and prize giving at a number of University-based events) and his association with Laura is as a direct result of his time there.
"I'd been studying Audio and Music Production at Bucks when I was approached about mixing monitors for a Jools Holland's performance for the film and TV student's coursework," he explains. "Laura was one of the acts and she was impressed with my work. Since then I've engineered for her at all of her live performances, organizing production for showcases, mixing FOH and maintaining and operating her RF kit."
Scott's time at Bucks New Uni meant that he was already familiar with Sennheiser products. "I love Sennheiser vocal mics and when I got on board with the Laura Steel project I was very excited to be able to specify and use their gear," he continues. "Laura's vocals are obviously the most important part of both her monitor mix and my FOH mix and we both agree there is a audible difference in her voice when she's not using her handheld - the 935 capsule offers a clarity and presence that other cardioid vocal mics lack. Her vocals instantly elevate to the top of the mix without the need for strategic or complicated EQ; a bit of hi-pass and your ready to rock. And, as she doesn't like to be limited to the length of the stage either, her wireless mic system is definitely the biggest asset for us.
"Likewise, the in-ear equipment has made monitoring a breeze for both me and Laura. The ability to hear a CD quality mix was clearly baffling to her at first after playing shows with little or no monitoring at all. Now she can't perform without them - and a happy performer equals a VERY happy engineer!"
Following the Feedback launch, Celina adds, "The success of Wednesday's show at Madam Jojo's was thanks to Sennheiser's in-ear monitors. Laura was able to pitch every note perfectly."
"We're excited to be working with Laura at this key point," concludes Phil Cummings. "And we are sure Feedback will be a massive success."