Foreigner rocks with beyerdynamic wireless on tour

February 25, 2010 by Mobile Beat

Foreigner rocks with beyerdynamic wireless on tour
Opus 900 Series wireless powers Kelly Hansen’s lead vocals for iconic rock band.

As one of the most popular rock acts in the world, Foreigner is constantly touring or playing major events, and singer Kelly Hansen relies on beyerdynamic Opus Series wireless microphones night after night.

“In the 20-plus years I’ve used Beyer mics, I’ve always been impressed with the sonic quality,” states Hansen. “These mics sound like studio mics onstage. I don’t want hyped midrange or narrowed spectrum to assist in feedback rejection, I want to hear what I’m putting out, and Beyer does that in a big, warm way. I sing a demanding range of music, and I’m very particular about what I need to hear, so I choose Beyer, every time.”

“We carry two systems right now, based on the new Opus 900 wireless with the EM981S condenser capsule,” says monitor engineer Lorenzo Banda, who has been with the band three years. “Bar none, it’s one of the best-sounding capsules I’ve ever heard. It just sounds so warm, especially in Kelly’s lower register. I can’t get him to use anything else. Nor would I want to. So no matter where we go in the world, these two units come with us.”

Having used it in full-scale touring, Banda is quite pleased with the Opus Series wireless. “It’s got all the features I could want as an engineer,” explains Lorenzo. “Scan and sync is really easy with the ACT button, and it’s fast and easy to change groups and frequencies if you need to. But for me, it all starts with the sound. The Beyer wireless just sounds so much better for this kind of music. I just wouldn’t use anything else.”

In addition to Hansen’s wireless, Lorenzo also carries a beyerdynamic TGX-60 handheld mic for hardwired vocals. “A lot of times, we’re doing interviews and maybe a quick acoustic set for local TV or radio. For those situations, wireless isn’t needed or practical, and the TGX-60 still gives us that Beyer sound, with a really rich low end and smoothness across the full bandwidth.”

Other beyerdynamic mics on stage include an Opus 89 dynamic for bassist Jeff Pilson’s backing vocals. And to add crowd noise into the group’s in-ear mixes, a pair of MCE 86 shotgun microphones is aimed from the stage into the crowd from behind the side speaker stacks and shooting toward the center of the house.

Lorenzo Banda also has high praise for the flexibility of the Opus 900. “It’s just got a fantastic receiver. Whether it’s a theater tour or a major television event, you would never know the difference in terms of RF performance. We do things like NASCAR races and NFL playoff halftime shows on live TV, and you know the wireless environment in those places is insane. But my Beyer gear is so solid, it never takes a hit. What more can I say?”

The Opus 900 is beyerdynamic’s pro touring wireless line, replacing the Opus 500, which operates in the 700 MHz frequency band, will become illegal to operate in the U.S. as of June 12, due to the FCC’s reallocation of spectrum. Foreigner and Banda, however, won’t give theirs up. “Foreigner is a global band and Kelly still loves his Opus 500,” he notes, “so we’ll be keeping it to use in countries where 700 MHz is still legal. But we now use the dual-channel Opus 900 as our primary touring system in the U.S.”

Banda also took time out to praise beyerdynamic for its factory support. “I can’t say enough positive things about this company,” he says. “especially now during the wireless transition. Their support has been as strong as we could ask for, both in the U.S. and Europe. We couldn’t be more pleased.”

Foreigner toured extensively last fall, in support of the groups recent Can’t Slow Down album release, the band’s first studio release with Hansen on vocals. The group has just begun an intensive 2010 tour schedule, starting with two months of North American dates followed by some April dates in Europe.

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