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Exclusive: Sennheiser and Neumann introduce hands-on session at BarCoe

Exclusive: Sennheiser and Neumann introduce hands-on session at BarCoe

Exclusive: Sennheiser and Neumann introduce hands-on session at BarCoe


In a bid to connect with the artists that make up the burgeoning live music community in the UAE, Sennheiser and Neumann hosted an open mic event, BarCoe Sounds Day, which took place at BarCoe Studio, just outside Abu Dhabi and was supported by local partner Venuetech. The event showcased the capability of Neumann and Sennheiser products in a live and very hands-on setting.

BarCoe’s owner, Sean Barcoe, was excited at the prospect of the partnership: ‘Although the Sennheiser team is fantastic at explaining their products, the Neumann and Sennheiser name says it all. They believe in helping artists, which is refreshing to see and an honour to be a part of.’

Sean Barcoe
Sean Barcoe

As Barcoe and his studio offer a range of services, such as solo and band recording, song writing, mixing and mastering, as well as artist promotion, he found it a rewarding project for both him and his artists. ‘Hearing our artists through their mics was fantastic. The artists couldn’t stop talking about how much they loved it. The fact that Sennheiser took their time to help a new studio and sat with artists, listening to what they wanted and gave them options to try made it more intimate.’

With the studio opening just over a year ago, Sean and his partner Andy Brookes share a common vision for Abu Dhabi and the wider UAE live music scene. ‘Andy and I both felt that we could offer great value to the many talented artists that are in this country both locally and from the ex-pat community. We both felt that Abu Dhabi didn’t have a place where artists could go and record or meet other artists to collaborate with.’

With every area of BarCoe Studio being given the Sennheiser/Neumann treatment, the range of products that was on offer was impressive and truly offered an ideal opportunity for artists to get to grips with some of the microphones and headphones. Starting out in the foyer area, a small but perfectly formed podcast area was set up. This included Sennheiser MK-4 and MK-8 microphones, as well as HD-280Pro and HD-300 Protect headphones.

The studio’s live rehearsal area was set up with a wireless Sennheiser E965, while a Neumann TLM-102 and TLM-103 were featured on the same stand in the middle of the room to enable a quick A/B of the two microphones, which proved invaluable during live sessions. In order to capture the instruments that were being used in the live room, a combination of MKH-8000 condenser mics and two MKH-8040 cardioid mics were attached to the stands and metal work, with cables fully integrated into them.

In the space to the rear of the live room that also doubles a chill-out area, a small but perfectly formed monitoring control room was set up, featuring a pair of Neumann KH-80 DSP monitors and a Neumann KH-810 7.1 active sub, a Yamaha MG124c mixer was controlling the signal from the live room and these were also monitored by HD25 and HD26 headphones. In-ear monitoring was supplied by the relative newcomers to the product range: the IE400 and IE500.

The already well-treated main control room was equipped with a pair of Neumann KH-310 monitors, while in the vocal booth, session singers benefitted from a pair of closed-back Sennheiser HD-200 Pro headphones and a Neumann U87 microphone.

Providing the all-important company voice to these exciting series of events was Sennheiser trade marketing manager Shraddha Mukul, who was also very upbeat regarding the importance of these type of grass roots events. ‘We believe strongly in customer centricity and it becomes very important for us to be a part of our customer’s journey and experience and make sure they are satisfied. Events like today’s Bar Co Sounds Day gives us an opportunity to interact with our customers closely, understand their requirements and establish stronger relationships.’

Mukul went on to explain why connecting directly with their customer base is important. ‘It is imperative for us to be able to be part of scenarios where our customers are actually using the products. It is a win–win situation where we get to understand their usage and needs, and they get to explore the best-possible way to use our products with the help of our technical experts.’

Ryan Burr, head of technical sales and application engineering at Sennheiser, was also positive about the results gained from the successful event. ‘The biggest take away is the look on artists’ faces when they hear the difference between what they currently use and something of better quality, particularly when switching between dynamic mics and condenser mics. Also, the Neumann KMS-104/5 could be the best vocal handheld on the market, according to those who tried it.’

Burr was also resolute in his vision for future events: ‘We need to engage more with local artists and the music industry; this event proved that. We will be looking at how we use what we have learned to perhaps put on some of our own open mic nights next year. We will also continue to work with Bar Co Studios on future events they have planned. Ultimately, the more musicians that get to spend time using our products, the better it is for us and them.’

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