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Kansas Celebrates 50th Anniversary On Tour with TELEFUNKEN Microphones

(l-r) FOH production manager Chad Singer and monitor mixer Derek Papp

Following scores of sold out national shows, America's preeminent progressive rock band Kansas is adding a third and final leg to their 50th Anniversary tour Another Fork in The Road, celebrating 50 years of the band's illustrious music history.

Chad Singer, FOH engineer and production manager for Kansas since 2000, comments, "Kansas is more than a band; it's a wonderful road family for us and I'm blessed to have mixed this band for so long. Their music calls for lots of inputs, has melodies from multiple sources at one time, and complex rhythms, all of which needs to be clear and concise with a powerful impact for the audience. Picking the right microphones for the right source is a must to achieve a great result. We ordered our first Telefunken mics in 2015 and haven't looked back since."

Kansas formed in 1973 in Topeka, Kansas, becoming hugely popular on the album-oriented rock charts and later with hit singles such as "Carry On Wayward Son" and "Dust in the Wind." The band has produced nine Gold albums, three multi-Platinum albums, a Platinum live double album and the phenomenal million-selling single, "Dust in the Wind."

Singer continues, "I've worked closely with Derek Papp, our monitor engineer since 2007. We have five vocalists and the harmonies they create are amazing. We use Telefunken's dynamic M81's on lead vocals. The flat upper mid-range of that mic complements the powerful mid-range vocal tones. We use M80's on the background vocals as their tone is a little darker and the frequency boost of that mic gives them a little more presence. The M81's also help knock down drum bleed. We also use M81's on the Leslie top for similar reasons as we do for lead vocals."

In a tribute to the band's five decades of success, Billboard magazine describes the basis for their longstanding appeal: "Blending blues-based hard rock and intricate progressive constructions, Kansas staked out its own musical territory, at once original and accessible."

"This tour has been incredibly special for the band," comments guitarist and original member Richard Williams. Kansas boasts a lineup that includes Williams, bassist/vocalist Billy Greer, lead vocalist/keyboardist Ronnie Platt, keys and vocalist Tom Brislin, violinist/guitarist Joe Deninzon, guitarist Zak Rizvi, and original drummer Phil Ehart, as well as drummer Eric Holmquist.

Well-known for their commanding and thundering drums, Singer explains how he mics the band on tour: "The Kansas drum sound has a big, open, and very dynamic classic rock vibe. We've had M82's mounted in the kick drums for years. There are two kick drums, both with full non-vented front drumheads. That can be tough to overcome sonically at times, but the M82's do a great job of capturing the low end and click while rejecting the lower mid-range that's trapped in there. We've had them mounted in there for so many years that I sometimes forget they're in there. We use an M80 on the top and M81 on the bottom for the snare drum. It's a great combination to pick up the different frequencies I am looking for out of both of those sources without picking up too much of what you don't need coming down those inputs."

"The audiences for this 50th Anniversary Tour have been exhilarating," says Platt. "Let me tell you, the energy the fans bring each night continues to give me goosebumps."

"We're all very grateful for Telefunken creating such great mics and treating us so well," concludes Singer. "I have tremendous respect for these mics that provide such a solid and clear reproduction of the source with excellent rejection in these very loud environments, not to mention that they are incredibly road resistant. We put these puppies through terrible weather conditions, rough roads in transport, dropped mics on stage, you name it, and they still sound as good now as when they came out of the box - just a couple of extra dents and scratches."



(20 May 2024)

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