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Archive by Sue Sillitoe

PMC Helps Showcase Auro-3D® To Top UK Producers

Auro-3D demo at Metropolis

Two ground-breaking technologies came together at London’s Metropolis Studios last week to deliver a truly immersive 3D experience to some of the UK’s most influential record producers.

Hosted by the MPG (Music Producers Guild), the Introduction to Auro-3D® event gave recording professionals an opportunity to learn more about Auro Technologies’ 3D audio format, which envelopes audiences in a cocoon of life-like sound.

The Auro-3D® experience was delivered via nine PMC twotwo.5 monitors and a twotwo sub1-woofer, which were specifically chosen for their high levels of clarity, transparency and accuracy. PMC, which has worked closely with Auro Technologies for many demos, sent technical staff to Metropolis Studios, London, to ensure that the monitors were aligned ideally.

Ian Downs, Pro Audio Sales Manager for PMC, says: “With Auro-3D, and specifically Auro 9.1, the monitors are placed in a traditional 5.1 surround configuration, but with four additional speakers positioned in each corner of the studio at above-head height to give an immersive 3D feel. We have worked with Auro Technologies on previous demos, particularly in the US, so we were delighted to be able to support them at this event in the UK.”

Members of the MPG include many eminent producers, recording engineers and re-mixers who have been responsible for numerous international hits. Record producer and MPG Executive Director Mick Glossop says: “Introducing our members to new technologies is all part of the MPG remit. We hold regular technical seminars, as well as networking events that take place in various venues throughout the UK. We were delighted to host this event to introduce Auro-3D® – a technology that certainly captured the imagination of those attending.”

The Auro-3D presentation and demo was delivered by David Walstra, Vice president, Auro-3D® Content, at Auro Technologies.

“Auro-3D is revolutionizing audio by immersing the listener in 540° of sound,” Walstra says. “This exciting move from Stereo or two-dimensional Surround Sound formats (5.1/7.1) to Auro-3D is a breakthrough achieved by adding the missing and final third dimension of height in front and around the listener. Our unique vertical stereo field around the audience creates a totally new level of immersion and marks a major leap in the evolution of natural sound reproduction. Thanks to the addition of height channels, natural acoustic reflections reach you as they would in real life, originating not only from around but also from above you.”

Based in Belgium, Auro Technologies is a spin-off of the Galaxy Studios Group and owner of the Auro-3D® Technology Suite. The Auro-3D® system, which was launched in 2006, was designed by Wilfried Van Baelen, founder of Galaxy Studios – a recording facility that is internationally acclaimed for its state-of-the-art leadership in audio innovation for music and film sound. Aimed at digital cinema, home cinema and mobile, gaming and automotive applications, Auro Technologies also believes that Auro-3D® has huge potential for the music industry.

“Consumer 3D content is here already– for both music and movies,” David Walstra adds. “Following on from cinema releases in Auro-3D®, the first Blu-ray films are now being released and we expect many more to be made available in future. There are also more than 100 music titles in production, covering all kind of genres, of which the first (Souvenir, Remote Galaxy and Magnificat from 2L, Mando Diao’s Aelita, the ambient Lichtmond 3, and Tiesto’s Elements of Life) are already available in Pure Audio Blu-Ray. Hearing is believing and getting the Auro-3D® message out to recording professionals is very important. That is why we were so keen to work with the Music Producers Guild to deliver this event.”

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About PMC
PMC is a UK-based, world-leading manufacturer of loudspeaker systems, the tools of choice in all ultra-critical professional monitoring applications, and also for the discerning audiophile at home, where they provide a transparent window into the recording artist’s original intentions. PMC products use the best available materials and design principles, including the company’s proprietary Advanced Transmission Line (ATL™) bass-loading technology, cutting-edge amplification and advanced DSP techniques to create loudspeakers that present sound and music exactly as it was when first created, with the highest possible resolution, and without colouration or distortion. For more information on our clients and products, see www.pmc-speakers.com.

Matthew Dear Chooses PMC Monitors for His Studio

Matthew Dear

Michigan-based electronic artist, producer, DJ and remixer Matthew Dear, Ghostly Records’ first signing, has bought a pair of PMC twotwo.8 reference monitors for his personal recording studio, an impressive facility based around a Mac Pro running Logic and a 1979 vintage Spectra Sonics mixing console.
Dear felt a need to change his studio monitors after becoming dissatisfied with the transferability of mixes he was creating in his studio. “My old monitors weren’t cutting it for me anymore. I’d take a mix to a label or to a collaborator’s place, and sometimes it would be spot on, and sometimes it would be off. When you mix your own stuff, you need that ability to translate. I know of guys that have million-dollar rooms, but their tracks only sound good in that room. And if it sounds great there, but not on an iPod or on the radio, you have a problem!”

Dear likes to remain aware of current audio equipment trends and researches everything he buys himself. He heard about PMC’s twotwos on-line and was keen to audition them, having heard of the company and its Grammy-winning roster of users. He also contacted Techno pioneer Carl Craig for advice after reading that he owned PMC BB5s. Craig advised him to speak to Maurice Patist at PMC USA directly.

“I contacted Maurice, and he couldn’t have been more helpful,” explains Dear from his studio. “He sent me some twotwo.6s to demo, and I really thought they were going to be too small for me. But I was really surprised and impressed. They sounded amazing for their size.” Eventually, Dear chose to buy the twotwo.8s, the largest in the twotwo range, feeling they were more closely suited to his roomy studio.

“I was working on an electronic album with another artist, and my old monitors were making everything sound very nice and smooth. When I got the PMCs, it was almost like taking a rag with Windex on it and cleaning a dirty window. Everything was much more present, and the areas I really needed to work on started jumping out at me. There was more accuracy in the high frequencies, and especially in the low mid. That’s where I was really missing out with my last speakers; I needed something more controlled.”

Now setting up a new studio in the Detroit area, Dear feels the twotwo.8s have brought him the transferability he was looking for. “Since getting the twotwos, when I’ve worked on something here and then taken the mix elsewhere, it’s exactly as I heard it here. I don’t get any hidden surprises any more.”

Matthew Dear is DJing around the USA in February 2015, and on tour later in the year under his Audion alias. For more information, see http://ghostly.com/artists/matthew-dear.

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About PMC
PMC is a UK-based, world-leading manufacturer of loudspeaker systems, the tools of choice in all ultra-critical professional monitoring applications, and also for the discerning audiophile at home, where they provide a transparent window into the recording artist’s original intentions. PMC products use the best available materials and design principles, including the company’s proprietary Advanced Transmission Line (ATL™) bass-loading technology, cutting-edge amplification and advanced DSP techniques to create loudspeakers that present sound and music exactly as it was when first created, with the highest possible resolution, and without coloration or distortion. For more information on our clients and products, see www.pmc-speakers.com.

PMC Brings Superlative Sound Quality to Andrew Lau Wai-Keung’s Private Screening Room

Andrew Lau Wei Keung 2

Internationally acclaimed film director and producer Andrew Lau Wai-Keung has installed a pair of PMC’s flagship BB5 XBD Active loudspeakers in his private screening room in Hong Kong.

Wai-Keung began his career as a cinematographer and has worked on many notable films including Ringo Lam’s City on Fire and Wong Kar-Wai’s As Tears Go By and Chungking Express. In 1990 he made to switch to director with the film Against All, but he continues to act as cinematographer and has performed both roles on nearly all of the 30-plus films he has made.

Wai-Keung’s artistic eye and his interest in stories about the grittier, darker side of life has allowed him to carve a niche and build a reputation as one of Hong Kong’s new breed of action directors. Although film making is his passion, he is also hugely enthusiastic about good sound quality, which is why he has chosen PMC’s BB5 XBD Active Reference loudspeakers for his own screening room.

Supplied by PMC’s Hong Kong distributor Richcoln Company Ltd, the BB5 XBD Active range is always a popular choice with discerning audiophiles. Renowned for their audio fidelity, BB5 Active monitors offer extended bass response and room control by virtue of PMC’s proprietary ATL™ (Advanced Transmission Line) design. The active electronics are the result of collaboration between PMC and Bryston, which has delivered a loudspeaker product offering unrivalled quality and reliability.

BB5 XBD Aactive loudspeakers are the mainstay of many internationally acclaimed recording facilities, including Prince’s personal studio, Metropolis Studios in London, the Athens Concert Hall and BBC Maida Vale. Added to this, PMC’s BB5 Active monitors played an important part in ensuring that the Beatles ‘Love’ 5.1 album received a TEC Award for mastering, as well as Grammy Awards for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media and Best Surround Sound Album.

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About PMC
PMC is a UK-based, world-leading manufacturer of loudspeaker systems, the tools of choice in all ultra-critical professional monitoring applications, and also for the discerning audiophile at home, where they provide a transparent window into the recording artist’s original intentions. PMC products use the best available materials and design principles, including the company’s proprietary Advanced Transmission Line (ATL™) bass-loading technology, cutting-edge amplification and advanced DSP techniques to create loudspeakers that present sound and music exactly as it was when first created, with the highest possible resolution, and without coloration or distortion. For more information on our clients and products, see www.pmc-speakers.com

DPA Microphones Help Niels Lan Doky Bring Superlative Sound To Tokyo’s Blue Note Club

The Blue Note Japan -credit Yuka Yamaji 1

Tokyo’s famous Blue Note club recently played host to Danish Jazz legend, producer and internationally acclaimed pianist Niels Lan Doky, who performed a series of concerts with Swedish singer and actress Edda Magnason. Also on stage were the other two thirds of Niels’ Jazz trio – drummer Niclas Bardeleben and bass player Ira Coleman, who has also played with Herbie Hancock and Sting.

Key to the success of these concerts was the extensive use of DPA microphones – a brand that Lan Doky insists on using, both on the road and back home in Copenhagen where his own club, The Standard (thestandardcph.dk), is fully equipped with DPA.

“It has been two years since I was last in Japan and these concerts, which were an homage to the Swedish actress and jazz singer Monica Zetterlund, were much anticipated and sold out in advance,” Lan Doky says. “For this reason it was particularly important that I delivered the best show possible. To achieve this aim I knew that DPA microphones would have to be part of the mix. I have been using DPA microphones on piano since 1993 and since October 2013 I have used them exclusively on all instruments at all of the concerts at The Standard. In my own club we are dedicated to an uncompromised top quality sound and we only use DPA there because they are by far the most detailed, precise and ‘true’ microphones on the market. I cannot imagine a concert without them, and this is why we used them on piano, acoustic bass, drums and Edda’s vocals at the Blue Note. These mics are so good that it would be a huge compromise to not have them on recording as well as live.”

Niels Lan Doky took his own DPA d:facto™ Vocal Microphone to Japan, along with his DPA 3521 Cardiod Compact stereo kit to mic the Blue Note’s grand piano. The kit, which has now been superseded by the d:dicate™ 3511ES stereo kit, consists of two d:dicate 4011ES Cardiod Compact microphones in stereo left/right set up.

Lan Doky says: “I also use a DPA d:vote™ 4099P Instrument Microphone stereo kit for piano, close to the piano’s soundboard in one of the holes in the sound metal frame. This allows me to blend a direct close mic signal with a warm feel and different touch into the mix.”

DPA’s Japanese distributor Hibino Intersound supplied the required d:vote 4099P Instrument Microphone for the Tokyo concerts and also supplied an additional d:facto Vocal Microphone, a d:vote 4099B Instrument Microphone for the upright bass and mics for the drums including a d:dicate 2011C Twin Diaphragm Cardiod Compact mic for the bass drum, a d:dicate 4006A Omnidirectional mic that was placed inside the drum kit and a matched pair of d:dicate 4011A Cardiod microphones on overheads.

Ken Kimura, DPA’s General Manager for the APAC region says: “It was very important to Niels that the stage configuration was the same as it is at The Standard. Hibino Intersound were very happy to supply the additional microphones he needed and to offer on-site support throughout the concerts.”

Lan Doky adds that while he loves all of his DPA microphones, the one model he simply can’t live without is the d:facto Vocal Microphone.

“For vocals I swear by this microphone,” he says. “It combines crispness, warmth and precision – all at the same time. Vocalist Edda Magnason who played with my trio has a lot of detail in the frequency spectrum of her voice. For her I can’t imagine using any other microphone. We also took it with us for an appearance on a J-Wave radio show. It is just an amazing vocal microphone.”

Niels Lan Doky and his precious DPA microphones are now safely back in Copenhagen and are being put to good use at The Standard. But he is still extolling the hospitality of his Japanese hosts at the Blue Note Club, the support he received from Hibino Intersound and the sheer fun of performing in a city as vibrant as Tokyo.

“It all sounded so good,” he says. “We had a fantastic time and want to extend our thanks to Hibino Intersound and DPA for helping us materialize the best possible sounding show at The Blue Note Tokyo.”

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About DPA
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high quality condenser microphone solutions for professional applications. DPA’s ultimate goal is to provide you – whether you’re in live sound, recording, theater or broadcast – with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for your tasks. DPA takes no shortcuts in the design processes nor makes any compromises in manufacturing, which is all done at the DPA factory in Denmark. As a result, DPA’s products are globally praised for their exceptional clarity and transparency, unparalleled specifications, supreme reliability, and above all, pure, uncolored and undistorted sound.
For more information, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com

PMC Launches Online Retailing for its twotwo™ Monitor Series

PMC twotwo Range

British loudspeaker manufacturer PMC is encouraging new customers to try its compact twotwo™ reference monitor series by setting up Reference Monitor Centres at key Hi-Fi retail outlets around the UK.

The new centres are offering high quality demonstration facilities so that customers can listen to PMC’s twotwo product range in an acoustically accurate environment and receive advice from highly trained staff.

The monitors can then be bought online via a dedicated twotwo sales website and either delivered direct to the customer or to the nearest Reference Monitor Centre, all of which are offering a Click and Collect service.

Ian Downs, Pro Audio Sales Manager for PMC, says: “Our twotwo range is ideally suited to young producers and DJs who are working from home and want simple, high performance active monitors with DAC and digital playback sources. These technology-savvy customers are very comfortable with buying online, but they still want access to good demo facilities and well qualified staff who can help them identify the right product for their needs.”

PMC’s Reference Monitor Centres are strategically located in key cities such as Newcastle, London and Bristol. By basing them in Hi-Fi retail outlet, PMC is once again reinforcing its strong links between the studio and the home listening environment.

“It is PMC’s philosophy that there should be no difference between the sound the artist and producer approves in a studio and what the consumer hears at home,” Ian Downs says. “That is why all of our speaker products, whether they are destined for the studio or the home, are based on the same ATL™ (Advanced Transmission Line) technology that guarantees high quality, distortion-free audio.”

PMC’s twotwo range comprises of three models – the twotwo.5, the twotwo.6 and the twotwo.8, all of which combine PMC’s world-class design pedigree with sophisticated digital processing and active amplification. Ideally suited to nearfield monitoring in situations where space is at a premium, the twotwo range offers professional users high levels of clarity, transparency and accuracy.

Many renowned artists and producers have invested in PMC’s twotwo monitors, including BRIT and MPG Award-winning producer Alan Moulder and BAFTA Award-winning sound mixer Howard Bargroff.

For more information about PMC Reference Monitor Centres, please visit www.pmc-speakers.com/twotwo/demo

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About PMC
PMC is a UK-based, world-leading manufacturer of loudspeaker systems, the tools of choice in all ultra-critical professional monitoring applications, and also for the discerning audiophile at home, where they provide a transparent window into the recording artist’s original intentions. PMC products use the best availablematerials and design principles, including the company’s proprietary Advanced Transmission Line (ATL™) bass-loading technology, cutting-edge amplification and advanced DSP techniques to create loudspeakers that present sound and music exactly as it was when first created, with the highest possible resolution, and without coloration or distortion. For more information on our clients and products, see www.pmc-speakers.com.

DPA Microphones Brings New Levels of Speech Intelligibility to ISE 2015

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DPA Microphones, in partnership with its Netherlands distributor Amptec, will show its high quality microphones aimed at the installation market at this year’s ISE exhibition in Amsterdam (stand 7-V240).

One of the most important things for a speaker is that the message gets to the audience as clearly and comprehensively as possible. DPA Microphones is renowned for developing and manufacturing neutral and accurate microphones for measurement and studio use among others. The microphones reproduce sound to the smallest detail even in the most difficult surroundings and DPA now offers a range of products that give AV installers and conference organisers the high quality sound they demand.

Podium and Floor Stand Microphones

DPA’s Podium Microphone range consist of the d:screet™ Miniature Podium Microphone that provides the installation market with an elegant, directional microphone based on DPA’s renowned miniature microphones. This is a unique podium solution based on a special interference tube technology that ensures an exceptional directivity and off-axis rejection. It has already proven to be the best choice for speech applications in some of the worst acoustic environments.

“We were contacted by an organization that had simultaneous interpreters refusing to use their existing microphones because the audio quality was so bad,” says DPA’s CEO Christian Poulsen. “Simultaneous interpreting is a hard job and if the audio is poor, it gets even tougher. We knew we had the right capsule technology to take their existing solution to a new level – we just had to develop the microphone solution for the purpose. When testing against three or four times more expensive competitive podium microphones, our shotgun solution was clearly better. We are proud to set the new standard of podium microphones securing high speech intelligibility.”

The miniature capsule is mounted on a delicate gooseneck and comes in several lengths for table mounting. It can even be used in a wireless configuration by employing the company’s ingenious adapter range, which is already used for other miniature microphones.

DPA’s Podium range also includes the d:dicate™ Podium Microphones that incorporate modular capsules from DPA’s d:dicate Recording Microphones, which are acclaimed for their exceptional linear frequency responses, high SPL and superior gain before feedback. By combining state-of-the-art capsules with modular active booms and floor stands, DPA customers can access the precise high quality microphone for their needs.

The company is also showing its d:facto™ Vocal Microphone, an exceptional hand-held vocal mic that offers true studio sound in live surroundings. Due to the modularity of the two ranges, the d:dicate capsules can easily be mounted on the d:facto handle or dedicated adapters, that permit it to be used on various professional wireless systems.

Body Worn Microphones

DPA will complete the ISE line-up with its full range of body worn microphones consisting of the d:screet Miniature Microphones mainly used as lavalier and the d:fine™ Headset Microphones, both internationally acclaimed for their superior sound quality and durability.

The d:screet Miniature Microphones will include the recently launched d:screet Omnidirectional Miniature Necklace Microphone – a cleverly designed mic that houses the legendary d:screet 4061 Omnidirectional Miniature Capsule in a soft rubber necklace that can be mounted by non-technical people repeatedly.

The d:fine Headset Microphones are unobtrusive microphones that are very popular with conference speakers and adjudicators who want to keep their hands free while they are presenting and talking. Offering impressive gain before feedback, these microphones are renowned for their audio accuracy and ability to deliver natural speech intelligibility and consistent audio performance at all SPLs. Available in both directional and omnidirectional options, in single or dual-ear designs, d:fine Headset Microphones are comfortable to wear and can be adjusted to accommodate any ear size and head shape.

For more information about DPA’s microphone range please visit www.dpamicrophones.com or come and see us at ISE on stand 7-V240.

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About DPA
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high quality condenser microphone solutions for professional applications. DPA’s ultimate goal is to provide you – whether you’re in live sound, recording, theater or broadcast – with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for your tasks. DPA takes no shortcuts in the design processes nor makes any compromises in manufacturing, which is all done at the DPA factory in Denmark. As a result, DPA’s products are globally praised for their exceptional clarity and transparency, unparalleled specifications, supreme reliability, and above all, pure, uncolored and undistorted sound.
www.dpamicrophones.com

Norway’s Critically-Acclaimed Susanna Switches To DPA

Susanna Wallumr¿d 2012
Norway’s Susanna, one of the most original artists currently working in the Nordic music scene, has been making the most of the DPA d:facto™ Vocal Microphone that she acquired last year from the company’s Norwegian distributor Lyd-Systemer AS.

“My d:facto Vocal Microphone gives the transparent sound I like, and gives me the best starting point for the work I am doing,” Susanna says. “Either I am singing with acoustic instruments like baroque harp and nyckelharpe [a traditional Swedish instrument], or I am processing my voice with electronics.”

The microphone came into its own during her recent tour, which visited USA, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Austria and the UK. Susanna also has a new album out – Meshes of Voice – a stunning collaboration with another shining light of the Nordic scene, Jenny Hval, on her own label, SusannaSonata.

As its title suggests, Susanna’s album is all about her vocals and how they blend with Jenny Hval’s voice. The project is based on an exchange of letters and then a live collaboration between the two artists, and stems back to 2009. It is, according to Susanna, a record inspired by Gaudi, bestiaries and Maya Deren’s short experimental film Meshes of the Afternoon, and the pair’s voices swoop and call over the evolving soundscapes that unfold below them.

“The d:facto is my new favorite microphone,” she adds. “For many years already I have been traveling with my own vocal microphones, because I deeply care about the sound of my voice and how it is mediated in the best possible way, from me to the audience.”

More tour dates are in the offing during which Susanna’s growing audiences can hear exactly why she rates DPA’s d:facto Vocal Microphone so highly – and why many critics rate her so highly as well. www.susannamagical.com

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About DPA
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high quality condenser microphone solutions for professional applications. DPA’s ultimate goal is to provide you – whether you’re in live sound, recording, theater or broadcast – with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for your tasks. DPA takes no shortcuts in the design processes nor makes any compromises in manufacturing, which is all done at the DPA factory in Denmark. As a result, DPA’s products are globally praised for their exceptional clarity and transparency, unparalleled specifications, supreme reliability, and above all, pure, uncolored and undistorted sound.
For more information, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com

Level 42 Adds DPA Microphones to its Tour Roster

Level 42s Mark King with DPA dfacto

British pop/rock band Level 42 has recently introduced a selection of DPA microphones into its live sound arsenal, including DPA d:facto™ Vocal Microphones, d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones for brass and toms, and a d:dicate™ 4011 Cardioid Recording Microphone for the ride cymbal.

One of the mainstays of the British music scene for over three decades, the band is currently undergoing an audio transition that has seen them switch to DPA microphones and introduce in-ear monitors so they can do away with a ‘whole stage full of wedges’. According to Mark ‘Joey’ Jowitt, who has been Level 42′s sound engineer since 1999, seeing the last of the wedges was a wonderful feeling.

“Thank technology that those days have gone,” he says. “It’s taken a while, but it’s all ears now. Musicians switching to in-ears find it quite disconcerting at first – as you move around the stage nothing changes in level, and that takes some getting used to. But the benefits are immense. In my experience bands become tighter, their pitching improves and obviously FOH engineers love it.”

Level 42 co-founder and one of the world’s leading funk bassists, Mark King, certainly appreciates the difference, especially when the stage set up is coupled with the renowned sensitivity of the d:facto Vocal Microphone.

“Most engineers will tell you that mic spillage is one of the hardest things to overcome during the performance, and I for one have spent far too much time trying to clean up vocal parts because of drums and monitors screaming down an open mic that is being driven too hard,” he says.

Jowitt adds: “With the d:facto, we were impressed by its overall rejection of unwanted residual noise. More often than not, condenser mics on vocals tend to become another drum overhead when you come off them, but there were no such issues with this mic.”

Mark King believes that the exceptional sensitivity of the d:facto Vocal Microphone is also allowing him to sing more freely during live performances.

“The definition in the lower registers has improved significantly for me since I started using d:facto,” he says. “It was such a difference that I bought two microphones to carry with us all the time in case the production team we were working with couldn’t supply them. Having the d:facto is like having a great studio mic onstage. I love it!”

The DPA microphones used during Level 42′s tour were supplied by Capital Sound Hire and DPA’s UK distributor, Sound Network. These included d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphones that earned the respect of the band and the sound crew for their ability to ensure all 18 channels of Pete Ray Biggin’s titanic drum kit could be heard.

“With the kit being so large and such an important part of Level 42’s sound, tight miking is imperative,” says Jowitt. “The size and clip fitting of the d:vote 4099 was quick and easy, which is good as miking a kit of that size can become quite tedious after the first 10 shows! It also has a very big sound for such a small diaphragm.”

With 2014’s Sirens tour now behind them, Level 42 is looking forward to a busy 2015 that will see them touring Japan before moving on to the European festival circuit and wrapping the year up in a one-off show at London’s indigo at the O2. Quite what the kit list will be for the dates is, as yet, undecided, but Jowitt is confident it will include DPA microphones because ‘they sound fantastic’.

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About DPA
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high quality condenser microphone solutions for professional applications. DPA’s ultimate goal is to provide you – whether you’re in live sound, recording, theater or broadcast – with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for your tasks. DPA takes no shortcuts in the design processes nor makes any compromises in manufacturing, which is all done at the DPA factory in Denmark. As a result, DPA’s products are globally praised for their exceptional clarity and transparency, unparalleled specifications, supreme reliability, and above all, pure, uncolored and undistorted sound.
For more information, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com

FOH Engineer Greg Walsh Chooses DPA Microphones For Kate Bush’s Before The Dawn Shows

Kate Bush Before The Dawn Show

Greg Walsh, Sound Design and Front of House Mixing Engineer, chose a selection of DPA microphones to capture the sound of Kate Bush’s hugely successful Before the Dawn series of concerts at London’s Hammersmith Apollo.

After 35 years away from the live stage, these much anticipated concerts received high praise from reviewers and fans who frequently commented on the exceptional audio quality and the clarity of Kate’s vocals.

The decision to use DPA microphones was made following extensive testing by Greg Walsh and the production team, which included renowned audio engineer Stephen Taylor who was responsible for Kate’s vocal processing and monitor engineer Ian Newton, who sadly passed away earlier this month.

“I knew about DPA, having originally discovered Bruel and Kjaer [DPA's predecessor] in the mid-1980s,” Walsh says. “The larger capsule microphones such as the original B&K 4007 have been my first choice for acoustic guitar, drum overheads or ambient pairs for percussive and orchestral sources ever since.”

For the Hammersmith Apollo shows, Walsh specified DPA’s d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones for a number of instruments, including percussionist Mino Cinelu’s rig where they worked well on the Bougarabou, Djembe and Floor Tom.

“Their small profile allowed us greater positioning flexibility and the supercardiod pattern gave us tight focus on the sound source and excellent rejection,” he says.

Walsh also specified a DPA d:dicate™ 4011 Recording Microphone as a central focus mic for shakers and other hand held percussion, wireless DPA d:screet™ 4060 Miniature Omnidirectional Microphones for the accordion and tambourine, and a wireless d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphone for the djembe in the ‘minstrel’ sections of the show.

“Despite their small size the d:vote 4099s proved to be very robust and reliable. They were quiet, had excellent transient response and gave me a very workable natural sound,” Walsh says.

The Before the Dawn shows also gave Greg Walsh an opportunity to try DPA’s hand held d:facto Vocal Microphone for the first time.

“Finding a vocal microphone with a dynamic range capable of capturing the broad range of vocal performance and styles was obviously paramount,” Walsh explains, “We tested most of the available handheld microphones before deciding that the d:facto was the right choice. We opted for the wireless version, which we used with a Shure UHF-R system, and it proved to be very reliable and stable.”

In total, seven d:facto microphones were used on stage – five for the Chorus and two for Kate Bush. DPA also created a custom headset mic with a d:facto 4018V capsule that allowed Kate to perform with her hands free.

“We also used two DPA d:screet 4060 Microphones for the filmed segments of the show which were shot in a water tank at Pinewood.” Walsh says. “They were small enough to be concealed in a life jacket and were also very resilient to water ingress.”

Since completing the Before the Dawn shows, Walsh has been working on other projects, including a recent concert in Russia that involved a rock band and a 64 piece orchestra.

“I had no hesitation in specifying DPA d:vote 4099s for the orchestra, all members of which were individually mic’d,” he says. “DPA are an excellent company and provided fantastic support. I have known many of the team, in particular Ralph Dunlop and Pete Wandless, for many years and would like to thank them for their support.”

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About DPA
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high quality condenser microphone solutions for professional applications. DPA’s ultimate goal is to provide you – whether you’re in live sound, recording, theater or broadcast – with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for your tasks. DPA takes no shortcuts in the design processes nor makes any compromises in manufacturing, which is all done at the DPA factory in Denmark. As a result, DPA’s products are globally praised for their exceptional clarity and transparency, unparalleled specifications, supreme reliability, and above all, pure, uncolored and undistorted sound.
For more information, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com

DPA Microphones Help Cats On Trees Deliver A Great Live Sound

Cats On Trees 2

Live sound engineer Verlaine Levis used to think that DPA microphones were only suited to classical music and never imagined that they were also great for pop rock tours. But since using a selection of DPA mics on the current Cats On Trees tour, Levis is the first to admit that his initial perception was entirely wrong.

“When DPA’s French distributor Audio² gave me the opportunity to try the company’s microphones with Cats On Trees, I was happy to accept the challenge,” Levis says. “It didn’t take long to dicover that these great microphones have beefy pickups and are perfectly suited to rock and pop acts. We’re now using three d:facto™ Vocal Microphones, as well as a d:dicate™ ST2011C Stereo Pair with 2011C Compact Cardioids and a number of d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones for drums and violins.”

Levis, who began his career with French sound company Audio-Lum, started working as a live sound engineer in 2001 and has toured with the likes of Sidilarsen, Claude Sicre, Bombs 2 Bal, Zebda, Magyd Cherfi and Mouss and Hakim. He is also building a strong reputation as a recording engineer, having been asked by a number of artists to assist with studio sessions.

Cats On Trees, a French musical duo consisting of Nina Goern and Yohan Hennequin, specialise in ambient indie pop and have released one self-titled album and a number of singles including Sirens Call, which reached No. 3 in the French charts in 2013. The band is now half way through a European tour that will see them play nearly 200 dates in various countries including France, Germany, England and Spain.
“The tour is awesome and they are playing to virtually full houses every time,” Levis says. “Since September they have been performing with a string quartet, but because we have such a busy touring schedule there hasn’t been much time for residency work or to prepare the mix. Therefore the show is being built as we go along.”

Levis runs the Front of House sound, the mix for the In Ear Monitors and the shipment of sequences since he mixes upstream.

“With the help of our lighting person, we have set up a network between sound, light and stage,” he explains. “Yohan controls the lights and video via a MIDI controller, but I am the master of the Mac, which manages the sequences and the network. Feeling comfortable is of ultimate importance to the artist so I try hard to achieve that, but with this duo it is very difficult to create a show that is the same every time because they are constantly changing things.”

The progressive evolution of the show was a key reason why Levis decided to switch to DPA microphones. He had previously used DPA omnidirectional microphones to record voice ensembles and orchestras in churches, therefore he knew of their ability to faithfully recreate the acoustics of a venue. After speaking to Audio², he was able to try out various combinations until he found the microphones that worked for him.

“I had a very clear idea of how each instrument should sound,” he explains. “I wanted to bring a lot of omnidirectional microphones on tour so that I could capture the natural colour of the instruments, but given the on-stage proximity of the drums and piano, this was not possible. As it stands, only the ambient microphones are omnidirectional.”

Levis eventually opted for DPA d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphones for the drum kit and was immediately impressed by the sound, which he describes as ‘very powerful and very natural’.
“These microphones really pick up extreme levels – they are great,” he says. “We now have DPA d:vote 4099s on the bass drum, snare, toms and violin. I even had them as under-cymbals this summer. I am most impressed with the way they capture the sound of the bass drum. I position the mic at the entrance of the drum and slightly inside it. Although the capsule is very small, it still delivers the most amazingly deep, accurate bass.”

Levis is also using DPA d:facto Vocal Microphones, which have solved the feedback issues he was having with other mics. The band has three on stage – one for Yohan on drums and two for Nina as she sings in two different locations.

“For Yohan, the issue was his drum kit,” Levis says. “I was afraid his vocal mic would pick up a lot of extraneous sounds but in fact what I achieved with d:facto was a clarity to his voice that no other mic would have given me. I just had to think carefully about the positioning of his microphone to avoid rear rejection. Furthermore, the d:faco has a very high gain and its gain before feedback is incomparable.”

“As for Nina, well to be honest it was Nina who chose d:facto – not me. We’d tried a number of different mics but it was d:facto that she really liked. I never impose a microphone on a singer and I even made her do a blind test because I wanted to be sure she was 100% comfortable with the way her voice sounded. She immediately noticed the difference and now doesn’t want to sing with any other microphone.”

The fact that DPA microphones deliver a very precise sound has given Levis’ mixes more accuracy and finesse. They have also made everyone more demanding when it comes to sound quality, especially when it comes to tuning drum kits.

“For me, the DPA microphones can be summarized in two words: natural and punchy,” Levis says. “What’s more they are very rugged. I’ve broken three microphones so far on this tour, but not a single one of them has been a DPA.”

-ends-

About DPA
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high quality condenser microphone solutions for professional applications. DPA’s ultimate goal is to provide you – whether you’re in live sound, recording, theater or broadcast – with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for your tasks. DPA takes no shortcuts in the design processes nor makes any compromises in manufacturing, which is all done at the DPA factory in Denmark. As a result, DPA’s products are globally praised for their exceptional clarity and transparency, unparalleled specifications, supreme reliability, and above all, pure, uncolored and undistorted sound.
For more information, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com

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