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Archive by Sue Sillitoe

White Mark Designs A New Film Sound Facility In Moscow

After three years of intense work, UK studio design consultancy White Mark Ltd has completed a massive project in Moscow that involved designing and building a new, state of the art film sound facility for Russian company CineLab Ltd.

The new complex has 14 studios including three dubbing theatres built and accredited to Dolby Premier License criteria and a 5.1 mixing room for pre-mixes and TV/DVD work. It also features multiple edit and pre-production suites, sound design rooms and a large orchestral studio.

All three dubbing studios and the orchestral studio are equipped with Euphonix System 5 consoles. The 5.1 mixing room is equipped with an Avid Icon Pro Control console. Pro Tools technology is available throughout and every room in the facility is linked via a central audio and video storage server, which is backed up and configured to the highest security standards. This makes it possible for projects to be worked on in multiple studios concurrently.

CineLab is putting the finishing touches to an extensive and highly specified Foley suite and orchestral studio, which will be completed by summer 2013. Designed to accommodate traditional working methods where the sound engineer is located in a separate control room, as well as more current working methods where the engineer works alongside the artists in the recording/performance space, this studio will have a wide selection of indoor and outdoor props and surfaces. It will also have comprehensive facilities for working with water, all domestic environments, car interiors and controllable variable acoustics.

White Mark was commissioned to handle the entire project on the basis of its international reputation for designing and delivering world-class audio facilities.

Cinelab’s Managing Director Vadim Nerukov says: “We did a great deal of research before allocating this contract and in our view White Mark was the best acoustic design company on the market. Our faith in the company has been more than satisfied by the work they have done. We are delighted with the new facility and with the way in which White Mark helped us overcome numerous technical issues during the construction stage to achieve the results we wanted.”

David Bell, managing director of White Mark, adds: “This was a marathon project that involved the complete renovation of a former cold store building on the banks of the Moskva River in Moscow. The entire three-storey building was totally gutted so that every studio in the new complex could be built without compromise. We had some interesting structural issues to overcome as the existing roof needed to be raised and various floor pillars removed. The builders also had to contend with the extreme cold of Russian winters, which made pouring concrete into the foundations difficult – a problem they eventually overcame by using 400kW of heating to create the correct conditions for the materials to set.”

Bell adds that the floating isolation shells needed for the main dubbing studios and the music recording studio were so large that steel structural frames had to be erected to support them. These, in turn, were so big that they had to be lifted into place with a crane.

“The weight of the lifting equipment couldn’t be supported by the rubber isolation mounts if the floor was laid first,” he explains. “We got round this by erecting the frame before the roof above it was closed. The crane was taken out in pieces through an opening we had left in the building for this purpose. Once the building was closed to the elements, we were able to lift the steel frame using jacks and place the isolation mounts underneath so that they weren’t be affected by the extremely cold temperatures outside.”

As the project’s acoustic designers, White Mark worked closely with local architects and builders to achieve the results CineLab wanted.

“Having designed audio facilities all over the world, we have developed a working method and drawing system that allows multi-lingual work forces to build accurately from our documentation,” David Bell adds. “We successfully applied these methods to this project and the results speak for themselves. CineLab is one of the biggest projects we have ever undertaken and we are very proud of what has been achieved.”

The CineLab Group already owns a number of companies involved in the film industry, including Digital Intermediate facilities (digital colour grading, preview theatres, edit suites etc), a VFX studio, a front-end and bulk printing laboratory, a lighting/grip equipment rental house, a data delivery department (DCP mastering, KDM, content delivery via satellite to 430+ cinema sites in Russia and CIS with a reach of 1000+ screens, etc), a logistics company and a film production company.

Explaining the company’s decision to invest in this new facility, CineLab’s CEO Denis Glinsky says: “CineLab’s existing companies already attract national and international work, including Russian language dubbing of Western feature films. The new complex allows us to provide a comprehensive facility for the creation of original production sound tracks in all current coding formats including Dolby SR, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital EX and Dolby Atmos (from Spring 2013).

“We can now offer facilities for the entire sound recording process – from recording on set to overdubbing, mixing and encryption of the final soundtrack. This significantly expands our remit and we believe that the combination of a unique location and state of the art facilities will appeal to Western film producers, encouraging them to move their projects to Moscow at a much earlier stage in the production process.”

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About White Mark:

Established in 1997 by David Bell, John Dunnill, Derek Buckingham and Alan Cundell, White Mark Ltd specialises in production facilities for music recording and the film and television industries. Over the last fifteen years it has designed and supervised the construction of over 500 production suites worldwide. The company’s impressive client list encompasses some of the world’s most famous music recording facilities including Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios in the UK, Germano Studios in New York, Hit Factory/Criteria Recording Studios in Miami, Strongroom in London and private studios for producers and musicians such as William Orbit and Damon Albarn. In the area of audio post production, White Mark has completed over 140 audio studios and many broadcast and video editing facilities for more than 60 companies in Soho alone. The list of clients includes Grand Central, Hackenbacker, Envy, De Lane Lea, Scramble, Lipsync, Molinare, DeLuxe, 750mph, NBC/Universal, Wave, Unit and Boom. Advertising agency clients include worldwide facilities for Hogarth International and AMV/BBDO on four continents. www.whitemark.com

Jünger Audio Deliver Consistent Audio Levels For PT Link Net

Jakarta-based cable television and Internet provider PT Link Net has chosen Jünger Audio’s internationally acclaimed Loudness control technology to manage the audio across 80 television channels.

Link Net is a major player in the Indonesian market, offering 110 Standard Definition and 30 High Definition channels, including one 3D channel. As well as providing cable television services, Link Net also offers Broadband Internet and OTT services to customers in Jakarta Surabaya and Bali. Its parent company, PT First Media, delivers 4G wireless and Media Production services and is currently in the process of implementing DVB-T2 and DVB-S2 services.

With numerous content streams to contend with, Link Net needed a reliable and consistent solution that would allow it to automatically adjust audio levels from incoming content sources.

Desmond Poon, Link Net’s Chief Technology Officer, says: “Different content providers have different incoming audio levels and the audio levels within some channels also vary significantly. As a result, our customers were experiencing varying audio levels when switching between channels and, quite understandably, they were finding this very annoying.”

To solve this problem, Link Net has installed five Jünger Audio C8000 Digital Audio Modular Processing systems, which comprise multiple DSP, I/O interface cards and frames that can easily be configured to provide broadcasters with a customised system to suit their specific requirements. Each C8000 system incorporates Jünger Audio’s renowned Level Magic™ II algorithm, which is compliant with all current broadcast audio loudness recommendations including ITU 1770 (versions 1 and 2), ATSC A/85, ARIB TR-B32 and EBU R128. Based on a simultaneous combination of an AGC, a Transient Processor for fast changes and a “look ahead” Peak Limiter for continuous unattended control of any programme material, regardless of its original source, Level Magic™ II can easily and automatically adjust audio levels from any source at any time, with no pumping, breathing or distortion.

“The Jünger Audio C8000 systems have been installed at our new Cable TV Headend in Berita Satu Plaza, Jakarta, where they are now levelling audio across 80 of our channels,” Desmond Poon adds. “The new Headend was commissioned in January and so far the Jünger Audio units are performing as specified, with the result that audio levels between all 80 channels are now properly aligned. We are continuing to monitor their performance but to date are very happy with the results we are achieving.”

Peter Poers, managing Director of Jünger Audio, adds: “Maintaining loudness consistency has now become a major issue for the broadcast industry and one that particularly affects playout facilities. We are delighted that Link Net has successfully solved its audio leveling issues using our Loudness control technology.”

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About Jünger Audio
Established in Berlin in 1990, Jünger Audio specialises in the design and manufacture of high-quality digital audio dynamics processors. It has developed a unique range of digital processors that are designed to meet the demands of the professional audio market. All of its products are easy to operate and are developed and manufactured in-house, ensuring that the highest standards are maintained throughout. Its customers include many of the world’s top radio and TV broadcasters, IPTV providers, music recording studios and audio post production facilities. www.junger-audio.com

Oxygen DCT Launches The AirWaves HD Wireless Monitoring System

Oxygen DCT has launched AirWaves HD™, a wireless HD monitoring system that gives directors and producers working on set or on location the freedom to monitor productions without being tethered to cables.

Launched in direct response to huge demand from television and film companies, AirWaves HD comprises a camera mounted transmitter and monitor mounted receiver that stream HD-SDI and HDMI signals wirelessly over the air, up to distances of 500m away. Video is throughput at a maximised data rate to produce uninterrupted high quality HD video with low latency and impressive resolution. Embedded audio and timecode are also carried transparently across the air waves making Airwaves HD exceptionally versatile. AirWaves HD is equally suited to field and studio production and is supported by a host of options specifically tailored to indoor and outdoor use.

Steve Hathaway, Managing Director of Oxygen DCT, says: “AirWaves HD is designed to meet market need for a multi-format wireless monitoring system that can deliver the high quality high definition pictures that today’s directors’ demand. With an automatic encoding rate adjustment that enables a constant output of 50Mpbs, plus the ability to connect to multiple LCD or OLED monitors simultaneously, AirWaves HD is the perfect complement to any professional television and film shoot.”

Small, lightweight and highly portable, the AirWaves HD system eliminates the need for tethered cable connection between cameras and production monitors, allowing far greater mobility of equipment, as well as reducing on-location set-up time. A single push button initiates the pairing and automatic connection of the transmitter and receiver. The multi-format system handles full bandwidth 3G-SDI, HD-SDI, SD-SDI and HDMI video signals up to 1080p60 4:2:2.

The AirWaves HD transmitter works with all makes of HD cameras and has an optional V Lock adaptor plate that allows it to be clipped on to the back of a camera and powered via the V Lock plate from V Lock equipped batteries. Whilst accepting power as low as 7V DC, these state of the art devices have been designed to work with equally state of the art power systems including the very latest high power 26V DC battery systems used with Arri Alexa cameras.
The receiver can also be fitted with an optional V Lock adaptor plate, allowing it to be clipped onto any monitor equipped with the same facility, such as the Evolution P3 range of LCD and OLED monitors from Oxygen DCT. This enables producers and director to monitor their productions with great mobility and without having to worry about cables.

AirWaves HD offers a choice of two transmitters and two receivers, a HDMI only version and a HDMI and HD-SDI version, which may be mixed together in the most suitable combination for production requirements. AirWaves HD also employs the very latest MIMO antenna technology that gives improved communication performance by allowing extended link range without increasing bandwidth or power consumption and a latency of just 20ms. Whilst the standard AirWaves HD operates up to 150 metres, distances of up to 500 meters can easily be achieved using optional high gain antenna and AirWaves HD can also safely be used in any location as it doesn’t require special FCC licenses.

For more information please contact Oxygen DCT or visit www.oxygendct.com

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About Oxygen DCT:
Oxygen DCT is a broadcasts systems solutions provider with a deep knowledge and understanding of the broadcast and professional media markets. This dynamic organisation has amassed in just over five years, a very extensive and comprehensive products portfolio of over 3000 carefully designed broadcast and production products that represent the pinnacle of engineering excellence. Oxygen DCT was the first company in the broadcast industry to fully implement online facilities for its customers and its unique, comprehensive online ordering facility automatically configures equipment systems for customers, saving time and provides industry professionals with the convenience of immediate online pricing. The ‘one-stop-shop’ website caters for the smallest requirements whilst also allowing users to prepare their own quotes and place orders online with immediate order confirmation. Oxygen DCT also provides advice, support and expertise as part of its ‘life cycle’ care scheme, ensuring that customers are fully serviced throughout their career life cycles.

DPA Shows The New d:facto™ II Vocal Mic at BVE 2013

DPA Microphones is introducing its new d:facto™ II Vocal Microphone to the broadcast industry at this year’s BVE Exhibition in London, where it will be on show on the DPA distribution partner Sound Network stand (B.55).

Ideally suited to live music broadcasting, this latest addition to the d:facto line offers an extraordinarily natural sound, high separation and extreme SPL handling, giving users unlimited possibilities for their performances. In addition to use with the new wired DPA handle, the d:facto II provides singers and engineers with the added benefit of a state-of-the-art adapter system that allows for seamless integration with many professional wireless systems.

“We are extremely proud to have developed an ingenious adapter range that brings the true DPA sound out of a wireless system,” says Christian Poulsen, CEO of DPA Microphones. “The wireless systems currently available deliver very limited power to drive the capsule, so getting the sound quality we wanted was nearly impossible. We had to be creative and put a huge amount of work and thought into the electronic circuit of the adapter solution. We wanted to make the best vocal microphone on the market, and with the d:facto we have reached this goal.”

The new d:facto II guarantees users exceptional DPA sound with popular existing wireless systems such as Sony, Lectrosonics, Shure, Wisycom and Sennheiser. The d:facto II provides improved audio performance as it is superbly linear in frequency and phase, both on- and off-axis, while its impressive definition and accuracy reproduces a singer’s voice effortlessly.

The flexibility of its inventive adapter system gives the user easy and very affordable possibilities of choosing either a wired DPA handle or the professional wireless system of their choosing, with no loss in the sound quality. Its simple plug-and-play features allow it to reproduce an extraordinary natural sound, which reaches the extreme sound level handling of 160 dB.

As with all DPA mics, the d:facto II provides superior gain before feedback, and a robust three-stage pop protection grid built into the microphone to remove unwanted noise. It also boasts exceptional isolation from handling noise as well as the ability to accommodate extreme sound levels.

The cabled version of the d:facto II, as well as the adapters for Shure, Sony, Lectrosonics and Wisycom, will be available in February 2013. The adapters for the Sennheiser systems will be available in March 2013.

Ralph Dunlop, Director of Sound Network, says: “We are all excited to be exhibiting at BVE once again, especially in light of the success we have had over the last year. The introduction of the new d:facto II Vocal Microphone is a milestone in the development of the DPA microphone range and we are proud to now have a microphone for every professional application.”

Sound Network will also be using the BVE platform to show DPA’s expanded d:fine™ series of headset microphones. Offering impressive gain before feedback and very stable construction, DPA’s unobtrusive d:fine headset microphones are easy to fit and provide presenters and guests with a discreet microphone solution that is nearly invisible on the face. The d:fine range is renowned for its audio accuracy and its ability to deliver natural voice intelligibility and consistent audio performance at all SPLs. d:fine capsules are so comfortable to wear that presenters can focus on their performance, safe in the knowledge that these hand-built microphones will deliver high-quality, distortion-free sound.

d:fine is available in both directional and omnidirectional options, in single or dual-ear designs and with several boom lengths. Designed to fit comfortably, they adjust to accommodate any ear size and head shape and can be mounted on either the left or right side of the head. Available in black, beige, brown, and lime green, each solution performs spectacularly in either cabled or wireless settings and can accommodate a range of accessories including windscreens, power supplies, and adapters or cables with fixed connectors (MicroDot, 3-pin Lemo, TA4F mini XLR, Mini-jack).

“DPA is internationally acclaimed for delivering the pristine sound quality that programme makers and viewers want,” Christian Poulsen adds. “Our range includes microphones for a wide variety of broadcast applications and we are confident that, both in terms of sound quality and design, they are the best broadcast microphones on the market today.”

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Editors’ information:
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high quality condenser microphones and microphone solutions for professional applications in studio, broadcast, theatre, video/film and sound reinforcement environments. All DPA microphones and components are manufactured at the company’s purpose-built factory in Denmark.
For more information on DPA Microphones, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com

DPA Makes An Impact At The GNC Awards In Beirut

A large selection of DPA microphones were deployed at the first Gibran National Committee Annual Awards Ceremony, which took place in Beirut to honour and promote distinguished Lebanese innovators.

More than 60 musicians, 40 choristers and two presenters took part in the event and every one of them was miked with a DPA microphone.

Sound engineer Roger Bou Farhat, head of Beirut-based rental company Loud N Clear, supplied all of the audio equipment for the Awards ceremony. He says: “I specified DPA microphones because they always deliver fantastic results. As this was a highly prestigious event, the audio had to be first class and I knew that DPA would be up to the challenge.”

DPA d:vote™ 4099 instrument microphones were used to mic the entire orchestra and also the Guy Manukian band, which performed at the ceremony. For the band’s piano, high hat and oriental percussion instruments Roger Bou Farhat used DPA 2011 Twin Diaphragm directional microphones, while for the choir he used 12 DPA 4011A cardioid microphones, which were chosen for their ability to deliver a natural, accurate sound with extremely low distortion. The microphone line-up was completed with two DPA 4098H supercardioid microphones located on the presenters’ podium. The presenters also wore DPA d:fine™ single ear headset microphones.

The Gibran National Committee Annual Awards aims to uphold the cultural values of the Lebanese philosopher, writer and poet Gibran Khalil Gibran. 12 recipients were honoured at the ceremony, which took place at the Casino du Liban in Beirut.

“The Awards ceremony was a huge success and the DPA microphones all performed flawlessly,” Roger Bou Farhat says. “As this is now an annual event I am confident that DPA microphones will be playing a big part in next year’s ceremony, too.”

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Editors’ information:
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high quality condenser microphones and microphone solutions for professional applications in studio, broadcast, theatre, video/film and sound reinforcement environments. All DPA microphones and components are manufactured at the company’s purpose-built factory in Denmark.
For more information on DPA Microphones, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com

DPA Delivers Sweet Sounding Jazz

Acclaimed Chicago vocalist and songwriter Dee Alexander has joined the growing band of international artists who have discovered the joy of singing with a DPA d:facto Vocal Microphone.

Ms Alexander was encouraged to try DPA’s d:facto hand-held vocal microphone at the Umbria Winter Jazz festival, which took place in Orvieto, Italy in December 2012.

“I’m always willing to try something new. I was introduced to the d:facto during sound checks for the festival and wasn’t at all nervous about giving it a go,” she says. “I was impressed with its sleek look, the way it felt in my hand and the natural pure sound quality that allowed me to vocalize with ease and comfort. It was like tasting something sweet for the first time!”

Salvatore Zocco, product manager at DPA’s Italian distributor Casale Bauer, says: “Gianni Grassilli, whose PA rental company provided equipment and FOH sound engineers for the festival, has long been a fan of DPA microphones and was keen to try the new d:facto vocal microphone on a major project. We provided him with a couple of microphones and he encouraged the artists to use them and give feedback. Dee, who was one of the festival’s headline acts, really embraced the microphone and found it perfectly suited to her technique. On some occasions she was almost three feet away from the microphone, yet it still captured the dynamics of her performance and the amazing precision of her vocals.”

Although Dee Alexander’s talents span every music genre, from Gospel and R&B through to Blues to Neo-Soul, her real love is Jazz, which she delivers with a style and passion that is truly her own. Besides being a phenomenal headliner in her own right, Ms Alexander has performed as the opening act for many of her musical peers, including David Sanborn, Earl Klugh, Gerald Albright, Roy Ayers, Joshua Redman, and the O’Jays.

Dee Alexander’s Evolution Ensemble completed a CD entitled Sketches of Light, which was recorded and produced by Umbria Jazz. She is now working on a project focusing on classic songs by artists such as Gloria Lynn, Sarah Vaughan, and Nancy Wilson.

“I used the DPA d:facto for all of my performances in Orvieto and loved it,” she adds. “I can’t thank Gianni enough for introducing me to the d:facto. It captured the essence, quality and natural sound of my voice and I did not have to work hard at all. It truly is a microphone of excellence.”

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Editors’ information:
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high quality condenser microphones and microphone solutions for professional applications in studio, broadcast, theatre, video/film and sound reinforcement environments. All DPA microphones and components are manufactured at the company’s purpose-built factory in Denmark.
For more information on DPA Microphones, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com

Jünger Audio Increases its Presence at TVE In Spain

Spain’s national broadcaster TVE has made a significant investment in Jünger Audio’s loudness control technology, which it is using to normalize the audio across a number of its television channels.

TVE has been using Jünger Audio technology since 2003, but during 2012 it actively embraced High Definition broadcasting and as a result upgraded its Jünger Audio B40 and B46 processors to incorporate SDI boards, thus making them more compatible with its existing Dolby products.

TVE has also invested in an additional nine Jünger Audio frame-based C8000 systems, bringing the total number of C8000 systems in use at its broadcast facilities to 35.

The new equipment is primarily being used for play-out and for the editors’ rooms at TVE’s Torrespaña broadcast tower in Barcelona. A number of systems have also been installed in TVE’s production centre in San Cugat del Vallés, Barcelona.

Alberto Palazón, commercial manager at Jünger Audio’s Spanish distributor ASPA, which supplied and installed the new equipment, says: “TVE initially chose Jünger Audio equipment because it was looking for a transparent processor that could normalize audio across various channels without compressing the signal or distorting the sound. Jünger Audio’s LEVEL MAGIC™-based C8000 system proved to be the ideal solution as it didn’t alter the original sound of the audio in any way.

Palazón adds that, with audio coming in from many different sources, TVE also wanted a system that would make it easy to decode and encode Dolby signals and reposition their audio content into their SDI signal path.

“The Jünger Audio equipment has achieved the results they were looking for and they can now reorder audio, regardless of whether the original source was mono, stereo or 5.1 surround sound,” he says.

Paloma Sampedro, head of TVE’s audiovisual production unit, adds: “We are very happy with the Jünger Audio C8000 systems and with the upgrades we have made to our B40 and B46 units. With Jünger Audio, we now have a complete solution that allows us to decode SDI signals, process audio and sum and code again. This is a great solution and one that is incredibly easy to use. Jünger Audio’s Loudness control technology is very stable and delivers high quality audio. These factors, combined with the support we have received from ASPA, made our decision to invest in more processors an easy one to make.”

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About Jünger Audio
Established in Berlin in 1990, Jünger Audio specialises in the design and manufacture of high-quality digital audio dynamics processors. It has developed a unique range of digital processors that are designed to meet the demands of the professional audio market. All of its products are easy to operate and are developed and manufactured in-house, ensuring that the highest standards are maintained throughout. Its customers include many of the world’s top radio and TV broadcasters, IPTV providers, music recording studios and audio post production facilities. www.junger-audio.com

Rick Wakeman Tours South America With DPA Microphones

DPA Microphones were present in abundance at the Gran Rex Theatre in Buenos Aires when world-renowned keyboardist and composer Rick Wakeman played two concerts featuring his best-selling albums Journey to the Centre of the Earth and The Six Wives of Henry VIII.

The concerts were the culmination of a South American tour that also included six band-only shows in Brazil, Chile and Argentina. The final two sell-out concerts in Buenos Aires involved two different full orchestral shows, complete with a five-piece rock band, a choir, narration and solo singers.

Front of House sound engineer and co-production manager Ian Barfoot, who has worked with Rich Wakeman on numerous occasions since 1985, was given the task of specifying the audio equipment for the tour.

“The two orchestral concerts in Buenos Aires involved more than 90 channels, of which more a third used DPA microphones,” Ian Barfoot says. “Although some of the equipment I wanted was not available in South America, I did insist on DPA microphones, especially for the orchestra. I used DPA IMK4060 Instrument Microphones for the harp and all the high strings such as violas and violins, while for the cello and bass we used DPA d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones. We needed so many – over 30 in total – that we couldn’t source them all locally and had to ship the majority of them with us from the UK.”

For this tour, Barfoot and his co-production manager Erik Jordan also specified DPA’s d:facto™ Vocal Microphone, which was used by the two main vocalists Ashley Holt and Cecilia Barba.

“The DPA d:facto Vocal Microphones were supplied by DPA’s UK distributor Sound Network, who I often work with and always get great service from,” Barfoot says. “The d:factos were simply great and didn’t give us a moment’s trouble. They are very honest microphones and, to my ears, quite uncoloured. They don’t suffer from proximity effect and they coped just as well with the restrained orchestral shows as they did with the full-on band shows, which were very old school Rock and Roll. Once the monitor engineers got used to them, they were more than happy to use them in stage wedges. During the last two orchestral shows the delicate and highly accurate nature of the microphones could be fully appreciated by the singers and the band as, to assist me, they switched to In Ear Monitoring to keep the stage levels down to a minimum.”

Barfoot adds that Rick Wakeman’s long-time vocalist Ashley Holt was especially pleased with the DPA d:facto’s performance.

“He was a little reluctant to use one at first because it was ‘different’ and not what he was ‘used to’, but after a couple of rehearsals he became a firm fan and I think he was hoping that Santa Claus would deliver one to him on Christmas morning.”

As a firm fan of DPA microphones, Ian Barfoot says he always insists on having a good selection available for every show he does because they consistently deliver a great sound and are also incredibly durable, especially on tour.

“In an ideal world I would have liked a few DPA 2011 twin diaphragm cardioid microphones to scatter around these orchestral shows, but as I couldn’t source them locally we managed with what we had,” he says. “Making sure the strings are properly covered is always my main concern with orchestral shows, but as we were using DPA IMK 4060s on those I knew I wouldn’t have any problems.”

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Editors’ information:
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high quality condenser microphones and microphone solutions for professional applications in studio, broadcast, theatre, video/film and sound reinforcement environments. All DPA microphones and components are manufactured at the company’s purpose-built factory in Denmark.
For more information on DPA Microphones, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com

Recording The Unique Film Sound Of Les Miserables with DPA Microphones

DPA Microphones played an integral part in recording the audio for the film version of the hit musical Les Miserables, which features an all-star cast including Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Samantha Barks and Sacha Baron Cohen.

Nominated for nine BAFTA Awards, including one for Sound, Les Miserables used an innovative technique that involved recording vocals live on set with the cast singing to a live piano accompaniment played to them through earpieces. The orchestra was recorded later in post-production, with the musicians taking their lead from the performances of the cast.

This break with tradition enabled the director Tom Hooper to create a truly emotive experience for audiences watching the film. Production Sound Mixer Simon Hayes, who was responsible for capturing the film’s entire audio content, says it was a truly unique way of working and one that would not have been possible without exceptional microphones, in particular DPA 4071 lavalier microphones.

”When judging different lavaliers I had always considered the differences in sound between various brands of lavalier to be a matter of taste rather than a clear cut situation of one brand being superior,” Hayes says. ”That was until I listened to a DPA up against the competition. In my opinion the DPA is better, more open sounding, less chesty and sounds more like a boom mic than any other lavaliers I have heard.”

Hayes had 50 DPA 4071 lavalier microphones at his disposal during the filming of Les Miserables, all of which were supplied by Richmond Films in conjunction with DPA’s UK distributor Sound Network.

“Normally when I am recording a film I prioritise boom mics, especially if the scene is being shot with a single camera. But with Les Miserables, Tom wanted all the angles covered from all sides to capture the perfect performance. This meant we couldn’t rely so heavily on the booms because the wider angle coverage would stop them getting close enough. Our solution was to come at the recording from a different angle and make lavalier microphones our priority.”

Abbey Road engineers checked the sound quality of the DPA 4071 lavaliers to make sure they were the best choice for vocals. Hayes says they were impressed with the results.

“We tested various models and found the DPAs were clearly the best. In fact nothing else came close. The sound quality, frequency response and dynamic range were easily good enough to master and they were able to handle very high SPL levels from vocals without sounding harsh as they approach their maximum SPL. I have never heard a vocal make them square off, yet such is their dynamic range and sensitivity that they can faithfully reproduce even the smallest ‘breathed’ vocal.”

With Abbey Road happy with his choice of lavalier, Simon Hayes’ next task was finding a way of using them that gave the best sound but still allowed them to remain invisible to audiences.

“We collaborated with the costume designers to conceal cables within the clothes and to disguise microphones that were positioned on the outside of the costumes,” he says. “DPA’s mini concealers allowed us to mount them perfectly so they were virtually undetectable. This solved the problem of clothing rustle and, on the rare occasions when they were in shot, we were able to paint them out afterward using post production techniques.”

Le Miserables took 15 weeks to shoot and an additional seven weeks were spent rehearsing with all the actors miked up so that the audio could be sent to Abbey Road for feedback. Simon Hayes says he is delighted with the sound and believes what was achieved wouldn’t have been possible without the DPA lavaliers.

“They are the only lavaliers that could cope with what we were trying to do,” he says. “Apart from their exceptional audio quality and dynamic range, they were also incredibly durable and gave us no problems, not even when we got them soaking wet during the scenes we shot in the rain. We simply swapped them around and dried them out with a hair drier before using them for the next take.

“Normally I record dialogue, not music, so this was a very different kind of project for me, but I absolutely loved it. Lots of people thought what we did wouldn’t be possible, but we pulled it off and I am very proud of what we achieved.”

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Editors’ information:
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high quality condenser microphones and microphone solutions for professional applications in studio, broadcast, theatre, video/film and sound reinforcement environments. All DPA microphones and components are manufactured at the company’s purpose-built factory in Denmark.
For more information on DPA Microphones, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com

DK-Technologies Boosts its Marketing Team

DK-Technologies has appointed Uffe Kjems Hansen to the position of Product Marketing Director, with responsibility for promoting the company’s entire range of audio and video metering and monitoring products, including the award-winning DK Meter family.

Kjems Hansen joins DK-Technologies from digital processing manufacturer TC Electronic, where he held a number of positions over a 17 year period, culminating in Vice President, Business Management and Marketing. As a key member of TC Electronic’s management group he was instrumental in driving the company’s international growth through market and product focus, aligned with strategic marketing and communication.

Karsten Hansen, CEO of DK-Technologies, says: “Uffe has extensive business experience and this, combined with his in-depth knowledge of our industry, makes him the ideal person to assist DK-Technologies with its future growth strategy. He joins the company at an exciting time as we push forward with the development of our DK Meter family – a range of audio and loudness metering products that have been exceptionally well received by broadcasters and post production facilities.”

Uffe Kjems Hansen adds: “DK-Technology has always been synonymous with extreme accuracy and high quality products. The addition of the DK Meter family to the product range expands the company’s reach significantly and I am very excited to be joining at a time of great potential growth. I look forward to working with the DK-Technology team to take the company to the next level.”

Kjems Hansen will work alongside Jacob Hänel Christensen, who was appointed as Sales Director of DK-Technologies in September 2012. They jointly replace Richard Kelley, who has left the company to pursue new business opportunities in the broadcast and telecommunications field.

-ends-

About DK-Technologies
DK-Technologies develops and produces audio meters, video sync and test signal generators, as well as video waveform monitors and colour analysers both for LCD and CRT monitors. Alongside its worldwide distributor network, DK-Technologies also operates branch offices in Denmark, Germany, UK and USA. www.dk-technologies.com

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