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Archive of the Microphones Category

Funky Junk Supplies Royer Mics For The Stereophonics Latest Tour

The Stereophonics, one of Britain’s most instantly recognisable bands, have just completed a major UK arena tour to promote their new album Graffiti On The Train.

The equipment list for the tour included three Royer R-121L ribbon microphones, which were supplied by Royer’s UK distributor Funky Junk.

Royer’s R-121 Ribbon Microphone is renowned for its ability to bring an extremely natural and realistic analogue sound to digital recording and live stages. The TEC Award winning R-121L, the ruggedized and more road-worthy ‘live’ version of the microphone, has been specifically designed to withstand the rigours of live touring. Royer won the prestigious 2013 Technical Grammy partly for their R-121, the first ribbon microphone suitable for close-miking electric guitar and other high SPL sound sources.

The microphones were chosen for the Stereophonics tour by FOH engineer Dave Roden who wanted to continue with their ongoing ethos of constant improvement of the overall sound quality at their live gigs.

“I haven’t used Royer R-121 microphones in a live situation before, but the band have used them in the studio and been very happy with the results they have achieved,” Roden says. “I have also heard them being used by other FOH engineers whom I greatly admire, (Jim Ebdon and Marc Carolan for example) and have always been really impressed with the results. I decided to use them, too, in order to up our game.”

Dave Roden was confident that incorporating Royer R-121 ribbon microphones into his live equipment arsenal would help him capture lead vocalist/guitarist Kelly Jones and lead backing vocalist/guitarist Adam Zindani’s individual guitar tones, as well as the raw energy for which the Stereophonics are famous.

“The band members have all moved on to IEM’s (in ear monitors) and they were hearing things completely differently to the way they’ve been used to with wedges,” Dave Roden explains. “In order to adapt, some of the on-stage sources required a more hi-fi approach. This was a challenge for everyone involved, but was a very positive and necessary step in respect to the future performance capabilities of the band, and gave our Monitor Engineer Dave Retson and myself the perfect opportunity to significantly upgrade our mic stock. Both the band on stage and the audience in the arenas were very happy with the guitar sounds they were hearing when we used the R-121L’s on the tour.”

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About Funky Junk:
Funky Junk is Europe’s leading supplier of new and refurbished professional recording equipment and services. It has offices in London, Paris, Milan and Vigo and has been in business for over 20 years. The company is renowned for its high level technical knowledge, backed by extensive workshop facilities. As well as handling sales and repairs, Funky Junk also acts as a distributor to a number of equipment brands and deals with their service and warranty.

For more information please visit www.proaudioeurope.com

DPA Microphones and Steinway Pianos in Perfect Harmony for ‘Keyboards at Christmas’ Event

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary teams up with DPA and Steinway for large-scale holiday performance featuring 17 grand pianos

FORT WORTH, DECEMBER 12, 2013 – The School of Church Music at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary recently enlisted the help of DPA Microphones and Steinway Hall of Dallas, Plano and Fort Worth to put on Keyboards at Christmas — a performance of “grand” proportions. With 17 Steinway Grand Pianos on stage, student and professional musicians performed holiday songs for the packed house at the 3,500-seat venue.

Already DPA Microphones enthusiasts for the ability of its mics to reproduce the natural beauty of a Steinway, the music staff at Southwestern Baptist knew it wanted to equip all 17 pianos with three d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Mics each, for a total of 51 mics. A clear, pristine sound was the school’s primary requirement when searching for a mic, and it was obvious that the DPA d:vote was the only choice.

“The Steinway instruments have a very beautiful, very unique sound that other instruments can’t touch, so we didn’t want to recreate the sound, but rather amplify it for the audience to hear in this very large hall,” says Luke Byford, Assistant Director of Musical Productions for the school. “We had experimented for a while with how to mic the piano in this hall and we knew it had to be the DPA d:votes. We previously tried a pickup system, but it just didn’t provide the live sound of the piano. It actually sounded pretty dead. Then we tried a variety of other mics and positions. Nothing seemed right, until our sound techs presented the idea to try the d:votes we had for string instruments in the piano. We were very pleased with the natural reproduction of the DPA mics as they gave us a much more accurate picture of how the pianos sound and the beauty that they put out.”

While this is the second year of the event, the school’s 2012 performance was held in a smaller, more acoustically tuned venue, so the staff did not require microphones. For this year’s Keyboards at Christmas, the school increased the number of pianos. To ensure that audience members had a clear view of every musician, the stage had three elevated platforms, which allowed them to place five pianos at the top, six in the center and six in the front.

“For a great deal of the program, all of the pianos were played at the same time,” says Jerry Aultman, Professor of Music Theory, who worked with Byford on the event. “Sometimes there were two pianists per piano, so a total of 34 pianists playing simultaneously. Bottom line, it was imperative in this hall, as you can imagine with this many instruments and musicians, for the artists to hear each other separately and without delay. From an audience perspective, I noticed that the DPA d:votes just made the Steinways sound the way they are supposed to sound. It was a true representation of the pianos. They don’t need improvement, they’re wonderful the way they are, we just wanted to amplify them and reproduce an accurate sound. With a program of this magnitude, using this many pianos in a hall this large, it is impossible to overemphasize the importance of this requirement.”

It wasn’t just the microphones that drew Byford and Aultman to the DPA d:vote. As the microphone is designed to be heard and not seen, the tiny capsule size enabled the mics to be positioned where the staff wanted them, without any visible signs of a mic being in place.

“We like that you can’t see them,” adds Byford. “They were in the pianos and we ran the lines out of the back, so the audience did not even know they were there. The magnetic piano mounts were great because once they were attached to the brass, they didn’t bounce or rattle. They stayed exactly where we put them, and the fact that they are on goosenecks allowed us to get the mounts in the proper spot on the piano, but then move the microphone to get them in the best position to pick up the exact area of sound we wanted to highlight. They were so hidden and so natural that many of our audience members later told us they didn’t even realize the pianos were being amplified until we mentioned it to them.”

The school had only one day of prep time to mic up the pianos and do an audio run through with students to ensure the EQ was perfect, so the size and maneuverability of the d:votes also afforded the quick setup that was needed. With only a limited in-house supply of d:votes, the school sought to rent an additional 35 microphones to fulfill their need for 51 d:votes. A tall order for any rental house, Byford found himself in direct contact with Eric Mayer, President of DPA Microphones, Inc.

“I think it’s great that a company that makes this kind of product would want to get behind a production like ours and help out the way they did,” adds Byford. “Everyone we worked with at DPA, seemed really excited to help us and support this project.”

In addition to the large supply of d:votes, the company loaned the school two d:facto™ Vocal Microphones for the soloists who accompanied the pianists. DPA’s Sales and Marketing rep, James Capparelle, also attended the event to help with setup and make certain everything ran smoothly.

The Keyboards at Christmas event hosted Southwestern Baptist students and faculty, as well as school-aged children who played three songs, including excerpts from the classic “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Guest artists Becky Lombard, professor of music at Truett-McConnell College, and T. Bob Davis, a former Southwestern Seminary trustee also performed. In addition to Byford, Aultman and Capparelle, the event was also run by Matthew Bennett, Will Schaefer, Caleb Wallace and Cody Meuer, who are student employees of the school’s A/V Communications department and were key players in making sure the program operated effortlessly.

Video from the event can be found at: http://youtu.be/-D0JsLg2IDw.

ABOUT DPA MICROPHONES:
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high-quality condenser microphone solutions for professional applications. DPA’s ultimate goal is to always provide its customers with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for all its markets, which include live sound, installation, recording, theatre and broadcast. When it comes to the design process, DPA takes no shortcuts. Nor does the company compromise on its manufacturing process, which is 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 on DPA Microphones, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com.

Masque Sound Makes Triumphant Return to Lincoln Center Theater for New Production of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth

When the curtain rose on William Shakespeare’s Macbeth at Lincoln Center Theater, Masque Sound, a leading theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design company, was on-hand to provide Sound Designer Mark Bennett and Associate Sound Designer Charles Coes with a custom audio equipment package that would ensure complete and pristine audio surround sound and coverage throughout the venue for the famed scribe’s powerful and dark tragedy.

Macbeth tells the story of the title character and brave Scottish general who receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan and takes the throne for himself. He is then wracked with guilt and paranoia, and he soon becomes a tyrannical ruler as he is forced to commit more and more murders to protect himself from enmity and suspicion. The bloodbath and consequent civil war swiftly take Macbeth and Lady Macbeth into the realms of arrogance, madness and death. In this new production, Ethan Hawke plays Macbeth opposite Anne-Marie Duff as Lady Macbeth.

Bennett and Coes’ goal in designing the sound was to create a flexible system that was capable of delivering a surround sound experience, while also providing complete coverage for every seat in the large, extreme three-quarter Vivian Beaumont Theater. Since Macbeth is a play, and not a musical, Bennett and Coes wanted to create an environment that was as natural sounding as possible.

“The audio solutions that we were able to come up with in collaborating with Masque Sound were great,” says Bennett. “Masque Sound was always able to find alternative ways to achieve our vision, if they didn’t immediately have the ability to do that with their existing inventory. The quality of the equipment that Masque has provided is consistently excellent.”

The Vivian Beaumont Theater has one of the deepest stages in New York City, rivaled only by The Metropolitan Opera and Radio City Music Hall. As a result, Bennett and Coes were able to create tiers of sound in off-stage areas, giving them the ability and flexibility to pinpoint where they wanted the sound to source from in a very large environment.

Another important component of the sound was O’Brien’s desire to have the supernatural world play a large part in the play. O’Brien wanted the show’s “Three Witches” to be able to use the weather as a force to be reckoned with throughout the piece. In order to move the weather and other sound effects around the theater, Bennett and Coes used a combination of heavy Yamaha DME processing and a variety of Meyer Sound loudspeakers, as well as tapping into the Beaumont’s SIAP system, to create rings of surround throughout the theater.

At the heart of the custom equipment package, provided by Masque Sound, was a Yamaha PM5D digital mixing console with a DSP5D editing side car. According to Coes, “The PM5D gave us the most flexibility. It integrated very well with the Yamaha DME’s, which allowed us to accomplish the very transparent vocal reinforcement that we were shooting for. It also provided for a lot of deep control using the delay matrix.”

Bennett and Coes also utilized a 32-channel playback system to further move the sound fluidly around the surround channels as well as a Meyer Sound Matrix3 Audio Show Control unit. A Meyer Sound-based loudspeaker system was used for vocals including UPA-1P’s coupled with a USW-1P subwoofer, and an array of M1D orchestra and balcony delays. The music system consisted of an array of Meyer Sound UPA-1P’s, USW-1P’s and an additional Meyer 650-P effect subwoofer. For the fills, which were very close to the audience, a passive d&b E-Series array was used.

In deciding on microphone selection, Bennett and Coes began with the idea that they were going to use foot mics throughout with the occasional body mic. As the design progressed, they discovered that by using nearly equal amounts of both, they were able to provide that intimate feel needed for many of the scenes while also aiding in the final transparency of the piece. Masque Sound provided Sennheiser MKH 8040 cardioid microphones and AKG E460 pre amps for the foot mics. Sennheiser SK5012 transmitters and DPA 4061 lavalier elements were used for the body mics.

“We chose the gear we did because conceptually it allows us to work with the music by installing each cue with a variety of splits,” adds Coes. “This really allows us to separate out what the bass is doing, what the percussion is doing, what the mid-range fills are doing, and then where we are placing the solo instruments per cue. With 15 delayed individual foot mics to every speaker in the vocal reinforcement system and each of the RF mics existing in one of 12 zones on the stage, Mixer Marc Salzberg does a great deal of switching of zones, for individual mics, at any given moment to keep everybody in as accurate a zone as possible.”

Masque Sound also worked with the show’s RF Engineer Adam Smolenski to provide frequency coordination for the 20 channels of wireless plus 12 wireless intercoms that are utilized during each performance.

According to Coes, “With more than 1700 lines of code in QLab, around 300 cues taken for content-only and an additional 30-40 taken for reinforcement, there is an incredible intricacy of the musical and playback content of the show. Masque Sound understood the needs of the project and provided us with gear that can deliver night after night with reliability and stability; that is one of the great aspects of working with them.”

Macbeth opened to rave reviews on Thursday, November 21 at the Vivian Beaumont Theater. The limited engagement of Macbeth is scheduled to run through January 12, 2014.

About Masque Sound
Founded in 1936 by a trio of Broadway stagehands, Masque Sound evolved into one of NYC’s most successful theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design companies specializing in theatrical, house of worship, sporting, corporate, TV broadcast and live concert events. Celebrating more than 75 years in the industry, the company is lead by Geoff Shearing, the firm’s 3rd generation owner, and Vice President and General Manager Stephanie Hansen. The company also operates Florida-based Professional Wireless Systems, a leader in the development and implementation of wireless technology. Credits range from major Broadway shows and tours including “Phantom of the Opera,” “Mamma Mia!,” “Lion King,” “Jersey Boys,” “Memphis,” “The Book of Mormon,” “Newsies,” “Once” and “Kinky Boots” to yearly Super Bowl broadcasts and installations of varying sizes, including New York’s New Victory Theater and historic St. Bartholomew’s Church. Masque Sound’s 70,000 sq. ft. corporate headquarters and main assembly facility is located at 21 East Union Ave., East Rutherford, NJ, 20 minutes from midtown Manhattan. For more information, call (201) 939-8666 or visit www.MasqueSound.com.

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DPA Microphones Win Popolski Family Approval

Members of the popular German cabaret act The Popolski Family are so delighted with their recently acquired DPA microphones that they have made a short video extolling their virtues for DPA’s German distributor, Mega Audio.

The comedy-music show is currently using three DPA d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones to capture the sound of its accordion and brass section.

Sound engineer Hans Wollrath, who is also CEO of The Popolski Family company, says: “The performance of these microphones has been outstanding and the hardware, cables and connectors appear to be virtually unbreakable. We have been really pleased with the sound they have delivered. They are very reliable in a touring environment because they are so tough, and they are equally good for video and television appearances because they are so small and unobtrusive.”

Founded in 2008 by Achim Hagemann under the pseudonym Pavel Popolski, The Popolski Family plays 70 live dates a year in Germany and is seen annually by more than 100,000 people. The show revolved around a pseudo-Polish family of musicians who weave popular rock classics into a comedy framework.

To see the Popolski DPA Microphones video, please follow this link:

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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

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Related Topics: AES Newslink, Microphones |

DPA’s d:facto™ Vocal Mics Hit the Road on MKS Tour


DPA’s d:facto™ II Vocal Microphones have been proving their flexibility and giving great performances on tour with MKS, the original Sugababes line-up.

The mics have also been at work in the prestigious setting of the world-famous Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London. Charlie Dale, in-house engineer at Ronnie Scott’s and Front of House engineer for the band MKS and US rapper Angel Haze, is using DPA d:facto II Vocal Microphones across all these very different setups.

It was at Ronnie Scott’s that Dale first came across the microphones. DPA’s UK distributor Sound Network lent the club a unit to try out and Dale was immediately impressed.

“They instantly became my mic of choice for lead vocals, surpassing two big brands I had been using previously,” he says. “‘The d:facto’s mostly flat frequency response until its soft boost at 10 kHz gave me the ability to sculpt a very true representation of the performer’s voice with clear highs so that I don’t have to fight against feedback to pull out, and with all the warm tone one would expect from many jazz vocals.”

Dale decided that for the same reasons he wanted to use it on his pop gigs, again allowing him to easily create vocal sounds on a par with the studio-quality vocals of the artists’ records. And it’s not just the engineers who delight in the sound of the d:facto II Vocal Microphones.

“With performers, the clarity of the mic is often commented on,” Dale adds. “It allows a vocalist to hear the nuances of their vocal and gives them more control, even through loud stage wedges.”


Dale has had the opportunity to work with many big-name microphone brands in his career but, after hearing the d:facto, he believes that none of them offer the clarity and tone he wants from a live vocal.

“With MKS, all three of the girls have very different and distinct-sounding voices, and the d:facto II Vocal Microphone handled all of them with ease,” he says.

Dale’s work with rapper Angel Haze could hardly be more different.

“She rarely sings on a gig,” Dale explains. “Instead, she spends most of the time rapping hard and fast into the capsule at close proximity, often cupping the mic as many rap artists do. But the d:facto II handles all this well, making it much easier for me to pick up every syllable she spits out without loss of tonal quality on her vocal.”

Dale’s criteria for an excellent microphone are, he says, clarity, tone, excellent feedback rejection and low off-axis noise. To date, artists who Dale has used DPA’s d:facto with have all been very positive about the microphone, as have other engineers.

“Having a great vocal sound is often the hardest part of the mix, especially on noisy stages, and the d:facto helps on that front by offering a very clear and clean initial signal,” he says. “Its linear off-axis response means that what little bleed there is from wedges and back line is very clear, un-distorted and, most importantly, low-level, allowing me to get a great vocal sound every time, no matter how big or small the room, what the musical style is and how loud the band are. Studio-quality vocal tone on every gig – how could I say no to that?”

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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

First Electronic Nameplate Solution for Efficient Meeting Environments

With the new product HCS-1030U Electronic Nameplate, TAIDEN has taken one more significant step towards achieving paperless meetings and leading innovation in the conferencing field. Media Vision, the point of contact for TAIDEN sales and support, is proud to offer this new solution already installed at the United Nations Headquarters in New York and featured at major events such as for Malala Yousafzai’s address to the UN Youth Assembly in July view video.

“It is hard to believe how much dedicated time and personnel organizations use solely to print and place individual nameplates prior to each meeting.” Says Fardad Zabetian, CEO of Media Vision, “The Electronic Nameplate is making meeting management more efficient and convenient while representing a significant source of cost savings”.

Available as a standalone solution or as part of a conferencing system installation, the electronic nameplate can display information such as the name and title of participants, the conference name/logo, the company name/logo, the country name, the participant’s seat and more flexible options. Meeting attendees see their information displayed electronically upon sign-in. Sign-in can be done remotely by the operator or by the participant itself using personal IC cards.

The soft display on the front and rear of the unit, with white text on a black background, prevents the nameplate from emitting too much light and delivers great results for photographs and video recordings. With a low power consumption design the energy and environment are also well thought off.

The TAIDEN HCS-1030U is the ultimate solution for modern meeting environments, especially recommended for installation in legislative assembly rooms, interactive training facilities or international conference centers.

DPA Microphones is the Talk of Evergreen Community Church

Northwest House of Worship Relies on Company’s d:fine™ Headset and d:vote™ Instrument Mics to Provide Natural Sound for its Main Campus

OLYMPIA, WA, DECEMBER 5, 2013 ― Evergreen Community Church has multiple campuses throughout Washington, but it is the house of worship’s main campus in Black Lake that hosts the largest Sunday Morning gatherings, with two services in their 1,500-seat auditorium. As more than half of the service is dedicated to the spoken word, Evergreen relies on the precision of DPA Microphones’ d:fine™ Single-Ear Omnidirectional Headset Microphones, d:fine 4066 Headset Microphones, d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones and d:screet™ 4061 Miniature Microphones to project the clear, natural sound of the Pastor’s voice and the supporting instruments of the Evergreen Community Church worship band.

As one of the key FOH volunteers at the Church, Duke DeJong is responsible for everything from ensuring the clarity of Lead Pastor Jim Ladd’s spoken message to mixing the worship band. Also playing a dual role as Church Relations Director for CCI Solutions, an audio dealer specializing in HOW audio, DeJong was able to work with both groups to provide all of the gear necessary for the Black Lake Campus to have an ideal mic solution after the church upgraded its PA system. While providing excellent audio, the new speakers also highlighted the noise of the church’s former mic setup, prompting DeJong to turn to the always natural-sounding DPA Microphones for a solution.

“My number one requirement for any microphone is always going to be clarity and intelligibility, along with a reasonable cost factor as well,” says DeJong. “DPA is especially incredible for speech, orchestra and acoustical instruments, filling all the needs of a house of worship. We primarily use the d:fine as our go-to speaking mic, the d:vote for our grand piano and the d:screet for our stringed instruments, most often violin. The spoken word is over half the service, and the church has a long history of great orchestra instrumentation, so the audio quality has to be great.”

The clarity of spoken word at Evergreen Community Church is achieved through a combination of a d:fine™ Omnidirectional Headset Microphone and a d:fine 4066 Omnidirectional Headset Microphone. Aside from accurate audio, both models are extremely comfortable for extended use, an important factor Evergreen Church looks for in a headset mic for the Pastor.

“I have a personal d:fine that I use when I go to speak at conferences,” adds DeJong. “I forgot it for a recent conference I spoke at, and I had to use a competitor’s headset microphone. I ended up finally taking that off and not wearing a mic at all. The other mic just wouldn’t fit right on my ear or stay put once I got it situated. I also find that competitor mics may not hold up over a long duration. Durability, stability and comfort are critical if our pastor is going to be up there speaking for 30 minutes. I need him not to be fussing over the ear piece the entire time.”

To ensure full comfort, the d:fine is adjustable to any ear or head size and shape, and is easily customizable by swapping from dual-ear to single-ear modes. In addition to the d:fine, the main venue uses two d:votes with piano attachments and a d:screet for the violin to solve the church’s need for accurate instrumental audio.

“After we installed a new PA system, it also quickly became important to improve our instrumental microphones,” continues DeJong. “We tried many different microphones on the grand piano, and it just never sounded good. Once we set up the DPA d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphones on the grand piano, we were in love with the clarity and fullness of the sound. We then added the d:screet 4061 Miniature Microphone on our violin. The instrument sounded so beautiful and natural that it was like I was standing right next to it. I also love the versatility that DPA mics offer, so occasionally I borrow them from the instruments to serve other purposes as our needs at the church change from time to time.”

The d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphone is a unique, lightweight, microphone that has mounting options for almost all acoustic and woodwind instruments, solving the needs of the worship band’s musicians during service. The 4061 Omnidirectional Microphone is designed for theater, live and studio applications, boosting the natural sound of acoustic string instruments. Both the d:vote and d:screet are easy to modify to fit multiple needs.

“To say it simply, I’ve used DPA Microphones for almost a decade now because they are one of the clearest, most natural and best sounding microphones,” says DeJong.

Evergreen Community Church has two locations in Olympia, Washington in addition to the Black Lake campus. On Sunday nights, the church holds an outreach program at the Evergreen Community Center, combining music with discussions about challenges and faith.

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 always provide its customers with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for all its markets, which include live sound, installation, recording, theatre and broadcast. When it comes to the design process, DPA takes no shortcuts. Nor does the company compromise on its manufacturing process, which is 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.

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Masque Sound Celebrates the Spirit of the Holiday Season with Christmas Live! 2013 at GraceWay Bible Church

As GraceWay Bible Church gets ready to stage its annual holiday program, Christmas Live!, Masque Sound, a leading theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design company, returns with a custom audio equipment package to support Sound Designer Nathan Schmalbach and Technical Director Kevin Webb’s production.

Now in its fifth year, Christmas Live! is an immersive experience transporting visitors back 2,000 years to the very first Christmas. An hour-long guided walking tour, it features 11 interactive scenes with actors and animals located in and around the church grounds. The cast and crew total 300 people, with 15 involved directly in its technical aspects.

This is Masque Sound’s third year providing rental gear for Christmas Live!. As the program has grown over the past three years, so has the company’s support. In 2011, Masque Sound supplied a large wireless rig to distribute audio throughout the show. Last year, the rental package grew to include a semi-centralized system, and this year, Masque Sound provided a system that will allow the entire program to be centralized.

“Our goal over the past few years has been to centralize all of the controls for the entire program, which is no easy task when you are talking about remotely mixing and controlling 11 different shows, all of which are active at the same time,” says Schmalbach. “We have been working with Masque Sound for months to make sure we have the necessary equipment to execute this. It’s been a challenge, but Masque Sound has done a great job in giving us the gear and support to make our vision a reality.”

In order to mix the show from one central point, Schmalbach and his team will utilize a binaural audio (3D Audio) remote listening system. The system is composed of AKG C414 B-ULS and Earthworks M30 microphones, Genelec 1032A and 8030A monitors, XTA DP448s and Meyer Sound Galileo 616s for processing, XTA DS8000/D splitters, Rational Acoustics Smaart software and a Midas Venice 240 console. Audio is distributed from the control center with a Riedel RockNet 300 digital audio network. The speaker package consists of L-Acoustics MTD108As, 115XTs, SB218 and dB-SUB subwoofers, and Meyer Sound UPM-1Ps, UPA-1Ps and UPJ-1Ps. All of the L-Acoustics speakers are powered via Lab.gruppen fP Series amplifiers.

Figure53 QLab software running on Mac Minis with RME Fireface 800 interfaces handles the show’s effects and music playback. Masque Sound also provided a large wireless rig consisting of a Sennheiser 2000 Series 24-channel kit. To accompany the Sennheiser wireless package, Masque Sound supplied four Domed Helical Antennas from its sister company, Professional Wireless Systems (PWS).

“Masque Sound is always there for whatever we need. The program would not be as technically advanced as it is without their first-class equipment and support,” adds Schmalbach. “They do a wonderful job, and we can’t imagine working with anyone else.”

Christmas Live! will take place Friday, December 6 and Friday, December 13, starting at 5:30 p.m., and Sunday, December 8 and Sunday, December 15, starting at 4:30 p.m. For more information and to get free tickets, visit www.gracewaybc.org.

About Masque Sound
Founded in 1936 by a trio of Broadway stagehands, Masque Sound evolved into one of NYC’s most successful theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design companies specializing in theatrical, house of worship, sporting, corporate, TV broadcast and live concert events. Celebrating more than 75 years in the industry, the company is lead by Geoff Shearing, the firm’s 3rd generation owner, and Vice President and General Manager Stephanie Hansen. The company also operates Florida-based Professional Wireless Systems, a leader in the development and implementation of wireless technology. Credits range from major Broadway shows and tours including “Phantom of the Opera,” “Mamma Mia!,” “Lion King,” “Jersey Boys,” “Memphis,” “The Book of Mormon,” “Newsies,” “Once” and “Kinky Boots” to yearly Super Bowl broadcasts and installations of varying sizes, including New York’s New Victory Theater and historic St. Bartholomew’s Church. Masque Sound’s 70,000 sq. ft. corporate headquarters and main assembly facility is located at 21 East Union Ave., East Rutherford, NJ, 20 minutes from midtown Manhattan. For more information, call (201) 939-8666 or visit www.MasqueSound.com.

Earthworks Microphones Capture Singing Christmas Tree Performances

Highland Baptist Church utilizes 22 Earthworks High Definition Microphones™ for Singing Christmas Tree Performance

Milford, NH – Franklin Denham, Minister of Music at Highland Baptist Church in Meridian, Mississippi, has been conducting Singing Christmas Tree performances since 1985. The history of singing trees goes back to the outdoor presentations in 1933 at Belhaven College, Jackson, MS, which is considered the first and oldest outdoor Singing Christmas Tree event in America. At the time, indoor performances were rare, as it required a rather large church to accommodate this type of performance. All of the tree performances at Highland Baptist Church have been continually held indoors and are performed 6 times each year. Over the past 29 years, there have been approximately 2,800 attendees per season. Depending upon the year, there will be from 65 to over 100 singers on the tree. It stands 35 feet high, with nine rows of singers and weighs 21,000 pounds fully loaded.

“Over the years we had used conventional condenser microphones for sound reinforcement on the tree,” explains Denham. “About four years ago we converted to Earthworks® and placed 16 SR30 High Definition Microphones™ on the tree. The Earthworks microphones make 60 singers sound more like a hundred. We are able to get more gain-before-feedback. This allows us to bring the choir sound up to a level that will balance well with our 21-piece orchestra and organ. An immediate bonus of the Earthworks microphones is a dramatic improvement in intelligibility. If a choir can be heard and understood, what can be better than that?”

The choir begins each program singing on risers directly behind the orchestra. For these selections, Denham utilizes 4 Earthworks FW730 Flexwands™. “The Flexwands provide us excellent coverage of the choir, more gain-before-feedback and more intelligibility,” says Denham. “The rear rejection of the Flexwands keeps the leakage of the orchestra into the choir microphones at a bare minimum. The Flexwands are almost invisible from the congregation when the house lights are up. When house lights are dimmed, the Flexwands become completely unnoticeable. One of my favorite features of the Flexwands is that the microphone connector is in the base and there are no visible wires above floor level. The Flexwands are light years ahead of our previous microphones.”

“I would also like to mention that we have an Earthworks PM40 PianoMic, which is just stellar. We use a few extra SR30s for solo instruments. The recent addition of an Earthworks podium microphone allows us to hear the spoken word with incredible detail and clarity either on, or off-axis. The use of Earthworks High Definition Microphones™ has made an incredible improvement in our church services and music performances.”

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Related Topics: Houses of Worship, Microphones, News |

DPA Microphones Bring Quality Sound to Studio and Small Screen

Audio engineer Richard Gough is the latest in a roster of high profile Front-of-House engineers who are investing in DPA d:facto™ II Vocal Microphones for use with big name recording clients.

Gough has been using d:facto Vocal Microphones supplied by DPA’s UK distributor Sound Network with a number of artists. One of these is Conor Maynard who has tried the microphone in the studio for small live recordings, and in a broadcast setting for live TV performances including one for SBTV and another for ITV2′s Xtra Factor.

“Maynard is still quite fresh and new to the music industry,” Gough explains, “so I didn’t really expect him to notice using different mics on his own vocal. But after using the d:facto for about ten shows in a row, there were a couple of TV performances where we had to use another brand of wireless mic and he instantly noticed the difference. He wasn’t happy with the amount of ‘pop’ or the ‘booming’ in the low end that these other microphones were giving. It was a noticeable difference for him.”

Also impressive for Gough has been the way DPA’s d:facto Vocal Microphone performs, even d when used in an unconventional way.

“Conor ‘cups’ the mic, like a rapper,” he explains, “and this distorts the polar pattern of the mic. But noticeably with the d:facto, this doesn’t seem to matter too much. I still get plenty of gain before feedback in my side fills, so his vocal is there if his ears fail. This is one of the most impressive things about the mic. It has such a smooth response and gives lovely warm lows without ‘popping’ and ‘booming’.”

Gough’s criteria for an ideal mic are build quality, sound quality, gain before feedback, and adaptability. DPA’s d:facto vocal Microphone possesses all of these attributes, he says, and is adaptable too, with the ability to change the capsule with just a few turns.

“The d:facto Vocal Microphone makes my job so easy: previously I was always using the parametric EQ to get rid of little things I didn’t like the sound of, which I now realize were down to the old mic. Now I’m leaving it completely flat, just high-passing to about 125Hz. It couldn’t be simpler: I add a compressor to the channel, with a nice reverb and I’m done.”

Gough has been using DPA d:facto Vocal Microphones in several tiny venues recently and says its performance “was amazing”. Artists he has used it with include Conor Maynard, Sivu and the band Kowalski – with Lauryn Hill possibly next in line.

“She is such a stickler for her IEMs and wedges sounding great but also being very loud,” he explains, “so that’s going to be my next d:facto challenge.”

Equally at home in sound reinforcement and recording applications, DPA’s high quality d:facto II Vocal Microphone is designed to offer extraordinary natural sound, high separation from nearby sound sources and extreme sound level handling. Its supercardioid pattern and superb definition gives high separation and true sound colour on stage. A three-stage pop protection grid built into the microphone removes unwanted noise.

The d:facto Vocal Microphone provides improved audio performance as it is 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 adapter system gives the user simple and affordable possibilities of choosing either a wired DPA handle or the professional wireless system of their choosing, with no loss in sound quality.

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About Richard Gough
Originally from Northern Ireland, Gough has toured with the likes of Muse, Radiohead, Van Morrison and Sigur Ros. He runs his own company, Noiseboi, and has recently worked with Lauryn Hill as Production Manager and Monitor Engineer and Conor Maynard as Monitor Engineer.

For more information, please visit www.noiseboi.com

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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