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Hollow Hearts Sound Fantastic with DPA Microphones

Norwegian sound engineer Tom Meyer has moved the entire band over to DPA and is using its d:facto™ Vocal Microphones for all five vocalists. Norwegian sound engineer Tom Meyer has built up a large collection of DPA microphones over the years and has always been very happy with the results they deliver. He is now spreading the word to artists he works with and has recently persuaded pop singer Lisa Skoglund to switch to one of the DPA’s new 2028 Vocal Microphones.

“As soon as the 2028 Vocal Microphone was released, I ordered one for Lisa and she is so happy with it that she takes it with her wherever she is singing,” Meyer says. “I take a selection of DPA microphones with me on every gig I do because they make my job much easier – and they are popular with my clients, as well.”

Based in Bardu in northern Norway, Tom Meyer has been tackling live sound engineering projects since 1990 and now runs his own company, TM Tour Production. He first became aware of DPA through the 4011 Cardioid Microphone and was very impressed with its sound, particularly when he used it to amplify large conferences or kick drums for touring bands.

“I felt that I could gain them much higher than anything else and they sounded so good,” he says. “When I moved north and started by my own company, I decided to get the best tools possible and gradually started buying DPA. I now have more than 30 of them.”

In recent months, TM Tour Production has been using its DPA microphones on a variety of projects, including live gigs with Hollow Hearts, a folk band from Tromsø.

“The first time I worked with Hollow Hearts, I put up a DPA d:facto™ Vocal Microphone for the band’s singer Ida Løvheim. After singing two lines she stopped and said ‘Tom this mic sounds fantastic!’. That evening went so well and they were so happy with the response from the audience that they now work with me most of the time and I have done more than 40 concerts with them.”

The mic package Meyer uses for Hollow Hearts – and for many of the other bands he works with – includes a 2011 Twin Diaphragm Cardioid microphone with 4011 windscreens on kickdrum, a 4018V with a compact preamp on snare top, a 2011 on HiHat, overheads and guitars, a 4099 Instrument Microphone on snare (under) and toms and 4018v d:facto Vocal Microphones for all vocalists

“Hollow Hearts plays quite low on stage, so the openness of the DPAs sounds really good,” he says. “I think the 2011 in particular is fast becoming an industry standard because you can put it everywhere and it always sound great in your PA.”

DPA Microphones Receives Standing Ovation from Southwest High School’s Jimmy Cannon Theater for the Performing Arts

The 4066 Omnidirectional Headset and 4099 Instrument Mics Deliver High-Quality Sound and Unrivaled Noise Rejection.

Breakout Audio Visual owner Kurt Dommers has revamped the microphone system at Southwest High School’s Jimmy Cannon Theater for the Performing Arts with a solution that’s easy for students to use, but also delivers crystal clear sound to the audience. To find the versatility and pristine sound quality worthy of the state-of-the-art, 1,150-seat facility, Dommers turned to DPA Microphones and its line of advanced audio solutions. Dommers replaced the previous microphone package with DPA’s 4066 Omnidirectional Headset Microphones for the performers and 4099 Instrument Microphones for the chorus, orchestra and area mics.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was the first production Southwest High School put on with the new mics, and the difference between that and previous productions was substantial,” says Dommers. “We knew that the DPA mics would add versatility, but we didn’t expect such a significant improvement in noise rejection. In addition, we had so much extra headroom that EQing to gain volume before feedback was not nearly as challenging. Thanks to the DPA mics, we now have warmer tones all the way to the last row.”

Since employing DPA mics, Dommers has received a lot of positive feedback regarding the huge improvement in sound quality. “We have become more educated on the differences and uses of the mics, thanks to DPA’s wonderful support team,” he adds. “We had some issues with our old mics, and the DPA team was able to walk us through these challenges. Also, the sound quality and noise rejection capabilities of the DPA mics exceeded our expectations. We even tried some comparisons: the DPA mics sounded clearer at -20 than other industry standard mics sounded at -6 with all of the other settings constant.”

Another reason Dommers chose to use DPA mics is for their ease of application and modularity of the components. Since much of the sound control is in the hands of the students, it was essential to use equipment that could achieve great sound quickly and with a minimal learning curve.

“Learning new skills, especially in the high school environment, ismuch more effective  when the instructors have good tools to work with,” says Dommers. “In this case, the DPA mics are exceptional. Many might say that previous productions were riddled with devastating audio glitches, and much of those problems were related either directly or indirectly to the lack of headroom prior to upgrading to DPA. With DPA microphones, the productions sound incredible. Even the students have noticed a difference in the clarity and performance. Lead Professional Guest Consultant and Director, Dimiter Marinov, was overwhelmed with the upgrade that took the production from amatuer level to professional. This improvement would not have been possible without the dedication of Southwest High School Theater Director, Chris Spanos, who really went to bat for his students and community. Everyone seems to be really pleased with the new mics.”

Since implementation of the 4099 mics at Southwest High School, DPA has released a new, upgraded instrument microphone, the 4099 CORE Instrument Microphone. The CORE by DPA amplifier is a powerful new technology that brings more clarity and details to music across the entire dynamic range.

Hiding in Plain Sight is How to Succeed with DPA Lavalier Microphones

Production Sound Mixer David Thirion has been putting DPA’s 6000 Series subminiature and 4000 Series miniature microphones through their paces on a range of film and TV projects.

For more than 10 years, Production Sound Mixer and Location Sound Recordist David Thirion has been using DPA microphones to capture audio for film and television projects. Their audio quality and natural sound was a key reason for his choice, but equally important was the tiny size of some models, which makes them ideal for situations where they need to be hidden on actors’ bodies or in costumes.

In recent months Thirion has been experimenting with DPA’s latest bodyworn products, the 6000 Subminiature Series, in particular the 6060 Subminiature Omnidirectional lavalier microphone. On the latest series of Parlement, a new television series created by Belgian-based Artémis Productions, he used it to great effect – although not how he originally intended.

“On paper, DPA’s 6000 series is the perfect tool because it sounds as good as the DPA 4060 lavalier, yet is much smaller and therefore easier to conceal,” Thirion says. “But in the end, it comes down to choosing the right microphone for the job. We initially planned to use it on a female actor, but she was wearing such light silk that it was impossible to hide the mic because the weight of the cable was pulling at the fabric. Instead we used a DPA 4061 lavalier microphone secured with a bra clip, which worked just fine.”

The 6060, however, did solve a different problem when it proved ideal for the show’s male talent whose chest was too hairy to have a microphone attached to it.

“As everyone working in film and TV sound knows, it can be very difficult to mic up a hairy chested actor wearing a white office shirt, no tie and a blazer,” Thirion explains. “We found the perfect spot for the 6060 in the collar of the shirt. We used an URSA mini mount and covered with white URSA moleskin so that it was completely disguised. We also hid a 6060 in a tie knot using a Sanken RM11 concealer. The mic is so slim that it helped prevent any tie knot deformation.”

Thirion, who has been working in film and TV sound for nearly 20 years, says the trick to hiding microphones in clothing is to expose them as much as possible. This might sound counterintuitive but he believes it is better to give them some space in order to achieve the best sound.

“If you can nearly see them in plain sight, you get better sound quality and intelligibility because there is air around the microphone.” He says. “You also reduce any risk of fabric rustling against the capsule or against the cable, which is also a source of noise.”

As a self confessed fan of DPA microphones, which he describes as ‘the best mics out there’, Thirion had no hesitation in choosing them for the Parlement project, which was shot on location in Europe at the end of last year.

“We knew we would be confronted with difficult costumes and very little time to mic up all the talent,” he explains. “The shooting pace on a TV series is much faster than it is on a feature film. We did 10 episodes in less than two months and were shooting eight to 10 minutes of footage a day, using two cameras at the same time on pretty much every set. The schedule was so fast that you couldn’t start fussing about placing microphones on talent and then readjusting them on every single take. Therefore we chose microphones that offered good sound quality but were small and easy to hide.”

His DPA line up included a 4160 Slim Omnidirectional Microphone, which was perfect for hiding in blazers and suit jackets.

“It was a great tool to have on set because we could hide it behind the rose bud hole on a jacket using a DPA buttonhole mount. The microphone heads were exposed but couldn’t be seen so we got great results.”

Since completing Parlement in December 2020, Thirion has been teaching at a film school while he waits for his next project. His impressive CV includes many documentaries for National Geographic, Discovery, ARTE, France 5, RTBF, BBC and Channel 4, plus feature films such as Complete Strangers with Spanish director Pau Maso and Body of Water and How To Stop A Reccurring Dream, where he worked as boom operator for Production Sound Mixer Aris Anastassopoulos.

Proper Microphone Hygiene

Keep your mic clean and germs at bay

Much of the time, microphones are used in situations where germs can spread with ease. This can especially be the case in theatre and broadcast situations with many different users using mics held or placed close to the mouth. In all situations, cleaning your mics regularly is a good idea for everyone.

Here are some guidelines that you can follow to keep your microphones in great working order and make sure they are hygienic for users. Remember, the most effective way to keep everyone around you healthy and happy is to practice good hand hygiene.

Miniature & subminiature lavaliers and headsets

We have created short instructions on how to clean DPA Miniature, Subminiature, 4099 Instrument and Headset Microphones. These instructions work for both our omnidirectional and directional mics. Cleaning of mics should be done without grids, caps or foam screens for a proper rinse and to allow the water to evaporate fully when drying out. No cleaning fluids should be used – you will only need demineralized water.

Alternatively, let the microphone dry out on its own after use for 72 hours or place it in an oven at 60°C (140°F) for 30 minutes (please note, this will age the microphone a bit). This process will not clean the microphone but it will allow time for any germs to die.

The video below shows how you can clean all of your DPA Miniature, Subminiature, 4099 Instrument and Headset Microphones. These instructions work for both our omnidirectional and directional mics.

Headsets, clips, booms, grids and adapters can be wiped down on their surface with a cloth moistened sparingly with isopropyl alcohol.

Handheld and pencil microphones

These microphones can be wiped down on their surface with a cloth moistened sparingly with isopropyl alcohol.

Alternatively, let the microphone dry out on its own after use for 72 hours or place it in an oven at 60°C (140°F) for 30 minutes (please note, this will age the microphone a bit). This process will not clean the microphone but it will allow time for any germs to die.

Cables

Cables cannot tolerate alcohol, but coconut oil is known for its disinfectant properties and can be used instead. Otherwise, we recommend gently washing them in warm water and soap or rubbing them with olive oil.

Foam windscreens

Foam windscreens for miniatures and headsets as well as larger mics can be removed and washed with warm water and soap.

Alternatively they can be removed and left to dry out on their own for 72 hours. This process will not clean the foam windscreen but it will allow time for any germs to die.