BURBANK, CA — DPA Microphones' 4099 Live Instrument microphones and 3521 Cardioid Compact Stereo Kit provide the kind of discreet and lightweight micing that is perfect for any size live acoustic music ensemble on Michael Bublé's Crazy Love tour. Craig Doubet, Bublé's FOH mixer, chose DPA because of the complete transparency of the mics. He was also looking to reduce the amount of gain before feedback in the piano and the bleeding of other instruments into the mic while still allowing for easy and repeatable placement. The 3521 stereo kit in particular, has been integral to Bublé's live sound, since the piano is a large part of the show.
Bublé's current Crazy Love tour is his most important to date, since his 2011 release Christmas propelled him into superstardom. The album was number one for four weeks, sold nearly 2.5 million copies and was the second biggest selling album of the year, next to Adele's runaway smash 21. With such a successful and familiar recording, Doubet needed to reproduce the music from the album as accurately as possible in concert. DPA was able to help handle the array of acoustic instruments which needed to be miced accurately and inconspicuously.
“I'm always looking for sonic purity,” says Doubet. “Michael's music really shines when the instruments are heard as clearly as possible. I look for simplicity—how simple it is to place the mics, how simple it is to get results, and reliability. I was able to achieve this level of clarity and ease of use, since the 4099 retains a highly uniform off-axis frequency response and can be clipped and repositioned to another instrument with only one hand.”
Doubet uses a DPA 3521 stereo kit as the main mics for the grand piano. “The 3521 compact piano set is the best sounding, most flexible micing solution I have ever found for a grand piano,” says Doubet. “We use the 3521 compact piano set along with a pickup in the grand piano. It is clear as a bell, there's never any distortion and it can be moved anywhere in the piano using the magnet mount gooseneck.”
The stereo kit provides mics designed to be compatible, reliable and simple to use, tackling a variety of instrument micing combinations. Doubet also uses a 3521 mic set in an X/Y configuration in front of the brass section and 4099 clip mics for all the brass instruments, which include three trumpets, two trombones and three saxophones. Using the 3521 set to mic both the piano and brass reflects the ability of the microphones to capture the sound of disparate acoustic instruments accurately. “As for the 4099 brass mics, the players noticed the improvement from our previous mics on the first day,” says Doubet. “They take very little equalization to sound â€˜right,' are easy to mount to the instruments and have been very reliable.”
Doubet has been Bublé's FOH mixer since 2007. He has also served as the FOH mixer for k.d. lang, Patti Austin and The Bird and The Bee, among many other artists. A busy recording engineer who has worked on several Bublé albums, he was an engineer on Nirvana's legendary Nevermind album. With his experience in the exacting circumstances of the recording studio, naturally Doubet would require microphones such as DPA for his live work, which meet the highest sound reproduction standards.
“DPA mics make my life easier in letting the instruments shine,” says Doubet. “They do not add any unnecessary color, thus providing a solid palette for me to work with.”
The 3521* mic is a complete stereo kit with two 4021 compact cardioid mics carefully matched within ±1 dB of each other, frequency response, sensitivity and self-noise. Complete with a wide range of accessories, this kit is designed especially for low-profile mounting directly inside a piano. With the XY/ORTF holder, the kit is also exceptional as a compact stereo pair for applications such as overhead for drums, horn or string sections, choirs, main or additional spot pair for small or big acoustic ensembles.
Representing years of research and development, the 4099 condenser microphones feature supercardioid polar patterns for superior gain before feedback. The 4099 is a unique clip microphone, inheriting the sonic approach from the legendary DPA studio microphones within a new instrument microphone. The 4099 microphone and different mounting clips are meticulously designed and optimized for roughly any instrument. This ensures that the best possible mount and audio reinforcement is achieved when performing live.
*The ST4011C Stereo Pair with 4011C Compact Cardioids is the successor for the 3521 kit.
About DPA: DPA Microphones A/S 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.