Bluegrass Band Mountain Heart Brings DPA on the Road

Feb 13, 2004 12:00 PM, Editors


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In between successful recordings, including the band's latest, No Other Way (Skaggs Family Records), Mountain Heart maintains a heavy touring schedule with performances alongside bluegrass legends like Ricky Skaggs and The Del McCoury Band, and country luminaries like George Jones, Merle Haggard, Brad Paisley and Junior Browne. Onstage, the bandmembers wanted more freedom to move around the stage during instrumentals, but were having a tough time finding microphones that could capture the tonal essence of their acoustic instruments.

Scott Bolen, Mountain Heart’s engineer, explained, “A couple of the guys had tried small condensers mounted on the instruments and we didn’t like the tone they were getting, especially Adam Steffey, the mandolin player, who’s a real purist when it comes to acoustic tone. Plus, I couldn’t get the SPL we needed out front without tremendous sacrifices in terms of signal quality because we had to over-equalize. So we researched what mics could let us leave the stands behind, but not the tone. I eventually found out about DPA Microphones from the fiddle player Jimmy Van Cleve, who’d heard about them from someone in Ricky Skaggs’ band. He loved the sound of it, but I didn’t know if it was going to help me solve my problems out front.

“I contacted DPA and we got 4061 miniature condensers to try at a full rehearsal. The first instrument I put one on was Adam Steffey’s mandolin—and he’s a real purist who had resisted wireless because of the tonal compromises––and as soon as heard how he sounded, his eyes lit up. And in the rehearsal room, my EQ was flat and it was so loud, I couldn’t stand it! It was really impressive. Everybody was amazed to hear the true sound of their instruments at those volumes. Previously, we’d never gotten the tone we wanted live. DPA mics have made a big difference in our performances.”

For more information about the mics, visit For more information on Mountain Heart, visit

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