DPA Microphones Bring out Gypsy’s Big Sound

Jul 17, 2003 12:00 PM, Editors


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Acme Sound Partner’s Tom Clark took the lead on audio design for this Broadway show and relied on DPA mics to make big sound at the Shubert Theater.

“The Shubert Theater is reasonably intimate even though it seats 1,500 people,” said Clark. "It’s a double-balcony room, somewhat unusual for Broadway, meaning your longest throw to the audience member in the back row is less than it would be in a single-balcony room. We were also allowed to use the entire orchestra pit, with only about a foot of overhang. We also physically placed the orchestra members as high as possible in the pit to get as much energy out as we could.

“That being said,” Clark continued, “it’s an orchestration and a composition that is meant to be really loud. And the fact that the orchestra reinforcement system is only delivering direct energy to the main floor where you have an off-axis relationship between the orchestra and the listener, where they’re actually hidden by the orchestra pit. At the mezzanine and balcony levels, there is much less amplification going on because we’re getting the acoustic sound out of the pit, right to the ears of the listeners. The Shubert has a square ceiling, rather than a dome ceiling like other Broadway theaters, which is a better acoustic reflector.

"Virtually all of the instruments in the pit are miked individually. One of the things we’ve tried to do in recent shows is use DPA 4007s on brass instruments and low strings. We find that the contrast of the frequency response and clarity compared to the ordinary cardioid mic to be absolutely remarkable. The transparency is the best part of that sound, in that you get a huge frequency response, yet with none of the coloration that comes from a cardioid pattern.”

Asked why Acme uses DPA4061 miniature condensers for the performers in most of its shows, Clark responded, ”Not only is the frequency response of the microphone much better than the competition, but they have a tendency to weather the environmental challenges such as perspiration, moisture and stress, which means they don’t have to be replaced as often. But the biggest issues are the frequency response, the transparency and warmth. They sound like the person they’re attached to.”

For more in DPA Microphones, visit www.dpamicrophones.com.

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