Leading singer songwriter David Gray has become the latest in a long line of vocalists to discover the benefits of DPA Microphones’ new d:facto™ II Vocal Microphone. Gray’s well-crafted songs were delivered with pristine clarity during his recent Sounding Out tour of Ireland after FOH engineer Graham Pattison introduced DPA’s d:facto II into the equipment line-up.
I’ve been a fan of DPA microphones for some time because they deliver such great sound quality, Pattison says.
However, this was the first time I’d had the opportunity to use the new d:facto II Vocal Microphone and I was really impressed with the results we achieved. Right from the first syllable in rehearsals I knew we were onto a winner, but it wasn’t until the first show in Ireland a few days later that I really heard the vocal clarity and exceptional quality through a large venue sound system. There were no gain or feedback issues, and even when left with a flat EQ it sounded exactly how I’m used to hearing David’s voice. The EQ I did end up using was just to help the vocal sit in well with the instrumentation.
Pattison adds that Gray didn’t question why his microphone had been changed.
He trusted my judgment and his own ears, he explains.
During the two week tour we played 11 shows, and did a live streamed and filmed ‘other voices’ show and a live on air RTE radio show. Everyone was coming back to me with very positive feedback about the sound in general as well as his vocal performance.
I chose DPA microphones for their sound quality – it really was as simple as that…
Pattison first began working with David Gray in 2007 and since then he has engineered all his live gigs. In 2011, Gray’s Lost and Found tour gave him the opportunity to experiment with a different technical approach and it was on that occasion that he began using DPA microphones.
The Lost and Found tour was a more acoustic presentation of David’s songs, so we used different instrumentation, Pattison explains.
We also added a couple of new musicians who could cover backing vocalist duties, so at times we had a five voice choir to back up David’s main vocal.
Thanks to the acoustic nature of the show, Pattison decided that DPA microphones would be the perfect way to capture the instruments on stage. After speaking with DPA UK distributor Sound Network about the tour’s requirements, Pattison settled on using two d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones for the double bass and cello, two d:dicate™ 4011 Recording Microphones for the acoustic guitar and mandolin, two 4023 microphones for the grand piano and one 4099 cardioid miniature microphone for Gray’s trademark handpump harmonium.
I chose DPA microphones for their sound quality – it really was as simple as that, Pattison says.
DPA microphones have always been regarded as the best you can buy, so when I had an opportunity to acquire some mics for my studio and for live shows, I knew that DPA was the way I wanted to go. Apart from their exceptional sound quality, I’ve also find them extremely versatile because they can be mounted in so many different ways, including directly onto the instrument.
Pattison says that DPA microphones are now standard on all the tours he engineers because they are so rugged and reliable.
I did three tours last year, all with DPA, and I didn’t have any microphone failures, he says.
Even the miniature cardioid  microphone I’ve been using on David’s pump harmonium is still going strong. The build quality, particularly of the d:dicate 4011 Recording Microphones, is fantastic and no matter where in the world I ship them, they always withstand the rigors of freighting and come out of their boxes working perfectly every time.
With an ever increasing vocal choir, I am now looking forward to getting my hands on some more DPA d:facto Vocal Microphones. With those, and the d:vote 4099 drum microphones, DPA will certainly be getting a good run in.
For more information, contact Sound Network, the exclusive UK distributor for DPA Microphones.