As the touring violinist for Madonna and a YouTuber with 200,000-plus subscribers and 36-plus million views, Jason Yang has garnered a reputation as one of the industry’s most innovative and electrifying musicians/composers. Yang understands the importance of using equipment that can deliver as natural a sound reproduction as possible, so when the opportunity to try DPA Microphones’ d:vote™ CORE 4099 Instrument Microphone for his violin presented itself, he was happy to put it to the test.
Yang had used DPA microphones on two previous occasions. Once, when he performed with his close friend, Lil Buck on The Colbert Report, and again when he performed with Madonna and Stevie Wonder at the Billboard Music Awards to pay tribute to the late Prince. During these two events, Yang was very impressed with the microphone’s quality and clarity of the sound, especially given the mic’s super compact size.
When Yang returned to his own scoring and recording work in his studio, he began testing DPA’s d:vote CORE 4099 mic. “I had tried several non-DPA setups in the past, ranging from in-bridge pickups to other clip-on mics and I remember always feeling very closed in – like the sound was in-your-face, with not a lot of dynamic range. With the DPA CORE 4099, the first thing I noticed was the accuracy of the sound. No mic I had previously tried really captured the sounds of my 200-year-old British violin this naturally.”
Currently, Yang is scoring a short feature film, titled Speak Easy, B, where he plays his violin in several moments throughout the film, backed by full orchestral sections. For the first time ever, he was able to leave the violin completely EQ-less.
“Instead of immediately reaching for my EQs and reverbs, I took the time to appreciate the clean, dry signal that sounded just like how my violin sounds to me when it’s not mic’d up. I no longer felt the urge to ‘get away from the mic’ when playing at loud volumes and I was extremely impressed with the clarity during low volumes as well. I truly felt like I was able to play more freely and just focus on my playing, as opposed to having to keep half of my mind on monitoring the audio. With DPA, you don’t need to spend extra time working backwards in post, editing the recording to sound like what you wanted it to sound like in the first place.”
Additionally, the pickup pattern and excellent isolation of the d:vote CORE 4099 really stood out to Yang. His team is always striving for an ideal balance between picking up the target clearly while blocking out unwanted noises in the background.
“Summers in Los Angeles get hot. In my studio, I rely on a lot of air conditioning when I’m working but it is quite noisy. With my previous mic setup, I would have to turn off the AC when recording and then just power through as many takes as I could until I was happy, or until I couldn’t take the heat anymore – whichever came first. With the d:vote CORE 4099, I can leave the AC on and have a room fan blowing while recording, which was a huge, unexpected bonus.”