It isn’t often that an artist introduces a sound engineer to a new piece of audio equipment – usually it is the other way around. However, this is what happened when British-born singer/songwriter Leo Sayer discovered the benefits of DPA’s d:facto™ Vocal Microphone. As a result of his good experience, he was happy to introduce them to his long term sound engineer and production manager Damien Young.
Now based in Australia where he has lived since 2005, Leo Sayer began using d:facto Vocal Microphones during his last UK and European tour when they formed part of the audio itinerary supplied by Cliff Brothers. He was so impressed with their sound, that on his return to Australia he asked Damien Young to source wireless d:facto mics for his forthcoming Australia and New Zealand tour dates. DPA’s local distributor Amber Technology was delighted to help and after demoing various versions, Sayer purchased two 4018V capsules because he loves the extra presence this capsule gives him.
“My introduction to the d:facto Vocal Microphone certainly came through Leo and it is now a microphone I would really like to have in my personal microphone kit because it is amazing,” Young says. “I usually struggle with the ‘extra’ top end Leo loves but this mic doesn’t give me any issues and I use significantly less processing to get a great vocal. On the last show I only used a HPF and compression, no severe EQ or DE-Essing was needed. It also takes FX well. The reverbs and other processing just works better with less noticeable artefacts.”
Damien Young adds that Leo Sayer is a big fan of the extended useable top end that he gets with d:facto because he likes his sound to be bright and loud.
“With most other mics you can have one or the other,” Young explains. “By the time Leo gets the level he wants it’s either feedback city or lose the clarity. With the d:facto 4018V he can have both. Leo has a great voice and with the d:facto I can hear his performance, tone and clarity. The low notes are clear, the mids are not hard and the top end is clear without me wanting to ‘fix’ anything. I love the sound of this microphone – or rather I can finally NOT hear the mic because what I’m hearing is the source without any other rubbish in the way.”
With a songwriting and singing career that spans four decades and includes numerous Top 10 hits, Leo Sayer is a consummate performer who is equally at home on the live stage as he is in the studio. He has been working with Damien Young since moving to Australia and over the past 14 years the pair have formed a strong and loyal partnership. Young’s own audio experience is vast and eclectic and includes the roles of sound engineer, tour manager, production manager, FOH and monitor engineer and head of production company Ultrasonics Audio Engineering.
From February through to April 2019, the pair will be embarking on at least 20 live dates covering Australia and New Zealand before Leo Sayer heads back to the UK and Europe for a series of shows. In each case DPA d:facto will be his microphone of choice as the two 4018V capsules he now owns travel everywhere with him.