Charlie Cunningham at Frequency Festival with Meris and DPA
Singer-songwriter Charlie Cunningham is very quickly climbing the ranks in the UK and European music world and we got a backstage pass to see how they're making the band sound so good on tour. As it's a very dynamic three-piece band, FOH engineer Les Mommsen has to be an active member, getting the most out of every instrument and reacting quickly to the dynamics of their performance.
The sound centres around Charlie Cunningham’s voice and flamenco guitar, both miked up with DPA (d:facto Vocal and d:vote™ 4099G respectively) and they’ve been innovative in their choice of reverb too, employing a Meris Mercury7 reverb pedal at front-of-house.
Les comments: “I’ve used a lot of reverbs in the past, but after trying the Mercury7 500 series in studio and them [Meris] releasing a pedal version with the same algorithm, I’ve been using the Mercury7 pedal on tour for my main reverb. Charlie’s music is all about the space and can go from a very tight percussive sound to very atmospheric in the space of a few bars. It’s such a versatile reverb and having a physical interface within arm’s reach separate from the desk controls has made making adjustments mid-performance exponentially easier. It’s brought dynamics to the performance that I simply wouldn’t have thought about trying before.”
The band moved over to DPA Microphones earlier this year. This includes the aforementioned placements for Charlie as well as the d:dicate™ 2011C, and d:vote™ 4099D‘s on the drumkit. Les tells us why: “With Charlie’s band being a three-piece, every instrument has a larger space to fill and every detail of the performance which is often very delicate, is critical in forming the overall sound of the band. Using DPA mics on the instruments means we have a lot of detail to work with and also a huge dynamic range and low self-noise – something really noticeable as sometimes Charlie’s performance is pared right back to him and his guitar.”
Charlie Cunningham released his latest album , “Lines”, in January 2017. Listen here
Photography ~ Caleb Hill