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Amplifying Heavy Metal And Classical Strings with DPA Microphones

The clarity and versatility of DPA’s microphone range made them the ideal choice for Front of House sound engineer James Dunkley when he was tasked with amplifying an unusual live concert – one that combined a heavy metal band with a classically trained chamber ensemble.

satyricon trondheim

The Norwegian band Satyricon had just completed two weeks of shows in South America when they appeared at a conference of outstanding performances at the Oslo National Opera House. On stage with them were the Trondheimsolistene, a musical chamber ensemble of string players from Trondheim in Norway.

“What I really like about DPA microphones – and the reason why I use them almost exclusively – is their precision and high fidelity sound,” he says. “Since switching to DPA I use much less channel EQ because I never have to compensate for the microphones. They are also built like tanks, which is a good thing when you are working with rock drummers who are particularly heavy handed on stage. I’ve had one drum kit totally thrown off the riser this year and every DPA mic on the kit survived. From sweaty clubs to rainy festivals these mics just don’t fail.”


“Satyricon has a fairly large drum kit, as well as a bass guitarist, three regular guitarists and vocals,” he explains. “For the drum kit, I used d:dicate™ 2011C Compact Twin Diaphragm Cardioid mics on the snare top and as overheads. I also use d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones for the tom, snare bottom and hats and as the ride mic. I completed Satyricon’s mic list with a d:facto™ Vocal Microphone for the main vocalist.”

For this performance the Trondheimsolistene comprised 15 musicians playing a selection of violins, violas, cellos and an upright bass. Every one of their instruments was amplified with a d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphone.

Although James Dunkley has handled FOH duties for many rock acts, he has also worked with more mainstream artists like Matt Goss and Willemijn Verkaik. His next project is a tour with British Comedian Greyson Perry, during which he will be using a DPA d:fine headset microphone.

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