Quality is key to the success of UK hire and sales company Richmond Film Services, with owner Nigel Woodford insisting on stocking only the very best and most up to date professional audio equipment. Their inventory now includes over 170 DPA microphones, which are so prized by Woodford that he keeps them in a special safe. Among them is one of the last remaining DPA hydrophone mics, which are no longer made and incredibly rare.
Their latest investment was in a DPA d:dicate 4041-SP condenser microphone, making them one of only two companies in the UK to own this exceptional product.
Designed to work in a standard 48V phantom power environment, the d:dicate 4041-SP offers a totally transparent audio path with an exceptionally low noise floor. With a one-inch diaphragm, this microphone is the largest product in DPA’s extensive range.
Nigel Woodford, founder of RFS over 30 years ago, says: “I bought the DPA d:dicate 4041-SP to satisfy a request from a customer who wanted to use it for Foley work. It was teamed with a Nagra Seven recorder, which has sufficiently high quality mic pre-amps to do it justice. Apart from Foley work, I can see a future for it in capturing vocals, particularly in the studio, where its low noise floor and very high SPL handling, will make it a very popular choice.”
Richmond Film Services (RFS) was established more than 30 years ago by Woodford and his wife Valerie. Since those early days when it had just one Nagra recorder available for hire, the company has grown rapidly and now supplies a wide range of broadcast quality sound equipment to professional sound recordists working in the film and television industries.
I regard high end microphones as a good investment,” Nigel Woodford says. “If somebody wants to spend a short time recording, and then a lot of time mixing and editing, it makes sense to rent the best microphone for the project rather than buying a cheap look alike.
This philosophy explains why Woodford is so dedicated to the DPA product range, and why he has accumulated such a large stock of DPA microphones.
“All DPA microphones have low self-noise and lack of colouration,” he explains. “The personal microphones have become many sound recordists’ first choice for use with radio microphones, while the DPA d:dicate 4017C shotgun microphone, teamed with the Cinela Pianissimo windshield, is rivalling many established short shotgun microphones.”
As well as hiring sound equipment to film and television production companies, outside broadcast companies and many freelance sound recordists, RFS also sells accessories and has a workshop where it repairs and services customers’ own equipment as well as maintaining its own.
Woodford says his engineers love a challenge and have been known to invent various bespoke items for customers. The company also works hard to fulfil – and exceed –customers’ expectations, including buying equipment that they specifically ask for.
“We bought a DPA d:dicate™ 3506 ER omnidirectional stereo pair with two 4006 microphones with active cables to satisfy a customer’s request and this has now been used for the duration of the Proms for the last two years,” he says. “It joins our collection of DPA d:dicate 4011A cardioid recording mics and a stereo kit with two high voltage omnidirectional microphones, as well as our DPA d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones, d:fine™ Headset Microphones and d:facto™ Vocal Microphones.”