“Can monitors sound really be this good?” That was the reaction of Norwegian singer-songwriter Susanne Sundfør when she first heard her vocals through a DPA d:facto™ Vocal Microphone. At the time she was playing a solo show in the Netherlands and her FOH engineer Jørgen Brennhovd had just introduced the microphone because he was convinced she would love it.
“I was immediately left in awe when I heard d:facto and knew this would be the preferred choice for Susanne’s vocals,” he explains. “We were both impressed by the clarity, the beautiful airy high end, the ease of use (loads of gain before feedback), the proximity effect, the great protection against plosive sounds and the remarkably low handling noise, which is great for a condenser microphone. Susanne is very specific about her sound and balance and doesn’t want her vocals to be very loud compared to the band, but we want every word to come out and be audible and the backing vocals are equally as important as lead vocal. The d:facto always lets me put Susanne’s voice exactly where I want in the mix, even if it’s at a small rock club, an arena or a big outdoor festival.”
Since that show, Sundfør and Brennhovd have completely embraced the d:facto Vocal Microphone, making it their first choice for all her live performances. She is currently touring with eight of them on stage – four for the various positions she sings in and four for her backing singers.
“The spill you get from other instruments on stage, especially drums, actually sounds good in the d:facto and I have never experienced that with any other vocal microphone,” Brennhovd says. “It’s a lifesaver, every time. We also use them for TV and radio sessions and she’s always happy with the way her vocal sound turns out. I have also surprised a couple of studio engineers with this microphone and convinced them to buy some.”
Born and raised in Haugesund, Norway, Sundfør released her eponymous debut album in 2007. Her piano driven pop sound evolved to embrace a more ambitious electronic sound, and this was reflected in her next three studio albums and two live albums. Her most recent release, Music For People In Trouble, has seen her return to her folk roots and it is this album that she is currently promoting with live tour dates.
Jørgen Brennhovd began working with Sundfør in 2010, first as monitor engineer and then as FOH when her previous engineer left to work with other bands.
“Today I am mainly working for Susanne, Ingebjørg Bratland, Bernhoft and different Norwegian Jazz acts,” he says. “I also engineer at the Nattjazz festival every year, which is one of Norway’s biggest jazz festivals.”
Sundfør’s most recent tour has taken her to various venues in Europe, the USA and Canada and it will continue into 2018. Some performances involve a full band while others are solo. Various instruments are used on stage, depending on the performance, and these include a grand piano, a Rhodes piano, guitars, synthesisers, kanklés, flutes, saxophones, clarinets, a vibraphone, autoharps, keyboards and drums.
“I use d:vote™ Instrument Microphones for almost anything imaginable on stage,” Brennhovd says. “They are a huge favourite for piano, drums, strings and any kind of acoustic instrument. DPA’s wide range of accessories makes it possible to use them for almost anything and they always sound right. The excellent sound quality, their sleek appearance and the fact that they are so easy to place where you want them makes them the perfect choice for any application.”
For amplifying drums, Brennhovd also uses DPA and says his preferred set-up is a combination of d:dicate™ 2011 cardioid microphone and d:screet™ 4062 omnidirectional microphones (or d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphone) for the kick drum, d:dicate 4011 cardioid microphone for snare top, d:vote 4099 for snare bottom and toms, d:dicate 2011 for hi-hat, gong and percussion and d:dicate 4018s for overheads.
“Whenever I use DPA microphones I feel that they capture the sound of the drums in a way that no other microphones can,” he says. “They sound alive and natural and I can create whatever drum sound I want and shape them the way I like and it’s so easy to mix in with the rest of the band. DPA microphones always brings out the best in any source you choose to capture with them. The sound quality, the high SPL handling, the design and the range of microphones is remarkable. DPA has a microphone for every need and they all sound better than anything else out there. Mixing with DPA makes my life so much easier, every time.”