As all eyes were fixated on the actors who graced the stage of the 86th Annual Academy Awards® at the Dolby Theatre® on Sunday night, audiences ears were tuned to the musical accompaniments of the shows orchestra, which performed remotely from Capitol Records. Since the piano was positioned among the noisy percussion instruments, the shows Orchestra Mixer and Orchestra Setup Coordinator needed a way to isolate its sound. To accomplish this for the piano, the duo used a combination of DPA Microphones d:dicate¢ 4011A Cardioid Microphones and d:vote¢ 4099 Instrument Microphones. He also positioned a pair of d:dicate 4011E Hanging Microphones for the orchestras drum kit.
By using the unique combination of d:dicate 4011As and d:vote 4099s, the duo was able to close the lid of the Steinway Grand Piano, giving live and television audience members a full appreciation of the pristine instruments sound during the different presenters entrances, transitions and other musical performances throughout the event. An additional pair of d:dicate 4011Es were also applied as overheads for the drums, which allowed them to pick up the full ambiance of the kit.
Theres a large orchestra and rhythm section, with percussion, so we wanted to isolate the piano in order to get a really good sound, explains Orchestra Setup Coordinator Dan Vicari. Weve been using DPAs microphones during the Oscars® for years, so we knew that this setup would give us really great sound. The mics truly help us get the perfect sound without a lot of other noise coming in, which is often hard to do on a piano.
Orchestra Mixer Tommy Vicari echoes his brothers sentiments. Since we wanted to put the mics inside the piano and close the top, we needed broad microphones that provide brightness to the sound, he says. Usually when you dampen the piano by closing the top, the sound of the instrument becomes dulled. Since I had brass blowing toward the piano, and the strings coming the other way, I needed to shelter the piano. By using the DPA d:dicate and d:vote mics, we were able to get the clarity from the piano that we were looking to achieve, while still protecting the sound from outside noise.
With the added difficulty of performing from a remote location, outside of the theater, the Vicari brothers also needed microphones with audio quality that could hold up to the transmission of the sound. This was necessary in order to still provide the feeling of hearing live music in the venue.
We were thinking of using either the d:vote or d:dicate, but we ultimately decided that the combination sounded the best for what we were looking to achieve, explains Dan.
I always pick my mics based on the instrument, because I want the orchestra to sound as perfect as possible, adds Tommy. I usually use a variety of applications, techniques and mic positions, but choosing the right mic is key to any live event, recording or broadcast. In this situation, using both the d:dicates and d:votes was the ideal solution.
DPAs microphones are world-renowned for providing an ultimate sound in broadcast, recording and live applications. With its state-of-the-art components that have been carefully selected to provide optimal neutrality, accuracy and exceptionally low distortion, d:dicate Recording Microphones have a directional quality that is perfect for isolating sound. More natural-sounding than any other internal microphone or pickup, the d:vote Instrument Microphones reject unwanted noise, which allow it to accurately capture the true voice of acoustic instruments, such as a grand piano.
Each audio professionals in their own right, the Vicari brothers have been working on the Oscars for more than a decade. A live sound engineer by trade, Dan also owns LAFX Recording Services, an audio equipment rental company for major recording studios. An award-winning sound mixer/engineer/producer, Tommy has worked on such major motion pictures as Wall-E, The Help and Iron Man 2.
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high-quality condenser microphone solutions for professional applications. DPAs ultimate goal is to always provide its customers with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for all its markets, which include live sound, installation, recording, theatre and broadcast. When it comes to the design process, DPA takes no shortcuts. Nor does the company compromise on its manufacturing process, which is done at the DPA factory in Denmark. As a result, DPAs products are globally praised for their exceptional clarity and transparency, unparalleled specifications, supreme reliability and, above all, pure, uncolored and undistorted sound.
For more information on DPA Microphones, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com.