Clarity and transparency were the key reasons why sound engineer Tomasz Klimkiewicz chose DPA microphones when he was recently tasked with amplifying a series of concerts featuring traditional Polish Lenten cantos.
I didnt want the true sound of the instruments to change in any way, Klimkiewicz says. For example, the drums had been tuned by the drummer and I wanted the microphones to capture that exact sound. I chose DPA because I knew that their microphones were capable of delivering the clarity I was looking for.
Entitled For Every Soul, the concerts featured unconventional arrangements of Lenten cantos that, while not as well-known as Christmas carols, are equally rich in beautiful and poignant melodies.
With a project of such emotional intensity, Klimkiewicz was keen to keep the aesthetics as clean as possible by not allowing technology to dominate the stage.
It is important that the technology doesnt disturb the contact between the artists and the audience, he says. Therefore, I tried to avoid tripods and cables that might obscure the view. DPAs d:vote¢ Instrument Microphones, which we used for the musical instruments, and d:screet¢ Miniature Microphones, which we used for the vocal quartet, were ideal because they are very small and unobtrusive so we were able to hide our tools and put the emphasis entirely on the artists.
Klimkiewicz used over 20 DPA microphones so that every single sound source had its own microphone. As well as d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphones and d:screet Miniature Microphones, he also used d:dicate¢ 4011 Recording Microphones and d:facto¢ Vocal Microphones.
The concerts took place in three of Polands top classical music venues - the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice; the Concert Hall in the CKK (Cultural-Congressional Center) Jordanki in Toru and the Roma musical theatre in Warsaw. The musicians taking part included Maria Pomianowska, an exponent of Polish folk music; vocalists Iwona Loranc and Mariusz Lubomski, who are both associated with Polands poetic songs scene; jazz vocalist Dorota Mikiewicz; a vocal quartet and various jazz musicians. The line-up also featured producer, composer and musicologist Ryszard Wojciul, who played clarinet and keyboards.
When numerous musicians and musical instruments are on stage, feedback and spill can become a problem. However, this was not an issue with these concerts due to the levelized frequency response of the DPA microphones.
The transparency of DPAs preamps meant very little processing was required in the mix, Klimkiewicz says. All I had to do was balance the volume and proportion of sound coming from each sound source. The parametric equalizers didnt have too work hard at all!
Klimkiewicz, is renowned throughout the Polish live music scene and has worked with many outstanding artists including Grupa MoCarta, Hrabi Cabaret and the Mazovia Polish Song and Dance Association.