Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Sting chooses DPA microphones
Sting is currently promoting his new album, “Songs from the Labyrinth,” with a series of performances in major cities such as London, New York, Berlin and Paris, with DPA microphones. Sound engineer Donal Hodgson chose DPA 4023 compact cardioids for live use. DPA 4006 omnidirectional mics were used for the recording, done in the artist’s mobile studio setup, Steerpike Studios. This is a venture into new musical territory for Sting, collaborating with lute player Edin Karamazov to work with the music of Elizabethan songwriter John Dowland, court lutenist to James I in 1612.
The added advantage of a cardioid configuration and a very small footprint on stage convinced Hodgson that the DPA 4023 was the right live performance mic to use. He also sourced two FJS4000 Flamingo Junior Short stands for Karamazov and Sting’s lutes and a FGS4000 Flamingo Grand Single stand for Sting’s vocal mic. The latter are placed to the right of the performers with the active pole running almost parallel to the lute. The gooseneck at the top is then bent 90 degrees so the 4023s directly face the sound hole of the lute. In addition, Sting’s vocal mic was set at an off-axis position, allowing a discreet look without compromising the sound quality.
Hodgson found that this solution kept the sound and frequency response of the lutes and vocals consistent with the studio recordings, while the low-profile deployment of the mics and stands provided a stylish, minimalist look on stage.