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DPA Mics Clear the Air On Location Shoots

Early summer is the time for vacations and relaxing, but it's also time for the golf tour, and shooting video outside in the blistering heat. I received an assignment as the audio tech for a project that included shooting three golf commercials. I knew that in this peak season there would be plenty of golfers, as well as lots of theme park noise, at the central Florida location that was chosen.

I'd received one of the new DPA 4080 miniature cardioid lavalier microphones for demo purposes, and thought this might be the perfect place to put it through its paces. For my backup, I'd planned to use a shotgun boom microphone. This was going to be a simple single camera shoot—very "run and gun"—and we had to finish all three spots in just one day.


When I arrived at the golf course my fears were realized. We were set up on a hole that had ground work being performed all around it. Additionally there was a lot of background noise from nearby theme parks, as well as noise from wildlife and wind. I also had to contend with a race track going non-stop.

There was only one personality to mic and the spots were of him giving golf tips and demonstrating his technique.

The last part of the shoot involved a separate recording of the entire dialog to use as voice-over for part of the commercials. Usually we would have brought the golf pro back to our studios and recorded him in a controlled environment, but he didn't have room in his schedule and the turnaround time for all three spots was just one week.

In order to minimize disruption, we went to a "quiet" part of the golf course—an area that didn't allow golf carts. I used both my boom and the DPA 4080 to capture audio. I waited for fairly quiet times in the surrounding area, but still there were locust and birds that were heavy in the background at this time.


Our editor went to work on the footage and when he had the first spot done, came to me to discuss the sound of the DPA 4080. He said that there was hardly any background noise at all on the DPA channel, and he decided not to use the boom mic audio. He played the recording to demonstrate what happened during the voice-overs. A very loud bird was being picked up by the boom microphone. He then played the channel recorded with the DPA 408 and the bird was not there at all. If we hadn't used the DPA 4080, that track of dialog would have been ruined with bird noise.

The DPA 4080 is a very useful tool to have on a shoot. The clean track it produced made this project a lot easier. The mic sounds great and rejects all the superfluous noises that surrounded us. Its cardioid pattern and excellent rejection characteristics make it a great asset when working with fun things like golfers, birds, theme parks, racetracks and bugs.

For additional information, contact DPA Microphones at 866-372-6427 or visit