DPA Microphones Digs Up Great Audio in the Chilean Desert

CANNES, FRANCE, MAY20, 2015El Llano De La Paciencia, one of the four short films produced as part of Chile Factory, a collective project launched by the Cannes Film Festival; CinemaChile, Chile’s promotional audiovisual agency; and Chile’s Audiovisual Art and Industry Council, premieredon May 14 at The Directors’ Fortnight (La Quinzaine des Realisateurs), the opening event for Cannes. During the production of the film, the audio crew faced some harsh environmental challenges that arose from shooting in the Atacama Desert. To help them capture pristine dialogue and ambient sounds during the shoot, the team relied on DPA Microphones’d:screet™ 4061 Omnidirectional,d:dicate™ 4017B Shotgun and d:dicate4018C Compact Supercardioid Microphones.

El Llano De La Pacienciais the story of two old friends who reunite and travel to the Atacama Desert to dig up a meteorite they left buried 40 years ago. Carlo Sánchez Farías, sound production mixer for the film, knew DPA Microphones’ products had the necessary features to overcome the challenges of filming in the open desert. To address these problems, Sánchez Farías used a combination of two d:screet 4061s for close miking along with the d:dicate 4017B Shotgun and 4018C Compact Supercardioid mics to capture the performance of the Chilean actors.

“Recording audio in a desert is extremely difficult, as it is an intense environment, so production for this short film was very challenging,” says Sánchez Farías. “We were up against severe weather and landscape conditions — battling heat, wind, dust and sand — but the mics held up against those elements. I have been using the company’s mics for the last year and chose them for this production because they have an outstanding audio quality and are built to be durable, while the design makes them light and comfortable. Over the five days of filming, I felt very calm and secure working with DPA mics.”

During production, Sánchez Farías often turned to the sleek design of the d:screet 4061s to accommodate the directors’ favored wide camera shots to capture the scenic landscape setting, which would otherwise be obstructed by a boom. Since the d:screet 4061s can easily be concealed in the actors’ wardrobe, they served as a perfect audio solution for close miking to capture the dialogue, without rustling clothes or wind noise interfering.

“The main goal for the production was to record the clearest dialogue possible to eliminate the necessity of ADR sessions,” explains Sánchez Farías. “We wanted to preserve the natural emotion of the improvised dialogue and the 4061 capsules played an important role in these more intimate scenes. Both the d:dicate 4017B Shotgun and 4018C Compact Supercardioid microphones shined in their respective roles, picking up on the natural sound elements of the desert, which were added to the scenes during post for authentic ambient noise.”

Launched in 2013 by Dominique Welinski, The Factory project selects a different country each year to invite four young directors from around the world to visit and work alongside a local filmmaker. The four short films are later combined to create a feature length film, which debuts at The Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival. 2013’s Taipei Factory was the first project, later followed by Nordic Factory in 2014.El Llano De La PacienciaandChile Factory debuted on May 14, 2015.


DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high-quality condenser microphone solutions for professional applications. DPA’s 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, DPA’s products are globally praised for their exceptional clarity and transparency, unparalleled specifications, supreme reliability and, above all, pure, uncolored and undistorted sound.