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DPA Microphones Unveil Competition Winner

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DPA Microphones has announced the winner of its recent 'Tell Us Your Story' competition. More than 700 entries were submitted for the process in which customers were asked to share their stories about how they use microphones. Various prizes were on offer for winners, including a first prize of €2,500 in DPA microphones and accessories.

The winner of the competition was Australian sound artist Philip Samartzis. The recipient of two Australian Antarctic Division Arts Fellowships, Samartzis used his Fellowships to document the effects of extreme climate and weather events in Eastern Antarctica, and Macquarie Island. His most recent trip was to Casey Station, the largest of three Australian Antarctic research stations in Eastern Antarctica. Inspired by the photography of Herbert Ponting and Frank Hurley, Samartzis wanted to use sound recording techniques to convey the effects of the Antarctic conditions, especially the low gravity katabatic wind that gains force as it travels down elevated slopes.

He explained: "The presence of katabatic wind inevitably shapes the way sound is heard and experienced on and off station. It can push sound away from you and it can draw it closer to you. Its intensity can mask sound and its absence can heighten it. At its most ferocious it simply obliterates everything within its path."

Samartzis used a range of DPA microphones, including four d:dicate™ 4006 Omnidirectional Microphones, two d:screet™ 4060 Omnidirectional Miniature Microphones and a d:dicate 4017 Shotgun Microphone. He also used an 8011 Omnidirectional Underwater Hydrophone Microphone.

To prevent the Antarctic winds from blowing his microphones away, Samartzis used techniques including an Ice Anchor, where the base of the mic stand is covered with ice so that it literally freezes to the ground. The d:dicate 4006s were placed in Rycote Cyclone windshields, which protected them from the elements. At one stage the the windshields were frozen blocks of ice but the mics kept on recording. The main problem Samartzis found was with his field recorders, which seized up from time to time due to the build-up of ice.

For his prize, Samartzis has chosen a pair of DPA d:dicate ST4011 cardioid microphones so that he can explore new stereo and surround recording configurations and techniques. He plans to use them on a public art project he is working on in Tokyo, documenting the sound ecology of a traditional shopping district.

"I am really thrilled to have won the competition," he added. "I entered with the intention of sharing my experience of working with DPA microphones in extreme conditions, which I thought would be of interest to other users. I didn't give it much thought beyond that so it was a real surprise when I was informed that I had won. I am very grateful."

Anne Berggrein, VP of Marketing, DPA Microphones, said: "We were overwhelmed by the response and very surprised by the creativity of so many of our users. It was great fun hearing about the many different environments in which our mics have found themselves and the applications they have been used for. Picking a winner was hard because there were so many to choose from."


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