Broadcast News

Bookmark and Share

Oscar Winner Simon Hayes Praises DPA's New Subminiature Microphones

News Image
Oscar winning film sound mixer Simon Hayes has become the first production sound mixer to use DPA’s new d:screet™ CORE 6000 Series Subminiature Microphones on a major feature film.

The currently untitled movie, which is due for release in 2019, is a musically themed comedy directed by Danny Boyle and written by Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Notting Hill). Although details of the plot are sketchy, it is set in the 1960s and 1970s and stars Lily James, Kate McKinnon, Ed Sheeran and Himesh Patel.

Simon Hayes chose DPA's new d:screet Subminiature lavalier microphones for this project because they deliver very natural sounding audio and - at just three millimeters in diameter - are small enough to remain invisible, even when fitted to actors wearing exceptionally tight t-shirts and ties with very tiny knots.

"With other subminiature microphones on the market there is an extreme, pronounced quality compromise when you are recording vocals and this is the reason why I've never liked using them," Hayes explained. "However, with the DPA Subminiature you can have your cake and eat it because the sound is amazing and they are so small you can hide them just about anywhere. I don't know how DPA have done it – they must have magicians in their R&D department – because they seem to have shrunk a normal sized microphone into this tiny package without any compromise on sound quality. What's more, these new microphones sound exactly the same as the larger d:screet 4061 or 4071 lavaliers, including those fitted with DPA's new CORE amplifier technology. This means you can use them together and you can't tell the difference because the vocal timbre and the tonal quality is identical."

As a long term fan of DPA – he used d:screet 4061s and 4071s extensively during the filming of Mamma Mia and Les Misérables for which he won both an Oscar and BAFTA in the sound mixing categories – Simon Hayes was delighted to have the opportunity to try the new subminiature microphones prior to their official launch in September.

"When we shot the Danny Boyle film, we were recording live vocals and live music," he explained. "We used the subminiatures for the actors' dialogue and live vocals. We also used d:screet CORE 4061 microphones inside the acoustic guitars. This gave us a very natural sound and meant that we had continuity when switching from one microphone to another because they all matched acoustically. The sound and music post production editing teams were delighted with this set up as they could carry out really creative mixes based on what they were hearing, rather than having to mix around any negative points from the lavalier recordings."

Hayes added that the costume department was equally impressed with the new DPA sub miniatures.

"On this film a lot of the male actors were wearing tight t-shirts, which are always difficult to rig with radio mics. DPA's new subminiature is so small that it can be stuck between an actor's pecs on a really tight fitting, sheer t-shirt and you can’t see it at all."

Hayes added that the subminiatures were also ideal for miking actors wearing suits. Usually a miniature microphone can be fitted into a tie knot, but on this film the 1960's-style tie knots were very small and therefore required a much smaller solution.

"We could get the subminiature mics into any tie knot, not just some of them," he explained. "This ability to be much closer to the source of the vocal makes the sound much clearer."

Changes in the way movies are being made has led to much greater demand for small, high quality microphones and Simon Hayes believes DPA is one of the few manufacturers that really understand this.

"DPA is truly supporting the film industry because they are constantly pushing microphone technology forward and presenting viable solutions that we can use on set," he said. "You have to remember that we are not shooting on film anymore – 99% of what we shoot is on HD and every year the quality of HD and the resolution of the pixels improves. This means that, on a cinema screen, audiences see everything in much greater detail, including the costumes. If we don't rig a lavalier microphone very carefully and very sensitively the audience is going to spot it. DPA has recognised this and presented us with a solution. The new subminiature microphones are tiny enough to hide effectively yet accurate enough to make no compromise on vocal quality. That is a massive achievement. Also, because DPA subminiature microphones are sonically identical to their larger brothers, we can choose the right tool for the job without having to worry about them not sounding the same."

With the Danny Boyle movie now completed, Simon Hayes is turning his attention to his next project – Tom Hooper's film adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical CATS. His other recent film credits include the new Mary Poppins movie and a remake of the Aladdin story, both of which were recorded using DPA's new d:screet CORE 4061 and 4071 lavaliers that were launched to huge critical acclaim earlier this year.

Top Related Stories
Click here for the latest broadcast news stories.

NUGEN Audio Unveils New NUtility Toolkit
NUGEN Audio unveils its new NUtility Toolkit, which comprises its SigMod, AB Assist, Jotter and Aligner plug-ins. Ideal for entry-level and profession
Bridge Technologies Releases New Canvas Interface
Bridge Technologies has released its new Canvas interface, an innovative new way to organise and interact with the extensive functionalities of the VB
Fukada Tree Developer Insists On Using DPA Microphones
Internationally renowned recording engineer and lecturer Akira Fukada made an enormous impact at the New York AES Convention in 1997 when he unveiled
DPA Microphones Celebrates 20 Years Of Pioneering Work In The Pro Audio Industry
DPA Microphones is commemorating 20 years of developing high-quality microphones for the pro audio industry. Founded in 1992 by Morten Stove and Ole B
DPA Microphones Get The Magic Touch
Denmark’s Fredericia Theatre has announced it will be using an extensive selection of DPA microphones to capture the audio for a musical production of
DPA Mics Support Paco Peña US Tour
DPA Microphones have been supporting Guitarist Paco Peña on a recent US tour. Sound engineer Raul Mendez has revealed why he chooses DPA Microphones.
DPA Mics-Up Rick Wakeman
Rick Wakeman recently completed three concerts as part of a fundraiser for the Cathedral of Gloucester. The first gig took place in Blackfriars Abbey,
Professionals At DPA Microphones Share Expert Advice At AES Convention
Professionals at DPA Microphones are sharing their expert advice at the 145th AES Convention. The Convention offers expert advice for the broad spectr
DPA Microphones Highlights Audio Quality At ISE 2017
Visual impact is important, but when it comes to delivering a successful event or conference what you really need is clear, intelligible sound. This i
Sound Network Ltd Rebrands As DPA Microphones UK
DPA Microphones has announced that its UK Division, Sound Network Ltd, has rebranded as DPA Microphones UK. While the name has evolved, the DPA Microp
DPA Microphones Defy The Elements During Diamond Jubilee Celebrations
More than one million people lined the River Thames in London on Sunday, June 3rd to catch a glimpse of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as she celebrat
DPA Goes Down A Storm In France
As the go-to French rental company for all broadcast and film producers needing specialist audio equipment, Tapages & Nocturnes is renowned for the di
DPA To Showcase Sonic Consistency From Booms To Lavaliers
On the heels of the launch of its latest and greatest 6000 Series Subminiature Microphones, DPA Microphones will use the 2019 NAB Show (Booth C1316) a
DPA Microphones Selected For Gospel Church
Yoido Full Gospel Church has invested in a number of products from DPA Microphones. The church has selected eight d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones,
DPA Mics Deliver The GNC Awards In Beirut
A large selection of DPA microphones were deployed at the first Gibran National Committee Annual Awards Ceremony, which took place in Beirut to honour