DPA Captures Boston Pops Fourth of July

As one of the most important cities of the American Revolution, Boston—home to Paul Revere and the original Tea Party—always puts a little something more into its Fourth of July festivities. This year, the Boston Pops Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular was broadcast nationally once again, and the Orchestra turned to DPA Microphones to capture its instruments.
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Boston, MA (July 6, 2012)—As one of the most important cities of the American Revolution, Boston—home to Paul Revere and the original Tea Party—always puts a little something more into its Fourth of July festivities. This year, the Boston Pops Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular was broadcast nationally once again, and the Orchestra turned to DPA Microphones to capture its instruments.

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Held annually in the Hatch Shell at the Esplanade along the Charles River, the concert and fireworks show hosts nearly 400,000 attendees, while another seven million tune in nationally on the CBS television network to view the event during a live one-hour primetime special. Although it’s the most watched Independence Day performance in the U.S. each year, the Boston Pops had limited rehearsal time and over 100 production inputs to handle. DPA Microphones could be found across the stage throughout the evening’s performance, with the d:vote 4099 instrument microphones in the strings section, 4023 compact cardioid microphones on the piano and in the woodwinds section, and 4066 omni headset microphones worn by the vocalists and narrators.

“One thing we like about the DPA line is that they have lots of low-profile miniature capsules and microphones that are ideal for television projects,” says Steve Colby, Boston Pops sound designer and music mixer for the TV broadcast of the Spectacular. “DPA makes it easy to use a lot of microphones but not have the gear in the way of the camera shots, which makes the directors happy. We were looking for exceptionally high-quality, great-sounding microphones that were robust and dependable in semi-hostile outdoor conditions, such as heavy rain and high temperatures. We’ve had great luck with the DPA line. There are a lot of other high-end microphones that we’ve used throughout the years, but sometimes those were tough to use in the high-humidity conditions that often roll in over the city. DPA has been very dependable in these situations.”

The first Boston Pops Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular took place in 1974, at the suggestion of Boston-area philanthropist David Mugar to Pops Conductor Arthur Fiedler. The idea was in place to revive the then-diminishing Esplanade Concert Series by playing Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” with a few added extras. The next Fourth of July, howitzer cannons, fireworks and church bells were all added to the concert and, for the first time ever, a July Fourth fireworks display took place over the Charles River.

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