DPA Disappears in Jersey

To capture audio during the filming of the Tony Award-winning musical Jersey Boys, the production team used concealed DPA microphones for period authenticity.
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Los Angeles, CA (June 24, 2014)—To capture audio during the filming of the Tony Award-winning musical Jersey Boys, the production team used concealed DPA microphones for period authenticity.

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Crew members knew they would need to capture all audio, music and vocals live without any pre-recordings, but also needed to conceal the musicians’ mics on set as instrument miking was not available during the era depicted in the film.

Production music mixer Tim Boot used primarily DPA d:vote 4099 instrument microphones and d:screet 4061 omnidirectional miniature mics to capture the live instruments on set. The production also used vintage instruments, such as Fender guitars and Ludwig drums, to maintain a classic sound, while the mics allowed them to record discreetly.

“You always have to be prepared when you have live music on set,” says Boot. “DPA was my hero when it came to miking the drums. I couldn’t use prop mics, so I bought myself a kit of DPA d:vote 4099 and d:screet 4061 mics. Depending on the setup, we buried five to 12 microphones on the drum kit. You don’t see the mics on camera, but each element of the kit was individually miked, just as you would do in the studio.”

For one big stage number, Boot placed a d:screet 4061 on the stand of every sax, trombone and reed instrument. The drum set, which for this scene had a transparent body, posed an even bigger challenge for masking the mics, which again included a combination of d:votes and d:screets.The scene was recorded with a total of 47 inputs.

He adds, “If you look at performances from the 1970s, there were only a few mics on stage and they were usually for the vocalists. It’s only been in the last 20 years or so that we’ve been able to mic everything individually. This production was such a stickler for accuracy that we couldn’t violate that.”

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