London, UK (October 22, 2014)—Production sound mixer Simon Hayes used DPA Microphones to record the highest-grossing film of the year so far, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.
Hayes, who first used DPA lavaliere microphones as production sound mixer for Mamma Mia! in 2008, has made use of DPA’s d:screet 4061 and 4071 omnidirectional miniature mics on every film he’s worked on since, including Les Miserables, for which Hayes picked up the Oscar and BAFTA for Best Sound Mixing. Hayes again chose d:screet 4061 and 4071 mics to capture dialogue on the Guardians of the Galaxy set.
“It was clear from the first meeting with [director] James Gunn that he wanted to capture original performances, which of course isn’t always easy when you’re talking about large-budget special effects and action-driven, visual effects-type movies,” says Hayes. “We knew that we were going to be shooting three or four cameras at all times, so the DPA mics took precedence over the booms on a lot of scenes. That meant in the final mix, at least 75 percent of the dialogue that made its way into the movie was recorded on DPA’s d:screet 4061s and 4071s.”
Leading man Chris Pratt was also fitted with the DPA d:screet 4061. “We felt that the 4061 added a little something extra in the bass region for his voice, which was quite exciting,” continues Hayes. “All of the other characters used 4071s on their chest rigs and if we were rigging microphones in their hair or in their helmets, we used 4061s to increase the bass.”
The large sets for Guardians presented Hayes with some challenges. “That kind of environment isn’t as easy to record sound in as a sound stage, so I had a lot of background noise and a lot of reverb to contend with,” he says. “The DPA mics excelled at rejecting that reverb and just capturing dry, up-front vocals for me.”