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‘A real dream’: Katie Melua engineer chooses DPA microphones for European tour

Georgian singer songwriter Katie Melua used DPA’s D:facto microphone on her recent run of European tour dates.

FOH engineer Bryony October had to contend with a variety of scale of venue during the tour, from the 10,000-capacity Black Sea Arena in Georgia, to the more intimate Cadogan Hall in London.

“The D:facto really captures the rich and beautiful tones of [Melua’s] stunning voice with very little effort on my part,” explained October. “Fellow engineers raved about the D:facto and after visiting the DPA factory in Denmark, I too quickly fell in love with it and now use it almost exclusively as my ‘go to’ vocal microphone.”

As Melua doesn’t play guitar on every song, a wireless system was used so she could take the mic off the stand and move freely around the stage.

October was also keen to use DPA microphones on the drum kit due to the “dynamic” role of the kit in the sound mixes.

“Drums were the first thing Katie spoke to me about when we were discussing her live sound as she was concerned that they should always be as subtle and quiet as possible to allow the very quiet and delicate songs space and presence, yet needed to provide the drive and feel in the heavier numbers,” October said. “For this reason, I needed microphones that could handle high SPL when the drummer played with sticks, but were also sensitive enough to convey the more subtle nuances of playing with brushes and mallets.”

All the microphones for the tour were supplied by DPA’s UK distributor Sound Network. The set-up October chose included D:vote 4099 Instrument microphones for the toms and D:dicate 2011C Twin Diaphragm Cardioid microphones for the kick and distant snare. She also used a D:dicate 2011C for the guitar amps and added eight D:screet 4098 Supercardioid microphones to capture the sound of a choir during the Georgia concert.

October added: “Sound Network has always been an incredible support to me. When I needed an additional D:facto capsule for the Shure radio system we were using in Georgia, they sent one for next day delivery. Nothing is ever too much trouble for them and I am so appreciative because I feel like a very valued customer.”

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