DPA Microphones played a significant part in the success of this year’s Fortune Global Forum, which was held in June in Chengdu, China.
With a series of presentations and a Gala Dinner with entertainment provided by 30 traditional Guzheng players, opera singers, choral and pop singers and a piano performance by Lang Lang, China’s premier classical pianist, several DPA d:facto vocal microphones, d:fine headset microphones and d:vote 4099 instrument microphones were utilized throughout the events.
CEOs from some of the world’s largest multinational companies as well as the Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli and other Chinese dignitaries were in attendance at the three day forum.
Prior to the event, Fortune’s Audio Designer Ron Lorman contacted Ken Kimura at DPA’s office in Hong Kong, and requesting help in sourcing microphones.
“I have been using DPA d:fine headset microphones for some time and was aware of the quality of DPA’s product range,” says Lorman. “This event was of huge importance and it was vital that I delivered exceptional audio quality.
“DPA was the obvious first port of call when it came to sourcing the right microphones.”
With help from Kimura and Pike Xin, product manager at DPA’s Chinese distributor Digital Media Technology, Lorman was able to access exactly what he needed.
At the Gala Dinner he had 100 inputs to consider, and all of the primary inputs were miked with DPA.
“During the conference sessions, I used assorted mics including my own stock of DPA d:fines for the various presenters,” adds Lorman. “The d:fines work exceptionally well because they deliver excellent intelligibility and are very comfortable for the presenters to wear.
“The Gala Dinner, however, presented a number of interesting microphone challenges, and this was where the advice and help I received from Ken and Pike was invaluable.”
Lorman’s main goals were miking multiple diverse artists with rapid set changes, including the Guzheng players, percussion ensemble, lead vocals, choir, flutes, harps and a string quintet. He also had to ensure an elegant sound from Lang Lang’s Steinway piano.
“I had very little prior information about the Guzheng players, so I wasn’t sure if I needed to mic every instrument, or where it would be best to mount the microphones,” he explains. “In the end, we used DPA d:vote 4099 instrument microphones that we placed below the instruments, mounted to the stands with universal clips.
“They were able to capture the sound without getting in the way of the performance. The various d:vote 4099 mounting systems proved to be extremely flexible and well thought out.”
For Lang Lang’s piano, Lorman used DPA’s d:vote 4099P stereo microphone system.
This dedicated system includes a pair of sensitivity selected d:vote 4099 supercardioid mics on goosenecks with magnetic mounts, which are designed to capture true acoustic piano sound in a live setting.
With this system, Lorman was able to easily achieve a clean and transparent stereo sound.
DPA d:vote 4099 instrument microphones and d:facto vocal microphones were also used to mic a traditional Chinese ensemble comprised of flute, harp, ziao and zhnogruan, as well as violin, viola, cello and bass musicians who played to guests during dinner.
d:vote 4099 instrument microphones were also used on the extensive percussion ensemble.
“The drums were very dynamic and the d:vote 4099s captured every nuance,” continues Lorman. “Among the many highlights of the Gala Dinner were vocal performances by the opera singers, Liao Changyong, Laura Wright and You Hongfei, and by Tan Weiwei, China’s premier pop artist.
“For these artists, I used DPA d:facto vocal microphones and I must say, I was incredibly impressed by the results these mics delivered.”
The vocalists all used wireless versions of the d:facto vocal microphone, in conjunction with a Shure R wireless system.
UK opera singer, Laura Wright, was an inspiration for this choice as she preferred to work with a handheld microphone rather than use a headset mic.
According to Lorman, the two Chinese opera singers were comfortable using the d:facto vocal microphones.
“I haven’t experienced the d:facto vocal microphone before and I was very impressed by it,” adds Lorman. “The sound it delivered was very smooth and clean, and perfect at the top end. The off-axis response was very tight, with excellent plosives rejection and subtle proximity effect, all excellent characteristics.
“Singers love the way it feels in their hands and are very comfortable with it. The d:facto really is a very formidable and unique microphone, and I can see why artists like Sting are using it.”
Lorman has successfully used DPA d:fine headset microphones for other critical productions. At a recent London Fortune event, he had the d:fine headset microphones in his arsenal, along with a d:facto vocal microphone for the singer who provided the entertainment.
“I’m so impressed with the d:facto vocal microphone and the d:vote 4099 instrument microphones with the multiple mounts that I have now purchased them for my own stock,” concludes Lorman. “And I can predict that they will be getting plenty of use.”