New World Symphony’s Director of Audio Services Roberto Toledo relies on DPA Microphones’ 4023 compact cardioid microphones and 4028 compact wide cardioid microphones for all performances at the New World Center, including the recent Juanes MTV “Unplugged” concert.
New World Center in Miami is home to the New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy.
This Frank Gehry-designed building and the music presented through the leadership of Artistic Director and renowned conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, reflect the height of musical and architectural excellence.
DPA microphones are the mics of choice for all musical events presented by the New World Symphony at New World Center.
For an orchestral concert, the DPA mics used include the 4023 or 4028 for the wind instruments and additional 4023s for spot mics when needed. Toledo is very familiar with DPA and was happy to discover the mics were a part of the center’s sonic toolkit. “When I came to New World Symphony, I was very pleased with the extensive selection of DPA microphones that would be available to me,” he says.
For the symphony’s WallCasts performances in particular, the microphones need to be as unobtrusive as possible. The WallCasts are special events where performances of the New World Symphony at the New World Center are projected live onto a 7,000-square-foot projection wall at Miami’s SoundScape Park.
Since the performances for the WallCasts appear very large with outside projection, the mics and the shadows they create are magnified and need to be reduced as much as possible.
DPA’s 4023 or 4028 along with 4053 compact omnidirectional microphones give viewers in the park the feeling of being there in the performance space with minimal impact to the visuals.
“For our shows, smaller is better,” says Toledo. “We have five projection surfaces with fourteen 30k Christie Roadster projectors shooting at multiple angles, so if a shadow is created by audio equipment, again, a smaller shadow is better. When we do our WallCasts, we can have up to 10 robotic cameras being used to project the concert to the audience outside. Again, if a microphone is in one of the camera shots, it is more acceptable if it is small, which the DPA mics are.”
Although New World Symphony primarily presents classical music, the look and sound of the space lent itself to a recent MTV “Unplugged” concert by the Colombian singer/songwriter/guitarist Juanes. As Toledo explains, for the “Unplugged” concert, the producers were looking for clean visuals to pair up with great sound. DPA was able to deliver on both.
“For Juanes, the issue was more about what was seen in the camera shot,” Toledo states. “With the exception of Juanes’s vocal mic, all the other mics had to be as hidden as possible. Getting good sound from the choir [that performs with Juanes] was important, but having mics not being seen or being seen as little as possible by the cameras was also a priority.
“Since the DPA mics are black, as is the Flamingo hardware used with them, we were able to position them as needed while making sure it did not become an issue for the director of the show.”
Toledo found that the microphones’ sizes in no way compromised their sound quality.
“Since we own only DPA’s Compact Series of microphones, their size has been the biggest asset,” he says. “In my mind, there is no degradation in quality compared to the stand-body versions, so visual impact is minimal, but I still get the usual DPA sound.
“For our shows, the DPAs have been nothing but spectacular. One thing I appreciate about our DPAs is that I have to do little to no equalization to our main array. It’s simply a matter of getting the mics in the right spot. The less processing I have to do, the better, and with the DPAs, that’s pretty much what I get.”