Microphones from DPA were utilized extensively by Daniel S. McCoy, CAS, to capture audio for the indie film Dinner in America. Written and directed by Adam Rehmeier, the film was shot in many different suburban locations, which often presented unique audio challenges for the sound team.
McCoy, owner of production sound company ToneMesa, utilized DPA 4061 miniature omnidirectional, 4017B shotgun and 4018B supercardioid mics on the project, along with the newly launched 6061 CORE subminiature mic, about which he says, “Not only was it easy to hide the mic within the actors’ wardrobe, it also concealed better as a plant mic wherever we needed it.
“I have always loved my 4061 lavalier mics and now, with the 6061 CORE subminiatures, I can get even more dynamic range and frequency response, with higher fidelity than ever before,” he continues. “The 6061 CORE does a great job of capturing nuanced sounds, more detail in rooms, actors’ voices and hard sound effects.
“We shot one scene in a pet shop with an incredible amount of animal noise,” he adds. “Despite having to contend with birds chirping and a great deal of crosstalk, the 6061 CORE still provided the clarity of the actors’ voices that I needed. I never had to worry about distortion or the lack of intelligibility that you usually get with multiple hidden mics.”
During a punk rock concert scene towards the end of Dinner in America, McCoy heavily relied on both the 4061 and 6061 mics to capture an authentic concert sound. “I planted 4061/6061 CORE mics to capture the drum kit, bass and guitar amp,” he explains. “Using my 4017B and 4018B microphones on boom, with the 6061 CORE and 4061 miniatures on the actors and instruments, really took the audio to the next level. I did a mono board mix and positioned spot mics on every instrument and every head amp. It was a very pivotal, intense scene.”
McCoy also found the 6061 CORE useful in capturing the hard effects that sound editor Colin Alexander needed. According to McCoy, “Colin was very much appreciative of all the practical effects that we were able to record with the production soundtracks. He said they were so easy to work with and a pleasure to mix during his re-recording process. I was really honored that someone I admire so highly in post-production would be so complimentary of the assets they received from set.”
Recognizing that the American Midwest is often quite windy, McCoy selected a series of wind protection solutions from yet another Danish manufacturer, Bubblebee Industries, to complement the DPA microphones. “Wind is worse than any frequency problems; it’s all about controlling the wind in an outside environment,” he notes. “Using the Bubblebee solutions with my DPA mics proved to be the optimal setup for the American plains.”