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DPA Microphones’ 4560 Headset Chosen For Immersive Theatre Project

Sound designer Nanna-Karina Schleimann utilizes 4560 binaural headset microphone at the Danish National School of Performing Arts in Copenhagen.
Good for Nothing, Schleimann’s graduation performance. (Credit: Jakob Carlsen)

Nanna-Karina Schleimann has become one of the first sound designers to make use of the new 4560 CORE binaural headset microphone from DPA Microphones, which gives sound technicians, vloggers, film makes and YouTubers an accurate and reliable tool to capture 3D audio in real time.

This new headset allows film, theatre and online content creators to capture exactly what each ear is hearing so that those consuming the content on headphones can experience full immersive sound. The headset features a pair of 4060 CORE miniature microphones that are mounted on ear hooks and sit just outside the user’s ear canal so that the mics capture the sound being heard by the person making the recording. The ear hooks are attached to a flexible headset that is simple to fit, comfortable to wear and can be easily adjusted to suit the dimensions of each individual head.

Nanna-Karina Schleimann

Earlier this year, while the 4560 binaural headset microphone was still in development, Schleimann was given the opportunity to beta test it during her graduation performance from the Danish National School of Performing Arts in Copenhagen.

“I had heard about binaural technology and techniques from other students who had used this method of recording sound in previous theatre performances,” she explains. “I had only seen it used live on stage once before, in a smaller and more experimental performance at the school. Therefore, I wanted to go even further and try the technology in my graduation performance, which is the biggest and last production before graduating.”

Entitled Good for Nothing, Schleimann’s graduation performance had no script and was based entirely around improvisation, with themes that revolved around transhumanism, transformation, sensory deprivation, nature and human revolution against technology. The director was fellow student Jennifer Vedsted Christiansen, while other students made up the cast and the design and production teams.

“I wanted to use binaural sound to research questions such as how to create a theatre experience where hearing is used as a sense rather than a function, and how to use sound to create a sensual experience,” Schleimann says. “I was also interested in the relation between an individual enclosed experience, and a collective and spatial experience.”

DPA’s new 4560 binaural headset microphone seemed ideal for Schleimann’s production and her University lecturer Eddy Bøgh Brixen, who is closely involved with the Danish manufacturer, arranged for her to use the prototype.

Three binaural headset microphones were used to amplify the voices, actions and movements of the actors on stage. Each member of the audience was given a pair of headphones so they could hear the sound from each actor via a wireless system.

“The binaural microphones allowed the audience to hear exactly what the actors were hearing, as if they were standing on the stage and being whispered to,” Schleimann adds. “Throughout the performance, the audience was also hearing binaural compositions that I had created. At the end of the play they removed their headphones and listened to the actors singing as a choir so they could experience the whole acoustic space surrounding them.”

Nanna-Karina Schleimann says it was an honor to try out a new DPA product and she was delighted with the results she achieved using this exciting new product. “I wanted to create an intimate and very sensual experience for the audience and DPA’s new binaural headset microphone allowed my ideas and wishes to come true,” she says. “The user-friendly design of the microphones made them very easy to work with and comfortable for the actors, plus I had the benefit of very high-quality DPA sound.”

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