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DPA Microphones A Key Element In Recording The “Spotify Singles” Playlist

4099 instrument mic captures upright piano while 4011 cardioid mics are the choice for vintage acoustic guitars as well as overheads.
DPA Microphones Spotify
"Spotify Singles" senior producer William Garrett showing the configuration of the DPA 4011 mics to capture acoustic guitar.

Spotify senior producer William Garrett, who oversees the production of the “Spotify Singles” playlist, utilizes DPA Microphones 4099 instrument and 4011 cardioid mics in the recording of instruments in the series, with more than 600 songs recorded since the collection launched in 2016.

The unique playlist, which harkens back to the age of vinyl, cassette and CD singles, includes two songs from each featured artist; one is a new recording of an original track and the second is a cover.

“When I came onto the scene at Spotify, they had already purchased a combination of DPA’s 4099s and 4011s; this marked the first time I used the brand,” explains Garrett. “I was immediately impressed by how natural they sounded, but I wanted to learn more about DPA. So, I did a deep dive online and found that its solutions were being used in a lot of amazing applications and on high-end orchestral recordings. I knew I needed to put the DPAs in front of some instruments to see what they were capable of, and I was really amazed when I did.”

Garrett positions the 4099 instrument mic inside an upright piano, with the 4011 cardioid mics placed as overheads. “We originally used these mics on strings and acoustic guitars, and they sounded so unbelievably beautiful that we decided to test them out on our upright piano,” he says. “With the combination of DPA’s 4099s and 4011s, we were able to achieve a more transparent and realistic sound out of the upright piano, to the extent that it almost sounded like a grand piano.”

Additionally, for acoustic guitar, Garrett employs a matched pair of 4011s. “Using the 4011s on vintage acoustic guitars, I am able to capture a truly amazing stereo recording — it’s the best sound I’ve ever captured from those guitars,” he adds. “I also like having the option to close- and far-mic the strings simultaneously by using the 4011s and the 4099s with a clip-on option; it’s a huge advantage for post-production.”

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