In the “Callas in Concert” tour, beloved opera singer Maria Callas was brought back to the stage via hologram, 40 years after her passing, with the live orchestra accompanying digitally remastered recordings of Callas for the production captured by microphones from DPA.
The show presented front of house and recording engineer Howard “Howie” Lindeman with a unique challenge. Since the show was focused around the visual of Callas on stage, and the hologram system used to project her image, Lindeman needed low-profile microphones that would not be obtrusive on stage.
He elected to go with 4099 instrument microphones due to sonic quality, lightweight design and the compact size of the instrument mic clips. In all, Lindeman and his team deployed a total of 27 4099s (with clips) for the 14 violins, six violas, five cellos and two upright basses that were used for the concert.
“The major challenge on this project was the real estate that mic stands take up on a stage,” says Lindeman. “DPA’s 4099 not only alleviated that problem, but also allowed a close-mic recording. Instead of area miking with several large condenser mics, and fighting potential feedback, the 4099s allowed us to mic up all of the string players and really showcased the talent of each musician.”
Produced by BASE Hologram, the tour launched in California before heading to Mexico and South America, and then returned to the United States ahead of its European leg. DPA was brought into the production through Sound Image (Escondido, CA).
“The 4099s were an effective tool in amplifying the sounds of the string section,” adds FOH tech and A2 Harrison Ruhl. “The 4099s sounded transparent and allowed Howie to make the entire orchestra sound incredible with minimal EQ and the appropriate high-pass filtering. The basses and cellos sounded full and present. The mic handled the low-end content incredibly well, and its low profile made attachment very easy without hindering the player.”