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Production Sound Mixer Ben Nimkin Utilizes DPA To Capture Dialogue On Unusual Projects

Specialist in working with documentaries in unpredictable environments carries mic locker stocked with 4017 shotgun, 4018 supercardioid, 4160 Series Slim omnidirectional and more.
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Production sound mixer Ben Nimkin on a project site with some of his DPA kit.

Production sound mixer Ben Nimkin, who specializes in working with documentary films in often unpredictable environments, employs microphones from DPA to capture intelligible spoken-word dialogue that’s crucial to the projects.

With a specialty for investigative documentaries such as Fyre Fraud; Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story; States of Undress; Gaycation and more. Nimkin is no stranger to capturing highly emotional conversations whether he’s in a dam on the Nile River in Uganda, in the Atacama Desert in Chile or in the middle of the North Sea—during a storm, no less.

Nimkin has used a range of different microphones before evaulating DPA. “I remember seeing people rave about DPA microphones on various message boards,” he says. “With all the positive reviews, I had to check them out for myself; and I’m so glad I did. There’s not a better sounding mic out there. With DPA, it feels as though I’m listening with my own ears, and nothing is being boosted or lost—it’s incredible.”

His microphone locker is stocked with a range of DPA mics, including the 4017 shotgun and 4018 supercardioid, 4160 Series Slim omnidirectional and 4098 gooseneck. The unpredictable nature of documentaries causes Nimkin to take much into consideration when prepping a scene.

“I often have to hide mics in plain sight, so DPA’s compact microphones, like the slim lavalier and gooseneck, make my job easier,” he notes. “I usually have multiple DPA mics set up because, for example, when capturing an emotional scene, someone may clutch their hands to their chest and completely cover the lavalier. Then, in production, the editor can switch to the shotgun mic and it won’t sound any different. The sonic consistency across all DPA microphones is amazing. The editors can seamlessly switch back and forth between mics and they can’t hear a difference—everything is crystal clear and evenly balanced.

“I was having problems with other microphones breaking and not being able to perform in extreme environments,” Nimkin concludes. “DPA mics are strong. They really hold up and I know they’re not going to break, which is especially important when working on a documentary where you often have only one opportunity to capture the sound.”

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