DPA microphones boost percussion and vocals for Jonas Brothers 2021 music tour – rAVe [PUBS]
With clarity and natural sound at the forefront of all things DPA microphones, Jonas Brothers sound engineer Jon Kooren knew the brand would be the perfect fit for The Remember This Tour. Initially delayed due to the pandemic, the tour kicked off in Las Vegas in August and rolled out across the country, with one final show at the Hollywood Bowl on October 27. Deployed primarily for percussion and vocals, the tour’s large collection of DPA mics included the 4011 Cardioid, 4099 CORE Instrument and 2011 Twin Diaphragm Cardioid microphones for drums and percussion, as well as the d: facto ™ 4018V vocal microphone for backup. and the d: facto 4018VL vocal microphone for Kevin Jonas.
“There are a lot of microphones; we use two 4011A for the percussion overhead, on top of the cymbals and chimes, another as a direct source for the shakers and the tambourine, and a fourth on the snare bottom on the drum kit, ”explains Kooren. “Then we have 4099s on high and low congas, bongos, two toms and two timpani, and 2011Cs on smaller trash-style snares. The d: factos for Kevin and the backup sound very natural, with excellent off-axis rejection that decreases bleeding from other instruments on stage compared to other mics we’ve used in the past.
Initially implemented during the previous Jonas Brothers arena tour, the DPAs were selected on the recommendation of Kooren’s friend and fellow sound engineer Eddie Caipo. “It started with the d: facto VL [for Nick Jonas], and those were great, then I added the 4099s and we just grew from there, ”Kooren says. “When we added the percussion section, I took the opportunity to complete the DPA pickups a bit more. We have a lot of open mics for percussion. It’s a big set up and the percussionist, Demien [Arriaga], has a lot of movement in the way he plays. So, it is useful to have DPA to cover all of these open mic applications. The pickups give us a crisp, clean, natural solution that can handle the high SPLs of the percussion while still sounding exactly like the source with minimal EQ.
The microphones were also essential on the front. “They provide a crystal clear and sonically neutral representation of the source,” explains FOH engineer Brian Pomp. “The mics hold up to the crazy SPL that artists deliver and, when equalizing, I find DPAs to be much less drastic than other mics in similar applications.”
The pickups are not only an asset for engineers, musicians have noticed the benefits as well. “Percussionists are generally a little low on the totem pole and never really have a say in microphones,” says Arriaga. “But, when Jon switched to DPA from another brand that we had, it was night and day – DPA is so much better. The pencil pickups on lower level trash cans and shakers, timpani and cowbells are awesome. The tone I emanate from them is incredible.
Arriaga adds that the 4011 pendant mics are particularly important to his playing style. “I use a lot of shakers and tambourines, so you have to use open and wide mics,” he says. “With other mics you hear so much bleeding from other instruments, which is not conducive to proper performance. But the DPA 4011s are exceptional. I move around a lot, dance and jump, and know what the mics are doing. capturing, and when, that’s a game-changer for me in terms of incorporating this dynamic of choreography and musical articulation. I like that. “
The microphones also make Kooren’s job easier. “I can modify what I hear to match what I need in the mix, but what I take out is more or less the same as if I were standing there listening to it,” adds he does. “I especially like that the 4099s are small and flexible, so I can put them where I need them; they were really great. Then, with the d: factos, the choirs stand off axis, just in front of the percussions. The bleeding I get from these vocal mics is just a lot smoother than what you would normally get, so it’s easy for me to fit it into my mix. When it comes to percussion mics, even though there are so many of them, it’s easy to balance them out for professional sound.
For Arriaga, he says DPA mics allow you to experience “the difference between just hearing your music and actually feeling it and knowing that it translates the real sound. The microphones reflect what I hear. How my instruments sound without mics is how they sound with DPA. This is especially true with the smaller clamp mics, the 4099. These are the perfect example of translating the tone of the instrument. It’s not a forgiving mic, and I’m saying it in a good way. I know it’s going to capture what I’m playing, and it pushes me to be more precise, cleaner, more intentional and more present.
Regarding the sound that Arriaga hears in his mix, he says “it’s always good because of Jon”, but it was the elements in front of the audience that particularly caught his attention. “I compared the videos from this tour to previous ones, before DPA, and it was always either like I wasn’t in the band or like the mics were just too open. When you’re a drummer on a budget, you rarely think about these things – you always pick off-the-shelf mics, and you usually just keep going with that. But I play with some really good brands that sound amazing, like Zildjian cymbals and Remo drum heads, and DPA makes these instruments sound great. Also, even though I’m a drummer / percussionist, the most important thing for me is to hear the vocals, and the d: factos made these saves amazing.
At the end of the tour, the Jonas Brothers will soon be back on the road for the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour, which kicks off in Dallas on November 30.