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Live Sound

Dashboard Confessional Dives Into DPA

“Chris turned to us and said, ‘New mic.’”

Nashville, TN (August 22, 2018)—On the road this year with its Summer Ever After tour, Dashboard Confessional has been crossing the country with monitor engineer Jamison Butcher and FOH man Joel Livesey in tow. They, in turn, have been steadily adding DPA microphones to the band’s set-up, to the point where the group is now entirely on the Danish company’s mics.

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Butcher started with a small package for drums that included a d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphone on the hi-hat and ride, and a d:dicate 2011 Compact Cardioid Microphone on snare drum. He also incorporated a d:facto 4018VL Linear Vocal Microphone on singer, Chris Carrabba’s vocal. Soon after trying the DPA mics, Butcher quickly moved to a full input list of DPA including d:dicate 2011Cs on kick and snare, d:vote 4099s on all the toms and cymbals, and d:facto 4018VLs on all vocals and d:dicate 4011 Cardioid Microphones for audience mics.

“The second we added the d:vote 4099 to our cymbals, it was like someone had pulled a blanket off the drum kit,” said Butcher. “We previously had a few mics that colored the cymbals a bit too much. We were happy with the tones we got out of those microphones until we heard the clarity of our DPA 4099s. We now have a full complement of DPA mics on the current Summer Ever After tour and every input sounds fantastic.

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As for lead singer Chris Carrabba’s switch to a DPA d:facto 4018VL mic,Butcher recalled, “Chris had used a different manufacturer’s microphone for over a decade, just the familiarity should have made the switch to DPA difficult. However, we started sound check with his old mic and after a song switched to the d:facto 4018VL, it was an immediate win. Both Joel Livesey, our FOH engineer and I mentioned that our high-pass filters were backed off and overall the microphone had a more natural sound immediately. After only a couple of minutes, Chris turned to us and said, ‘New mic.’ We haven’t looked back since.”

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In addition, the team immediately noticed the rejection of the d:facto 4018VL mic in front of the drum set during live shows. “It can be very difficult to find a mic that sounds natural on your singer with almost no EQ, but also gives you minimal and/or usable microphone bleed,” adds Butcher. “During the first show that we tried the d:facto 4018VL, I realized I no longer had to ride my vocal fader so hard. We also found ourselves EQing a lot less. The microphone immediately sounded like Chris. We no longer had to compress low-mids or boost high-mids and top-end. Since switching to the d:facto 4018VL, we’ve had nothing but success. Its clarity and rejection are second to none.”

DPA Microphones •