Las Vegas, NV (March 28, 2018)—Nearly 15 years after Celine Dion began her residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, the chanteuse has played more than 1,060 shows, almost all of them with long-time sound system engineer Francois “Frankie” Desjardins and FOH mixer/tour manager Denis Savage on hand. Likewise, since 2010, the show has also used more than 40 microphones from nightly to cover the brass and string sections backing the megastar. That, in turn, led to Dion’s transition to using a DPA handheld vocal mic for the show in 2013.
The show first added brass and strings in 2010, and that led to Desjardins exploring various miking options before settling on using 19 DPA d:vote 4099 instrument microphones: “We now get optimum positioning with our instrument mics, which is critical, because if the microphone is not positioned perfectly, it will not sound good and there is no way you can fix it later. In addition, we get good rejection from the rest of the band for the string section without compromising the sound, as well as a good amount of gain before feedback, which is very important in live shows. The fact that we have a good rejection and good off axis stability over the frequency range helps to minimize the EQ process.”
As the relationship continued to build, so did the show’s use of DPA microphones. “In 2013, DPA introduced us to the d:facto FA4018V vocal microphone and we were intrigued,” adds Desjardins. “Celine is always keen to try new technologies, so we were able to get her to try the d:facto vocal mic and she liked it. We were very happy with the natural sound in the room and the new mic gave us a better definition in the low/mid, and a sweeter sound in the high/mid. It was a really good match for Celine, so we added the d:facto to our rotation of vocal microphones for each show.” Ultimately, Dion now has three FA4018s at her disposal—the main wireless, a spare and a wired mic.
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Other mics on hand include four d:facto FA4018V vocal mics for backup singers and guests, two d:dicate 2011A twin diaphragm cardioid mics on the snare drums, eight d:screet 4091s for the sound system analyzer, a pair of d:dicate 4007 omnis for sound system tuning and others.
On the snare drum, the duo turned to DPA’s d:dicate 2011A as they were looking for a reliable solution with a more modern sound compared to the popular choice. For Desjardins and Savage, the d:dicate 2011A mic captures details and subtleties that are sometimes found in a condenser mic, but can also survive the large dynamics of the instrument.
As it turns out, the mics have held up not only to nightly use in Las Vegas but in venues around the world as well. “Celine was performing in Copenhagen and for the first time since any of us can remember, she accidentally dropped the d:facto microphone on the stage,” recalls Desjardin. “Celine was not only in shock that she dropped the microphone, but even more surprised when she picked it up and it continued to work without any problems at all. DPA has been great and reliable.”
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