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Music Production

Movie Captures Magic Music—Literally

Ever wish you could get your favorite band back together again? One Hollywood bigwig did just that—and has a new documentary to prove it.

Boulder, CO (October 25, 2018)—When veteran TV writer and producer Lee Aronsohn persuaded a band from his college days to reform for a final concert, the result was literally 40 Years in the Making: The Magic Music Movie.

Aronsohn, a driving force behind The Love Boat, Murphy Brown, Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory, fell in love with the music of the Boulder Revolution and the band Magic Music while at the University of Colorado in the 1970s. Decades later, he tracked down the original band members and convinced them to reform, documenting the resulting sold-out Boulder concert in the film.

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Production sound mixer David Griesinger was faced with likely the most important aspect of the film—capturing the musicians’ work. “As an engineer, you owe it to a great performer to capture their performance as cleanly as possible,” he reflected. “These former bandmates, even without having rehearsed a great deal in 40 years, had a natural symbiosis that seemed to transcend time.”

So he approached the task with caution. “In recording good acoustic instruments, you want to capture what is naturally there as best you can,” said Griesinger who used a selection of DPA microphones to document the event. “Simply put, a good performance plus good microphone plus good cable plus good preamp equals a good recording.”

Griesinger used up to six DPA d:screet 4061 lavaliers into wireless transmitters along with d:dicate 4017B shotgun microphones exclusively for the band performances outside, in cabins, and most of the sit-down interviews. In addition, Griesinger used the d:mension 5100 mobile surround mic as part of the live concert audience and natural ambience capture.

Almost all of the acoustic musical performances by the band were impromptu gatherings where instruments would be taken out of cases as they were talking and were exclusively recorded by the DPA d:screet 4061s. “It was like having a spot mic for each band member that, when mounted in the correct location, perfectly captured a balanced mix of their guitar and voice,” says Griesinger.

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During a downpour at the band’s first outdoor performance in Eldorado Canyon, says Griesinger, “We continued filming with the band playing and singing under a covered gazebo and the DPA d:screet 4061s both held up to the rain and captured their performance beautifully. For its part, the d:dicate 4017B allowed the focal point to be the band but captured the rain in the background as well. The capture of the microphones allowed the audience to really soak in the experience under that rain-drenched canopy as if they were there with the band. It was powerful and one of my favorite moments of the whole experience.”

DPA Microphones •