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Sweetwater Studios Captures Nick D’Virgilio with DPA

When Sweetwater Studios captured tracks for Nick D’Virgilio's new album using DPA mics, the mics were small but the album was Inivisible.

Drummer and vocalist Nick D’Virgilio
Drummer and vocalist Nick D’Virgilio

Fort Wayne, IN (June 29, 2020)—Drummer and vocalist Nick D’Virgilio, known for his work with Spock’s Beard, Big Big Train, Tears for Fears, Sheryl Crow, Kevin Gilbert, Peter Gabriel and Genesis, recently put DPA Microphones to work on an album of original songs featuring a host of leading drum manufacturers.

Sweetwater Studios, a division of Sweetwater Sound, had access to all the drums, mics and gear necessary to make this album. The percussion brands featured on Invisible include Aquarian, Remo, Evans, Sabian, Zildjian, Paiste, DW, Sonor, Ludwig, Gretsch, Mapex, Yamaha, Trick, Tama, Vic Firth, Promark and Vater.

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Co-produced and engineered by Mark Hornsby, D’Virgilio’s Invisible album’s drum and band recordings took place at Sweetwater Studios. Orchestral compositions were recorded at Abbey Road Studios under the direction of composer Rick Wentworth and arranger John Hinchey. The album is being released through Entertainment One.

“[Hornsby and D’Virgilio] decided to use all DPA microphones because they wanted an accurate, very natural sound to highlight the nearly two-dozen percussion manufacturers featured on the album,” says Gabriel Antonini, business development manager and global support, DPA Microphones. “This included different cymbals, sticks and drums; and each song on the record has a different drum set featured on it. The only thing that stayed the same was DPA mics.”

“DPA mics have many things going for them when it comes to drums,” says D’Virgilio. “For starters, they sound amazing — what your drums sound like in the room are what they sound like coming back through the speakers. They are also small and discreet, so there is almost no chance you whack the mic with a drumstick while you’re playing. If you do hit a mic, then you’ve done something incredibly wrong.”

Antonini also served as a recording supervisor on the album. “I miked the lovely sounding Sweetwater rooms with the best possible placement of DPA mics for drum recordings,” he explains. “The second part of the job was to go to Studio Two at Abbey Road — where the Beatles recorded — and place microphones for the orchestra. We also set up a Decca tree, comprised completely of DPA mics; three 4006 omnis with 50mm APE accessories, to be exact.”

“I have been recording orchestral projects at Abbey Road Studios for many years; DPA microphones enabled me to capture a sonic fidelity that I had never achieved before,” says Hornsby.

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