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DPA Microphones Cope Brilliantly With High Altitude

Producer Hans Nielsen Discovers That Only DPA Microphones Can Capture the Sound of Chinese Monks in a Temple High above Sea Level

BEIJING, DECEMBER 20, 2012 – Recording at high altitudes is not something most sound engineers tackle every day. So, when Danish producer and engineer, Hans Nielsen, was asked to record a choir of 500 monks in a Chinese temple thousands of feet above sea level, he knew he’d need a very resilient microphone to cope with the challenging conditions. DPA Microphones’ 4006A omnidirectional microphones and 4011A cardioids were perfectly suited to the environment surrounding Nielsen’s recording of the album The Coming Ones by internationally acclaimed folk singer and songwriter Sa Ding Ding.

“I’ve always been a big fan of DPA Microphones and have used them regularly for over 25 years,” says Nielsen, who is from Focus Recording Studios. “When I realized this project involved recording at high altitude, I knew I had to take my DPA mics with me because they were the only ones I could rely on to capture the high-quality sound I wanted in such extreme conditions.”

While in China, Nielsen found himself recording the very intricate Sa Ding Ding album in a variety of environments. A mix of Han and Mongol ancestry, Sa Ding Ding sings in a number of languages including Mandarin, Sanskrit and Tibetan, as well as an imaginary self-created language that evokes the emotions of her songs. She also plays traditional instruments such as the guzheng and matougin (a horse-head fiddle).

“Sa Ding Ding wanted to include the Monk’s choir in her album, so we travelled to the temple, which was high up in the mountains near Tibet,” explains Nielsen. “The monks were singing a mass, and we captured their performance using nine DPA 4006A omnidirectional microphones and one DPA 4011A cardioid. Then, later that night, we used the same microphones to record a choir of 100 monks so that their singing could also be incorporated into two of Sa Ding Ding’s album tracks.”

Two days later, and this time a little closer to the earth’s core, Nielsen recorded a 50-strong Christian choir for the album, again using DPA microphones. Nielsen says he chose the DPA 4006A and 4011A microphones because he was confident they could deliver the impeccable sound for which he was looking.

“I did have other microphones with me, but only the DPAs were able to cope with the extremely thin air,” Nielsen declares. “Everything else I tried was just too noisy and couldn’t perform perfectly in the atmospheric conditions. I was incredibly happy with the results we achieved using the DPA microphones – and so was Sa Ding Ding.”

Nielsen completed the album in Beijing, recording some traditional Chinese instruments as well as Sa Ding Ding’s lead vocals. The final mix took place in London and the album, which is entitled The Coming Ones, has now been released in Asia by Universal Records.

DPA Microphones A/S is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high quality condenser microphones and microphone solutions for professional applications in studio, broadcast, theatre, video/film and sound reinforcement environments. All DPA microphones and components are manufactured at the company’s purpose-built factory in Denmark.

For more information on DPA Microphones, please visit