LONDON, JULY 3, 2012 – DPA Microphones were on board as more than one million people lined London’s famed River Thames in early June to catch a glimpse of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as she celebrated her Diamond Jubilee with a River Pageant involving 1,000 boats. In typical British style, the weather was dreadful, with heavy rain doing its best to spoil what was supposed to be the highlight of the UK’s Diamond Jubilee weekend.
The cold, wind and rain proved no match for the DPA microphones, supplied by Thames Audio, and the unsung heroes of the event. Even in atrocious conditions, the microphones worked perfectly and guaranteed that the orchestras and choirs delivered a seamless performance. The microphones also ensured that the master recordings of the event would be forever timeless.
Among the DPA gear used for the celebration were the DPA 4088 Directional Headset Microphones, which were used to mic the Royal College of Music Chamber Choir. The group performed alongside the London Philharmonic Orchestra on Symphony, the final of the ten Herald music barges to participate in the pageant. Photographs of the 12 choristers, soaked through and with their hair plastered to their faces, were transmitted around the world for days after the event – and there in the pictures were (among others) DPA’s sturdy microphones on the choir girls, doing their best to defy everything Mother Nature could throw at them.
“We chose these DPA microphones because they are small, unobtrusive and have a very directional quality,” says Thames Audio director Pete Cox. “This meant we were able to record the orchestras without picking up too much of the surrounding acoustics. Given that the Academy of Ancient Music musicians were in an acoustically dreadful see-through marquee, and accounting for the noise from the strong wind and rain, this was a very important point. The microphones were only a few feet from the PA but still gave us plenty of gain before feedback.”
DPA Microphones were also spotted on two of the other four music barges equipped by Thames Audio. Fourteen DPA d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones could be found alongside musicians from the Academy of Ancient Music, which performed Händel’s Water Music aboard the Edwardian. Additionally, 30 musicians from The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Plymouth, one of the most famous and highly regarded military bands in the world, relied on DPA while they sounded their horns aboard the Valulla. For this portion of the performances, Thames Audio equipped the musicians with additional d:votes for the trombones, French horns and cornets. DPA 4060 Miniature Microphones were taped onto the clarinets and saxophones, with a few others mounted on the helmets of the musicians playing piccolo.
“All of our DPA microphones delivered exceptional results, and the damp conditions didn’t daunt them at all,” Pete Cox adds. “The sound quality remained fantastic throughout, and we were very pleased with the results we achieved.”
Thames Audio sourced part of its stock of DPA microphones from freelance sound engineer Ian Barfoot, who was also recruited to handle the sound mixing throughout the day.
“I have a large selection of approximately 70 DPA microphones, all of which were sourced from DPA’s UK distributor Sound Network,” say Barfoot. “I use them for all sorts of concerts, including a lot of Rock and Roll work, because they always perform exactly as they should. They are very forgiving, and you can put them through hell and back without having to worry about them. If I don’t have DPA microphones to work with, I tend to throw my toys out of my pram.”
The music performed during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee pageant, believed to be the Thames’s most spectacular in 350 years, was recorded by the BBC for both broadcast and archive purposes. Live coverage of the event was transmitted to BBC Big Screens in 22 locations throughout the United Kingdom.
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 www.dpamicrophones.com