As harsh conditions threatened to disrupt the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations on Sunday, June 3rd, DPA Microphones defied the elements to serve the Royal College of Music Chamber Choir, who performed with the London Philharmonic Orchestra on Symphony, the last of ten Herald music barges taking part in the pageant.
The choir aboard Symphony utilised DPA’s 4088 directional headset microphones, while additional DPA items were put to work on two of the four music barges equipped by Thames Audio, whose director Pete Cox said: “We used DPA microphones on Edwardian, which carried the Academy of Ancient Music who played Händel’s Water Music, and Valulla, which carried 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.
“We chose these DPA microphones because they are small, unobtrusive and have a very directional quality, which 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 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.”
Thames Audio had a total of 14 DPA d:vote 4099 instrument microphones on-board Edwardian. These were clipped onto the violins and woodwind instruments via DPA’s dedicated instrument clips. On Valulla, Thames Audio deployed DPA d:vote 4099s with the appropriate clips for the trombones, French horns and cornets. They also used DPA 4060 miniature mics, which were taped onto the clarinets and saxophones and mounted on the helmets of the musicians who were playing piccolo, bringing the total number of DPA Microphones in use to 18.
“All of our DPA microphones delivered exceptional results and the damp conditions didn’t daunt them at all,” Cox added. “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 mixing duties on the day.
Barfoot commented: “I have a large selection of approximately 70 DPA microphones, all of which were sourced from DPA’s UK distributor Sound Network. 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, which is thought to be the Thames’s most spectacular in 350 years, was recorded by the BBC for both broadcast and archive purposes.
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