DPA’s new d:facto linear vocal microphone, which was officially launched at Prolight + Sound earlier this year, has received its on-stage debut with Tool, Jess Glynne and Fun Lovin’ Criminals.
Front of house engineer Alan ‘Big Nobby’ Hopkinson works with all three acts and was one of the first live sound professionals to try out the new VL capsule for d:facto, which was recommended by John Tinline, director of PA hire company, Encore.
Hopkinson immediately put it to use on Tool’s recent tour dates in the USA, where it solved the problem of bleed from the drums interfering with the vocal feed.
“Tool’s singer, Maynard James Keenan, likes to stand upstage next to the drum kit,” Nobby explained. “Danny Carey, Tool’s drummer, is a very big man and he hits his kit very hard. As a result, I was getting more snare in the vocal channel than vocal. When we switched to the d:facto VL capsule, we were able to push a little more in dangerous waters. We did a month of arenas with Tool and the capsule gave me room to get more volume elsewhere.”
DPA’s VL capsule, already nicknamed ‘Very Loud’ by the live sound fraternity, has an extremely linear frequency response compared to the original d:facto vocal microphone, which has a 3dB soft boost at 12 kHz. The new capsule has an isolation-optimised supercardioid polar pattern that is specifically designed to augment the human vocal range.
“The VL capsule makes my job easier,” Nobby added. “What do you want from a mic? You want to be able to turn it up, have it sound nice and not be unpredictable. That sounds simple, but I respect the research that goes into this and the people who build them.”
The success of the Tool gigs gave Nobby the confidence to use the new d:facto with Fun Lovin’ Criminals in Europe and Jess Glynne on her worldwide tour dates.
“Jess chose the microphone herself,” he remarked. “We went through an array of mics to find the one she liked best and she immediately went for the d:facto, so we bought two. With the new VL capsule we’re finding that it’s a little less excitable and has a very nice smooth, mid/high mid, which is a positive for any vocal mic.”
John Tinline from Encore is also impressed with the new d:facto linear vocal mic and has already invested in the new VL capsules, making Encore the first company in the UK to have them available for hire.
“The d:facto vocal microphone has been part of our hire inventory since it was first released so it made sense to add the new VL capsules to our stock,” said Tinline. “They take the d:facto into completely new territory by solving the problems rock bands were having with crosstalk. Tool is a good example – they love the new capsule and that’s a band that likes to play loud.”
(Picture: Jess Glynne on her worldwide tour with DPA d:facto)