When a problem with one of his microphones required him to send it back to the manufacturer, production sound mixer Chris Durfy, CAS began looking for a replacement to complete his work on the upcoming Netflix thriller Stranger Things, and decided to give DPA a try after hearing good things about the company.
Written and directed by Matt and Ross Duffer, Stranger Things is set in 1980s Indiana. The show takes place after a young boy seemingly vanishes into thin air. As friends, family and local police search for answers, they are drawn into a mystery involving top-secret experiments, supernatural forces and one very strange little girl.
“I was looking for a reason to try DPA microphones, so when my existing mic went down I took the opportunity to try them out,” said Durfy. “We bought the d:dicate 4017 and 4018 Shotgun Microphones and are very pleased with their sound, reach, flat response and imperviousness to RF and the humidity.”
On Stranger Things, Durfy uses his DPA's to record audio for most of the show’s stage work in the studio, as well as field shoots at various locations off the stage. With a show of this type, Durfy and his crew never know what to expect, so having flexible equipment capable of handling whatever is thrown their way is important.
“One of the things that I really like about the DPA line is that it is totally modular,” Durfy continued. “You can switch from a d:dicate 4017 to a 4018 using the same preamp in the time that it takes you to unscrew and re-screw in the desired capsule. The d:dicate 4018 has a greater reach than what we were previously using in the same situation. There was a gray area in between the reach of the two microphones that we were previously using that DPA has just pleasantly filled. The d:dicate 4018 delivers a great sound while reducing some of the effects of the reverberant space, similar to what we were using in the past but with more ‘bite’ when at a higher headroom.”
In addition to his DPA microphones, Durfy’s rig also includes a Sound Devices PIX 260i rack-mount video/audio recorder, Yamaha QL1 mixing console and Lectrosonics Venue and Venue 2 wireless systems.
“Switching over to DPA streamlines things for us because all of the microphones have the same frequency response,” Durfy explained. “From their lavs to their shotguns, they all mix very well. The fact that they are smaller and lighter yet still have that big sound is really important to us. Now that we’ve got the DPA line, we absolutely intend to continue to use them. The mics make our work sound better. I’d recommend that anyone go and listen to a DPA microphone, give it a try and see what you’ve been missing.”
Starring Winona Ryder, Matthew Modine, David Harbour and Finn Wolfhard, Stranger Things will be available for streaming on Netflix later this year.