FOH engineer Richard Gough is the latest to test the waters with the DPA d:facto II vocal mic with some of his bigger name clients.
Gough's client list includes Muse, Radiohead, Van Morrison, and Sigur Ros. He has also been working with Lauryn Hill as production manager with his company Noiseboi.
Most recently, he used a d:facto vocal mic supplied by Sound Network both in the studio and during broadcast appearances on live TV (including one for SBTV and another for ITV2's Xtra factor) with UK singer/songwriter Conor Maynard.
"Maynard is still quite fresh and new to the music industry," Gough explains, "so I didn’t really expect him to notice using different mics on his own vocal. But after using the d:facto for about ten shows in a row, there were a couple of TV performances where we had to use another brand of wireless mic and he instantly noticed the difference. He wasn’t happy with the amount of 'pop' or the 'booming' in the low end that these other microphones were giving. It was a noticeable difference for him."
"Conor 'cups' the mic, like a rapper," he continues, "and this distorts the polar pattern of the mic. But noticeably with the d:facto, this doesn’t seem to matter too much. I still get plenty of gain before feedback in my side fills, so his vocal is there if his ears fail. This is one of the most impressive things about the mic. It has such a smooth response and gives lovely warm lows without 'popping' and 'booming'."
Gough says he went with the DPA d:facto due to its adaptability, build, gain before feedback, and, of course, its sound quality.
"The d:facto Vocal Microphone makes my job so easy: previously I was always using the parametric EQ to get rid of little things I didn’t like the sound of, which I now realize were down to the old mic. Now I’m leaving it completely flat, just high-passing to about 125Hz. It couldn’t be simpler: I add a compressor to the channel, with a nice reverb and I'm done."