Codemasters records DiRT Rally audio with DPA Microphones

Codemasters, one of the UK’s most successful video game developers, recently made use of DPA d:dicate Recording Microphones to capture the sound of high performance cars for its latest title, DiRT Rally.

Since its formation in 1986, Codemasters has carved a niche for developing motorsports titles such as the GRID series, the DiRT Series and official games for Formula One.

Chris Jojo, senior sound designer and the principal sound recording engineer for Codemasters Racing, said, “For me DPA is synonymous with AAA quality and innovation. It is one of the few leading microphone manufacturers that produces microphones and supporting accessories capable of withstanding the stresses of onboard car recording and delivering consistently exceptional recording results.

“Our stock includes d:screet 4062 miniature omni lavalier, the d:dicate MMC4011 cardioid, the MMC4007 omni and the MMC4018 supercardioid capsules – all powered by DPA MMP-A Preamp bodies. More recently, MMP-ER Modular Active cables have been employed for field, prop and foley recording and for capturing onboard engine, exhaust and mechanical audio. These could include forced induction, differential, suspension and transmission across a wide spectrum of vehicles for all our motorsports titles.”

For DiRT Rally, d:dicate 4007 omni, 4011 cardioid, 4018 supercardioid and d:screet 4062 omni miniature microphones were a permanent fixture. Microphones were used across a whole range of onboard recordings from classic rally era historics, Group B, A and 4 cars, as well as contemporary World Rally Championship and World Rallycross cars.

DPA’s d:screet 4062 miniatures were used as workhorse mics, often applied where there was limited space inside the engine bay, while d:dicate 4011s were consistently used for both engine and exhaust as ancillary channels, for close mic’ing detail, targeting induction and flanking the engine block. In situations where a more focused approach was required, for example isolating the sound of a dog tooth gear box, waste gate chatter or gravel and stone kick-up in a cabin, Jojo used 4018s. All mics were routed into a Sound Devices 788T Digital Audio Recorder with either a -10 or -20 dB in line attenuator at input.

“d:dicate 4007, 4018, 4011 and d:screet 4062 mics can deliver the SPL tolerance, resilience, exceptional clarity and response that I need,” Jojo explained. “My personal favourite is the 4007, which is indispensable for recording engine and exhausts. The off-axis response yields a full-bodied detailed recording with exceptional transient response and pin-sharp clarity.

“I often use the 4007 in tandem with a 4011 on exhaust recording: the 4007 above an exhaust, with the 4011 in close proximity to the pipe, side-on. The 4007 provides a natural ambient bed for the ‘bite’ and CU detail captured by the 4011.”

Jojo also points to the introduction of DPA’s MMP-ER/ES active cables as a great time saver, allowing the team to accommodate larger DPA diaphragm capsules in tight spaces.